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A step by step guide on bicycle gears and brakes

Updated: Oct 30, 2018

We hope this refresher will help you recall how to properly use your gears and brakes.

A cycle stop to enjoy the magical bamboo forest in Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Our Cannondale bikes provide a smooth and comfortable ride suitable for all sizes. We are confident you will enjoy the ride!


The Quick Gear Guide

Which way makes it easier to ride? All you need to remember is to use your right thumb!

Check Those Gears and Brakes


To many, gears are common knowledge but there are those of us who honestly have just been out of touch of a bicycle for some years or are used to our old bikes we used as kids that did not have all the bells and whistles. This is a quick and easy explanation of how to use the gears and brakes on our bicycles.


We use Cannondale bicycles and are proud of the condition we keep our bikes and are always excited to hear your positive feedback post ride.


As far as gears go, each bicycle has two sets of gears. There is a front set and a rear set. The left hand controls the front set and the right hand controls the rear set. The gears are changed with a simple click from the forefinger or the thumb. We recommend that when you change gears, you do it while you are moving along flat ground or traveling in a controlled state downhill.


We are very fortunate that our beloved Arashiyama is for the most part made up of flat ground, which makes for easier biking. When we ride, we usually tend to set the left set of gears in the number 2 setting. The right set of gears is the one you will probably be adjusting a little more. Our best advice is to switch until you have a gear that you find comfortable while riding on flat ground and remember the number.


If you still feel unsure about using your gears, no need to worry we are ready to help! It is actually a lot easier once you are on a bike.


Bicycles in Japan are equipped with two sets of brakes. One set is for the front wheel and one set is for the rear wheel. The brakes are controlled on the handlebars just like the gears. Before riding, it is important to take notice as to which hand controls which brake. In Japan, the front wheel brake is controlled by the right hand and the rear wheel brake is controlled by the left hand. This is different in many countries so we encourage riders to use both front and rear brakes whenever braking.


Now that you are up to speed on how to use your gears and brakes you are all ready for your Arashiyama biking adventure with Kyoto Bike Tour! We look forward to taking you to all the sweet spots and having an unforgettable ride together!

"We Loved The Bike Tour"

"We Loved The Bike Tour"

"We had an amazing time around Arashiyama. We arranged a private kyoto bike tour. We cycled at a moderate pace and saw so many of the quiet places we would never have been able to find on our own." -Francisco & Teresa

"This Is The Best Cycle Tour"

"This Is The Best Cycle Tour"

"We travel a lot and try to go on bike tours every time we travel. Kyoto Bike Tour was easily one of the best bike tours we have ever done. The guides were very knowledgeable and the bikes were in great condition. We really felt like locals for a day!" -Katharina and Stefan

"Superb Kyoto Bike Tour"

"Superb Kyoto Bike Tour"

"My girlfriend and I had such a wonderful time with kyoto bike tour. We did a custom Arashiyama and Bamboo Forest Tour and spent the day cycling all around Arashiyama. Only 2 of the places we visited were crowded. The other 6 were incredibly peaceful and quiet. Actually, I think we may have been the only tourists there! Many thanks Kyoto Bike Tour for showing us around. As promised, we will be sure to tell our friends coming to Japan to join a tour!" -Dominik and Rahel

〒616-8392 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Ukyō-ku,

Sagaogurayama Dōnomaechō, 2−1−202

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