Know How To Shift Bike Gears

shift bike gears

Biking is becoming more adventurous nowadays. It is not as expensive as hiking, so the passion and exhilaration for biking are on the hype. However, to make a smooth and safe biking experience, shifting gears turns into the most necessary duty to enhance optimum pedaling.

What Are Bike Gears?

bike gears

Gear is a component that helps to drive the train of your bike. Gears are mainly pulleys that help you generate and transfer the power from your legs to the rear wheel through the chain. A single-speed bike consists of two gears – one is with the crank, and the other is attached to the rear wheel. Bikes with shifters and derailleurs (more on that later) have more than one  gear attached to the crank and besides miscellaneous gears attached to the rear wheel. But there is a similar one on both types of bikes that is a chain connecting the gears on the crank to the gears. Gears have cogged wheels with outer rim, which connects with voids in the chain to transfer power efficiently.

Importance Of Shifting Bike Gears

bike gears

The need to shift bike gears is very practical. Gears provide you maximum efficiency while pedaling, regardless of your riding area. It can be a rough or hilly area. In case of this, shifting provides a downshift that makes your legs make more revolutions than the rear wheel. This results in lower speed but higher torque. That is how shifting makes your pedaling feel easier. In the case of descending in a hill, it causes an upshift that makes your legs make fewer revolutions than the rear wheel, and as a result, it leads to higher speeds but lower torque. This makes pedaling  faster.

● Working principle

If your bike has gears that can be shifted, then it must contain derailleurs. A derailleur is a kind of device that you can control with the shifter, which makes the chain switch from a bigger to smaller gear and vice versa. Both the rear gears and the crank gears can have a derailleur. Gear shifters are connected to the derailleurs through an enveloped steel cable. The shifter’s job is to operate two things- either to halt the cable by creating tension or free the cable by creating slack. Each operation corresponds to a movement of the derailleur.

● How to use it

The procedure for shifting gears on a bike depends on the existing shifting system. Presently, most bikes that you buy have the installed shifters on the handlebars. Moreover, the downtube or at the end portion of racing handlebars also contains shifters that are pre-installed. There are three kinds of pivotal manufacturers of gear shifting components which are Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo.

Some common shifters

  • Thumb shifter – This kind of shifter is commonly found in mountain bikes. It is best for downshifting.
  • Combination shifters – It is mainly seen in hybrid or fitness bikes. It uses your forefinger to thumb shift by pressing the thumb lever. It is perfect for downshift and upshift as well.
  • Twist shifter- The function of this shifter is to twist the shifters, similar to the throttling of a motorcycle that makes it go faster. In the case of a hill approaching, it makes you rotate the grip away from you for downshifting. Twist shifters are also good at upshifting.


The above shared information will definitely make biking more adventurous.

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