How To Change Bike Gears

How To Change Bike Gears
Your bike's gears are an important part of your bike ride. If you hope to peddle more efficiently, and tackle a greater variety of road conditions, knowing how to change gears on your bike is essential. There are three major manufactures of bicycle gear changers, commonly called shifters: Shimano, Campagnolo and Sram. Your bike will contain one of these three, or a duplicate model. Each varies slightly from the other in design and usage. Identify which brand of shifter your bike has, and follow some simple steps for proper shifting.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Shimano

Step 1
Notice that each of your Shimano brand shifters, rear and front, contain two levers, one in front of the other. Pushing one lever will cause your gears to downshift, while pushing the other lever will have the opposite effect.
Step 2
Downshift the rear gear. Push the right side shifter lever in to the left, toward the bike. This is the longer of the two levers.
Step 3
Upshift the rear gear. Push the smaller of the two levers into the left, again toward the bike.
Step 4
Downshift the front gear, to the smaller chainring. Push the smaller left side shifter lever to the right, toward the bike.
Step 5
Upshift the front gear, to the larger chainring. Push the larger left side shifter lever to the right.

Sram

Step 1
Find the levers at the front of each of your shifters. The longer of the two levers is used exclusively for braking. The smaller of the two, positioned directly behind the longer lever, is your shifter lever. This will be used to change gears.
Step 2
Downshift your rear gear. Push the shift lever on your right-side shifter into the left. A "long push" of the lever will cause the gears to downshift. The lever will click twice.
Step 3
Upshift your rear gear. Push the same shifter lever again into the left. This time, you're giving the lever a "short push." The lever will click once.
Step 4
Downshift your front gear, to the small chainring. Push the left side shifter lever in to the right, toward the bike. This will require a "short push". The lever will click twice.
Step 5
Upshift your front gear, to the larger chainring. Push the same left side shifter lever into the right. You will push it in further this time, for a "long push." The lever will click once.

Campagnolo

Step 1
Spot the shift lever and thumb-button on each of your Campagnolo shifters. The shift lever is positioned directly behind the brake lever, and the thumb-button is located on the inside of the brake hood.
Step 2
Downshift your rear gear. Push the right-side shift lever behind the brake lever to the left, toward the bike.
Step 3
Upshift your rear gear. Using your thumb, push down the button on the inside of the right-side brake hood.
Step 4
Downshift your front gear, to the smaller chainring. Push down the button on the left side brake hood.
Step 5
Upshift your front gear, to the larger chainring. Push the lever behind the left side brake lever in toward the bike.

Tips & Warnings

 
Always peddle when shifting. If you aren't peddling, your chain will not carry over to the selected gear.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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