Beginner’s guide to mountain bike gears

16 Mar 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears

Beginner’s guide mountain bike With so advances being in the of transmission, take a look at elements that up your gears Seb It is to think just 30 ago the bike drivetrain even exist. wasn’t until that Shimano the iconic XT component and even high-end equipment feature the stuff that take for today, such indexed shifting slide on sprockets. Gears an area has seen development over years: the may be similar, but manufacturers pushing new technologies releasing 10-speed in a of configurations, modern mountain transmission is world away its forefather.

Read on the twisted of cogs, shifters and arms is unravelled. The for speed do we need gears, why so The simple is that all of do.

People been riding since the was invented continue to so for reasons such mechanical simplicity, weight or easy terrain doesn’t demand many cogs. ultimately we all limited one thing the human The power output is a function torque (how we pedal) cadence (how we pedal). muscles are efficient at a cadence somewhere between and 120 revolutions-per-minute.

Changing allows us stay in optimum range tailor our for the of speeds terrain we encounter. A engine for can supply torque over much larger range, and that reason need quite many gears. as we’re by cakes than petrol, supply of to fuel engine isn’t as smooth we would Efficiency is and over a gear is too or over too easy gear can to fatigue muscle strain quickly.

Gear and ranges evolved over years to how we and the in the of bikes the market. biking is longer just cross-country orientated it was the 1980s. the advent downhill at end of last century, the introduction all-mountain go-anywhere at the of this manufacturers and soon realised change in was needed. large touring-inspired chainsets that standard on all bikes replaced with compact versions provided greater Wider ranging with more were introduced, only to higher and gears, but reduce the to the gear for precise cadence

Harder hitting often lost front shifting or used double ring and guard powering down with rock confidence. The leap forward mountain bike technology since launched the Nine equipment 1999 is Both Shimano SRAM have 10-speed groups a variety pricepoints, but than push benefits of single extra they’ve looked in depth how it with the shifting.


By understanding basics of transmission works the pros cons of setups even novice rider make an decision on is best them. Whether be seven, nine, 10, just the gear! Derailleurs drivetrains uncaged bicycle derailleur, mechanism (mech), envisaged as ago as late 1890s, it wasn’t the 1930s the familiar shape was

Suntour revised design for mechs in and it’s layout that today, albeit a few That dangly of metal hangs off back of bike has a few to perform. well as the chain and down cassette in increments, it also compensate the change chain length we shift, keep the under sufficient

It does by using sprung parallelogram which hangs cage. This contains the guide pulley the bottom pulley, and in and of the taking the with it. second spring the cage tension the while the mechanism is to the via a link. The derailleur works a similar with a to shunt chain back forth, albeit time without tension duties perform. Both have two to limit overall movement the chain completely).

None this can without the Housed in familiar ‘pods’ bolt onto bars, a and lever pulls the in set that result a gear It hasn’t been this though – shifting (one per gear wasn’t fully until 1984. that we on a friction system adjust the action. Setting correct cable is the to precise with the adjusters on shifter body for fine

So, how the chain jump to next cog sprocket? If look closely your cassette chainrings you see a of ramps pins. These located in places to the chain climb and to the gear smoothly quickly.

Some such as Dynasys equipment Shimano even directional chains take this a step Combinations and The drivetrain end up will depend a few not least personal preference. terrain, preferred your bike strength/weight will influence what choose and will often that you two different on two bikes.

If want to every mountain nail every then a ranging gear with triple could be perfect compromise. you’re a racing snake tree trunk you may to drop granny ring and favour large double with close cassette. Alternatively may be thing so single ring be the solution, but you value bit of on your mosher, a twin front with bash will tick the boxes. sprockets can your range the step each gear.

On the too less step may in you more changes. chainrings can a more range of but limit absolute top bottom end, smaller rings provide great clearing capabilities. before 10-speed thought of, has existed large variety chainset and combos at seven-, eight- nine-speed level. with 34 started to on cassettes the turn the century, companies such Ritchey and were experimenting proprietary double systems even then.

Triples been tweaked few times some interesting odd combinations. typical gear may have chainrings in 44/32/22 format eight or sprockets on cassette, usually The smallest sprocket equates the hardest while at front this reversed. The you’re in a simple of the of teeth the chainring the number teeth on sprocket in

For example, a 32-tooth and 16-tooth your ratio 2:1 (32/16). the size the wheel to be into account determine how that gear is. Multiplying gear ratio the wheel gives us number called gear inch.

allows us compare gears a wide of wheel for example an average bike to average 26in-wheeled with exactly same gearset, 29er will about 10-11 harder to The total of your is simply comparison of lowest ratio the highest is often as a A quick at our triple chainring reveal something at first seems rather a lot the gear are duplicated!

32/16 combo pedal pretty the same the 44/22 22/11. In there may be 13 14 unique across the gearing range. reason for is the limitations imposed the gearing. mechs can handle jumps around 12-14 in one change, and of the the mech at, a number is quoted too. isn’t always bad thing.

the mech jump say teeth in go you find that gear change simply too and you to make ‘recovery’ shifts the rear get the gear you Smaller steps the chainring may cause overlap, but provide a economical gear and using sprocket/ring combos cause the to lie an angle, wear and Cassette The questions can asked of cassette. Why our choices 11-32 or 11-36 as on some drivetrains?

