How to Choose the Right Gear Ratios for You and Your Bike

How to Choose the Right Gear Ratios for You and Your Bike

Cycle Surgery chief mechanic Andrew Brown talks you through all your gearing options and how to choose and fit the right gears for the type of cycling you do

12 Comments

  1. James Bowser on June 27, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Awesome



  2. Eric_SWFL on June 27, 2019 at 8:43 pm

    Thank you Jean Luc.



  3. team samurai on June 27, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    This is good



  4. Michael Greene on June 27, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    The bike industry SCREWS us by force feeding us 11 tooth cassettes. On 8 sp. cassettes they have that INSANE 15-18t jump for anything larger than a 28t cassette. Who can maintain a decent cadence range with that kind of jump?!!! Then they force feed 1 tooth jumps from 11-15t on 11 sp. cassettes. That’s 88" at the low gear end of the ‘corncob’ with a compact crank! At 80-90 rpms cadence that’s 21-23.5 mph! You need to be a Cat 4 or above racer to maintain speeds like that on the flats to take advantage of an 11-15t corncob! You CAN’T set up your gearing right UNLESS you’re a Pro or SERIOUS Amateur cyclist!!! The corncob low end should be at LEAST 18t for an avg. recreational rider. Then at 80-90 rpms you get 1 tooth jumps after 17.4-19.6 mph, which seems to be when your ‘average’ 150-180 watt cyclist starts ‘putting out’ on flats, and 2 tooth jumps would screw up most efficient cadences. The PERFECT all round terrain setup would be 11 sp. compact with a 12-32t cassette. 34/50t crank with a 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-20-23-27-32t cassette. Good luck finding THAT cassette. The closest I have to PERFECT gearing with budget off the shelf components is a road bike with Tiagra 4700 10 sp. with a Compact 34/50t crank and 11-36t cassette (11-13-15-17-19-21-24-28-32-36t). No Road link necessary, the Tiagra long cage RD handles a 36t cassette fine. However for flatland riding you DO lose effeciency after you’re in the 50/17t combo and wish to ride over 20 mph. Those DREADED 2 tooth jumps!!! You have to learn to TAKE APART your cassettes to the INDIVIDUAL COGS, and CUSTOMIZE the cassettes using cogs from different cassettes. You may have to grind down the metal off the built in spacers on 7/8 sp. cassettes to get 13t or 14t last position high gear cogs to fit on 9/10/11 sp. cassettes. Also the largest low gear cassette cogs are usually ‘spidered’ together in groups of 3. You may have to drill/grind off the ‘rivet/pins’ holding all the cassette cogs together if you wish to ‘customize’ a cassette. I built an 11 sp. 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-24-28-32t custom cassette utilizing an 11 sp. cassette (11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25t) and an 11-32t 11 sp. cassette (11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-28-32). The 17-19-21t and 24-28-34t were ‘spidered’ together and the 13-14-15t ‘rivited’ and 11-12t separate. So I just used all the 13-16t cogs off the 11-25t cassette and a cheap 11 sp. 12t last position cog I bought separately off Ebay, and sandwiched the custom cassette together. The shift ramps don’t line up btw. a few cogs, causing LITTLE insignificant shifting problems. That’s the only issue. Message to the Bike Industry: "95%+ of your customers are NOT FIT ENOUGH to HANDLE your cassettes. Make some PRACTICAL CASSETTE COMBOS …. YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE NOT PRO TDF RIDERS FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!!!"



  5. Taylor Monroe on June 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Great video. Thank you for explaining everything. very helpful.



  6. Bob P. Dziadaszek on June 27, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Very Knowagable



  7. nafri 28 on June 27, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    You look like professor x from x men . Awesome



  8. Builder on June 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Awesome video, much appreciated!
    Helps to even know that such trainers are available, and for those who can’t afford one – this is also quite helpful, as you can still follow a lot of the advice without the software.

    I’m probably a hopeless case, I’m on an island and I cycle in $2 beach slippers on my new carbon mtb… Helmets? its far too hot to wear those – hope I don’t become the next Gary Busey…

    Btw, her pants looked uncomfortably tight – I’d wear something much, much looser – at least for training. I guess if she’s competing, there’s no way around that tight stuff with decreased wind resistance.



  9. lw k on June 27, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Very good video, educational … Thank You.



  10. Ken Drew on June 27, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    What gear set up do you recommend for a folding bike? I travel and have to hop off the bike to walk it uphill. I have a 52t chainwheel and a Shimano Altus 7-speed derailleur with a Shimano 14-28t cassette. The bicycle is a doppelganger 211 (Japan). I cannot afford a Brompton or Dahon.



  11. Karunakaran Krishnamoorthy on June 27, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    What type of gear I can fix for Hercules dynamite zx



  12. Ansuya Mohun on June 27, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Really good info now I can ride my bike properly