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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Riding on Slopes with MTB - query on gear combination

    I have a MTB bike with 3 front gears and 9 in rear. I ride mostly on flat ground.

    I normally keep 2nd gear in front and use 6-8 or sometimes 9 in rear. If I want to go fast , I sometimes use 3rd gear in front and use 6-7 or 8 in rear.

    I guess 1-9 in rear can all be used with 2 in front. With 1 in front, only 1-3 in rear can be used. With 3 in front, only 6-9 can be used in rear.

    1) I hope the gear combinations are ok?

    2) What gear combinations can I use while going up a slope ?

    3) What gear combinations can I use while going down a slope?

    Thanks in advance and wish you all a happy new year.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    The combinations sound about right. As far as uphill or downhill, use whatever is comfortable to you. You want to turn the pedals at about 80 rotations per minute. If doing so is too tough, use an easier gear. If it is too easy or you are turning faster than that, use a harder gear.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    On downhills you want the chain to be on the middle or big ring otherwise it can bounce off .

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    You don't need to restrict your gear selections so much. You should still be fine using most of your cassette in any given chainring. Especially the little ring - you can pretty much use cogs 1-7. Or should be able to, different drivetrains sometimes behave differently.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    I like pie.
    Reputation: Mr5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Avoid the big-big and little-little ring combos.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    avoid cross-chaining (biggest two rings used together and smallest two rings used together so that the chain has to make a wide sideways path). other than that, use whatever combo you need to get going where you want the bike to go. you should not over-think it. don't think about numbers, that will just confuse you. pedal hard. if you're spinning too fast, put it in a harder gear. if you are pedaling too hard and losing momentum, put it in an easier gear. you can probably leave it in the middle front ring most of the time and use the tiny ring when you are climbing an extremely steep hill and use the large ring when you are moving fast along a smooth trail or paved surface.

    think of it like walking: when you are going downhill or already going fast, you take longer strides to keep up. if you are going uphill, you take faster, shorter steps. same applies to the bike. no one thinks "I am in the fifth gear in the back and the second gear in the front. if I change to another..." *smack, into a tree. that's what happens when you think about it too much instead of just riding the bike.

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