- Don't be afraid to try different gears. You might find some you like better.
- Ease up on your pedaling pressure when you shift gears. This creates less wear on your drivetrain, less stress on your body and can lessen the chances of over or under shifting which can, in some instances,
cause the chain fall off.
- If you're using a non-index shifting system, one that doesn't have numbers on the shifter and doesn't 'click' in to gear, and you hear a rattling or grinding sound after you shift, this means you're not all the
way in gear. Move the shift lever forwards or backwards a little bit until the noise stops.
- Don't press the shift lever or use the twist grip shifter unless you're in motion. Shift levers merely reposition the derailleurs and you must be in motion and pedaling for the chain to actually change gears.
So if you move the shift lever when you shouldn't, the next time you ride, the chain will want to move to the new position and this will result in some big time clanking and grinding which could damage your gears.
- Don't mess with the adjustments on your derailleurs unless you know what you're doing. Chances are you won't solve the problem you're having and most likely you'll end up having to bring your bike to a bike shop anyway.
- One last don't and this is a biggie. I referred to it earlier, but since we see it a lot I wanted mention it one more time. Don't ride in a harder gear than you need to. We see bikes all the time with their
gears set in the hardest riding position. Some people do this because they grew up riding single or 3-speed bikes and they're used to having a bike that's hard to pedal. Standing up and pedaling to get the
bike going from a stop or merely to go faster became a habit. Some people are under the assumption that pedaling harder is better exercise. For some it's a machismo thing. And some just aren't aware of the
advantages of today's gearing systems and settle for what they have done in the past. WRONG !
- You no longer have to struggle to get your bike moving or to pick up speed. Pedaling harder is not only NOT better exercise, but it also causes unnecessary wear and tear on your bike and can actually cause
long term physical damage to you, especially in your knee joints. Macho smacho. And finally, you don't have to settle anymore. The gears are there for a reason. Use them. Cycling is a fun sport and it can be
more enjoyable for you if you use your gears properly.