What Are Gears On A Bicycle?

Bikes are wonderful tool on our life because it brings lot of convenience for us. However, it can be sometimes difficult to use. It is especially true when we are riding a bike with many gears. What are gears on a bicycle? There are many variations with gear components, and things can seem complicated, especially for people who just begin to ride a bike!


We write this post just because we think it is necessary to know what are electric bike gears, what can gears help for a wonderful riding trip, when we should change one gear to another, which gear is better for different riding situation, etc.


It is not easy to know how to use bicycle gears, especially for those who are new to cycling, and don’t have much experience on this. But it is important to learn the most of the gears. Understanding when is the best time to change gears can be a useful skill that helps make cycling easier.

what are gears on bike

 What are gears on a bike?

Gears are one of those lovely inventions that allow us to ride faster, get up hills more easily and get a lot more enjoyment out of our riding. Gears convert the effort you put in at the pedals to a certain output at your wheel.


What can gears do for a bike?

Gears on a bicycle are those allow you to maintain a comfortable cadence when you are riding the bicycle at different speeds. They give you opportunity to access more varied terrain on your bicycle due to the range in gears. The higher up the cassette the chain is, the easier it’ll be to ride uphill.


There are many different types of gear shifting mechanisms.

  • Twist-grip shifter
  • Down-tubeshifter
  • Bar-end shifter
  • Trigger shifter
  • Integrated road gear shifter and brake levers

 bike gears shifter

 A gear shift mechanism for a manual transmission includes a shaft axially movable for selecting shift planes and rotatable for engaging the gears defining the shift planes. The shaft is held in a reference shift plane by two helical springs. All of the above gear mechanisms can be operated with your hands.


Best time to use different gears

When climbing on the road or hill, it is better to set your bike in a lower gear (usually we may name it “Gear 1”). “Gear 1” on the bicycle is a low gear, this is the same for gears in a car. This gear will allow you to pedal easier to get over the hill.It is best for climbing, riding over difficult terrains, and there is another feature of Gear 1: the speed is slowest. This gear may also be referred to as the “easy gear”. 


The easiest gear on the bike will usually depend on the type of bicycle that you’re riding. If the shifting mechanisms for your gears display numbers, the same ‘easiest’ gear on the cassette will be referred to as gear ‘1’.


On the contrary, if you’d like to pedal easily and have a higher speed on a flat road, shifting your bike into a higher gear would be a good idea.


How to use gears on your bicycle?

Whether you ride a mountain bike, a road bike or a commuter bike, you’ll have gears. They are the mechanical wonders that will allow you to accelerate to wind whistling speed along flat smooth roads, or power your way up a steep rocky climb without bursting a lung. Learn how to use your bike gears, and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth, fast, and fun ride.


To use the shifter, you only need to push the lever sideways until you hear a click. For most mountain and hybrid style bikes with flat bars, you shift the gears by using set paddles that you operate with your thumb. Some bikes operate with “grip shifter”, or a dial that is located to the inside of where you place your hands.


When you are shifting gears, you must keep pedaling in order for the chain to move from one gear to the next one. When you're in a particular gear and pedaling, the chain is pulling on the teeth of that gear.


If you are going uphill and it is too difficult to pedal, shift down the gears. How it work? Lower gear moves you a shorter distance for each spin of the pedals, which makes it easier to pedal. And if your legs are spinning the pedals way too fast, it is better to shift up. This works because the higher gears move you farther for each spin of the pedals, making you do more “work”, and making it less “easy”.


What are differences between gears and speeds on bike?

Actually, we can consider the gears on bike as speeds. Bikes generally have 1, 3, 18, 21, 24, or 27 speeds. Lower numbers are low speed, and higher numbers are high speed. For example, if your bike has 18 speeds, your left shifter will be labeled 1-2-3, and your right shifter will be labeled 1-2-3-4-5-6. This means that for each number on the left, you get six different speeds on the right, for a total of 18.


It is not that bicycle with more gears is better than bike with less gears. It depends on your need and usage of the bike. You need gears that are low enough for going up tough hills, and gears that are high enough that you can keep pedaling when going down gentle inclines. If your gear range is good, the number of gears is irrelevant. So how many gears do your bicycle have? Welcome to leave a comment below.

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