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65 votes

New to Bikes: My chain fell off and I put it back on. How can I know if it's on the right cog?

No need for a long answer... Just give the pedals a turn and the chain will find the right "cog" on it's own.
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42 votes

Pedaling at different gear ratios on flat terrain: what's the point?

First, different people have different optimum cadence. So that's one thing that explains different cadence between different cyclists. Second, to travel at any given speed requires a certain amount ...
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  • 8,704
38 votes
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How bad is switching derailleur gears under load?

The answer heavily depends on the groupset construction/generation and personal perception of what is "bad", among other factors. Below are a few aspects that I am aware of. Switching gears ...
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36 votes

Does riding high gear up a hill damage a recumbent bike?

The bike will be fine -- the riding conditions are within the specifications of the bike components. The bigger issue is you -- you don't want to end up damaging joints and what not by overexerting ...
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  • 45.5k
30 votes
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Why are bicycle gear ratios computed as front/rear and not the opposite?

I think it's simpler than what many think. Car and motorcycle drivetrain is a reductor: their ratio (driver to wheel) < 1 in most cases. Bicycles are the opposite: the wheel normally turns faster ...
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  • 946
29 votes
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Why are most bicycle gears designed to have so much overlap

Having an overlap between the ratio ranges available with each chainring means you don't have to use your front derailleur as much. Based on your understanding and expectations of the terrain and ...
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  • 3,811
27 votes
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Always cycling in highest gear, why?

Left to their own devices many will cycle at a cadence (a measure of how fast you spin) that approximates cadence of walking, an RPM of about 50-60. So the fact you prefer a slower leg speed is not ...
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  • 29.8k
23 votes
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Group of Bikes: Is 3x1 an option?

I don't think you can make a 3x1 setup work. In order to have the chain change gears, there needs to be a mechanism to take up the slack in the chain. In a normal dual-derailer setup, the rear ...
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  • 18.6k
22 votes

My bike goes up one gear at a time, but down two: is this normal?

On or off road, but especially off road, it is desirable to be able to shift down more than one gear at a time to deal with abrupt changes in gradient and avoid being stuck in too a high a gear and ...
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22 votes

Why are most bicycle gears designed to have so much overlap

The ratios aren't spaced out consistently Actually, if you look at your diagram and exclude the smallest and largest cog on the cassette, the gears are more or less evenly spaced. What unevenness ...
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21 votes
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Bike mechanic told me: Gear cable too "springy"

Bike cable housing come in two varieties, one of them is used for brakes and has an internal wound metal structure, usually, with an inner liner to reduce friction. If you'd strip the housing from its ...
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  • 10.5k
20 votes

Does riding high gear up a hill damage a recumbent bike?

A very strong rider will put a lot of strain on the bike doing that. Wear on the sprockets will be slightly increased by grinding a small sprocket, but that's not a big deal. What's more significant ...
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  • 45.4k
20 votes
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What does a gear 'spinning out' mean?

"Spinning" your legs as fast as they can go (i.e. pedalling at the highest cadence you are able to sustain), so going as fast as physically possible in the gear you are in. Usually at that point you'...
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  • 681
18 votes

What is the purpose of so many gears?

There's a good article here which explains it pretty well - although there are 21 gears there are only effectively about 11 distinct useful gears on a typical 3x7 gear setup: That is to say, some of ...
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  • 340
17 votes

Get a tougher gear on Shimano GRX, 11-34T, 2x11

You cannot get a higher gear ratio by replacing the cassette. The 11 tooth sprocket is the smallest you can get on a compatible cassette. (Systems with 10 tooth sprockets exist but use a different ...
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16 votes

Worries about a gear ratio of 1:1?

1:1 and similar ratios are considered bad in automotive gearboxes. If there is one bad tooth it will soon take others with it, if it is always meshing with the same teeth. Automotive gearboxes tend to ...
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15 votes

New to Bikes: My chain fell off and I put it back on. How can I know if it's on the right cog?

First off: Welcome back the cycling world! Yup, gears can take some getting used to. This is a common experience for adults getting into cycling after having not ridden since childhood. It will become ...
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  • 10.9k
14 votes
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Unable to pedal when in high gears

The chain is stuck because of its short length and cross-chaining - the chain links are severely bent. Also with the chain not clean it will not turn nicely in such a scenario: Also your chain is ...
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  • 2,064
14 votes
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How efficient is string bike? Is this really a revolutionary bike?

The general idea of "lever drive," or a reciprocating pedal motion instead of a rotary pedal motion precedes even the invention of the modern diamond-frame bicycle--consider the Special Star from 1886....
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  • 23.8k
14 votes
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Does a bike-stalling speed exist?

The trick to pulling a track stand is that you are not in fact stationary. You rock forward and backward slightly. So it's not accurate to say that the minimum speed on a bike is 0. In any case, very ...
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  • 23.8k
13 votes

what does a 22 gear bike look like?

I think the terms used here are a bit confused. Rather than saying that a road bike has 22 "gears", you should be saying that it has 22 "speeds" (or more correctly, as pointed out in the comments, "...
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  • 1,371
13 votes

Bike temporarily feels like it switches into a lower gear when rapidly braking?

This seems very much to be a case of freewheel/freehub pawls (the mechanism which allows the wheel to rotate without turning the cassette and pedals) sticking and not springing back into drive mode ...
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  • 1,080
13 votes
Accepted

How can I lower the gear ratio on my son's bike?

The specific model of rear derailleur you have is an Acera RD-M360 SGS, produced about 2009-2011, for 7 or 8 speed drivetrains. Shimano very helpfully provides archive specifications on the product ...
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13 votes

Rear cassette replace 11-30 with 11-32, or 11-28?

If the OP's bike has a short cage Shimano rear derailleur, then officially, the maximum cog size is 30t. Going down to 28t is definitely fine, but going over 30t is not technically OK. Shimano's ...
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  • 18.5k
13 votes

Does crank length affect the number of gears a bicycle needs?

Not really. You might want different gears, but probably not fewer. Shorter crankarms give you less mechanical advantage—they're functionally equivalent to being in a higher gear. So you might want a ...
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  • 23.8k
13 votes
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Why do I constantly have to re-index gears?

The most likely causes are cable friction and derailleur hanger misalignment. Indexing adjustment has gotten more sensitive to both as the speed count has increased. Derailleur hanger misalignment ...
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12 votes
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My bike goes up one gear at a time, but down two: is this normal?

Depending on the year of your Giant Escape 3, it either has Shimano EF40 or EF41 shifters. Both shifters have the same User Manual which has this information on downshifting: Assuming you are talking ...
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  • 236
12 votes

10 gears to singlespeed

I've got a 2nd hand Hercules too and I've done this exact thing. Get a quality chain tool and look up some videos on Youtube about how to remove and re-link a bike chain. I pretty much winged it as I ...
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  • 121
12 votes
Accepted

What is the generic name for the gear shifter where you have one trigger for the up shift and another for down shift?

Sounds like an indexed thumb shifter or an indexed pod shifter or a trigger shifter. All three names mean the same kind of thing, though different designs may put the two levers in different places, ...
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  • 96.8k
12 votes

What are the round things near the main front cog?

They are chain keepers. Back in the day before narrow-wide chain and 1x transmissions, the front mech/derailleur was a great way to keep the chain on the chainring. And given bikes had two or three ...
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  • 96.8k

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