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Benefits of cycling

How Do Bike Gears Work? | Bicycle Gears Explained


– Bicycles have gears to help
you ride more efficiently when going uphill,
downhill, and on the flat across all varied terrain. Without easy gears, you’d grind to a halt when trying to go up steep hills and without bigger gears,
well you wouldn’t be able to pedal fast enough when going downhill. But how do gears actually work? Well in this video,
we’re going to show you. But before we do, if you haven’t already, then please subscribe to GCN and also click the bell icon as this’ll help you get notifications. We regularly upload content
with helpful tips and advice and it helps support the channel. (intense tones) Before we explain how bicycle gears work, we first need to explain
the different parts, beginning with the shifters. (upbeat music) These are located on the handlebars and are used to change gear. On older bikes, these used to be located on the downtube here, but on modern bikes, they’re on the bars. They can be like this or like this. (upbeat music) Next, we have the cassette. This is the collection of
different sized cogs or sprockets on the rear wheel. (upbeat music) These are the chainrings and
they’re turned by the pedals. Bikes typically have one,
two, or three chainrings. (upbeat music) The chain connects the
chainrings with the cassette. (upbeat music) We then have the
derailleurs, one at the back, and if you have more than one chainring, you’ll have one at the front too. The derailleurs are called derailleurs because they literally derail the chain, guiding it from one sprocket to the next as they move from side to side. Most derailleurs move from side to side thanks to a cable that is
connected to the gear shifter. When you click the shifter,
it pulls the cable tighter, which in turn, pulls the derailleur a measured amount up the cassette. This also compresses a spring. To shift down, clicking the
shifter releases the tension in the cable and allows
the compressed spring to now extend a measured amount to guide the chain into the next gear. The most high tech
components don’t have cables, but are now self-contained
electronic systems. Instead of the cables
actuating the gear change, the derailleurs move using little electronic motors called servos. (upbeat music) The rear derailleur contains springs and this cage with
little pulley wheels in, which help guide the chain and, crucially, keep it under tension. This is important because without it, changing the size of the gear
could make the chain slack and then, it would slip. To help with the changing of
gears and make it smoother, the teeth on the cassette and chainrings are specially shaped with little ramps to help guide the chain. Bikes have gears to help
you with changes in gradient and if desired, to
increase speed on the flat. The smallest chainring at the front, paired with the biggest cog at the back, is the easiest gear,
ideal for steep climbs or setting off from a standstill. If your chainring has 34 teeth and your biggest cog at
the back also has 34 teeth, that is a one to one gear ratio, a relatively easy gear to turn. The rear wheel will turn
once for every pedal stroke. At the opposite end, if
you shift into your fastest and hardest gear, the
ratio is much bigger. For example, if your
biggest chainring is 50 and your smallest cog at the back is 11, that results in a ratio of 4.55, meaning the rear wheel
will spin 4.55 times for every one rotation of the pedals. This is a harder gear to get going, but is useful once
you’re traveling at speed or going downhill. I hope you found this video
useful and informative and that you now know
how bicycle gears work. If you do, then please give it a thumbs up and share it with your mates and if you have any suggestions
of things you’d like us to explain in future videos, then let us know in the
comment section down below.

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