Change Gear Like A Pro | How To Change Gear On A Mountain Bike

Change Gear Like A Pro | How To Change Gear On A Mountain Bike


– There’s a familiar sound that
echoes around the hillsides. (bike gears grinding) Not only does it sound terrible, but it sounds expensive
as well because grinding and crunching your gears
cannot only snap your chain but also wear out your
drive train really quickly. (upbeat music) (electronic swooshing) You really need to check your drive train and your gearing system before
you start to shift properly because there’s things there
that can really mess it up. So if the gears aren’t adjusted properly, either they’ll shift down
the blocker up, they block one way but not very well the other. Something that does happen on some bikes is your rear mech can
slowly wind itself out, so make sure that bolt’s nice and tight. Also check, even by
looking down the back of it that your mech is straight. ‘Cause a bent rear mech or bent hanger can really make your gears hard work. Check there’s not too
much friction in the cable and your chain is nice
and clean and lubed. (upbeat music) Getting to know your
gearing is going to help you get smooth shifts out on the trail because it sounds silly but
knowing how much of a jump there is between your gears,
especially if you’re running a one by system like I am, it’s going to help you try
and keep a good cadence. So, you come around a corner,
you see a punchy climb, you’re going to have a good
idea of how many shifts you’re going to need to
get into the gear you need. And with these one by twelve systems, especially when you get up
to the really low gears, it’s quite a big jump. So, that goes from a 42, right up to a 50. So that really is a sort of a gear for the slowest situation. So hopefully, with a bit
of experience, you’ll know or get a feel for how fast you’re going and what gear you need to be in. I do quite like the fact
that on Shimano shifters, you can actually shift down
the block two at a time. I do use that quite a lot. With SRAM you have to get used to just banging that shifter multiple times. The perfect shift. A short poem by Neil Donoghue. Smooth spinning of the pedals, a 30% reduction in power, a click or even two on the shifter. An instant click, pang, thwack, and boom, you’re powering again,
all in less than a second. (gentle music) It’s a subtle skill but
one that I think is really rewarding because of
that really crisp shift you’ll keep good power on the rear wheel, which means good grip but also speed. There’s a big difference between
a horrible sort of thwack and a proper one where you
hear that sort of ping. Because you keep the power up, which means it will keep going forward. So try and get them as smooth
as you can and you get that real nice noise when the
chain’s also clean and lubed. (upbeat music) Climbing is where most stress
is put through your gears, either stood up or sat down,
so the really important thing is try and do one shift at a time. Try and do two or three, and
you’ll get a real big crunch. (upbeat music) Definitely try and preplan
your shifts when climbing. So look at the trail and
try and shift as early as you can because either
you’ll grind it to a halt, or you’ll have to do a big
shift under a lot of power and that is a proper recipe
for snapping your chain. (tires crunching) (upbeat music) While descending can be a
bit easier on your gears than climbing, there’s definitely still a couple things to remember. Imagine that you’ve just
climbed up to the top of a beautiful hill in
Italy, flying the gear and you’ve decided to
bomb down the other side and forgot to get into a proper gear. So what can happen then,
if you’re trying to shift two or three down the block in one go, sometimes your chain sort of
just drops off the cassette, and that’s when it can get wedged down between your chains and the cassette. So it’s definitely worth
making sure your limit screws are set because hopefully
that should stop that from happening as well. But you do also see downhill racers quite often snap their chains, and that is because
they’re not backing off the power quite enough or they’re just trying to
shift in the wrong positions ’cause they’re just trying
to go as fast they can and they kind of forget
that finesse of backing off just a little bit on the pedal. So, trying to make sure you’re
not putting too much power through when shifting
should hopefully stop you from snapping your chain. (upbeat music) I actually think it’s
quite an important part of being really good on a
bike is the finesse you lower your shift in, it’s part
of reading the trail. And something I always talk
about in skills videos, but looking around corners,
looking down the trail to see what’s coming next, reading the trail. Breaking and shifting
in the right positions. So you’re ready to go,
you’re at the right cadence as much as possible. But also there’s little things like you might even push
your shifter a little bit, sort of a quarter more than you need to, just to get the chain shifting up, it’s a little bit quicker. Sometimes you don’t need
to do that it does depend on your shifter and rear mech
quality and your gear cable being in really good condition. But, it’s little things
like that that really do make a difference for quick shifts. (upbeat music) I hate to go on about it, but definitely, the condition of your
chain, plus your gear cable will make a big difference
how well your bike shifts. Gear cable is the one
thing, it might be gradually getting worse, you don’t really
notice this until you jump on someone else’s bike and
you think whoa, are your gears all brand new, ’cause that
shift just feels so light. So, it’s something that I
think about replacing two or three times a year. It depends on the conditions
you ride in to be fair. But hopefully stick a new
inner cable in there, lube up the outer cable a little bit. I just spray some really
light WD-40 through there, new cable, and it’ll feel brilliant. There’s how to change gear like a pro. Pro’s still get it wrong sometimes and crunch and snap their chains. If you want some help from
GMBN Tech to set up your bike a little better, then over
there for how to change your gear cable, down there
for how to set up your gears. Thumbs up and hit that subscribe button.

