How To Use Your Gears On A Bike | Beginner Series Ep. 3

How To Use Your Gears On A Bike | Beginner Series Ep. 3

How do I change gears? What gear should I use and when? If you’re asking these questions, then this is the video for you! Manon & Conor explain everything you need to know about bike gears and share a few top beginner tips to make changing gear when cycling feel easy!

0:00 Intro
0:50 The basics
1:51 How to change gear
3:10 What gear to use & when
4:12 Shifting on climbs
5:00 Right gear when stopping
5:40 Changing between chainrings

Useful Links:
GCN+ | Every. Unmissable. Moment. 👉
Ride with us at the Global Bike Festival 👉
Download the GCN App for free 👉
Visit the GCN Shop 👉
Join the GCN Club 👉
GCN Training Plans 👉

Do you have any other top tips for using your gears? Let us know in the comments below! 💬

If you liked this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up 👍 and share it with your friends!

Watch more on GCN…
📹 How To Set Up Your First Road Bike 👉
📹 Watch our Editor’s Choice Playlist 👉
📹 Or why not check out our Features Playlist 👉 ​​

🎵 Music – licensed by Epidemic Sound 🎵
You Kay G – Felix Johansson Carne
Whip 1 – SFX Producer
Windwalker – Krisu
Thunderbird – Ooyy
Bottai – Ooyy
Flow – Krisu
Ariel – Ooyy

#gcn #cycling #roadcycling #roadbike #bike #bikes #bikelife #beginner #howto

📸 Photos – © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Sprint Cycling Agency

The Global Cycling Network (GCN) is the largest online cycling channel in the world, bringing together a global community of road cyclists to celebrate everything that’s great about the world of cycling.

Our videos bring fans compelling daily content including expert tutorials, techniques, training, racing, cutting-edge bike tech, unparalleled behind the scenes event coverage, humour, entertainment, and more.

Presented by ex-pro riders, GCN offers a uniquely qualified insight into the world of cycling, and most importantly it’s fuelled by our passionate and enthusiastic fans – everyone who makes up the GCN community. We also bring the latest and greatest tech to your attention, showcase the best places in the world to ride and get exclusive access to events and races.

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside Cycling

Thanks to our sponsors:
Castelli Clothing:
Pinarello Bikes:
Zipp Wheels:
Topeak Tools:
Canyon Bikes:
Pirelli Tyres:
Orbea Bikes:
Vision Wheels:
Wahoo Fitness:
Park Tool:
Elite Bottles:
Whoop Fitness:
Selle Italia:
Shimano Wheels:
Shadow Stand:
DMT Shoes:

Watch our sister channels:
GCN Tech –
GCN Racing –
Global Triathlon Network –
GCN Italia –
GCN en Español –
GCN auf Deutsch –
GCN en Français –
GCN Japan –
GCN Training –
Global Mountain Bike Network –
GMBN Racing –
GMBN Tech –
Electric Mountain Bike Network –


  1. Barry Corney on April 27, 2023 at 7:21 am

    Thought you couldn’t cross chain Di2 small-small?? Anyway that’ll help the newbie on their Claris geared bike and no mention of trim (does Di2 have it??), and which gears are optimum for each chainring and where the point crosses over….

  2. miýwêýihtâkosiw Mahihkan on April 27, 2023 at 7:22 am

    The style of shifters on these kinds of bicycles I did not know existed till ten or so years ago..remember looking at one road bike in a shop located in Edmonton Alberta Stratcona district and was perplexed as to why there was no mechinisim on the lower bar, nor rapid fire shifters visible.
    Been riding mountian style bikes pretty much the whole life.. don’t have the budget to try new stuff out, and have not been in the bike shop to look at what’s advanced since the 1990’s. Must say these little computers do make a differance in these matters, at least get to see new products without having to spend extra just making the trip.
    So much has changed in a short period of time..
    Like a lot of what is out there, but still have a soft spot for the old tech.

