I have a target bike, so I already know some things may be off from real bikes. And I'm aware I should get a real bike if I wanna do just about anything.

On the left side of my gears (the ones that "fine tune" what gear you're in) the bottom has an L at the bottom and an H on the top. On the right side gears, I have a 7 at the bottom and a 1 at the top.

Logically, it would mean my left side goes up in gear the more I twist it towards high, and my right side does the opposite, and goes towards lower gears when I twist in the same direction.

Is this correct? The manual doesn't say anything, and I honestly don't feel a difference when I do this, so I'm unsure if it's the opposite or if it's all in my head.

Sorry if I am unclear.

  • 1
    This is correct. Generally speaking, you don't often change the left-side (front) gears while riding, unless you have to ascend hills.
    – Criggie
    Mar 27 '19 at 19:25

Don't stress about having a Target bike. If it meets your needs it's all good.

I think the answer to your question is - yes, you are right. If "H" is at the top on the left side and 7 is at the bottom on the right side then they are inverse of each other.

On the left side if you twist toward the "H" (High range) the front derailleur will shift the chain onto the large chain ring. Twist the left side to "L" (Low range) and the shifter will move the chain to the small chain ring.

On the right side if you twist toward the "1" the rear derailleur will move the chain toward the large gear and toward "7" will move the chain to the smaller gear.

Shifting should be done while pedaling. This guy shows a bike shifting gears in his video https://binged.it/2U02q6t

People have different strategies for using the gears on their bike. I like to leave the left side in the low range and shift only the right side. I move to the high range when going down hill.


This is counter intuitive and can be difficult to start with, but you will develop the habit soon. It’s quite normal across nearly all bikes.

What’s happening is, you’ll notice that when you switch to a harder gear with the left hand, you’re pulling the cable taught to move up to the larger cog at the front.

Similarly when you twist the right hand and pull the cable tighter, the rear derailleur moves the chain onto a larger cog at the rear, but it gets easier to pedal.

So this same mechanical action amounts to a harder gear when you do it with the left hand and an easier gear when you do it with the right hand. This is because the ‘gear’ is the ratio of the front chainring vs the rear cassette cog.

  • 3
    Designs have existed in the past where the same shift action from either hand results in an easier or harder gear, which is more intuitive but these aren’t the norm. You can google and read about ‘low-normal’ and ‘top-normal’ derailleurs if super interested ;)
    – Swifty
    Mar 27 '19 at 18:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.