How to ride a bike with gears – The Best Way to Shift Gears

how to ride a bike with gears

Many of you may no longer have any questions about how to ride a bicycle with gears, but don’t forget about beginner riders, for whom this issue remains very relevant.

Improper gear shifting sooner or later leads to an open circuit or even breakdown of the switches. And if you are on a long trip, such a breakdown will definitely take you by surprise. Correct gear shifting is the key not only to the health of the bicycle but also to the most productive ride in any terrain.

So, we will briefly consider a bicycle transmission device.

The left trigger is responsible for switching forward speeds on a bicycle, and the right one for switching rear speeds. The number of speeds depends on the number of stars on the bike.


riding a bicycle with gears


A modern bike has 2-3 stars in the front (system) and 5-10 stars in the back (cassette). Gear shifting is carried out using the rear and front switches that work with the chain, transferring it to the stars of the connecting rod system and to small stars on the rear wheel hub, which causes a change in speed. The gearshift levers (shifters) can be in the form of levers and grip shift – a rotary gearshift mechanism on the steering wheel handle.

To understand how to ride a bicycle with gears, count the number of gears: first at the base of the pedals, and then at the rear wheel. Multiply the two numbers to get the number of gears on the bike. For example, there are three gears at the base of the pedals, and six at the rear wheel, so 6 * 3 = 18 gears (the so-called “speeds”).

Note! The presence of a large number of gears in a bicycle does not indicate its high-speed capabilities. More gears simply means more range for adjusting the appropriate speed and more efficiency in driving.

How to switch speeds

Use the left switch to change the forward gear. In our example, there are three of them. And the right switch to change the reverse gear. In our example, there are six of them.

The gears are needed so that it is possible to pedal faster and easier and to control the bike. The lower the speed, the less effort must be applied to rotate the pedals.

Switching to a higher speed, pedaling will be more difficult but every such push of the pedal will make your bike move farther and faster.

Low (or light) gears are convenient to use when climbing uphill or in front of hills (when you need to apply more power to pedaling), most often used during descents to accelerate even more

Terrain Speed Switching Techniques

After we understand how speed switches work, it’s time to understand the practical side of the issue: how speed switching works on the ground, for example, when we go uphill, or on hilly terrain, etc.

If you drive on flat terrain, then you may not need speed at all. And if you have them, switch to the big one when you feel that pedaling is too easy, as it’s time to change gears. Do so gradually, if you intend to gain more speed.

In front of a hill – get ready and drop your gear a little down to make pedaling easier. It will take time to get used to, but it will greatly facilitate your climb to the hill by bicycle.

If you only need to switch the speed slightly, use the right switch. It is designed for small speed changes. If you need a sharper and more significant change in speed, it is better to use the left switch.

Before braking, we recommend that you reset the speed mode a bit so that when you start driving again, it will be easier to start moving (at high speed, you will need to put too much effort into moving the bike).

Also, follow a few simple rules when riding a bike with gears so that it lasts as long as possible.

Rule number 1. Any switching of speeds should occur in motion but at the so-called idle speed. That is, you need to accelerate the bike to the point where it can ride by inertia, so that torsion occurs without transmitting torque to the rear wheel, and then switch the speed. That’s why they do not recommend switching speeds when you go uphill (you can’t switch speeds freely. If you try, you will most likely stop). With the application of force during gear shifting, unpleasant sounds appear that indicate that the chain hardly jumps from one star to another, which can negatively affect its performance.

If you are thinking about how to ride a bicycle with gears in traffic, then you can do as follows; when you are forced to stop, stop, raise the rear wheel, pedal, change gears and, if necessary, repeat this process.

Rule number 2. Do not skew the chain.

You need to select speeds not only based on the terrain on which you drive but also on the location of the chain. Do not allow the chain to be located on the opposite extreme gears. For example, on the first front gear and the last rear. This break the chain.

Rule number 3. Read the manufacturer’s instructions.

This is the simplest and rarely executed rule that gives you more precise knowledge about your bike and its usage. There are a huge number of nuances you need to know that you will be able to find in the instructions.

How do you clean a helmet? 6 simple ways to do it at home

how to clean helmet

How to clean a helmet at home?

All helmets consist of two main parts. One is the outer “shell”, the other is the inner soft layer, which absorbs shock when riding and thus makes trips more comfortable.

