General Question

nikipedia's avatar

How do you change gears on a bike?

Asked by nikipedia (27526points) July 20th, 2008

I have been riding a borrowed mountain bike for a few weeks and keep popping the damn chain off when I switch gears. It happens at least once every time I ride it and all the hipsters on their fixies laugh at me. :( What am I doing wrong?

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8 Answers

Allie's avatar

Change gears while you’re in motion. I don’t know if you’re already doing this or not, but if you aren’t you should.

shilolo's avatar

There is the possibility that one of the deraillers is out of wack (most likely the rear derailler). There is no way to know based on your description, because generally speaking, if you make a mistake shifting gears, you shouldn’t pop the chain off. Depending on your do-it-yourself nature, you can try some home adjustments. Otherwse, there are a number of bike shops in SF that could look at it for you for a low to non-existent fee (especially if it isn’t broken).

eambos's avatar

Do Not Pedal Backwards!!! Deraillers do not work in reverse, and doing so can easily cause the chain to come off track.

nikipedia's avatar

@Eambos: ....oh. oops.

@shilolo: Does Apple do bikes now…? :)

eambos's avatar

I didn’t mean to sound so harsh :p I know that a lot of people who are new to bikes with lots of gears are used to pedaling backwards sometimes, so it’s a common problem. If you stop that you probably won’t have your chain fall off much more!

crunchaweezy's avatar

I’d laugh too lol

You must switch gears white in motion, or else you’ll hear some funny sounds when you start pedaling…

elchoopanebre's avatar

The solution: a fixed gear bike.

emilyrose's avatar

also a trick i learned several years ago is that you can ride your chain back on without having to touch it in most cases. just switch gears. don’t believe me? try it! : )

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