Mountain bikes are equipped with different gearing options to enable riders to tackle all terrains. If you are a newbie or it’s been long since you were riding a geared bike, or you’ve been used to riding single speeds, knowing how and when to change mountain bike gears may perhaps be quite confusing at first. Therefore, learning how to control your gears well could make a significant impact on your cycling.
Cruising through the road without any glitch as well as finding an ideal gear that maneuvers well in all terrains will make you ride not only faster but also more efficient and it will make your overall riding experience more enjoyable as well. This is an ultimate guide on how to use gears on a mountain bike that will enable you to save you time and maintain your chain’s efficiency.
Why learn how to use your mountain bike gears?
Learning how to operate your mountain bike gears will guarantee you a good start off meaning that you will not struggle when shifting to big gears.
Many beginners tend to use their gears, spinning out in a high gear, wasting a lot of energy, moving the pedals at a considerably lower speed.
Some pedal hard only to find themselves not getting very quick, since the pedals have been geared too low.
Knowing how to use your gears effectively will ensure you have a consistent rate of pedaling, or pace, without using a lot of effort to push your pedals too gently or too hard to meet your riding expectations.
Step 1: Start pedaling your Bike.
Start pedaling your mountain bike till you attain a steady, relaxed pace. When you are riding in flat terrain, the chain is supposed to be on a larger chain ring, by your fore derailleur. The shifter that is located on the right end of your bike’s handlebar will govern the fore ring, whereas the shifter that’s located on the left will run the cassette or the rear ring. Ensure you pedal as you shift the gears.
Step 2: Change to Middle Gear.
Press your fore shifter to change to middle gear, which will, in turn, change the chain to middle chain ring. This step is used during trivial climbs, when traversing soft grounds, or when pedaling against slight winds.
Sep 3: Shift to rear Gear.
Change your front gear to low then shift your back gear upwards and downwards. Every click you make on your shifter is supposed to shift the chain one ring on your bike’s cassette. As you change your rear gear to move downwards, the resistance on the terrain will get lighter. Also, as you change to larger cassette rings, the resistance on the terrain will increase.
Step 4: Move Your Fore Gear to Largest Chain Ring.
Shift your back cassette to middle gear followed by adjusting your right shifter to move your fore gear to largest chain ring. This is important when riding flats or sloping in higher hills.
Step 5: Change to Lower Gear as You Approach Higher Terrain.
Change to lower gears as you move towards climbs. Waiting till you reach a climb to change gears will create a lot of force on your bike’s chain, and this might end up causing the chain to drop.
It’s always necessary to ensure your bike is serviced on a regular basis.
Consult a mechanic periodically for tuning and adjustment of your derailleurs.
Oil your chain on a regular basis to prolong the life of your parts and keep gear- shifting effortless, easy and flowing.
By following these simple steps on how to use gears on a mountain bike, you will save you time, increase your bike’s durability and maintain your chain’s efficiency. Don’t forget to wear a helmet as you ride your bike and practice shifting gears on flat ground if possible to prevent avoidable accidents.
You may also like best mountain bike under 300 dollars from mountainbikelab.