Cycling is a sports discipline that brings us numerous benefits if we practice it regularly, so it is not surprising that many people are interested in learning to ride a bicycle. This activity goes far beyond being a sport, and it also serves as a means of transport to move them from one place to another.

While learning to ride a bike is easy, knowing how to shift on a bike may not be as easy. After choosing the bicycle to buy, the next step is to become familiar with its use in all services, and knowing how to use the gears is essential.

Using the right sprocket and chaining on a bicycle is key to getting the most out of it; and for this you have to take into account different tips. We are going to talk about them next.

What are bicycle chain rings and sprockets?

Before explaining how to use the gears on a bicycle, it is important that you know what sprockets and chain rings are, since it is common to make the mistake of confusing them.

The sprockets are the ones that form the wheel structure with the highest number of teeth and are located on the rear wheel of the bicycle. They are organized from largest to smallest depending on how far they are from the tire; and depending on which one is selected, you can enjoy more or less traction on the aforementioned rear wheel. The largest is the number one sprocket; and the number of them will depend on the bike.

The dishes, on the other hand, are those that facilitate the journey on terrain that is changing; and they are located on the axle of the pedals, with the chaining closest to the axle being the smallest (if it has more than one) and receiving the name chaining number one.

Using low gears allows you to enjoy a smoother pedaling, in which you advance more slowly, being recommended for cases in which it is necessary to face an ascent.

For their part, the high gears require greater potential when pedaling but allow faster progress, being indicated for descents.

In addition, you have to consider the medium gears, indicated for use on flatter surfaces.

Frequent errors when changing gear

Before giving you the key tips to follow so that you know how to use the changes on a bicycle, it is important that you keep in mind some of the errors that occur most frequently when changing gears; and these usually affect the useful life of the components.

One of the most common mistakes made by beginners is changing multiple gears at the same time. This is not recommended at all and can cause the chain to come off and damage the selectors on the handlebars. Therefore, the change of speed must be carried out slowly.

In addition, it is not recommended that the selectors be changed at the same time or while they are stopped. The error of crossing the chain is also common, which is done by placing large sprockets with large chain rings or small sprockets with small chain rings. By making these combinations, the chain is stretched more than recommended; and this increases the chances that it will come out or break.

Tips for changing bike speeds

Taking into account all of the above, if you want to know how to use the changes on a bicycle, you must take into account a series of considerations and tips, such as the following:

  • The chain should never be crossed. It is necessary to make use of a suitable correlation of speeds to avoid it.
  • There are times when the bicycle will only have a gear change selector, as is the case with single chain rings, in which case you will be able to make the changes more comfortably and according to the needs of each part of the journey to be carried out.
  • In the event that we have two selectors, we must assess whether the chaining is the right one first, and then change the pinion and not the other way around.
  • Your own effort is what tells you when to change speed. If you are advancing and each time pedaling costs you more, it is an indication that you will have to lower chain rings and sprockets. It is also when you pedal very fast as if you felt a vacuum in which you do not make any force.
  • You should pedal comfortably but feeling an effortThis can also help you carry a cadence sensor on your bike. In this way you will be able to know your rhythm at all times to make adjustments in speed.
  • In addition, it is advisable to foresee the change of gear before the physical exercise is intensified. In this way, if you see a long slope, it is preferable that you make the changes before starting it than halfway.