How To Shift Your Bike’s Gears Without Moving

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Changing bike gears

There’s nothing quite so awesome as hammering on the flats. Pushing a big gear and hitting some high speeds. Feeling awesome. Feeling fast.

And then you pull up to a stop sign, and you stop. Because, you know, you’re cool like that. Traffic clears, you proceed. And just because you were feeling so fast, so cool, and so awesome on the flats, you’re reminded that no one looks good putting all their body weight into a pedal stroke.

Avoid looking lame when everyone is watching. Change gears before you take off. Here’s my trick–and just FYI, your fellow riders will be so impressed by your new talent that they won’t dog you for forgetting to change gears before you stopped.

Here’s how to shift without moving:

imageStep 1: Hold down the front brake firmly.

Step 2: With the front brake completely applied, lift up the back of your bike by pushing the handlebars forward and down.

Step 3: Click your shifter to get your derailleur moved toward an easier gear.

imageStep 4: Spin into an easier gear with the foot that’s still clipped into your pedal. Simply spin the crank one or two full revolutions while the back wheel is off the ground.

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Boom! You won’t have moved, but your bike will now be in a more suitable gear to take off from that stop sign when the traffic clears.

Practice this a few times, and soon you’ll be able to shift in a mere moment. Plus, you’ll definitely look more awesome than your riding buddies who are now struggling to get through an intersection in 52/11.

Happy riding!


About Bek 301 Articles
SLO Cyclist's former chief editor and recovering road snob, Bek made sure everything ran smoothly around here. She was also the one who reminded us not to take ourselves too seriously--unless it involves black socks. Black socks are always serious.

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