93 thoughts on “Change Gear Like A Pro | How To Change Gear On A Mountain Bike

  1. For the last 20 years every time a new groupset has come out and allllllll the reviewers have said "perfect shifting under full load" I have thought oh great about time, absolute liars 😃

  2. Thanks for making this, hope all the gear crunchers see this! It hurts my soul when people don't reduce power when shifting and shift way too many gears at a time.

  3. That's the fourth time I have a Q about how to do something better and a day later you guys uploading a video about the exact thing I was thinking of!
    Are you guys reading my mind while I was sleeping?!

  4. Good content. Anticipating ahead of the shift is key! If I have momentum I back off the pressure to downshift.
    Haven't seen any fun sessions for a while. How about a game of bike with Sam Pilgrim or Matt Jones? Maybe a down hill section with Ollie?
    I always look forward to what you post next.

  5. Another tip: with enough practice, it's possible to learn how to time your shifts so that the actual chain "hop" occurs at the top of a pedal stroke. This is when you'll naturally have low power and the shift will happen with a smooth "click" even if you're powering uphill. The timing depends on your current gear: a small sprocket will shift faster and a bigger one slower. This makes is a difficult skill to master, but very satisfying once it works. 🙂

  6. I have Sram gearing and it will drop down 3 gears simultaneously with one whole push of the lever tho I don't ever use the entire range of it, only ever dropping a maximum of 2 at a time. Only gears up one click for one gear at a time on the up lever tho.

  7. So I shift like a pro then 🤪
    Great tips on shifting Neil.
    I think everyone has crunched their gears at some point.
    Only snapped a chain once and that was the other month with my sons tag along bike attached, we fixed it on the side of the road and carried on to go get our ice creams 👊

  8. I thought i would also add 2x 3x shifting front and back simultaneously adds a lot of smoothness to the ride and few Watts too!

  9. What about not using high gear(back) while in a low gear(front) – and low gear(back) while in a high gear(front), witch will offset the chain in bad positions, and cause a lot of tear.

    Niel is using a single gear front, so maybe he dittent think about that in the video (or maybe "pros" only use that style).
    I dittent know this when i bourght my first 27 gear bike, and ruined it in only a couple months. Apparently 27 gears only means ~15 useable gears lol

  10. 1:08 Also check your hub bolts are tight if you do not have fully sealed bearings in them. As the bolt backs out it starts to space out the frame little which allows the freehub to shift left/right a little which can cause iffy alignment in the gears (also if it completely fails and allows the freehub to completely separate you could end up with a broken leg/ankle)

  11. Very informative content lads 🤙🏻

    If you fancy helping out a new uk based boring xc type channel (proper selling it 😂) just go watch a vid, cheers you legends 🤙🏻

  12. Neil i dont know where you got that sram can only down shift 1 gear at a time. my NX 1×11 can do 4 down shifts with 1 full push of the leaver. im 100% sure of this because i hate how long the reach is to down shift and sometimes i go down 2 gears while i only want 1.

  13. Neil on flats, Blake on clips, what's happening 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  14. Well we know Neil has a future as a poet too. I'm patiently waiting for the tech that becomes mainstream that eliminates the Fred Flinstone derailer.

  15. My Tourney TX EF41-7R allows me to go down 2 or 3 depending where I am on the freewheel. When I found that, I loved my "cheap" bike more. £250 isn't exactly cheap for me for a bicycle. I figured that for best shifting and quiet shifting was best done by backing off. If it makes noise – that can never be good. I figured this out in my teenage years, 2 decades ago. I still find improvements naturally by trying different things.

  16. Ive had a couple of 1 bys but love my 2 by drop
    Or upshift loads of gears with a click of front dereullieur plus compensate with a couple of clicks on the rear block 🤘

  17. GUYS COME ON!! Great video (as always) but you’ve proper missed the beat here. Understanding exactly HOW your gears are able to shift sooo smoothly under power is KEY to learning how to do it! Often forgotten and definitely not spoken of enough, in my opinion is one of Shimano’s greatest inventions, HYPERGLIDE (debate that all you want, another story)
    All the tiny ramps, grooves and cuts into each and every tooth is whats makes the chain slide up and down (esp. with the new 2020 Hyperglide+) so well.
    It’s pretty much why, along with black wall tyres and splatter paint, that I begged my parents to buy me my first proper MTB, a 1989 Ridgeback 602lx.. (still got it!)
    That sexy little red sticker sucked me in bigtime😂😎😬👍💥
    Sort it out chaps !

  18. Always so helpful! Great teachers!
    I have a channel I’m starting come check it out. Trail building beer drinking and exploring the PNW. New video coming this weekend
    So.dirt.e productions

  19. Meh. Hate to be critical but I was hoping for a set-up of a few hypothetical situations followed by slow mo tight camera shots and narration of what the rider was doing going through the frame. "Okay, so here we are going from a flat bit to a short climb, we should be able to power through this without kicking down too many gears, so as he approaches he picks up a few peddle strokes of speed and then with about 10 feet left before hitting the incline comes off the power but still pedals as he blips the shifter twice , carrying momentum into the hill as his pedal speed catches up with the deceleration once he starts up". You know, something like that….

  20. Really? How to change gear? Answer: press the shifter hard on the handlebar if it’s mechanical, and press it gently if it’s electronic. Amazing what you have to come up with a few years down the line of… content every… single…. day…

  21. If I've learned one thing from Sam Pilgrim on how to change gears it's jamming them as fast as you can until the clutch start slipping and then replace the piece of shit

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