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  1. #1
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    Kona Hula and a little fellow's shifting woes....

    This is my son's first real bike, discounting the wal-mart fodder he's been on before now.. He's 8 years old and smart as a tack, but the gears confound him a bit. Any suggestions on how to gently and properly teach him how to use the gears?

  2. #2
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    At first stay in the middle chain ring and let let them learn to use the rear gears first. I rode behind mine and reminded them to change if it's getting too hard or easey to peddle.
    Don't know what kind of gearing they have now, but on my son's Kona I picked up a used 24" rear wheel on ebay so I could use a cassette. Changed the gearing from 12-28 to 12-34 and it made it a lot easier on him. It was a downhill setup, so it was heavy. But it still made a big difference for very little money. Once he got the hang of the rear we started working on the front gears.

  3. #3
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    I 2nd the middle ring idea at first. I assume the rear grip shifter has numbers on it? Give him the general information that 1 is for going up hills and 7 is for downhills. Tell him to keep it in 4 and shift to 1 or 7 when he needs to, then back to 4 when it levels out again.

    I had my son on a trail a bike and I'd call back to him to see what gear he was in, making a better suggestion if need be.

  4. #4
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    I bought my son a 20" Specialized that had Grip shifters, (he's 6). He just could not get the concept so I upgraded to Shimano 7 speed triggers and a 7 speed free wheel. Now, he's pretty good, but I help him whil riding by telling him, up hill, go to gear 1, ...

    Even at 6, he's stating to get it, but imo... the triggers were a step in the right direction.

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