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beginner shifting question(6 posts)

beginner shifting questionsmokey422
May 7, 2001 8:33 PM
i have ridden mountain bikes for a couple of years(gary fisher hardtail with SRAM 9.0 gripshift). how do you shift a road bike? i know the shifters are usually mounted on the back edge of the brake levers, but which way do you operate them? i'm going to my LBS tomorrow to start looking for a road or cyclocross bike in the $1,000
range. i've noticed some of the cyclocross bikes have the shifter at the bottom of the drops, which seems like a strange location. i know this is a real basic question, but i feel the only dumb question is the one not asked.
re: beginner shifting questionWCC
May 7, 2001 9:14 PM
The shifters are actually built into the brake levers, and the small lever on the underside of the brake lever. Pushing the little lever shifts one way, pushing the actual brake lever itself shifts the other way.
Also...Zignzag
May 7, 2001 9:22 PM
Pushing the small lever shifts to a smaller cog or chainring, and pushing the large lever (the brake lever) shifts to a larger cog or chainring.
Depends on the make and model.shmoo
May 7, 2001 10:15 PM
Most Shimano shift like the first two posters describe. Lower end Shimano shifts a little different. Campagnolo uses a combination of a small shift lever just behind the brake lever (like Shimano), and a thumb lever. Bottom line...when when you start looking at the bikes, just fiddle with them a little, and ask the salesperson (that's supposed to be what they're there for). You'll catch on quickly enough. If you test ride anything, just take it slow, and experiment by shifting up and down - like I said, you'll catch on quickly enough. By the way, the various systems feel decidedly different due to shape, thickness, and texture of the hoods as well as the shift function itself, specifically Shimano vs. Campy. You may lean more toward one or the other.
re: beginner shifting questiondustin73
May 7, 2001 11:19 PM
hey man, i know the feeling. about a year ago when i was looking for a road bike, i had the same questions. i remember, i went into the LBS and was looking at a GT, that was on a trainer, and was scoping out the levers and shifters (shimano something). well, for some reason, i was like "hey, i wonder what this little black thing does..." so i pushed it and it switched the rear deraillure. then i was like "uh oh, probably should get it back on the right cog" so i tried to push it the other way and nothing happened. i thought i broke it. i fiddled with it some more and never got it back. finally i told the worker guy what i did, and he just kinda laughed and explained it to me. good thing, 'cause that day i test rode my first road bike. imagine not knowing how to change gears...that could've been bad/embarassing.
i ended up getting a bike with shimano 'cause i first thought they'd be better and i'd grow to like it more. however, now, after reading about Campy, and learning more, i think they deserve another chance...
re: beginner shifting questionsmokey422
May 8, 2001 7:09 AM
thanks, everyone, i appreciate all the input!