Understanding Bike Gears

understanding bike gears

Bikes are designed with multiple gears to make climbing hills much easier and so that a rider can move faster on level grounds.
This article will show you how to use your gears correctly to your riding benefits.

In the first place, you should see gears in the context of speeds. Thus a bike with 24 gears is a 24-speed bike.

Generally bikes are designed to have 1, 3, 18, 21, 24, or 27 speeds. Though we used to have 10 and 15 speeds in the past, you can’t find them on new bikes any longer.

The ones with lesser numbers are the ones with lower gears, and those with higher numbers are the ones with high gears.  Meaning the 1st gear is a low gear while the 18th gear is much a higher gear. This is easy to understand, like ABC, right?

Terms like shifting and downshifting and upshifting:
Shifting gears means moving from one gear to another gear and then downshifting means moving to a much lower gear, while upshifting means going to a higher gear. You can also use the terms shift down and shift up in this context.

How to tell what numbers your bike gears are?
If your bike has 3 speeds then knowing the number of gears apart is simple, since there’s only one shifter which will be labeled 1-2-3. However, if your bike has 10 or more speeds, this may just be a little bit trickier, since you have 2 shifters in this scenario. Practically – if you have an 18 speed bike, the left shifter will have the 1-2-3 label, while the right shifter will have the 1-2-3-4-5-6 labeling, meaning for every number on the left shifter, you get 6 diverse speeds on the right shifter, for a sum of 18.

Knowing the above is essential and we can now further look into how to utilize these gears.

Easy to use:
With your bike shifting gears provision,
If you’re moving uphill and it’s too demanding to attain, simply shift down.
And if your legs are spinning the pedals way too quick making it too free and “easy”, simply shift up.

This means that if you are on a 3 speed bike, going up a hill, and abruptly your legs just can’t spin the pedals as quick as you want it, as you are only barely turning the pedals, with difficulty making any heads way; solution is to downshift to first gear.

And then on the other hand, riding from the hill downwards, you may recognize that there’s no resistance within the pedals with fast spinning moving you nowhere; solution is upshift back to two, and if yet so easy, simply upshift to 3.

Well guys, I hope you found some good value in this.  As you may know, I run a bike shop here in St. Petersburg, as well as a tree service.  You can contact me here or you can find me at http://www.stpeteandpinellastreeservice.com.  Use my tree service for a SPECIAL discount on your next bike purchase.  Whether you need a removal, a trim, or your stump grinded and hauled away, I can help you with that.

Will be posting some new guides and tips in the next few days.  Looking forward to hearing from you all.

Latest posts:
Bike Maintenance
Bike Buying Guide
Brake Tips
Bike Lubricant

Using Bike Lubricant, Where To Do So!

Check out this video that overviews what I’ll be talking about.

This article opens to you spots you should be applying lubricant on your bike on regularly basis as may be required.

Let’s get started:

Bike Chains: When a dry chain lets out an ear-piercing screech and refuses to shift gears efficiently, you need to give it attention. Lack of care to this situation immediately – will lead to rust, and may even cause the chain to snap in between a ride. You should lube it by soaking a clean cloth with a degreaser. While your bike is within your hand in a standing position, grasp the chain with the cloth as you backpedal to eradicate dirt from the rollers and side plates. Do this over and over until the chain is clean. Thereafter, dry it utilizing another clean cloth with same method you used to clean it initially. Applying lube on your bike chain, you can deposit a drop of the lube on top of each link within the chain as you gradually backpedal for a few turns, enabling the lube the opportunity of working its way in. Clean off any leftover lube because not doing so will end up attracting more dirt to the bike chain. And lastly for the chains, please avoid using motor oils as they consist of acids and metal particles which can compromise the chain’s functions, also causing it to even wear out more quickly.

The Pedals:  When engagement or disengagement of your bike pedals isn’t as smooth as it should be, this can make them almost impossible to remove from the bike. You should lube the pedals i.e. the clip-less pedal system if it has a visible spring. Do this by applying a few drops of recommended lube oil every few rides to keep it from rusting and so to function perfectly. Spread some quality grease on pedal threads each moment you mount pedals so they can easily budge when next you go to remove them. And never ever utilize grease on the pedal springs as this will gum up the entire mechanism.

The CABLES: Learn to lube your bike cables as well so that they can easily glide through its housing mechanism. When you don’t do this, they will negatively impact the bike movement performance and will also cause rusting in wet situations. Simply apply a few drops of lube oil to your fingertips and glide them along the cable until enclosed in a thin film. You should utilize same lube and method of usage on your brake cables.

Other bike parts that require lubricating every now and then include but not limited to the PIVOT POINTS, and the PULLEYS.

As usual, go and check out my latest articles on bike maintenance, buying guide, understanding gears,and brake tips.

Your Bike Brakes and Practicing General Good Hygiene

Check out that video for an overview of what I’m going to be talking about in this post.

