Mountain Bike Gears

Left hand handle - 1 and 2
Right hand handle - 1 to 8
What's the best setting for the beginners.
Thanks

Replies

  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    There is no "best setting". If peddling is too easy change up, too hard change down.
    I'm not a cat.

    "Now we’ve captured a lot of the feedback, we will be closing this thread permanently." SLAM

    "Be respectful, polite, friendly and mindful of the impact of your posts" Is ignoring someone respectful?
  • edited 16 May 2020 at 4:13AM
    vitaweatvitaweat Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2020 at 4:13AM
    Left hand handle - 1 and 2
    Right hand handle - 1 to 8
    What's the best setting for the beginners.
    Thanks

    On the flat probably 1 on the left and 3 or 4 on the right.

    A good rule of thumb for cycling is that your legs should be turning at about 60-70 rpm, i.e. about once per second or a little faster.  Most riders go at less than that so it feels strange at first to get to that point but it is much more efficient than grinding the pedals more slowly in a tougher gear.  If you persevere it will start to feel natural and ultimately feel weird to spin more slowly!

    If you have access to a static bike then normally it will have a RPM measure which you can use to get a feel for what 60rpm feels like.  Most gyms have a free trial and I found that about 20 minutes on an exercise bike let me understand what 60rpm feels like.

    If you get your cadence (speed of pedalling) right then you will be a very competent cyclist before you know it.  I must have ridden 200k miles in my life at an absolute minimum and getting cadence right is probably the best thing I've done to make my cycling easier and reduce injury. 
  • SidneySmuttSidneySmutt Forumite
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    That’s very comprehensive information vitaweat. Thanks. 
  • edited 16 May 2020 at 1:08PM
    tazwhoevertazwhoever Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2020 at 1:08PM
    There is no "best setting". If peddling is too easy change up, too hard change down.
    Short and sweet, didn't understand any videos on YouTube about gearing. 
    What's the best for slightly uphill roads (I got off and pushed my bike)?
    Thanks and to vitaweat for very informative view. 
  • edited 16 May 2020 at 10:13PM
    vitaweatvitaweat Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2020 at 10:13PM
    There is no "best setting". If peddling is too easy change up, too hard change down.
    Short and sweet, didn't understand any videos on YouTube about gearing. 
    What's the best for slightly uphill roads (I got off and pushed my bike)?
    Thanks and to vitaweat for very informative view. 
    TBH the best way to get better at cycling is to get on your bike and ride (as Freddie Mercury once said!).

    The best cycling resource on the internet is a website set up by the late, great Sledon Brown.  Its design is ridiculously clunky but the information is priceless:

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/
  • Johnmcl7Johnmcl7 Forumite
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    There is no "best setting". If peddling is too easy change up, too hard change down.
    Short and sweet, didn't understand any videos on YouTube about gearing. 
    What's the best for slightly uphill roads (I got off and pushed my bike)?
    Thanks and to vitaweat for very informative view. 
    Your lowest gear is when both shifters are at '1' so that's what you want to be in when climbing a hill.  If you're finding it too easy and want a slightly higher gear you should start moving up through the gears on your right shifter.


  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    Best setting?

    If you're struggling and you can't move your feet then switch down. Keep switching down until you're at a gear where you're happy.
    If your legs are spinning like an air plane propeller then switch up to give a bit of resistance.

    The bike shop we bought from spoke to the Mrs about something to do with aligning gears when changing unless that's what you're talking about? But my wife can't remember what they said and I wasn't there.

  • John_John_ Forumite
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    There is no "best setting". If peddling is too easy change up, too hard change down.
    Short and sweet, didn't understand any videos on YouTube about gearing. 
    What's the best for slightly uphill roads (I got off and pushed my bike)?
    Thanks and to vitaweat for very informative view. 
    Just keep moving to a lower gear before the going gets too hard. You should be aiming to keep a constant pedalling speed, irrespective of what road speed you are doing. No-one is going to know which way round the gears are numbered in your bike, so just ride up and down on the flat learning which ones are easier to pedal in. Those ones are for going uphill.
  • alembicbassmanalembicbassman Forumite
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    The current fashion is a 34t single front chain ring with a huge 11 speed cassette 11t-42t
    I ride a 10 year old bike with a triple front 22 32 42t and 12t-34t 8 speed rear.
    I very rarely use the small 22t 'granny ring' Most modern bikes have now dispensed with this.
    The 32t front ring combined with a 34t rear sprocket gets me up most climbs.
    Using the 42t front ring with the 12t rear sprocket allows me to pootle along at a steady 18mph

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