Therefore, cleaning the helmet at home consists of several stages:

  • inside helmet cleaning;
  • cleaning the outside of the helmet;
  • neat cleaning of the visor and pinlock.

How do you clean the inside of the helmet?

Even if you wear a helmet over a balaclava, it still needs to be constantly and regularly cleaned from the inside. The surface inside is still dirty, even if the helmet is constantly closed. Dirt and air enter through different filters.

Method #1.

You can use a special cleaner to clean the inside of the helmet. As a rule, this is a spray can of liquid under pressure. You need to shake the can, and then just spray the foam on surface to be cleaned. Wait one minute, take a disposable napkin or towel and blot the surface with this napkin. Foam, as it were, “pulls” dust and dirt from the inner surface of the helmet. Repeat the procedure until the towel remains clean after getting wet.

These substances usually do not have any smell. This ensures constant freshness. In addition, they quickly dry out and kill all bacteria.

how to clean bike helmet

You can buy one of these sprays:

cleaning a helmet inside

  1. AUTCA
  2. Helmet pro-tec
  3. Release-on
  4. Motul

Method #2.

If your helmet does not have a removable liner, you can wash the whole thing. Use a basin, hair shampoo and warm water to do it. Soak the helmet in soapy water, brush it, drain the water and repeat the procedure again so that dust and dirt do not remain in the water. After you have thoroughly rubbed all the parts, drain the water on the helmet to completely wash off the soapy water. Leave it to dry.

Method #3.

If you want to clean the helmet in more detail and more carefully, you can disassemble it, namely, remove its entire soft shell. Most modern helmets have this option. If your soft shell is not removable, use the helmet cleaning method from the inside No.1 or 2.

So, we disassemble the inside of the helmet:

  • remove the visor;
  • cheek pads (as a rule, they are attached with buttons);
  • we take out a grid;
  • remove the rest of the removable interior of the helmet (first the side, and then the central part).

Then we clean all the elements. Ideally, do this using some special detergent for motorcycle equipment. If you need a more economical option, you can wash it with soap or hair shampoo, which does not have a pronounced smell. The best thing is to draw water, add soap or other cleaning agent to it, soak the inside of the helmet and leave them overnight. The next day, rinse, dry and put them back into the helmet.

You can also wash the comfort liner and other soft parts in the washing machine in a delicate wash mode.

We recommend cleaning the interior at least once a season, and preferably once every two months. For convenience, you can remove the helmet once every two months, and use the foam to clean the helmet between washings. And do not forget to wear a balaclava!

While the insides of your helmet dry, let’s wash the outside of the helmet.

    1. fill a basin with warm water;
    2. add detergent to the water: soap or hair shampoo;
    3. take a soft brush or sponge;
    4. put the helmet in the water;
    5. and start washing it with soapy water and a sponge, carefully cleaning out all the dust and dirt;
    6. let it dry or wipe with a soft, dry cloth.

    Often dust remains on ventilation openings and attachment points. You can gently remove it with an ear stick or cotton swab.

    how to clean small derails on helmets

    And your helmet will look like new!

    How do you clean the helmet visor?

    The visor is an important part of a motorcycle helmet. Any scratch, insect residue or dust on it interferes with the view of the motorcycle driver.

    So, we have already removed the visor. Then disconnect the pinlock and wash them separately. We recommend to wash the visor and the pinlock with plain soap and water, but very carefully so as not to scratch anything. This is best done simply with the fingers (not with a brush). Be careful not to scratch the visor, for example, with a ring on your hand. And never use window cleaners or any other substances that contain ammonia. It destroys polycarbonate, which means it is dangerous for your visor.

    Next, leave the elements to dry a little, and when the water drains – wipe with a paper towel or other soft cloth.

    How to clean helmet visor

    We do the same with the sun visor.

    Our recommendations to keep helmet looking new:

    • During rain, use a special water-repellent meant to protect the visor from a drop of rain and pollution. For example, Rain-X 620036 Plastic Treatment or another:
    • Be sure to wear a balaclava.
    • Carry wet wipes with you. Why wait until the dirt dries on the visor if it can be wiped off right away? This will greatly protect the visor from scratches and damage.
    • Remember to ventilate your helmet often so that the smell inside it does not stagnate. Take it out of the bag sometimes.

    Well, keep an eye on your helmet and drive safely!

    And if you have any recommendations for cleaning your helmet, please share them with other motorcyclists in the comments below!