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Why is derailleur default set to high gear?
Hi to all on the forum,
I don't know if this is the proper section of the forum to post this, but here goes:

I am most familiar with a Schwinn Typhoon type of bicycle, coaster brakes, etc., and not so familiar with bicycle with derailleurs and hand brakes.

Why is the default setting (by this I mean the gear selectors are fully released and are applying the least amount of tension to the shift cables) of a bicycle set up so that the front derailleur is on the biggest sprocket and the rear derailleur on the smallest sprocket?

This means that the bike is in the highest gear, and if you want to go riding, you would most likely want to immediately shift into a lower gear.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the bike to be in its lowest gear when not being used? Then you could jump on and start riding right away, without having to immediately start fumbling with gears and all?
It's just the way the mechanisms are sprung and some are actually the other way around. I generally just leave the gear in whatever I last used.

I have heard it suggested to leave the bike in a gear that would least stretch the cables. But most reasonable quality cables are pre-stretched any way, and to be honest, I seriously doubt that the spring in a derailleur mech would have enough strength to stretch a cable by any discernible amount. I've had a SIS indexed bike that hasn't gone out of whack in years.
All my front dérailleurs move from large to the small ring when the cable is slack.
The same at the back but I would assume it's easier for the dérailleur spring to move it from the large to small sprockets rather than the other way.
You can though get rear dérailleurs (Shimano) that are "normal low" and these move from small to larger sprockets when the cable is slack.
Ride hard or ride home alone!

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