How to Shift a Road Bike


Learn the different ways of shifting a road bike in this free video series that covers the basics of how to become a knowledgeable road biker.

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Video Transcript

Shifting and operating the front derailleur on a road bike can pose some difficulties for people used to mountain bikes because it's a different system. As you see, just like with the rear shifter, shifting the large lever here will shift you into a harder gear. Since I'm already in the hardest gear, I'll hit the silver lever and that has shifted me down to my smaller chain ring. So, what these levers have that most mountain bike levers don't have, is they have a trim feature, which is in the middle -- it's a half shift. So, I gave this a half shift here and I haven't shifted all the way up. And what that does is it allows me to use the whole range of gearing on my bike without having to hear that clanking noise. So, that's a feature that some of these high end road shifters have. The other big thing is, if you primarily ride a mountain bike that doesn't have a front shifter, it's just a single ring mountain bike or a single speed mountain bike, how do you adjust these things? The first step is shifting into your small chain ring, and then we want to sight down to make sure that we have our derailleur cage adjusted as close as possible, so that when we down shift -- I'm up shifting right now, but when I down shift, my chain doesn't just pop off.


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