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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548

    $@!#$@ what gear am i in?

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    My first multiple speed bike was a trek, with numbers that showed me where I was. My second multiple speed bike was a Raleigh, with little dials that also showed me what gear i was in.

    My lovely bianchi expects me to know a lot more. I've had it since May and I'd say there's 400 miles on it, and I still don't know where I am (gear wise) half the time!

    I learned last week to keep it in the low gears for the inner chain ring, that i can use all the gears for the second chain ring, and if i'm ever in high, never
    put it in the lowest gears.

    I have really been trying to follow that, and sunday I managed (for the first time) to pop the chain right off. I had it in the highest rear gear and the inside chain ring.

    So I started trying to keep track of each gear i was in.. Got halfway home last night and... i was in the high chain ring (outside) trying to go up the hill.
    What!!

    I CAN look but I can't see too well under there and i prefer to have my eyes on the road. Can anyone give me some pointers here?
    thanks
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    A Campagnolo ErgoBrain computer tells you your gears right on the display, and integrates into your Campy levers - there are little 'dots' on your hoods that are used to change the screens on the computer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    ooooooooooooooooo new toy? I will check that out!!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    I could point out that with downtube shifters, a quick glance at the shifters will give you a good idea what gear you are in. It's still a downward glance, but not as far down and back as trying to see your chainrings or cassette. But I still make occassional mistakes of not realizing that I'm in the large chainring. Not sure what to do other than trying to improve one's memory or taking the occassional downward glance.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    i don't have downtube shifters, could you throw any other pointers my way?
    I am reading the reviews on those Campagnolo computers aren't so good.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    Not certain what components are on your bike but if Shimano Ultegra or Dura Ace, you can get and use a FLIGHTDECK computer. The Computer is awesome. Shows you what gear you are in, tells you when you shift what ger you are going in and also has some great computer features hard to get like cadence. When I first switched from down tube shifters to my Ultegra components the FLIGHTDECK realy helped me learned where I was and where I needed to be. Don't use it anymore 'cause I can tell by feel where I am, but for a couple fo years, it was invaluable.
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    A more elegant solution is the little indicator that comes on some Shimano equipped bikes. It goes right inline with the shifter cable housing and looks a bit like a little bubble level, but with 9 hash marks instead of 3. the little indicator moves to show you wich gear that you are in. Small unobtrusive, but lets you know right away what gear you are in.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    yeah, that's kind of what i had on my raleigh.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    Mimi,
    I had to get used to my numberless bar end shifters as well.
    My only advice to you might be to stay in the middle ring up front while you keep changing the only rear gears back and forth to get used to the feel of those. (needless to say, don't attempt steep hills while you do this).
    Once that all becomes really familiar, try staying in a middle-ish gear in the back while you ride around switching between the front middle and small(uphill)gear. Forget the front big gear for now, you can get to know that one later.

    These two exercises might help you get a better feel of the gearing, as they did for me.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    P.S. Better to lose the old mindset of mentally wanting to have gears numbered or named in your mind. Think big and small or instead of numbers.

    Just think of the front small gear as not being needed unless you are going uphill in some way. Think of the middle front gear as good for most level riding.
    Then think of the rear gears as being fine tuning variations for those front gears.
    Then, it logically follows that you wouldn't want to be in your most "uphill" gear in back(biggest ring) paired with your most "downhill" gear in front(biggest ring). Or vice versa. Maybe I'm off the mark, but this way of seeing it helped me.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby
    i don't have downtube shifters, could you throw any other pointers my way?
    I am reading the reviews on those Campagnolo computers aren't so good.
    Mine was included with my eBay Colnago purchase - for free, it works well.

    The ErgoBrain and the Shimano Flightdeck are supposedly the same computers, modified for Campy/Shimano differences. Both made by Cateye. At least this is what I've heard.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    some of the reviewers sound like idiots, but i'm not much better when it comes to little electronic gadgets. Do all campy shifters have the little bumps?
    (I never saw any bumps!)
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central Connecticut
    Posts
    195
    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby
    I learned last week to keep it in the low gears for the inner chain ring, that i can use all the gears for the second chain ring, and if i'm ever in high, never
    put it in the lowest gears.
    OK, I am a newbie. I hadn't been told this. Why am I not supposed to be on the big rings both in front and back. On my 10-year-old Diamondback hybrid bike, sometimes that's the only way I can get enough speed to keep up with the road bikes in my group. Some of the guys have yelled at me in the past that I'm not supposed to ride there, but if I drop the front down to the middle, I just exhaust myself spinning. I'm more comfortable pedaling at a more moderate pace, which also gives me more speed, on the big rings.

    I'm picking up my new LeMond any day now, so if there's something I need to know here, someone had better tell me quickly!
    Louise
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "You don't really ever have to fall. But kissing the ground is good because you learn you're not going to die if it happens."

    -- Jacquie "Alice B. Toeclips" Phelan, former U.S. national champion cyclist

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    it stretches your chain. it wears stuff out.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    724
    Quote Originally Posted by Eden
    A more elegant solution is the little indicator that comes on some Shimano equipped bikes. It goes right inline with the shifter cable housing and looks a bit like a little bubble level, but with 9 hash marks instead of 3. the little indicator moves to show you wich gear that you are in. Small unobtrusive, but lets you know right away what gear you are in.
    Ditto. I have one. My favorite LBS put it on when I asked them to. Sure makes it nice and easy and not that expensive.

 

 

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