I got a second hand salcano 18 shimano gears bike and I have no idea about how the left index shifter works.

The bike has got two twisting shifters. The one on the right is linked to the back derrailer and it has numbers.This is the common shifter.

But the left one has got little hyphens (stops) and only two letters at the ends H and L which I suppose tand for Nigh and Low.

So I have two questions;

1. Is there a specific order to change gears? So first the right numbered shifter and then the other one? Or both at the same time?

2. To go straight (not up or down) which gears would you recommend? high numbers on the right shifter and closer to Low on the left shifter?

I just dont seem to get the right combination of both and it rattles. I have read that normally one needs to keep the chain close or far away from oneself, but both from the same ends/derrailers. That if one is closer or further than the other, then the rattling starts. There are some videos online about shifting gears but they only explain numbered shifters, no indexed ones.

If someone knows, please help this dummy cyclist :)

Thank you!!How to change gears: how does the left index shifter works on a bike?

For the left shifter low is the smallest chain ring same as 1 the largest is 3 or high gear. Use the center gear or 2 most of the time. On the rear the largest sprocket is 1.

Most riding use 2 left and any gear 1-6 on the rear.

Climbing hills use the smallest front 1 and 1-3 on the rear.

Going fast or down hill use the largest chain ring on the front 3 and 4-6 on the rear.

Using the smallest or largest gears at the same time causes the chain to run at an angle. That is hard on the chain and sprockets and wastes energy.

http://bicycletutor.com/gear-shifting/How to change gears: how does the left index shifter works on a bike?

Click on the link below. Read EVERYTHING from the late Sheldon Brown.

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