Even the most experienced cyclists sometimes struggle to make gear changes at the right time, so here are some tips to improve your efficiency when shifting through the cogs.
A problem that many of us encounter several times each ride is being in too hard a gear on a hill and then struggling to get in to a low enough sprocket.
Forward thinking really pays dividends, especially if the hill in question is one that requires you to move from the big chainring to the little one. When you see the hill coming, change down before you get to the ascent to ensure you’re not slowing down to do it on the hill itself.
It’s also important to look after your gears by not putting too much stress on the chain and derailleurs. ‘Cross chaining’ becomes a problem when riders try to climb in the big ring, shifting all the way down to the easiest gear on the back. Doing this too much could cause some pretty nasty damage to your vital components.
Finally, going too hard too early in the ride can lead to fatigue setting in before you expect it to. Find the right gear for you to spin your legs at around 80-90rpm in order to get the most out of your energy reserves, especially if you’re out on a long ride.