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Verb, Noun

The act of adjusting the gears on a bicycle

Example usage: I had to do a lot of shifting to get up the hill.

Most used in: Mountain biking and road biking.

Most used by: Cyclists who ride on hilly terrain.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Shifting gears, Gear changing, Gear shifting, Derailleur adjustment,


What is Shifting in Cycling?

Shifting in cycling is a term used to describe the act of changing gears on a bicycle. It is done by using the shifters, which are typically mounted on the handlebars, to shift the chain between gears on the rear cassette and the front chainrings. The purpose of shifting is to make pedaling easier or harder, depending on the terrain or rider’s preference.

The number of gears a bike has is determined by the number of sprockets on the rear cassette and the number of chainrings on the front. The most common combination is 3 chainrings and 8 sprockets, giving a total of 24 gears. However, some bikes can have up to 12 sprockets, giving a total of 48 gears.

Shifting is a skill that takes practice to master, but it is an important part of cycling. It allows riders to optimize their effort and energy output, which can be beneficial for both recreational and competitive riders. According to a survey conducted by the National Bicycle Dealers Association, more than two-thirds of cyclists report that the ability to shift gears is an important factor when considering a new bike.

The History of the Term “Shifting” in Cycling

The term “shifting” in cycling was first used in the late 19th century when the first derailleur gears were developed. This was a revolutionary innovation in the cycling world, allowing riders to switch between different gears while riding. The term “shifting” was used to describe the act of changing gears on a bike.

The first derailleur gears were created in France in the 1890s. Initially, they were used by professional racers, but eventually, they became available to the public. The term “shifting” was first used to describe this new technology in the late 1890s and was popularized in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in the early 20th century.

Today, the term “shifting” is used to refer to the process of changing gears on a bicycle. It is an essential part of cycling, allowing riders to adjust their speed and effort depending on the terrain they are riding on.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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