How to Change Bicycle Gears like a Pro!

Velocrush India
3 min readJul 19, 2018


If you’ve noticed, modern bicycle gears come with 20 to 22 gears. Changing bicycle gears can be tricky for newbies. Hence, it is important for them to know how to change bicycle gears. In such cases, with a little practice, it can be as intuitive as pedalling, but you need to make sure whether you’re doing it right.

When it comes to pedalling, there is a desired optimum range of 70–100 revolutions per minute (Cadence).

If you are looking to change gears, ensure to keep your cadence within this range. Also, do keep in mind that there is no way of telling what gear should be used in a given situation. This completely depends upon the rider’s personal abilities.

As far as you are within the given cadence range, you are doing it just fine.

Most of the riders who use a road bike, use compact gears -with a 50–34 crank and rear 11–28 cassette. This gives you enough variations for steep climbs and flat roads.

Let’s have a look at how to change bicycle gears:-

Don’t change your gears with too much load:-

If you’re looking to change your gear, ensure you select it nice and early, especially before you start to climb a steep hill.

The idea here is to anticipate the climb, think ahead and choose the right gear early.

Avoid extremes:

There are times when you might find yourself using the extremes of the gears. We suggest you to avoid using the smallest chain ring and sprocket at the same time. Similarly, avoid using the big chain ring and big sprocket.

While you can surely ride on these gears as well, keep in mind that your chain and derailleur are under a lot of stress.

So avoid using extremes to enhance the health and longevity of your gears.

Changing gears:

Another thing you need to keep in mind, especially while in a race situation is to change gears from the big ring onto the small ring on a steep climb.

In such situations, timing is essential. You want to make sure you get it right and not get caught on the big ring on the steepest part of the climb. So get it early from the big ring to the small ring effectively and you’re on the climb.

Read out 101 Cycling tips for beginners!

Degrease regularly:

One of the best things you can do is to keep your gears clean. Make sure to wash your gears every time when you see black residue building up. You can also go ahead and use a good degreaser. This will not only make your bike gear look shiny but also make them work better and last longer.

Big rings are cool(Not):

Big rings might seem cool to many. However, you are likely to burn out faster. If you are looking to get pro at cycling, saving energy and riding effectively is vital. Hence, choosing the right gear is a must. While most of you assume that the big ring will help you go fast, try the small ring. You can attain a good speed that can be maintained for long and also help you save energy. So use small gears to save energy and ride effectively. Also, work on your cadence.

Now that you know how to change bicycle gears, do try it on your next ride. Also, do comment and let us know if you’ve some techniques for changing bicycle gears.