July 17, 2006

    I bought a used 5-speed bike at a sale and LOVE it—but I never have properly been taught how to use a multi-speed bike. Does it matter if you're pedaling forward or backward as you change speeds?
    There is the speed changer on the right handle and another lever just like it, only without the numbers, on the left handle. What is this for?
    Thanks for having this Web site as I also have squeaking brakes and enjoyed reading remedies you suggested.

Carita W.

    If you liked the squeak remedies you will LOVE the stuck-handlebar fix.
    Repeat after Mr Bike: “I will never, ever pedal backward while shifting gears.” You should pedal forward, but with very little pressure on the pedals—just enough to make them go around. You can stop pedaling after you hear and feel the chain finish moving to another gear. Find illustrated, detailed instructions in my book.
    Hm, a 5-speed should have only one shift lever. Either (a) you really have a 10-speed and that left-hand lever shifts the front gears, or (b) a previous owner removed the front gear-changer but left the lever on, tho it does nothing. To learn which, try moving that left lever while pedaling. If the chain moves to a different gear at the front (by the pedals), you have a 10-speed.

Mr Bike

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