  3. Global Cycling Network on April 27, 2023 at 7:23 am

    Do you have any other top tips for using your gears? 👇

  4. Jackson Bangs on April 27, 2023 at 7:24 am

    I prefer lower gears for climbing so that I can spin more. Doing this helps me to climb during a century and double century ride. Great video.

  5. Curv 0987 on April 27, 2023 at 7:25 am

    What are the buttons on Di2?

  6. Alina Popescu on April 27, 2023 at 7:27 am

    I have many questions, but the only one which is pertinent to the topic of this video is, "Why ON EARTH is it so complicated?". My gravel bike has only one front gear and I find that easy to understand and master. But this looks very complicated. I guess it’s a matter of getting used to, but still, it looks like everything is made as complicated as possible.

  7. Stephen Politzer on April 27, 2023 at 7:27 am

    Since most beginner cyclists would be using mechanical shifting, perhaps a video using pivoting shifters would be more helpful than electronic buttons or paddles. Also, many beginners will have trigger or twist shifters. Given the focus on drop bar road bikes, maybe just a quick mention of other systems would be good. Otherwise, very helpful.

  8. Jules B on April 27, 2023 at 7:27 am

    I think it was a very bad idea using electronic gears in this episode. It was difficult to see what you were actually doing and which shifters to use when changing up or down gears.

  9. kvloover on April 27, 2023 at 7:31 am

    A more in depth guide on suggested gear ratio’s and what to aim for might be helpfull as well.
    I guess it depends alot of on different variables, but it might help some.

  10. CnE on April 27, 2023 at 7:31 am

    Manon in shorts and Conor in leg warmers. Come on Conor, man up lad.

  11. RYTHMIC RIOT on April 27, 2023 at 7:31 am

    As someone who has switched from Shimano 105 mechanical to SRAM eTap, I much prefer SRAM’s shift logic (right lever shift up/left lever shift down/ both for large mech). It’s so much more logical, and no fumbling to only depress a certain portion of the lever. Especially when wearing gloves.

  12. nebulous on April 27, 2023 at 7:34 am

    no mention of internal gear hub? i think you should also talk about that. pretty sure the way you switch gears on internal gear hub is completely different. i think you are meant to stop pedaling before you switch gear and only after you have switched gear you should continue pedaling.

  13. steveb0503 on April 27, 2023 at 7:35 am

    I really HAVE to start showing my smaller chainring a little more love – I’m WAY too often cross-chaining to my larger sprockets because I don’t ENTIRELY trust my front derailleur (even though I’ve finally learned to set it up properly).

  14. 3521rob on April 27, 2023 at 7:36 am

    Can’t believe this has to be taught! I learnt this pre internet days and without a instruction manual . 🤷‍♂️

  15. Max on April 27, 2023 at 7:37 am

    it blows my mind that people don’t know, maybe just me, but it seemed pretty intuitive, you want not struggle when biking, that’s why it’s one of the best energy to movement (idk right term) ratios in all human powered locomotion, better than skateboards, or scooters. at least for me I want to be able to spin my pedals comfortably all the time, idk why someone wouldn’t want to

  16. black is anxious on April 27, 2023 at 7:37 am

    can an aluminium frame take some rocky roads and some bumps ???

  17. cd_rob on April 27, 2023 at 7:38 am

    OK, my question is, when I’m at a stop light, do I shift down to the smaller chain ring on the front, or do I stay on big front ring and shift up in the back?

  18. jiffmiller on April 27, 2023 at 7:40 am

    Maybe I missed it, but one rule to always follow is be pedaling when you shift.

    If the gears aren’t turning they can’t shift.

  19. KellyC on April 27, 2023 at 7:41 am

    One trick I picked up recently that’s to do with shifting is that when you shift in the front and your chain falls off, you can get your chain back on the chainring just by shifting back the other direction and doing another pedal stroke or two – the derailleur pulls the chain back on for you. For years when that happened I would just get off my bike and fix it with my hands (which results in some really black, greasy fingers for the rest of the ride).

