i am new to bike. I recently got 21 speed hybrid bike. I have used almost all gears combination but even slightest uphill is so difficult to pass. Everyone who is saying fitness matters in this, i don't really agree as currently i am 4 kg less of weight than previous old bike. When i rode that bike, the climbs were never an issue because gears combination was perfect.

So my main question is that i am confused about gears. People say lowest front gear that is 1 and largest rear.. which is 7 in my case? Is that true? If yes, some videos suggest we should use 1 front gear with maximum 3 rear and then 2 front gear with 5 rear gear? I am confused about this if anyone can please guide me

  • 1
    Do you have a link to a webpage for the bike? If we can see exactly what gears it has we can give better advice
    – Andy P
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 21:51
  • when people say "lowest front" they mean the smallest chain wheel; and with "largest rear" the largest sprocket - the actual chain wheel with teeth on / next to the wheel. Not the number on the shifter. If there are any numbers on the shifter, they go from 1 for the slowest gear -> your overall slowest gear will always be indicated with front: 1, rear 1.
    – chichak
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 9:11

2 Answers 2


The easiest gear will be the smallest gear in the front, and the largest gear in the back. I'm not sure how that would translate out to the numbers shown on your shifters. Many shifters don't actually have numbers on them.

The hardest gear to pedal which will be good for flats or even just used when going downhills will, is the opposite of the above, and be the biggest ring on the front and the smallest one on the back.


All gears are not equal: if your hybrid has a so-called "road" transmission, gears will be harder because bikes with road transmissions are meant to be ridden faster (and usually on less steep terrain). And if your previous bike had a so called "mountain bike/trekking" transmission, it will be able to cope with steeper hills, but will be slower.

The easiest is to look at the size of chainrings (cogs attached to the pedals): the bigger, the harder uphill. And on the rear, it's the opposite: the bigger the easiest uphill.

  • thanks this is something different i heard. How would i know what kind of transmission it has? And if it is road transmission it means it will never work on uphill no matter what gears i use -which is exactly seems to be happening right now.
    – taha
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 14:53
  • they are shimano gears if you could tell by that if they are road one
    – taha
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 15:57
  • @taha Shimano is the biggest bike parts brand and does everything. If it's a 3x7, the good news is that the distinction between road and mountain products is smaller than in higher ranges, so you'd be able by just changing the crankset (and front derailleur). The best is to take a picture of the drivetrain and edit the question.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 12:58

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