how to shift a 7 speed bike

How To Shift A 7 Speed Bike: An Easy Guide for 2023

How to shift a 7 speed bike

One of the biggest differences between a seven-speed bike and a regular bike is the number of shifters. The typical seven-speed comes with one sprocket on the front as compared to regular bikes that may have up to three. 

Given that a 7-speed bike comes with no front derailleur, it also does not have a second shifter on the handlebars. Nonetheless, the shifting process remains pretty similar to what it is on other bikes. 


The seven-speed uses just one gear shift even as the shifting process remains very similar to what other geared systems use. To shift while on a 7-speed bike, you will have to:

Find the gear-shifting device on the handlebars which is typically found on the right side. It is usually a shifting lever or some kind of twist mechanism on the handlebars. 

Ride the bike for a few minutes to get a feel of the tension on the pedals and then move the shifter either one gear up or down as you continue pedaling. 

Listen for derailleur activation. Since 7-speed bikes come with just the rear derailleur you will definitely hear the derailleur move as the chain jumps onto the next gear. 

Pedal for a few moments following the speed shift and if you feel the pedals are too tense shift down and if they are too loose shift up a gear. 

Repeat the shifting until you feel the pedal strength and ride are comfortable. 

You can then shift the gears up or down depending on the terrain or level of comfort. For instance, you can downshift when going up ascents to make the ride more comfortable. 


7-Speed bikes make for great bicycles if you are riding on tricky terrain. It allows a cyclist to adapt to all manner of terrain whether it be bumps, inclines, or any other rough conditions on the road. 

The low gears on a 7-speed bike make it easier to pedal while the higher gears make for a more comfortable ride going downhill. 


The 7-speed bike has seven gear options hence the name 7-speed bike. This means that while cycling downhill and you feel no resistance while pedaling, you can shift to a higher gear to maintain control of the bike. 


The lowest gear on the 7-speed bike is the easiest gear that a rider should use for climbing steep ascents. To use this gear you should shift to the largest cog on the rear cassette combined with the smallest chainring in the front sprocket. 

Such a combination will make for the least amount of energy needed to push the pedals and an easier ride in general. This can be great if you are going on a leisurely ride or commuting in the city.

It is important to note that just like with any other bike you need to be pedaling when changing gears. The reason for this is that derailleurs shift from sprocket to sprocket better when you are pedaling. 

If you are not pedaling when changing gears, the gears will not change, and even so, the strain on the drivetrain will be too much as evidenced by the disconcerting noises you will likely hear.

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