The chain can only catch gears when the chain is stretched tight. This requires you smoothly pedaling forward. If you pedal backward, stop pedaling, or in any situations cause non-smooth pedaling, the chain will not be tight enough to catch the gears. It may rattle and slip off the gear. It also scratches the gear. 

You also shall not make a large shift on the gears in one time, this will reduce the life of the gear.

When doing multiple incorrect shifting, the gear teeth will be wear down and reduce the friction between gear teeth and chain. This causes the chain to be harder to catch the gear teeth. You will hear "click" sounds when doing hard pedaling on the "wear-down" gear teeth

Shifter Guide

When you use the shifter, the shifter will move a metal loop called "derailleur" shift the chain from side to side.

 

The left shifter controls the front gear, which makes a large shift for the main adjustment. 

The right shifter controls the rear gear, which makes a small shift for a minor adjustment.

Please always keep in mind, when making shifting, the left gears shall always match the right gears. You also should use the correct gear in certain road conditions. Please see the left pictures for more detail.

When you take any incorrect adjustments or incorrect riding actions, chain may fall off from the gears

Only Shift When You Have Smooth Pedaling Forward

Riding Uphill

It is important to learn how to ride uphill. Without this skill, you will have a hard time uphill riding as well as damage your bike

 

Before riding uphill, you will shift to the lower gears, which are the lower numbers on your shifter. This will make it easier to ride uphill. 

However, you may find it difficult to slowly climb the hill in lower gears since you move at low speed. It may also be difficult to keep the balance. If this happens, you will need to practice riding at low speed.

Important Note

You should always plan for shiting to lower gears before riding uphill. This will make it easier to climb.

You shall not change gears while you are climbing or use higher gears to go uphill. Doing these will dramatically increase the friction strength between the chain and gear teeth. This will cause the gear teeth wear away very soon. This can happen in a few hours or a few days of incorrect climbing. If this happens, the chain may never catch the gear teeth and you never can ride on this gear again. More seriously, the plate and beads inside the gear may be broken. Then your gear will never move the wheel again. 

Riding Downhill

You can switch to higher gears when you ride downhill if you want your bike to go faster. But please be careful on the fast riding.

Please note, switch to lower gears in the downhill does not increase the speed. It will cause you to pedal faster. When the chain cannot afford the speed, the chain will loose.

Don't Hurt Your Joints

Hard pedaling in higher gears, in the long run, will stress your joints and lead to soreness and other joint problems. If you want to exercise by hard pedaling, we recommend you should gradually shift to higher gears only after you build up the speed. 

Avoid "Cross Chain"

When you shift speed, you shall always follow the shifter guide above. Otherwise, it will cause a problem called "crosschain". This means the chain is in extreme diagonal direction. For example, using largest on rear gear with the larger front gear, or use lowest rear gear with lower front gear. This can wear down the chain and gear teeth quickly and cause ratting and slippage in the short term. You should always avoid this problem during the riding