I love how the gymnasts put it; timing is everything! They are right. If you don’t get it right you’d probably miss the grip and break a leg. Your mind should be set way before you take the leap.
If you own the best hybrid bike you must have heard this saying too; timing is everything! If you still don’t know why daddy kept saying it to her little gal, then you’re just about to find out today.
For beginner hybrid bike riders, this mantra holds the key to one of the most important lessons in the best hybrid bike riding. How to change hybrid bike gears. Let’s first look at the guide before revisiting our mantra.
Step I: Understand Your Hybrid Bike
By this I simply mean you should understand your bikes gear mechanism. To do so you should at the following.
- Your drive train; from the chain rings to the free-wheel.
- Make sure you look at the big chain sprockets at the pedals too.
- Master the cluster of sprockets at the rear wheel/ connecting chain.
To have a better view of the whole system, you should wipe off any dried mud and old grease off the metal surfaces. This should leave you with a rough idea of what goes on down there while you’re riding along the trail and jamming thumb levers.
Step II: Learn When and How to Shift
Knowing what goes on below the handlebars when you are busy jamming thumb leavers back and forth in your best hybrid bike is crucial to understanding the when and how to do the shift.
There are many tell tale signs that you could watch out for in order to get your shifting absolutely right. Remember the mantra, timing is key…learn to anticipate before you actually reach there.
- Watch the terrain ahead and shift accordingly a few meters before getting there.
- Don’t wait until the gear is too hard to peddle or too soft to just keep spinning.
- Know your body. This helps to notice the slightest change in workload to shift.
The rule is simple really; always anticipate and choose the gear you’ll need way before you change the terrain from your descent pedaling flat ground. If you don’t and wait until it’s late then trust me, the derivation to your best hybrid bike will be looking at a very short and unhappy existence.
Step III: Make Timely Amends Too
When changing gears on your best hybrid bike, sometimes you might misjudge or fail to anticipate the correct gear. If this happens you can make timely amends by choosing the “soft-pedaling” approach.
This means that you should pedal very hard on one down stroke to gain more momentum that will allow soft-pedaling on the next.
However, you should remember to immediately shift after the powered stroke, since the soft-pedaling during the next few minutes will ease any tension on the bike’s chain allowing the derailleur to move smoothly.
Important Considerations When Shifting Hybrid Bike Gears
We have seen some considerations above. But for a much more in-depth look we the best hybrid bike rider should always go with the following considerations.
Keep all Your Derailleur Well Adjusted
Both the front and rear derailleur should be on point. You can choose a local bike shop and for a small fee get a 10-minute hands-on lesson and proper adjustments too. Additionally, you can buy a book on bike mechanics or read ideal DIY posts online.
Give an Ear to Your Best Hybrid Bike
This simple mean you should listen to your bike and master every sound that it gives. The sounds should include the ones that it will produce when all components are working properly and those that might mean otherwise.
A good example is tuning your ears to notice any form of chain chatter. You can do the same for the other unfamiliar metal-on-metal noises that would mean things aren’t perfectly aligned.
Keep Your Derailleurs Clean/ Lubed.
When you keep your chain clean and lubed you will avoid any forms of rust and strain on the chain. This will prevent cranking and instead it will leave the rotation on your bike’s gears working really smoothly.
Don’t Pick Wrong Gear Combinations
Picking the wrong gear combinations are referred to as cross-chaining. Avoid this mistake by all means. It will put your chain at a severe angle and damage your derailleur fastest.
Like I said, forcing your best hybrid bike derailleurs to shift under load especially when cranking hard is really tough on the bike’s components and your body muscles too; always choose the next gear when still in your perfect riding ground. Yes, “timing is everything” when it comes to changing the hybrid bike gears.
If you succeed in this, together with listening to your bike, you’ll avoid the wearing out of freewheel cassette cogs, chain rings, and derailleur cages among many other things that your bike uses.