When it comes to any moving vehicle, the brake system happens to be one of the most essential parts and therefore must be well managed – as this is the point that determines how you quickly maneuver and control the vehicle – either to a halt or to coordinate with other road factors.
This article is written to expose some of the basic ways to cater for your bike’s brake system and also general good bike care hygiene.
So for the brakes:

  • There a 3 signs that shows that your brake pads are worn and these are hearing a gritty grinding sound, disappearance of grooves within the pad, or sticky feeling when brake is pressed.
  • Avoid touching the brake pads with your fingertips as the oil dropping from your skin can reduce its braking impact.
  • Always work on one brake per time so that you will always have an intact one to reference.
  • If you’ve been utilizing bolt-on brake pads and have decided to change them, you can best do so by switching to the cartridge style brands. When next your bike requires pads replacement, just slip them within the holder, and no alignment necessary.
  • Once you have removed a disc-brake wheel from its frame – make sure you don’t squeeze the brake lever as this can trigger the brake pads to compress together and then straightening them out is no easy task.

Utilize sandpaper when abrading glazed brake pads.

Practicing good bike hygiene

  • Learn to wipe off dust seals from suspension mechanisms after every ride.
  • Funny enough, cleaning your bike with a high pressure hose could bring in undesirable grit and dirt, while blowing out much required grease and lube. Rather utilize a bucket of water and a sponge when doing this.
  • When trying to remove black grime on your rims, utilize rubbing alcohol.
  • And never be scared of scrubbing your bar tape. Supposing it’s wrapped correctly, it can help handle the elbow grease.

Hope you were able to find some value in this.  Go ahead and check out my bike buying guide if you’re feeling a little bit gray.

10 Basic Bike Maintenance Tips for Everyone

bike maintenance

This article is written for bike owners, bike lovers, bike fans and bike riders who are beginners as well as pros. The following are simple yet very essential Bike Maintenance Tips to help keep your bike working at peak performance at all times.

So let’s get started:

  1. Whenever you find your bike threaded, simply get a lubricant and grease it.
  2. Ensure that your bike is always clean and lubricated – as failure to ensure this, will make your bike hard to adjust where necessary.
  3. Learn how to change flats as there should be no excuses for this.
  4. Get the Nylon tire levers as these are much more superior to metal ones.
  5. When disassembling any part of your bike, learn to keep track of the order in which you do this with the parts. This will help to make things easier when putting all back together.
  6. Endeavor to check your bike’s tire pressure before embarking on any ride, particularly if you run tubeless.
  7. Don’t ever ignore these 3 essential tools as they must always be with you on every trip: a pump, a patch kit and a multi-tool with a chain breaker.
  8. When your bike makes a strange sound or noise, don’t ignore it as it is actually telling you something is wrong and needs fixing.
  9. When your bike crank is loose on the spindle, you should learn to remove the crank bolts, grease the threads, and then re-mount it again. Make sure to tighten parts very well utilizing a torque wrench.
  10. And never be a do it all hero. Whether it’s because of lack of skill or experience, or not having the right gears for bike troubleshooting or repairs, own up to the fact that you are not capable of doing it all. You have to take some of your issues to a professional i.e. your trusted bike mechanic.

Hope you all found this helpful.  Talk to you soon!

Simple Tips for Finding the Right Size for a Bike

When shopping for a bike, it is very essential to understand issues regarding size and measurements. Funny enough a lot of folks don’t pay very close attention to this because it just seems boring, looking at all those charts and numbers.
When shopping offline at a local store, you may be exempted from checking up on this since you can easily test drive and see finding the right bikewhich fits you appropriately, but when shopping online for a bike – it becomes essential to spy into those charts so that at the end of a deal, you receive the perfect bike size delivery.
So whether you are shopping for comfort bikes or some non-sporty types, below are basic details on how to find the correct size bike for you, be it a mountain bike, a cruiser, or a road bike, amongst others.

1. Find Your Measurements
You can figure out the right size for you by measuring the following:
Measure right from your crotch, where the saddle is situated down to your foot
Measure your very own torso length that’s right from your crotch to your sternum. This is actually the V-shaped curve underneath your neck.  Measure arm length right from the end of your collarbone to the center of your clenched fist.

2. Know the Simple Formulas
Your inseam is generally the most addressed one. Typically bike size charts tend to note the stand over height formula and this actually is your inseam adding extra 1-2 inches for comfy clearance of the upper tube. Some school of thought say that road bikes need 1 to 2 inches clearance while those of mountain or commuter bikes require 2 to 4 inches. However, if you are utilizing a bike with a step-thru frame, such measurement of reference wouldn’t hold waters since the top tube is lowered.
To figure out your perfect top tube length, simply put together your torso length and arm length, then split that by 2, and deduct this will reveal to you what the perfect distance would be between your seat and handlebars in inches.

3. Look Through A Few Size Charts Online

4. Trial and Error
In the long run, discovering a well-fitting bike is like finding a suitable garment, and giving it a try will really tell how well it fits. Bike sizing is more or less like an art and not some science. Figuring out some simple arithmetic and having a few statistics for reference will surely help get you in the right track and it will even permit you to rule out recognizable ‘too big’ or ‘too small’ bikes when buying online, however nothing will really ascertain that a bike is the ideal one for you until you take it for a ride.

Find this helpful?  Leave a comment below and let me know what ya think!

And don’t check out my latest post on bike maintenance.