Lv 6
D50 asked in SportsCycling · 2 months ago

Does driving a car with an automatic transmission make you stupid about shifting a bicycle?

I keep seeing people cluelessly trying to pedal up a hill in a high gear or furiously spinning downhill in a low gear. Has the ubiquity of automatic transmission cars caused people to forget (or never learn) the principle of gear shifting?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    No. That is not the reason.  People simply are not knowledgeable enough to know that they should shift to a lower gear when they go uphill or when they come to a stop. People also tend to underestimate how much down shifting they need when going uphill. When one is going downhill, there is no need to pedal, so why bother shifting. You shouldn't be going too fast downhill because too much speed is dangerous. Also sometimes even the lowest gear on a 14 speed road bike may not be low enough for a rider going up a steep hill. 

  • David
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    I don’t think that’s the only answer. Plenty of people who drive manuals, or ride motorcycles are also quite lost when it comes to bicycle gears.

    People riding on too high gears are often inprinted on their childhood’s single-speeds, and insisting that it isn’t real riding unless you’re grunting and straining.

  • 2 months ago

    They should build a motorized bicycle like mine which shift gears automatically. 

    On the more serious side. Even amongst cyclist who do know how to use a manual shifter and manual clutch in a motor vehicle; they still might not know how to use a multiple chainring system on a bicycle in a sequential manner while avoiding redundant gearing. 

    For example a cross 10 triple chainring on a 3x7 gets shifted like this lowest to highest gear ratio: 1(1-4), 2(2-5), 3(4-7) for 12 non redundant ratios. A cross 10 or higher 2x9 gets shifted like this lowest to highest gear ratio: 1(1-6), 2(4-9) for 12 non redundant ratios.

    There is a triple chainring system known as the half step granny but it's more of a specialty thing which allows for very small jumps between ratios. A lot of long distance riders in flat areas like this system. 

    If a gear is to easy or to hard to comfortably maintain a cadence of 70-90 it means you're in the wrong gear. This is why I advise getting a bicycle computer with a heart rate monitor and cadence meter on it. Then you can use sequential gear selection and a varing cadence of 70-90 to control a desired heart rate.

    Last of all you should use a starting gear. Be in the lowest gear before stopping on stops going up hill, then use that gear as a starting gear. All other stops be in a gear that's around a 150% before stopping. 


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    Source(s): Motorized bicycle owner and builder.
  • 2 months ago

    Answered your own question, didn't ya?  A year or so ago bike shops & internet sales saw a big rise in the amount of single speed and/or fixed gear bikes sold.  Why  Because people are too stupid to figure out gears!  That didn't last long.  They soon learned the optimal cadence (pedal rpm) on a single speed or fixed gear bike equals one of the higher gears on a road bike - about 18 to 20 mph.  Kinda hard to start from a dead stop or climb a hill in a higher gear.  

    Kids don't learn because their parents never teach them - except me!  It took me a while, but my son finally learned.  This was years ago.  TWENTY years of driving a semi taught me how to match what gear was meant for what condition.  This was years ago also.  Now they've got automatic transmissions in semi-trucks.  Sigh... 🙄  And a bunch of dummies graduating from trade schools in as little as THREE WEEKS.  

    The problem I see now is...whenever I do try to give some helpful advice, most people blow me off & say, "Mind your own f'ing business."  A few appreciate my experience & free lesson - very few.  Many people also don't realize when you get a bike from a REAL bike shop vs. a discount store, the sales people will gladly show you how it works.  But NOOOO...they'd rather waste their money at Wally World.        

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