One of the first frustrations newbie mountain bikers experience is figuring out how and when to shift gears on the trail. Since changing gears is an area of mountain biking that is better learned visually, we’ve decided to gather some of the best videos around on the subject rather than write a lengthy post. We’ll delve into how gears work in a later post, but for now, let’s focus on how to properly use them out on the trail.
How to Shift When Mountain Biking
Most of you are going to grab an entry-level bike when first starting to ride, which means you’ll likely end up with a 2x or 3x chainring setup—meaning your bike has either two or three gears up front at the pedals. Though a bit dated, this video featuring Pancho Herrera does a great job of explaining how to choose the right gear for the terrain, and how to keep shifting smoothly as the terrain changes beneath you.
How to Shift Gears Better on a Mountain Bike
Though the next video is a bit rapid-fire, the next video by one of our favorite MTB YouTubers, Chris Carter, goes more in-depth on how to choose the right gear to suit the terrain. FYI, not all 22 tips are available in the video.
Cycling Training—Gear Changing for Cycling Training
This last video is more geared toward road cycling but gives a very clear explanation of why and how to avoid cross chaining.
What are your tips for managing gears out on the trail? Let us know in the comments.
Have fun, ride smart, and keep shredding!