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How To Change Gear Like A Pro

How To Change Gear Like A Pro

Most modern road bikes have between 20
and 22 gears, and changing gear can be as intuitive as pedaling, but are you doing
it right? Welcome to GCN’s How To Change Gear Like a Pro. ♪ [music] ♪ To a large extent, how fast you pedal, or
your cadence, is self-selected. There is an optimum range, however, of
between 70 to 100 revolutions per minute. Gear changes should be made to keep
yourself in this range, whilst maintaining your desired effort level. There is no way
of telling what gear should be used in a given situation, as it depends on a
rider’s personal ability, but if you can keep your cadence in this region,
you know you are doing okay. For most riders, a compact chain set at
the front is a good idea, with a 50- and 34-tooth chain ring, and an
11-to-25 cassette. This gives you a nice low gear for steep climbs, but a top gear
that is the equivalent of 53/12. Now, one of the things you shouldn’t
do is change gear under load. Creates a lot of hassle. The ideal thing
to do is select the gear nice and early, especially on a steep climb, as we are
now. Now, Tom’s going to get the gear wrong, and I’m going to get the
gear right by selecting it early. Here’s how to do it. I’m in the gear now, spinning quite
nicely. There’s quite a steep hairpin here. Now, I’m not going to change gear
under load, I’ve selected the gear already, I can just cruise around this
corner nice and easy. When Tom changes gear, already got a bit of a gear
crunch, and I’ve left him behind. Again, it’s all about selecting the gear
nice and early and thinking ahead. Avoid extremes on the cassette.
Now, when choosing your gears, you should avoid using the smallest chain
ring and sprocket at the same time, and conversely, the big chain ring
and big sprocket. It can be done, but it puts the chain and the
derailleur under a lot of stress, so for the health and longevity
of you gears, avoid it. Another thing you need to get right,
especially in a race situation, is changing from the big ring onto the
little ring basically on a very, very quick approach to a steep climb. A
good example would be in the Tour of Flanders when they’re riding at 50, 60
kilometers an hour before the Mur de Grammont timing is essential. You don’t
want to get caught out on the big ring on the steepest part of the climb. So get it
early, in the middle of the block, from big ring to little ring efficiently,
and you’re on the climb, full acceleration, and you’re away. Keep your gears clean. Now, one of the
best things you can do for your gears, and probably the most pro, is to keep them
clean. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to get a toothbrush out after every single
ride and scrub, but buy some degreaser and use it every time any black residue builds
up. It looks pro to have shiny gears, and best of all, it makes them work much
better and also last a lot longer. Big rings are cool up to a point. While
we’re talking about being pro, yes, it’s cool to be on your big ring, but
pros also use really small gears to save their legs. If you’re the kind of person
that likes to grind their big ring all day, have a think about using your little
ring, and actually looking pro. The limit screws are normally there just
to stop the chain dropping off the end of the cassette and getting wedged into the
frame or between the cassette and the spokes. But there’s also sufficient
adjustment to force the mech up a couple of sprockets.

100 comments on “How To Change Gear Like A Pro

  1. Hey, I have a question, I have a bicycle which has multiple gears like a mountain bike but small like a BMX, what kind of bike do I have?

  2. I had no idea what the hell he's talking about. Experienced riders know the lingo he uses but those learning are like "WTF did he just say?!"

  3. so basically you want to decrease front gears and increase back for uphill and opposite for downhill to ease riding?

  4. Never had a road bike before and just got one! Help! I changed gear and it keeps clunking whenever I ride it and it's not a smooth pedal, can someone explain very simply how I make it go away?

  5. finally a resource that is actually helpful and that avoids rabbit holes…class act guys.I love vintage.. thx for covering that.

  6. Hey guys, thanks for your awesome vids, I'm learning a lot as I discover cycling ! Quick question on gear changes, how do you go about changing from the big to small chainring ? I live in a pretty flat area so I am usually in big chainring but when I hit those climbs, I need to make a change on both chainring and cassette. How and when do you transition from big to small chainring ?

  7. Watching lots of gearing videos as my new triple crank has 27 gears more than my old Dutch 3 gear bike and I keep messing up my gearing on climbs…great video!

  8. Is there any way I can adjust my gears so it's easier to change? I have to twist REALLY hard for it to click and change… Also the chain comes off under normal changing… What can I do?

