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Re: Complete Beginer

11 September, 2011 11:42PM
OK, you're making a relatively common mistake in your perception of how the gears on a 21 speed bike are spread.

In reality, your bike has 21 gear combinations:
3 choices of "chainring" at the front
7 choices of "sprocket" at the back...
3x7 = 21

However, these 21 combinations are not actually 21 consecutive gearings.

You should view each set of seven as a range of gears, but with each set of seven overlapping the gears within the next set quite considerable.
In an attempt to visually represent it (1 is your smallest chainring, 3 is the bigest, with the X's representing the sprockets runiing biggest to smallest):

3) _______XXXXXXX

The lowest (easiest) gear will be chainring 1 (smallest) with sprocket 1 (biggest).
The highest (hardest) gear will be chainring 3 (biggest) with sprocket 7 (smallest).

For normal tarmac riding, younger riders (<65) will typically select the biggest chainring and then use sprockets 3 though 7 for most flat'ish/level roads. If conditions are hilly though, they you may prefer chainring 2 and use the full range of 1-7 sprockets. If you are using the middle chainring and sprocket 7 but want a higher (faster/harder) gear, your next highest gear is likely to be chainring 3 with sprocket 5 (possibly 4 depending upon your individual bike), from where you have 2 or 3 higher still gears.

For canal towpaths/unlevened and levened tracks, you are likely best riding using the middle chainring only but find something comfortable. If your legs are sp[inning too fast, you are likely wasting energy. A good pedalling "cadense" for an ordinary rider is about 60-70 rpm, ie one full pedal revolution in just under a second.

The smallest chainring is only really suitable for climbing steep hills.

It can take a while to understand derailleur gearings, but no amount of advice will substitute for trial and error, since the best gears for you to use are those with which you feel most comfortable.
Subject Author Posted

Complete Beginer

trawlerboy 11 September, 2011 12:32PM

Re: Complete Beginer

siwatts 11 September, 2011 11:42PM

Re: Complete Beginer

Murray R Langton 12 September, 2011 08:11AM

Re: Complete Beginer

JessTheCat 13 September, 2011 11:46AM

Re: Complete Beginer

cotterpin 17 September, 2011 10:40AM


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