How to get the most out of your geared bike


Well-Known Member
Hello All,

How do you set yourself up for a climb? Today I tried (while in the middle ring) to shift up to a harder gear, then down to the small ring. I would normally shift down to the smallest cog, if that wasn't enough then I would go down to the small ring. Going up to a harder gear for a sec then down to the small ring felt pretty good, but I had to think about it, it wasn't very fluid. What do some of you do?



Active Member
I attempt to pedal before the climb followed by more pedaling through the climb all finished up with some more pedaling :rofl:

I try to get whatever momentum I can before the climb and then just stay in the middle ring while playing the churn and burn game. I'll pedal till my legs can't take it and then I'll shift down but at that point it's just a matter of time before I reach terminal failure.


New Member
All about momentum for me- get some speed before the hill starts, then maintain. Haven't ridden the geared bike since I drank the SS kool-aid though!


Well-Known Member
I ride a single-speed. ;)

More seriously, I'd recommend getting in the adequate chain-ring before the climb. Regardless of what you do, be sure to ease on the pedals as you are shifting. This may require to surge a bit beforehand to maintain your momentum. Trying to shift while applying full force to the pedals is a recipe for a broken chain.


Shifting, just like braking and turning, is all about anticipation. The specific gear or shifting sequence you use for a given hill on a given day will depend on many factors. Some days you feel stronger than others for example. Also, unlike a singlespeed which is all momentum and bloody-mindedness, your gears give you the luxury of "relaxing" at different stages of a climb. If want to put-out on various parts of a climb you can then sit back and spin an easier gear to recover, before another interval of exertion.


The Moped
I shift down, a LOT, and then I spin like mad. The less technical the assent, the less I downshift though.


Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I try not to shift during climb, I end up loosing momentum or my chain derails. Experience is key when climbing, eyeball the hill than put your bike in the gear that your not overspinning in or mashing gears in. Once you pick the gear pedal with confidence, even if you picked the wrong gear and never give up.:getsome:


Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Just before you get to the climb, shift into the big ring up front, stand up, accelerate like crazy, and drop all your singlespeed friends;)



Well-Known Member
Get to know the hills you climb. If you are familiar with your hills, they will be fun friend to hang out with.


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Shop Keep
riding position and bike setup will help out alot with climbing. If your too far back or up and your seat is too high or low, you're only using part of your potential.


Well-Known Member
Thank you for the replies!!! I'm trying to be more efficient with my pedaling and shifting. One thing I noticed myself doing was to coast on slight downhills, where I could still be pedaling. Also, I would shift down on the cogs to the smallest gear before a climb. I didn't know if it would be better to shift up one in the back, push hard a little before a climb, then down one in the front, two shifts rather than 3 or 4. I'm hoping this strategy will get me to a podium finish in the first race in sport 35-44 next season. We'll... I'll settle for a top 10 finish in the first race:)

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