How to Shift Gears on an Electric Bike? Beginners Guide
You just bought a new e-bike and you’re planning to go on high trails and mountain rides. But suddenly you realize, you don’t know how to shift gears on your electric bike!
Electric bike gears are slightly different from normal bikes. So for a beginner e-bike rider like you, learning how to use the e-bike gears can be a little tricky. But once you learn how to shift the gears, you don’t have to rely on electric pedals anymore!
In this article, you will explore how to shift gears on your mountain bike and road bike. So you don’t have to put a strain on your breaks or limit your battery life!
How Does a Bike Gear Shifter Work?
Most ev bikes have two sets of gears to shift. One on the left handlebar and one on the right. By pushing the buttons up or down on the left handlebar, you can increase or decrease the level of electric pedal assistance. Similarly, by using the gear shift on the right handlebar, you can move the mechanical gears higher or lower.
There is no need to stop pedalling when shifting your gears. You can keep pedalling and use your thumbs or fingers to shift the gear. Even if it sounds difficult to you right now, just because you are a beginner e-bike rider; you can start shifting gears smoothly just after a few rides.
Different gears provide different assistance levels. They either make pedalling easier for you or they make it harder. Mountain e-bikes with more gears and Shimano shifters can get you up even the most challenging hills.
Types of Electric Bicycle Gears
Electric bikes come with different types of gears. Here’s a quick review of each gear type:
Derailleur gear system is used in both traditional bikes and electric bikes. They are external gears found in the center of the bike’s rear wheel, connected to a cable. The derailleur switches between high gears and low gears with the help of a cable that pulls the bike chain up and over the gear sprockets. When you adjust the rear derailleur, you can easily climb on steep hills and reach higher speeds.
Hub gears are internal gears. They are enclosed within the rear hub of the electric bike. Hub gears are popular for their durability and easy maintenance. The speed range hub gear offer can vary between 4 to 14 gears, which is super convenient for road biking. The most convenient point of hub gears is that they allow you to shift gears while pedalling and even when the bike is stationary.
Some electric bikes came with a single-speed gear system, which means they have only one gear. These bikes are great for flat terrains and shorter rides, but they are not suitable for hilly areas. They have just one mechanical gear, so they don’t provide a very fast speed. But if you want a bike for a novice rider (for a child maybe), then single-speed gears are the best.
Stepless Hub Gears
Some advanced electric bikes come with Stepless gear. You don’t have to worry about the number of gears here. With this system, you can enjoy precise and smooth gear changes easily. You can also control the speed and shift gears with the help of a rotary switch on the handlebar.
Check out more information on electric bike conversion kits on our blog
What Bike Gear Should You Use?
Choosing the right gear for your e-bike s important to ride smothly. You have to face different terrains and situations when riding. So, it's important to understand when to use low gear, middle gear, or high gear. Let me break it down for you.
When you have to climb a steep surface, shift to lower gear. This is an excellent gear for climbing. When you approach a hill, switching down to this gear will reduce the resistance between the chain and the gears. This allows you to pedal with less effort and maintain a comfortable pace while tackling those challenging inclines.
Middle gear, also known as the "cruising gear," is your go-to for riding on flat or slightly sloped surfaces. It offers a comfortable balance between pedalling effort and speed. You can maintain a steady pace without feeling like you're exerting too much energy. It's perfect for longer rides or when you're cruising along scenic roads; enjoying the journey without pushing yourself too hard.
High gears are best for maximizing your speed and efficiency. When you want to fly down the open road, shifting into high gear is your best bet. Shifting to higher gear increases the resistance between the bike chain and the gears. Now each pedal stroke propels you further, and you can gain faster speeds with less effort.
Tips for Shifting Gears Smoothly
If you’re still unsure how to shift your e-bike gear properly, the following tips will help:
Tip 1 - Shift into Lower Gear when Going Up
Pay attention to the terrain. When you are approaching a steep uphill climb, shift into a lower gear before you actually need it. This will give you a better chance to climb the hill without straining too much.
Tip 2 - Shift into Higher Gear to Go Down
When you're on a flat or downhill stretch, shift into a higher gear. This will help maintain your speed and efficiency when you’re going down.
Tip 3 - Consider Your Weight
Adjust your gears to match your weight. This will make shifting smoother and riding more enjoyable for you. If you're on the heavier side, shift into a lower gear to provide more power and torque to conquer inclines.
Learning how to change the gear of your e-bike is essential, you know this now! Why? You know this too! All I want you to do now is to leave with a message that practice makes perfect. If you’re not good at shifting gears, don’t worry. With time and practice, you'll develop a sense of when to shift and how to do it smoothly. So, get out there, enjoy your rides, and master the art of shifting gears on your e-bike!