Gears - what to use when and so on



Well.. after a decent break from road training i was wondering what everyones tips/methods for gear usage out on the roads are.. what gear you are in for what gradient, when you change gears and so on?
ta in advance
ness ;D
ness, shifting bike gears is much like shifting car gears, everyone has a different style. While driving, I shift to a higher gear when the tachometer reaches 3500 revs, but you'll drive the same car and shift at 4000 revs each time. It's a matter of choice.
With the bike it's almost impossible to "copy" someone else's shifting. There are so many factors and variables that come into play, like fitness and strength levels, your muscle composition and the way you train.
You will need to find a rythym and cadence that you are comfortable with, whether riding uphill, on a flat or going downhill. Most humans have a "frequency", and even if you force yourself and ride at a higher or lower cadence than you are used to, you will soon enough be back to your "frequency" cadence without you even knowing it. Thats part of our genetic makeup.
You need to find a "frequency" with which you are comfortable maintaing for sustained periods of time. If you are happy hammering the flats in a high gear (small gear at the back), and you can maintain that for kilometer after kilometer, then thats your "frequency". If you start feeling uncomfortable or struggle to maintain your pace, then you need to shift to an easier gear to bring yourself back into synch with your "frequency". Same with climbing. Climb at a cadence or "frequency" that you are able to maintain, and shift gears around that.

Anyway, thats the way I see it.
I also only ride in a comfortable "frequency". I don't care wich gear I'm in as long as I keep my cadence between 85-100rpm. Try it, it works.
I honestly have no idea what the technical specifications of my gears are :eek:

I just let my legs decide which one the feel like riding in.
Just keep the revs high at this time of the year... if that means using a 39x17 or 39x16 then so be it... Mampara has offered good advice: just keep the revs from 85-100rpm regardless of what gear you use.
just keep the revs from 85-100rpm regardless of what gear you use.  

Thats good advice for any time of the year IMO....unless your doing S&E or sprint training of course ;)

: just keep the revs from 85-100rpm regardless of what gear you use.  
good advice, but what happens when the incline is such that yu cant keep the revs so high ?

75-95 is comfy for me, but I often find myself sitting at 55-65 on an incline with no gears left to pick up the revs.

Also, does training with a 42 chainring and then switching to a 39 for the race help ?
Mmm, that is a point ouzo, I think these boys might be so strong they don't understand that ;D
I have only just started the road thing and have come off the MTB so I'm used to an eenie weenie little ring to rest on at the front. Luckily my Road bike came with a pretty small third chainring at the front as well and while I haven't used it since the first week its nice being able to push the middle ring to exhaustion while knowing that I have some slack remaining.

Talking about running out of gears does anyone here have plans to do the DBL century in Ceres on 24'th november? Looks like a good place to run out of gears (9km climb, 820m rise, sheesh)
If you can't keep your RPM "in the zone" then go back to your "comfortable frequency". I don't think there is anybody that can stay in their RPM zone the whole time (except the gods in the TdF).
hi ness, sounds like you are either fairly new to riding, like me, or want to see what everyone else is doing and adapt. Monitoring cadence and alternating your training will tell you what you need to do with your gears. The real issue i think is what kind of training you are doing then cadence/heart rate. That will determine your gears. <br />I like to do flats around 80-100rpm always, and alternate with big hills. One day i will do a higher cadence on hills and the rest of the times i will just do what is comfortable or struggle to get up at a lower cadence since my legs are tired from the day i flew up it at the high cadence. The alternating will improve your strenth and help you find what is optimal (for you) on climbs. I wouldn't ever recommend doing below 60rpm on any hill unless you are standing or in your lowest gear.