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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.
Tom Cumming's user avatar
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 ...
Andrew Henle's user avatar
  • 10.7k
38 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
35 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 ...
Batman's user avatar
  • 46.2k
31 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 1,038
29 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Emyr's user avatar
  • 3,896
24 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Jahaziel's user avatar
  • 12.5k
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 ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
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 ...
David Richerby's user avatar
21 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 ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.2k
21 votes
Accepted

Why do front gears become harder when the cassette becomes larger but opposite for the rear ones?

What makes a combination hard is the ratio between the size of the front sprocket and the rear one (front divided by rear). The higher this ratio is, the harder the combination is. To make the ratio ...
Rеnаud's user avatar
  • 20.9k
20 votes
Accepted

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'...
Diado's user avatar
  • 691
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 ...
WhatEvil's user avatar
  • 340
18 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

From having maintained cheap bikes using other bikes as parts donors, even dismantling some to provide parts for others you're likely to need to buy some bits like chains and cables. They're cheap but ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 60.2k
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 ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
16 votes

14 "Trashed" bikes acquired for free. Worth repairing and reselling? What do I look for?

This is pretty much how I started. First of all: If the bikes are cheap-ish with cheap-ish components, you will never even make a minimum wage. But that need not stop you. First, on a cheap bike if ...
Burki's user avatar
  • 1,590
15 votes

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....
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
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 ...
jimchristie's user avatar
  • 11.9k
14 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
14 votes

Is a 1:1 gear ratio the same regardless of the specific gear sizes?

No, both gears will be identical. The absolute number of teeth does not matter, only the ratio does. Both bikes have a lowest gear ratio of 1:1, so from the gearing alone both will be equally "...
Erlkoenig's user avatar
  • 2,067
13 votes
Accepted

How efficient is string bike? Is this really a revolutionary bike?

I bought one of these on ebay a few months ago. I bought it there because the manufacturer was unresponsive to queries and I was able to get one for <$1000 which is much more affordable than the ...
Peter Young's user avatar
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 ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 2,069
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 ...
Argenti Apparatus's user avatar
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 ...
Weiwen Ng's user avatar
  • 32.8k
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 ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
13 votes
Accepted

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 ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Is there a way to add the gear indicator to my bicycle?

There are 12-speed MTB shifter units from Shimano with gear indicators which should be compatible (in terms of cable pull) with the rest of your existing drivetrain. So, acquiring such shifter and ...
Grigory Rechistov's user avatar
13 votes

Why do front gears become harder when the cassette becomes larger but opposite for the rear ones?

An example with numbers: Let’s say the chainring (front sprocket) has 40 teeth and your currently selected cassette sprocket in the rear has 20 sprockets. For every turn of the chainring the chain ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 28.1k
13 votes

Is it possible to replace/regear the front cog? My easiest gear is too easy and I want to try for a higher resistance

You can't just move all the chainrings down a notch and add a bigger one: they'll interfere with the chainstay, which makes this impossible, and it would also be difficult to get the shifting right. ...
Adam Rice's user avatar
  • 30.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Does effort require to pedal depend on the gear ratio or the gear inches?

Gear inches. Gear inches are, for better or worse, the most commonly recognized way of making the kind of comparison you're trying to make here, which one is harder to pedal. Gear inches are simply ...
Nathan Knutson's user avatar

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