A completly beginner(dorky)question

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Littlejohn, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. Littlejohn

    Littlejohn New Member

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    As stated in my prior post I just bought a Specialzed Hardrock(disc)
    I have not rode a bike in about 10 years(sure you heard this a million times)
    I got this bike to get back and forth to work.(taking my Lexus off the rode)
    About 10 avenues in Brooklyn NY.
    My question is how much (if at all) should I be changing my gears?
    The guy at my LBS said I had to hold down the front gear shift all the way to change gears.
    I am still in the process of reading the manual which is a bit confusing.
    I understand it depends on the kind of workout I want.
    Like harder or softer pedal.But which is good for basci travel.
    I know this is a totally dorky newbie question.
    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. Greg-O

    Greg-O New Member

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    don't worry about it being a "newbie" question. we all have to get back on sooner or later ;)

    with gears, you want to be staying in the saddle (also known as sitting on the seat) for most of your riding. You want to have t gear that you can comfortably spin the pedals in, and still maintain a decent speed. You should avoid "Gear-mashing" which is picking a high gear, and pedaling really slowly in it. Gear-mashing is a common mistake among people who are somewhat new to cycling. The idea of spinning in a middle/light gear and maintaining speed is hard to explain online. If it helps, watch a road race. Notice that they too remain sitting, and spin in a relatively light gear. They will even stay seating with going uphill. Occasionally one will make an "attack" (a move forward) and suddenly stand up and burst forward, but for most of the time they remain seated and spin the pedals. sorry if this a bit hard to understand :(

    enjoy the hardrock though. it's a great bike :)
     
  3. Littlejohn

    Littlejohn New Member

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    Thanks!
    I just took it out for a spin and tested some gears(rear only)
    I noticed as I went down in numbers it got easier to pedal.
    1st gear I assume is for really up hill areas cause on the streets its a waste.I didnt want to mess with the front gears yet.Ill wait till I finish reading the manual.
    It really seems to be great at 8 on rear and 1 in front.
    I noticed one thing.....I guess I was used to heavy bikes cause this bike felt like I was riding on air!
    I was flying.........and im out of shape.
    Oh yea one more think I forgot to ask.
    The guy at my LBS set the bike for my size.(6'4 140lbs)(skinny i know)
    The seat is set where I can barely touch the floor.
    Is that right?If I stop I have to lean the bike over to one side to get off.I have REALLY long legs and never had to stand on my tippy toes.....for anything!
    Thanks again
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    The clue, is that when you stop,you unplant youse arse from the seat.
     
  5. Greg-O

    Greg-O New Member

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    as you get lower in numbers, it will get easier to pedal, which will make it easier to climb hills. on straightaways, you'll want to use middle ones, and if you want to pedal on a downhill, use high gears.
    the front ones will give you even more of a range. they follow the same principles.

    oh, and that flying feeling, i love it! i work at a bike shop, and i remember there was a day that i was repairing and test riding heavy BMX's all day long. then i got home and hopped on my mountain bike and shot down the street. definitely a great feeling :)
     
  6. whalen83

    whalen83 New Member

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    "It really seems to be great at 8 on rear and 1 in front"
    thats good but try not to be in first in the front and high gears in the back. it causes the chain to be crooked and puts alot of strain on it. try two in the front and four or five in the back bikes really have a wide range of gears play with all of the gears to find out where you like it.
     
  7. cchs

    cchs New Member

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    If you want to ride the bike for a long time you should the bike at front 1 and rear 8 gears. This bends the chain (i think you can see it if you look at it) and may eventually break it. I segest to go on the secound gear at the front.
     
  8. Littlejohn

    Littlejohn New Member

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    Yea I see your point thanks!
    I set the front on 2 and the rear on 8.
    Dont look too bad as far as strain.
    Thanks
     
  9. ksl

    ksl New Member

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    A little bit of advice I recall reading on when to change gears: keep changing gears frequently so as to keep your cadence (number of times your foot does a revolution each minute) somewhere around the 80-90 mark. One reason bikes have so many gears is so that you can make frequent shifts to keep your cadence (and effort) fairly constant over different terrain. There are of course exceptions to this - I think Lance Armstrong pedals at around 110. Not that I actually count my cadence, but I hope you get the idea.
     
  10. biker2

    biker2 New Member

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  11. biker2

    biker2 New Member

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    Are you riding on flat streets or are you going up and down hills? I find changing gears in the hills helps tremendously. You need to just practice on flat ground, or find a buddy who can help you . We all had to learn and just because you are starting over doesn't mean anything. Glad you got back toy cycling. Nothing is more fun!
     
  12. kleinrider

    kleinrider New Member

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    Also, along the same lines, you don't want to go from the big ring in the front to big ring in the back (next to tire). This is the same as what you were doing with the 1/8 combination, only reversed to the 3/1 combination. As with the first combo, the second combo puts too much strain on the chain.

    I generally only go up to 1/6 and down to 3/3 for "safe" ranges. The middle ring up front can hit all the gears in back.
     
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