When I got my bike and tried it for just a quick ride, I don’t take seriously what shifting gears is for. When my rides gets farther that’s when I really appreciate my gears.
Well, just like shifting gears in cars, if its uphill keep your gear low for the machine not to kill itself since lower gear is specifically for low speed ascend. So keep in mind that if its uphill, you better shift to lower gear (smaller cogs) in your front and bigger cogs at the back. I’m practicing in lowering my front gear then followed by placing a larger cog at the back since they work inversely.Look at your front and back shifter and keep it in lower number in which you can pedal at ease in an uphill.

Shifting at Mountains
I’m using my cannondale mountainbike therefore after for how many rides, I adopt and learned how to shift without looking at my gears. In uphill, I first switch the front derailluer and will feel a drastic change in my pedalling followed by changing my back derailluer since it takes a lesser effect on jumping from gear 8 to gear 7 and so on than the front. Don’t shift simultaneously,just don’t. On an uphill trail, I just use the middle setting of gears and adjust it I find it hard and/or too easy to ascend. At the peak, my gears are on low (from uphill) thus making the downhill low gear. I shift at higher gear one at a time before hitting the flat road. There where times that Im changing to higher gears during a downhill when my speed starts to drop.

Shifting at Roads
Riding at flat road is just following the shifting mechanism when riding at Mountains. Mainly in flat road, I keep my gear in bigger cogs at the front and lower cogs at the back just to keep myself at higher speed but Im taking notes of the higher probability of stopping, due to jeepneys, crossings, pedestrians etc. Stopping from a high gear means a larger force you must exert just to start and keep your previous momentum (from higher gear). In practice, If I saw cars stopping ahead of me, I downshift just exacty 10 rotations (pedals) of my desired cogs so when I start to pedal again, it won’t be that hard compared to a high gear.

Shifting x Challenge
The real thrill about shifting is giving yourself a challenge and a chance to adjust and adopt to situations. You can keep at a high gear and exercise your legs to be familiarized with the starting and stoping from it. Im climbing a short-ascend bridge in 3×8 just to keep my legs in shape and if there are not much cars around. Yes, you will find it hard reaching the top but I just think of the downhill part. After conquering bridges without changing to lower gears is an achievement for me, just like a runner deserves a medal.

Additional Notes:
Just before the ascend starts, you must measure if you can or cannot reach the peak in your current gear then shift.
10 cog rotations utmost must the shifter to take effect. I count mine and got my latest upto 3-5 rotations.
Uphill – Shift to LOWER number.
Downhill – HIGHER, until reaching self satisfaction of your speed and a steady momentum.
Gears helps us to be efficient in our energy usage especially in long rides.
Currently using 9×3 Alivio Shifters

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