It is observable that one would see gears in everything made that is with spinning parts such as a grandfather clock, remote controlled toys and those with engines and motors. The gears are responsible for the rotating motion of a wheel. On a bicycle, the gears are part of the drivetrain which is a system that transmits power from the rider to the drive wheels. Thus, the gears of a bicycle determine the rate at which a rider pedals the bike, referred to as the cadence, and the rate at which the drive wheel turns.
The gears of a bicycle help riders to go up hills easier and to go faster on level ground. In order for you to use your bike gears properly, you can start by studying and being familiar with the gears on your bike. Both the front and the rear wheels have gears that work together. These are controlled by the gear shifters found on the handle of the bicycle. It would be easy to remember that the left-hand shifter shifts the front gears while the right-hand shifter shifts those at the back. Just think of the letter R for right and rear.
You can be more oriented with your bike gears if you practice using your shifters and find your cadence. Your cadence refers to the steady rate of your pedaling the bike. It is like finding your comfortable rhythm as you pedal your bike on a particular terrain.
Experts remind less experienced cyclists that one way to be familiar with your gears is to remember that the lower numbers on the shifters are the low gears and the higher numbers are the high gears. Using the right combination of gears would give you an optimum ride.
Experienced riders suggest that when going uphill or when struggling with a headwind, shift to low gear. This means that you shift the combination where you use the small or middle front chain ring and the bigger cogs or the largest sprockets in the rear gears. The high gear, which is a combination of the big chain ring of the front gear and the small sprockets at the rear, would be great for descending or going downhill. The high gear is also good to use for accelerating or when you want to go fast on a flat terrain.
Remembering these combinations of gears would be of great help to make your ride a fun and fulfilling experience.