How to Ride A 10 Speed Bike: The #1 Expert Guide
June 14, 2024

How to Ride A 10-Speed Bike: The #1 Expert Guide

Do you know how to ride a 10 speed bike? If not, have a look at our expert guide and enjoy your riding.

Even though most people go out to get a bike with gears that can be shifted, most beginners however, don’t optimize on the gear usage. This is quite unfortunate since the whole point of getting a bike is to experience rides that are fun, easy and adaptable since only bikes with gears makes this possible.

Like most bikes with gears, you’ll have to spend a little bit extra to get one with 10 speeds in particular. Because of this, you owe it to yourself to put them to good use.

Although most people just overlook the gears, others are willing to optimize them – they just don’t know how.

Since you are reading this far I’m guessing that you are of the latter category so it gives me the pleasure to guide you on how you can best use a 10-speed bike to get the most out of your rides.
Without further a due let’s get started…

How to Ride A 10 Speed Bike – Step by Step Expert Guide

What’s a 10-speed bike?

Let’s begin by defining what we mean by a 10-speed bike. A 10-speed bike is a bike with 10-possible combinations of gears. The number is arrived at after multiplying the total number of gears on the front wheel by the total number of gears on the rear wheel.

Mount your bicycle

The obvious first step is to mount your bike ensuring all safety gear such as a cycling helmet is on. Additionally, if your cycling shoes have cleats under them, ensure they’re clipped in well before you can start pedaling forwards. Safety should always be our first priority. Now that we are all set and ready to go, I recommend that you start slow.

Hand placement

Since you’ll be pedaling slow, it should be easy for you to find the perfect hand placement. You might have to make a few adjustments to get to the perfect position.

Most 10-speed bikes normally feature drop handlebars. You can place your hands there to achieve a bent over racing position or maintain a casual pose with your hands on the top handlebars. If you have the slightest doubt that you may need to come to a stop quickly, the bent over pose would be the perfect one for you.

Change the gears to accommodate your needs

On to the exciting part, the next step is to have your hands in a position to handle the gears so that it can be changed easily when needed. Fortunately, a 10-speed bike doesn’t have enough gears to confuse a newbie and it should be easy to wrap your head around things.

On the left, there are three gears numbered 1 to 3, whereas on the right, there are gears numbered 1 to 7. The left shifters usually control the front gears, whereas the right ones control the rear gears. If you are going for a climb, you should settle for the lower numbers since this serves to lessen the pedaling tension. Alternatively, you could go for the high gears if you want to move faster.

Press the lever for your back

In a 10-speed bike, there are the front and rear brakes. If you’ve been using the high gears and want to come to a stop, it would be safe to use the back-brake lever. Doing otherwise may result in you being hurled forwards which is the last thing you’d want.

What gears should I use?

When faced with different terrain, you’ll need to use different gears. Normally, you can switch between the low, middle and high gears. Let’s have a look at when to use which gear.

The low gears

The low gears are normally ideal if you are going for a climb. The trick to having an easy time when using this gear is to always shift when in doubt. Whereas most people shift once they start feeling the incline, you may end up getting off your bike and having to push it uphill which is not ideal.
With a low gear, the front gear will be at the small chainring whereas the back gear will be at the largest sprocket.

The middle gears

Middle gears are amazing for a cruise on fairly flat terrains. You’ll go for this if you want some resistance but not too much of it. If the incline of the road alters, you may need to switch between the rear gears to accommodate the change in terrain.

The high gears

When handling a descent or accelerating on a flat road, this is the kind of gear you should go for. The high gears allow you to cover the most distance with each turn of the pedal since the front gear is at the big chainring and the back gear at the smallest sprockets.

The gears to refrain from

Some gear combinations ought to be avoided. For instance, having the big chainring in the biggest cog in your back cassette or on your small chainring on your smallest cog. This, at the end of the day, could result in wearing down your chain.


Cross chaining is using the gear where it shouldn’t be used. If, for instance, you have the largest chainring at the front engaged and the largest cog at the back engaged, your chain may slip out. This occurs because the shifting is not handled properly. When it happens, the chain could eventually break due to being stretched too much.


Even award-winning cyclists didn’t get there in a single day or by luck! It’s all credited to rigorous practice and mastering what works best for you. It’s always important to bear in mind that shifting is all about the feel and experimenting with different gear combinations for different situations.

Don’t forget the most important thing – always keep yourself protected with protective gears. Always have a helmet and protective pads on – better safe than sorry, right?


To wrap it up and conclude, if you do enough practice on different terrains, riding a 10-speed bike will be a walk in the park. With enough practice, shifting gears will also come effortlessly – it’s all about patience and mastering what works best for you.

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