Bicycle gear ratios – taking you through the proper usage

the proper use of bicycle gear ratios

Many people ride bicycles, but do all of them really know how to use bicycle gear ratios in a reasonable and scientific way?

Do you feel that some slopes are very difficult to climb, and look at others with ease? Do you feel that cruising is very difficult, and feel that your energy is used up at once?

This is the result of not using gear ratios and training scientifically. This article will teach riders how to use bicycle gear ratios correctly.

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    What is the bicycle gear ratio?

    The so-called bicycle gear ratios is the number of teeth of the front disc divided by the number of teeth of the rear freewheel, and the resulting value is equal to the bicycle gear ratios.

    This assumes that the number of teeth of the front disc is 44 and the number of teeth of the rear freewheel is 11, then the pedaling gear ratio is 44/11=4, and the resulting number 4 is the current pedaling gear ratio.

    If we take a purely theoretical calculation, when the disc 44 teeth pedal a turn, it will drive the rear 11 teeth of the rear freewheel rotation four turns.

    If multiplied by the rear wheel (26 inch) wheel diameter, we can find, pedal a turn, the car can advance 8.3 meters (26 * 2.54 * 3.14 * 4 = 829, about equal to 8.3 meters).

    However, the bicycle gear ratios of 4, which is not light, requires considerable leg strength to pedal, and the large bicycle gear ratios tends to wear out the chain, disc, freewheel and even transmission life.What is the gear ratio of a bicycle

    What is the connection between bicycle gear ratio and pedaling frequency?

    If you want to lower the bicycle gear ratios from large to medium and don’t want to increase the pedaling frequency too much, you can lower the gear ratio and make the rear freewheel two pieces heavier.

    This will give you a lighter gear ratio than the original one and won’t make the cycling pedaling frequency too high at once, causing riders to pedal too fast and lose balance in breathing and rhythm.

    In addition to the mechanical use of bicycle gear ratios, the ride, of course, depends on the rider’s legs to cooperate, and the combination of the two is the concept of pedaling frequency.

    What is the connection between gear ratio and pedaling frequency

    Appropriate pedaling frequency is essential. The way to calculate pedaling frequency is to take 10 seconds as a unit, calculate how many laps a foot pedal takes in 10 seconds, and then multiply the number of laps by 6 to get one’s pedaling frequency per minute.

    There are many riders who ride on flat tarmac, and their pedaling frequency per minute is only about 60.

    This pedaling frequency is actually only suitable for casual riders, because the burden on leg muscles is quite high at this frequency, and the loss of disc and freewheel is not small.

    When climbing, maintain a pedaling frequency of about 70. If the pedaling frequency is too high, it is easy to cause breathing regulation (shortness of breath) and hip pain due to excessive swing.

    If the pedaling frequency is too low, the legs will easily cause cramps and strains, and the damage to the gear plate and freewheel is also great.

    It is recommended to increase the speed first to achieve a sustained speed with a lower bicycle gear ratios.

    Variable speed bikes are developed from single speed, and generally there are 2 and 3 tooth discs, as well as single pieces. freewheels are available in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 pieces.

    gear ratios

    The common transmission system for mountain bikes is 3 speeds in front and 8 or 9 speeds in the back, with a total of 24 or 27 gears, which are usually called multi-speed bikes.

    The specifications of the front gear plate are mostly 22, 32, 42 or 22, 32, 44, while the specifications of the rear freewheel are 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30 for the freewheel and 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 26, 30, 34 for the 9-speed.

    Riders can also count the number of teeth in their cars. If you count the bicycle gear ratios, you will find that some gear ratios are quite close, a 27-segment mountain bike shifting.

    In fact, there may only be about 20 segments of shifting, so shifting should be some skill. If riders change to the same bicycle gear ratios, it will lose the effectiveness of shifting.

    How does cassette selection affect bicycle gear ratios?

    Today, road bikes talk about the choice of discs. One is the standard disc and the other is the compression disc.

    The compression disc is 34 teeth and 50 teeth. The standard disc has 39 teeth and 53 teeth .

    Many riders feel that the compression disc is a small bicycle gear ratios. The standard disc is a large gear ratio. This is a misconception, in fact, the opposite.

    Many riders who choose compression discs do not care about the freewheel, but those who choose standard discs may have to consider the freewheel choice, such as flat road type freewheel with 11 to 23 teeth, some are 12 to 25, 28 to 30 teeth.

    How does cassette selection affect gear ratios

    Different brands of freewheels have many different options, but the disc is basically unified.

    Generally, the most common freewheel is 12 to 28 teeth.

    Nowadays, there are still more compression discs used by enthusiasts, and when there is a certain ability, including heart rate, pedaling frequency and cruising ability, you can consider using the standard disc.

    Cruising capability is not 20 mph cruising, it’s 38 to 40 mph or more.

    When the ability to achieve a certain time, with the compression disk is not enough, the speed does not feel fast enough, a little idle to faster speed, we need to use the standard disk.

    If you are a road bike rider, it is recommended to use the compression disc, because if you use the standard disc directly, if you are not physically able to play the performance of the bike, it will reduce interest in the bike and even the sport of cycling.

    The spacing between the two discs is smaller and the number of teeth is smaller. Standard discs are more suitable for intermediate and advanced players.

    For example, a 170cm tall cyclist with strength and endurance is recommended to use a compressed disc with an 11-28 tooth freewheel and an 11-speed freewheel.


    The aim is to train the heart rate and pedaling frequency. The first choice of compression disk training heart rate and pedaling frequency is easier to start, the second is less damage to the body.

    High pedaling frequency is a basis for improving heart rate. First, use the compression disk to train a good heart rate.

    The pedaling frequency of entry-level riders is generally 70 per minute, with a certain ability of riders being 90 per minute.

    This is still based on the compression disk to calculate the pedaling frequency. If the standard disk is calculated, some people still can not reach this pedaling frequency.

    In order to ride sophisticated, the correct use of bicycle gear ratios is necessary, we all say!

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