Shift gears (low gears, high gears)

Hi,
I bought a mountain bike about 4 days ago and it's making fun. However I do have problems with gear shifting. My bike has 3 pinions on the front (by the pedals) and 4 pinions on the rear wheel. I just don't know what is the ideal combination for example for going uphill (or downhill). The right shifter has the numbers 7,5,3,1 on it and the left one 1,2,3. I'm riding normally always on 1 and 7. Can please somebody give me a brief explanation. Thanks in advance and sorry about my primitive english.

Regards
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
Large cog front + small cog rear (right shifter 7 left shifter 3) ..... downhill (fastest gear)
Small cog front + large cog rear (right shifter 1 left shifter 1) .... uphill (easiest gear)
 
The combination you DON'T want is opposite front to back. The chain is under strain and you'll hear it if it's right front and left back or vica versa.

Ideally use the rear for small changes and the ftont for how hilly.

If on the flat I use the biggest ( right) ftont and from middle to smallest (right rear). If it's going a little uphill move the rear towards the left. When you are in the middle at the rear the next change shoukd be the ftont to the middle.

I only use the ftont smallest on very steep uphill and the rear should be towards the left too.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Alternatively think about it this way...
fast riding (downhill or with the wind behind you ) large cog on the front
slow riding (uphill or with the wind in your face)...small cog on the front.
Middle cog is anywhere between...you'll use this gear for most riding until you develop fitness, speed etc.

The rear gears then allow you to find the ideal pedalling speed (cadence) in any given condition / speed. You'll use them constantly as your speed changes or gradients change.

A good way to start is on the middle front. Stay on that and use the rear to find a comfortable pace. Just ride a while, switching at the rear, you'll see what effect it has.
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Hi,
I bought a mountain bike about 4 days ago and it's making fun. However I do have problems with gear shifting. My bike has 3 pinions on the front (by the pedals) and 4 pinions on the rear wheel. I just don't know what is the ideal combination for example for going uphill (or downhill). The right shifter has the numbers 7,5,3,1 on it and the left one 1,2,3. I'm riding normally always on 1 and 7. Can please somebody give me a brief explanation. Thanks in advance and sorry about my primitive english.

Regards
Hi!
1 and 7 is bad for the chain, better not to ride with the chain diagonal, have a look at your bike to see what I mean.
Try 2 on the front (left shifter) and 4 or 5 on the back (right shifter).
By the way, I think you have 7 gears on the back: that is 7 rings on the back wheel, correct?
There is no ideal combination apart from what your legs like :laugh:
Normally, big ring on the back and/or small ring on the front makes pedaling easier, good for hills. Big hill, try 1/1
Small ring at the back and/or big ring at the front: a flat road, try 7/3.
Enjoy experimenting!
 

shouldbeinbed

Rollin' along
Location
Manchester way
1&7 = No. You will break the chain and wear out the teeth on the cogs fast.

Basic idea of matching gears to the ground you are on to not hurt your legs the chain or cogs badly.

1 & 1 or 3. Going up hills.

2 & 1,3,5,7. Normal riding - best to stay in 3 or 5 the most. *as others said - start in 2 on the front and leave it there while you learn how 1,3,5,7 on the back feel different*

3 & 5 or 7. Flat and going down hills.


Just 4 cogs on the back & not called 1,2,3,4 sounds wrong. I think that someone has taken some off (probably smaller ones that make you go faster on the flat) and if you go to a bike shop you could get a new rear set with 7 cogs (pinions as you call them), this would give you much bigger range of gears and to go faster & further with ease.

Edit: Assuming on the back that gear 1 is bigger and has more teeth than gear 7 etc.
 
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