    This is a really nice series you’ve been doing here! I think a lot of beginners will find it useful – I’m pretty well versed in cycling by this point, but I’ve been watching to see if I can pick up any new little tidbits.

  20. dain crawford on April 27, 2023 at 7:41 am

    I can’t believe that you (GCN) have done this again. A beginner video on shifting and all you can scrounge up is a high end bike with Di2? Hank did a similar video a year a two ago and he had the exact same problem – Di2. When I bought my first modern road bike in 2011 with 105’s, I had to get on line and find a video on how to use the shifters. The one I found used mechanical shifters because that is what most “beginners” buy. The first time you shift from the small ring to the big ring takes a fair amount of effort and and a much greater push than one would expect. But you can’t share that because you are using Di2. I love you guys, but really, how can you be so clueless?

  21. Stryder Man on April 27, 2023 at 7:41 am

    What sunglasses is Conor wearing? Are there any you guys recommend for cycling?

  22. Zed Tony on April 27, 2023 at 7:41 am

    All I heard from this video was change, chain, change, chain, change ,chain ,change ,chain change, chain, change ,chain.

  23. Jean on April 27, 2023 at 7:42 am

    Hey english from England riders, you have the Rear Brake on the Left handle with the Front gears ?

  24. Chrit Shallow on April 27, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Thank you for a great watch, my question is which gear should you be in when you’re out of the saddle (i know, how long is a bit of string!) – I believe the general rule is to drop down a couple of sprockets to take up the extra power. I’m doing this and still find that I’m slipping/spinning and not getting the right grip. Do you have to keep changing. Conor will know Felden Lane which I struggle to get up. Many thanks.


  25. Edmund Cheung on April 27, 2023 at 7:53 am

    This series must be for millionaire beginner cyclists. You don’t even know what gears are, but you’ve bought a bike with electronic shifting. GCN to the rescue!

  26. End Censorship on April 27, 2023 at 7:53 am

    (Retro Grouch Single-Speeder has entered the conversation…)

  27. Ride Aloha on April 27, 2023 at 7:54 am

    One thing you didn’t mention is the "Trim" shift while in the big ring. Depending on your groupset level, some groupsets have a trim shift for the big ring. When you initially shift to the big ring, it is expected you will be in the top half of the cassette. If your not or when you downshift to lower half off the rear cassette, you need to trim shift to get the best performance and vice versa when going from the lower half to the upper half of the cassette. Electronic groupsets typically have a setting that will automatically make these adjustments while riding so you don’t have to worry about it.

  28. David Garcia on April 27, 2023 at 7:54 am

    Every time I see Conor’s hi-viz shoes I am tempted to ride with hi-viz Crocs in the summertime. Drivers won’t be able to say they didn’t see me anymore.

  29. Max on April 27, 2023 at 7:54 am

    man your bike tires are inane to me 😅 I have an electric bike with those 4 inch stubby tires

  30. James Lee-Pevenhull on April 27, 2023 at 7:55 am

    Don’t bother messing with gears on your bike until you’re in Secondary School.
    Your mum should buy you a singlespeed for your fifth birthday.
    As your maths and physics improves at secondary school, gearing on a bicycle will become understandable.
    Through school AND adult life, there should be at least one singlespeed bike in your shed. It doesn’t have to be a fixed wheel. For a man, the gear is 48T ring to 18T sprocket = 72".
    Ride this regularly to work all your muscles.
    Having lots of ratios to choose from allows you to ride at a pleasant cadence whatever speed the group is travelling.

  31. Scott Lawson on April 27, 2023 at 7:56 am

    I think this needs to be redone with mechanical shifters. Way different the electronic shifter. And SRAM and Shimano shift much differently, plus you can move up to three gars when trying to get to an easier gear with both systems. Can’t say anything about Campi, as I have never used them.

