of the fastest things to wear out and need replacing
is your drivetrain. Fortunately, this doesn't have to
be the case. Biggest contributor to a worn out chain,
derailer or chain ring is poor shifting (assuming you
wash your bike once a year).
shifting consists of three things: Preparation, Power
- Anticipate the gear.
you are coming up to a hill, shift early. Try to maintain
your momentum and shift up through your gears to stay
in the optimum gear to maintain your speed. Waiting
till the last minute to shift over 5 or 6 rings will
kill your momentum and require more energy than you
want to spend or your chain and rings want to feel.
Shift one ring at a time and try to maintain AT LEAST
the same pedal stroke speed throughout the hill climb.
If you can slightly increase your stroke speed, great.
- Put less power into your stroke while shifting.
you've failed to prepare for that hill and you find
yourself increasing your power in order to maintain
speed, try giving EXTRA power right before changing
gears. Put all your power into a single downstroke than
quickly shift while pedaling lightly and continuing
on your momentum from the first stroke. Once the chain
has completed the move, repeat the process. Reducing
the amount of "power strokes" during shifting
will add years to your drivetrain (literally).
- Keep the chain parallel to the frame.
Although not one of the biggest contributors, your chain
position can also be important. Just because you have
a 27 speed bike means you should be using all speeds.
Having your chain in the smallest chain ring (granny
gear) and the smallest cog on the rear cassette ends
up stretching the chain more than you need too and causes
excessive rubbing and pulling on the ring and cogs teeth.
You can easily switch to your middle chain ring and
move up a cog or two in the back to get essentially
the same performance.
all else fails and you find yourself unprepared, pedaling
with too much power while changing to unparallel gears
. . .stop, get off the bike, shift and lift the rear
wheel while pedaling to get into an easy gear to start
off again. Your bike and muscles will thank you.