  9. if there's a beginner series all put into one, that'd be great. I have no idea what big ring or small ring is nor do i know what the left or right brake controls

  10. What does "looking pro" actually mean? Is that what your channel is about? Seems like most viewers are beginners but you're teaching them how to " look pro"! Why not teach people how to enjoy cycling and turn down the product placement/ marketing machine? Go "grind your big ring" all day long if you want to kids. Screw these guys!!

  11. Honestly I enjoy your vids but this is too complicated for beginners. Obviously the audience who looks for this topic will be beginners at the most basic level – ones who search "how to shift." I think you guys should dumb it down a bit for the crowd.

  12. I recently bought I hybrid bike which came with a Friction knob on the left handle. I'm really not sure what it's for and how to use it accordingly with my gear shift knob on the right. Help?

  13. I thought with modern drivetrains it's ok to have big gear and big cassette combo? I cycle through the city to work so I like to be in my 30t on the big ring. What about the second largest gear? I don't necessarily want to have to mash a 25t from a green light every 90 seconds. Should I use the small ring more and just change rings more often? As I don't like to use 8th gear and up on the small ring.

  14. Love the site guys! I would like to see you post a vid regarding the shift over the years to the TINY frames that you see the pros ride now. See you guys on them too for that matter. So MUCH seat post showing. That's NOT what pro bikes looked like back in the days of Greg Lemond, etc. Why the big change?? I still ride a bike based on the sizing rules I learned 25 years ago and wonder what the big advantage is. If there is one. If it's a slight aero advantage based on a more extreme seat to bar drop, that won't make that much difference to a non-racer would it?

  15. Hello dear GCN I would like to contact with you in private cause I have a bike and I need a lot of help. Please contact me as soon as possible.

  16. My bike is really heavy and i am really tired after riding to college by rough road at random gear.. help me

  17. I'm a little confused can someone help me out?

    -So when I am climbing I should be on the smallest in the front and bigger gear in the back?
    -And when I am on flats, I should be on the biggest on the front and the go smaller in the back?
    -What does he mean by selecting your gear early? And don't change it underload? Does he mean don't change gears when you are say going uphill and change when you freewheel?

  18. Sir , I am participating in a cycle race and the track is straight .The race is of 3 km what gears should I use in start and when should I change gears please tell !!!

  19. I am using a Q Ring because I heard it made climbing a bit easier…not sure, climbing never gets easy… Anyways, I find that the Q Ring is messing up my spin, does anyone else find this? I also have a harder time shifting between the big and little ring…anyone else find this too?

  20. so my goal is make my chains as straight as possible? i usually use my bike 30 mins a trip going to work, and 30 mins back, the road is pretty plain no uphill/downhill and im using i think a 6-gear shift bike, im not really good at bikes? which gear should i use?

  21. Let's say you're doing a decent, and then the road almost instantly goes uphil… you obviously can't maintain the speed from the decent for long. If you switch down gears to early your cadence becomes like 10k rpm!! So how do you time this for changing down the gears?

  22. How do you know what current gear you're in?
    Do you just keep track when you shift?
    Do you look at your drive train while you ride?

  23. I found out that not changing my gear at all makes me able to go up a hill easier than constantly changing gears and going up the hills.

  24. This has inspired me to go back outside even with an extremely aching and sore area under my balls, and have both my shifters go to the maximum, and continue to yell out: "THIS IS MY FULL POWER!!!" To every other biker I saw.

  25. Lots of bullshit. Shift when you feel the need and shift however you want to. It will become intuitive and you will grow some personal preferences. It will also become very intuitive when and when not to shift, pretty much after the first miss-shift, so the video is totally useless

  26. I'd heard "Don't change gear under load" a few times. Is it just that (as demonstrated by Tom in the video) if you're stuck in too high a gear on a steep climb then it takes longer to change? I'd thought it was some "ease off the pressure when changing" type thing. Cheers.

  27. When I accelerate from a stop and reach the point I need to shift into the big chainring, it’s too big a jump in gear ratio so I always have to shift front and rear at the same time. Is this normal technique? It’s annoying having to do this every time I’m at a stop. I’m running a compact setup if that makes a difference.

  28. Requesting you to make a video on Fat Tire Bikes. Give us some tips specially for Fat bikers. Also requesting for a video to how to ride in heavy Traffic and pedestrian area like in a Indian narrow road and how to ride in main road safely alongside Buses or Trucks. Thank you

  29. You can shift in the middle of a steep climb if you need to. Just lay off of the heavy pressure for a split second and shift.

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