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The Kid Should See This

How do bicycle gears work?

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“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?”

Learn about shifters, the cassette (a cluster of sprockets), chainrings, the chain, front and rear derailleurs, and all of the other components that help a bicycle pedal efficiently and comfortably across all kinds of landscapes. This video from GCN Tech shares how bicycle gears work, explained by cyclist Oliver Bridgewood.

bicycle chain
Plus, Bike gears: shifting explained for beginners, an in-depth primer from Cycling Weekly:

“What determines the number of bike gears you have?

“It’s a simple multiplication of the number of sprockets at the rear with the number of chainrings at the front. A triple chainring set-up with a 10-speed rear cassette is therefore a 30-speed bicycle — in other words, it’s possible to use all of the 10 sprockets in combination with each of the three chainrings. Likewise a double chainring paired with an 11-speed cassette is a 22-speed set-up, and so on…”

bike gear ratio 1:1
bike gear ratio 4.55

“The reality, on a multi-geared set-up, particularly when there are as many as 33 on offer, is that ‘overlapping’ gears are unavoidable. In other words, some gear combinations will result in the same ratio as others using a different sprocket and chainring. For example, 53×19 is the same gear as 39×14…

“So you’re not always getting 33 gears at your disposal, but it’s not some kind of marketing trick by manufacturers, to slyly cheat you out of gears, it’s simply the nature of the beast… the total number is not the selling point, instead it’s the ability to have such a continual progression of closely spaced gears.”

how do bike gears work?
Watch more videos about gears on TKSST, including:
Gears of all shapes: square, oval, pentagonal, organic…
• Modifying a climbing LEGO car design for 15 obstacles
• Making wire gears and the kinetic sculptures of Arthur Ganson
How does a watermill work?
• Nautilus-inspired logarithmic spiral gears
• DIY cardboard 7-speed manual transmission
Making the Longest 1:1 LEGO Gear Train
How the differential gear works and why we need them in our cars

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