Bicycle gear shifting may be quite confusing for some. But it’s actually pretty simple. You just have to learn the basics and practice the skill. Here are facts, tips, and guidelines to help you better understand bicycle gear shifting.
Every rider has an ideal pedaling speed or cadence, as well as an ideal amount of resistance from the pedals. When you’re pedaling at your own ideal cadence, you’re giving out the greatest amount of power that you’re able to maintain efficiently. You choose your cadence by changing gears. The gear needed for you to get your “ideal” cadence depends on the road’s slope, the condition of the wind, and your own condition at a specific time.
High or Low Gear?
A higher gear puts more resistance on your pedals. If you use a gear that’s too high for the conditions, you will be forced to go in a slower cadence. Pedaling slower than your ideal cadence is just a waste of your precious energy. Also, you’ll be in a higher risk of joint damage and muscle strains, specifically to your hips and knees.
A lower gear makes your pedals easy to turn, making spinning to a fast cadence easier. Pedaling faster than your ideal cadence enables you to generate an extra boost of speed. However, you’ll tire yourself out too soon if you attempt to keep an extremely fast cadence.
The key to efficient bicycle gear shifting is timing. If you start to approach a hill or a stop, downshift your gears. Never change gears when you’re bike is on full stop. But there are advanced multiple geared bicycles that allows bicycle gear shifting even when the bike is stationery.
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