  32. JHW on April 27, 2023 at 7:57 am

    I I thought this was quite a useful and helpful. It’s probably a little bit too technical because the actors are using electronic gears which I guess most people probably won’t have full stop the video is obviously targeted at people who are not experienced cyclists so it is essential to keep it simple

  33. Geoffrey Honey on April 27, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Super helpful video Manon and Conor! A helpful tip I learned from a good teacher was:"Think of if the chain is away from the core of the bike it’s harder gears, whereas if the chain is nearer to the core of the bike its easier gears." This saves trying to get your head around bigger/littler sprokets being reversed front to rear. Well done you two! (I noticed that Conor left out the techniques on sabotaging your ‘friend’s’ gears!!) I look forward to "Manon’s revenge "!

  34. Stephen Mathews on April 27, 2023 at 8:01 am

    More cyclists should consider hub gear sets. I know that purists will say that they are too heavy etc. etc. However, I have owned cycles with 21/27 gears of which I probably used, at most, 6. I have owned a Cube hybrid with a 8 speed Shimano Nexus hub set. There is no maintenance required and, best of all, you can change gear without needing to pedal.

  35. Spandan Roy on April 27, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Lovely video 🎉

  36. Raimonds Plavins on April 27, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Sorry to say! To whom your channel is really addressed… some fancy music… Probably you are just after money. Thought better of you… Really sorry

  37. Uranium on April 27, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Plenty of times cars force me to stop abruptly so most of the times i can’t change gears before stopping. I just slam on the brakes! Then I’m on a high gear which makes it real hard to start pedalling again.

  38. sud sehun on April 27, 2023 at 8:06 am

    here’s a link to an equally informative video on how to use a microwave.

  39. Jonathan Parham on April 27, 2023 at 8:08 am

    I jate geared bikes 🤣

  40. Koen Devillé on April 27, 2023 at 8:11 am

    Conor, for your own safety, clean your bike before Oli gets mad!

  41. Rudolph Pyatt on April 27, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Some of us use an IGH. Same principles apply, but I have no problem with power on upshifting on the flat.

  42. James Australian on April 27, 2023 at 8:13 am

    Please, make a video on sensible road riding. If you see a car behind you, pull to the side and let them pass. A red light means stop. Don’t ride across pedestrian crossings. Stop and give way where appropriate.

    Far too many riders (bike and scooter) hog lanes, nearly hit pedestrians, and don’t stop to give way where needed to do so.

  43. CxC Promech on April 27, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Nice to see a beginner series….would be nice to see 105 level,bikes as well, Dura Ace Di2 with a handlebar bag on a race bike is sacrilege…a proper saddlebag is a less Fred move….

  44. En Jay on April 27, 2023 at 8:15 am

    Being new to road racing (been out 4-5 times) this was a great video. If this had been explained to me upon purchasing the bike, it would have made my first few escapades less troublesome. I’m going to be a bit cheeky here, but would you be able to do a video on how to service gears and eliminate clunking when changing up or down (when not exerting force) … I’m told it’s easy, just winding screws clock or anti-clockwise 😮 Keep up the great content 😊

  45. Korben's Bum on April 27, 2023 at 8:15 am

    With the popularity of electronic shifting it would be could to explain Sequential shifting too. This is a game changer for me.

  46. Mark Proulx on April 27, 2023 at 8:19 am

    I would love to cycle where GCN does because there are never any cars about. I wouldn’t know what cycling was if it wasn’t a constant life-threatening experience.

  47. WarHammer on April 27, 2023 at 8:19 am

    It would be interesting to have a video on explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the different crankset ratios, 53/39 vs 52/36 vs 50/34. How much of a difference in everyday riding does that really make?

  48. Aaron Li on April 27, 2023 at 8:20 am

    RE: right gear when stopping, how exactly did biggie smalls become a thing? "Go down a couple gears when stopping, unless you’re taking a picture, in which case go up all the way."

  49. Jeremy Pointer on April 27, 2023 at 8:20 am

    Just another tip… if you realize you forgot to change gears before stopping pull the front brake and push down on hoods to lift the rear wheel off the ground slightly and pedal and change gears as needed (easier with clipless)