Shifting the front derailleur

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Shifting the front derailleur

Postby gururug » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:04 am

Hey Bikies,


Would anyone like to share some tips on shifting the front deraulleur.

Do you guys just shift the front when the back is maxed and go ONE up / TWO down.

The only other time I have found it smooth to shift the front is when hitting a steep hill and I drop it ONE near the start of the incline.


Any tips here please?
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by BNA » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:10 am

BNA
 

Postby Mr888 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:10 am

I'm not sure what your question is, but I think what you're asking is highly depended on your level of fitness, riding experience and group set.

As a rule I try to pedal on the highest gears without sacraficing cadence. Having said that, I'm usually on gears 52t-12t and will usually only shift the rear gears to get up most hills. On steep hills I will change the front gear but still keep the rule in mind.

I will also change the front gear when I approach a known stop (eg. traffic lights, round abouts etc). It makes it a lot easier to take off again.

As to when to change gears...when I had average group-sets (RSX600 or Sora) changing before you hit the hills/hard part is by far the easiest and smoothest method (still is for me today), but since uprgrading to Ultegra groupset, this isn't much of an issue. I think the trick is being prepared and anticipating how you can cope with the upcoming hill or challange.

Hope that helps :wink:
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:57 am

I shift the front derailer when I want a greater change in gearing. When I want a smaller change in gearing, I shift the rear derailer.

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Postby europa » Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:05 am

It's all about knowing your skill level and your gears, then reading the terrain. The gearing is set up to give a certain amount of overlap in the gears from one chainring to the next. You need to know this (by riding the bike, only nerds like me mess with gearing charts) so you get a feel for what the large chainring gives you, what the middle gives you, what the granny gives you.

You'll find that each chainring equates to certain type of riding. Obviously the largest chainring is for high speed work, the granny for climbing mountains. The middle falls somewhere in the ... um ... middle.

With the gearing that used to be on the Europa (she's now an overgeared fixie), a fairly typical 2 at the front, 5 at the rear set up, I'd get rolling and, unless I was looking at hills, would change onto the large chainring fairly quickly, using the smaller chainring only in hilly country.

With my Trek though, with it's very broad set of ratios on the rear (11 - 34) and granny gear, I tend to live on the middle chainring, only changing to the granny on steep climbs (usually before them because that change is a slow one) and only going onto the top chainring if I've got a bit of a downhill run. I can top 35 km/hr on the middle chainring with a normal cadence - if it looks like I'll be holding those sorts of speeds, I'd have changed to the large ring before then.

Because the front derailleur gives you a relatively slow change, you use it to define a type of riding (climbing, general, speed), then use the rear derailleur to fine tune the gears to the specific moment.

It's useful to know where the overlap between the gearing on each chainring occurs. This allows you to shift once ie, just the front derailleur, without having to mess about with shifting at the rear as well.

There are no formulae or rules for how you make the front shift. It depends on you the rider, the terrain and what you are trying to do - a high speed run will be handled differently to just pottering along smelling the roses, and traffic adds its own complications.

Like all things cycling, the answer lies in MORE RIDING. Bummer ain't it :D

Richard
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Postby gururug » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:43 pm

Thanks guys, your advice was excellent. I'm sure not only me will benefit from such great advice!

You are right, the terrain does dictate when you change. Now I have digested your information I will be shifting the front more wisely. Thanks Again! :P
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Postby MJF » Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:08 pm

What? No comments on cross-chaining?
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Postby Bnej » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:54 pm

Important thing to remember for most people I think re the front deraileur, is that the force you apply to the pedals will hold the chain on the chainrings, and works against the deraileur trying to push it off.

So for nice smooth changes on the front, don't wait until you're mashing up a hill. Change front early while spinning easily, pop a few on the back in the other direction, and use the rear deraileur to work your way down.

Also, sometimes, when a gear won't quite jump, it's handy to half-push to the next gear. The extra tension can be enough to cause the shift. Only works one way with most shifters though, as the other way is a release not a pull. And it tends to mean your gears could use adjusting.

And don't do gear combinations that pull the chain right across the gears. It's noisy, it's inefficient, and it'll wear out your gears & chain well before their time.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:02 pm

MJF wrote:What? No comments on cross-chaining?


Same category as cross-dressing. Don't do it.

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Postby LuckyPierre » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:00 am

MJF wrote:What? No comments on cross-chaining?

I was off air for the weekend, so I couldn't!
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