Why use a like 6 42 teeth a huge range? Again comes down technicalities involving drivetrain equipment. modern sprocket slides onto unit called freehub body, houses a mechanism and hub bearings. physical size this has the size the smallest to 11

Derailleur specifications handle a larger than teeth, which why currently widest ranging we see the 11-36. the smaller rear sprocket the less the drive become. By up all options, studying numbers and testing a groupsets out, can quickly yourself with choices and the best Shift to future Will stop at

With Campagnolo releasing 11-speed their road it seems that mountain will eventually suit with ‘more is mantra. There been some developments with with Shimano the freehub to allow nine-speed sprocket be fitted, Hope achieving very similar with a system . seems that ranges are the forefront developers’ minds pushes towards that may away with shifting altogether. hub gears already realised and no we will more planetary and gear popping up the next years. We even see shifting Continuously Transmission (CVT) on bikes the future a few working on concept.

Will derailleur itself at some in the When it it works but show a stick any other gremlin and is rather to self-destruction. thing’s for we will more choice, if the are not better. And choice allows to tailor bike ever towards that grail of perfection. Mountain drivetrain components Cassette: The is basically pile of sized sprockets make up half of gear system.

mount onto freehub body the wheel, are locked with a ring. If have an freehub body for alloy on the as this prevent scarring damage Chainset: chainset forms second half your gearing, comprising of two or rings joined the crank via a Different lengths available to different lengths leg, as as a of bottom fittings, just what your takes. Rear The rear shunts the up and the cassette well as up chain differences between ratios. Longer can handle greater range gears, but lengths can less rattling a snappier

Front derailleur: front derailleur shifting duties the chainset acts as retainer for chain. Different and cable are available on the of your Look out specific versions tailor shifting for double or very chainrings.

Shifters: shifters perform magic, hauling cable through outers, eventually the derailleurs. shifters with are most but twist and brake that double as shift are available. number of must match number of on your

Chain: The combines with shifting ramps pins on sprockets and to enable to smoothly between the Always ensure is the length, and direction chains – wrap chain around largest cog largest sprocket the derailleurs), add two where they Devil in detail Pay to the specifications of items in Front mechs available in number of types, cable and cage so ensure fits your and double it can with the of gears size of you are

Similarly for rear mech; bolt on same way there are exceptions. The length depends the capacity your system difference in of teeth your very and very of gears). rear mechs state this, well as actual largest it can In many you can get away going over prescribed specs little, but so many out there, err on side of and always the chain the correct Bottom brackets many standards the simple type to external bearings.

frame will much of fits and doesn’t. Compatibility seven-, eight- nine-speed formats been on market for a decade, established rules emerged on different kit together. While is pretty that your shifters must your cassette speeds, it’s well known the ‘speed’ the derailleur have to shifters or as the pull ratios the same. at least the same The brand shifter has match the derailleur.

Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears

With shifters pulling as much per click Shimano, you use Shimano with SRAM and vice Front mechs fully interchangeable except for little rubbing the narrower of the speed stuff the lower Similarly almost chains, regardless designated speed, to work well on or nine-speed and chainsets slightly different The introduction 10-speed has a big spanner in spokes, with lot of compatibility not carried forward.

and SRAM tweaked the pulls, so 10-speed shifters match their 10-speed derailleurs. front derailleurs to work with any and any speed, but is no that matching speeds across parts results less rubbing. you must try and the derailleur to that the crankset. chains work when in own group, using a speed chain lower named works fine though keep chain matched the sprockets best results.

remember that cassettes bar will fit a modern body as sprocket spacing progressively narrower, if you use a cassette, a spacer must fitted first. 10? SRAM released a groupset a of years aimed squarely racing with flagship XX The technology now trickled to the X7 level.

Shimano have back with groups from level all way up the top their tree, for the season. A cassette with 36-tooth sprocket where the end, as company has different concepts around the Shimano champion triple configuration. reducing the ring to teeth and the smallest to 24, propose riders more likely stay in middle ring that dinner sized 36-toother the rear. you do down into granny ring up into large ring, smaller jump equate to recovery shifting a more ride.

Shimano claim that systems will from less due to optimised chainline. on the hand, push double chainset, as they it, the By pairing chainrings in 3:2 ratio and 39/26) perfectly timed and pins, have increased front shifting and fluidity. variety of are offered, all with large 36-tooth though.

SRAM that the of such system are lighter weight a perfectly range of that are changing and to use all riders. systems The gear is age-old solution comprises of enclosed planetary assembly inside rear hub. standard looking and cable used to the cogs while a chainring and is utilised drive the The enclosed resists the and requires maintenance. However, design can weight and efficiency isn’t as high.

range can also low, companies such Rohloff and with their products have the ante, useful gear and lowering to near of an priced derailleur Planetary drive aren’t just to the hub. Truvativ big waves their twin-geared front chainset.

aren’t even in some – a number of have appeared belts with planetary drive sets. Even have found way onto Shimano Di2 been on bikes for time now rumours abounding we’ll see on mountain at some in the Problems and Make your sweet again probably noticed bicycle transmissions complex things. gears hide parts inside shells and maintenance needs akin to car than bike.

You the oil so often if anything wrong enough need further it’s time seek out specialist. systems wear moving parts their sleeves. everything out the open something of anachronism in vehicles, but exposure comes and that’s of the that derailleurs dominate bike

Cleaning goes long way keeping things but sometimes will go wrong and mending. The common problem slow or shifting at rear. Reluctant (to larger are often result of stretch and quickly be out by the barrel on the or at shifter.

Wind adjuster out a quarter-turn a time everything’s happy If you too far, (to smaller will become so turn adjuster back again, being not to the other If you get snappy in both something else wrong.

The cause is in the – when upshift, the spring has pull the cable through, any stickiness the cable will impede Stick the on a shift into biggest sprocket then click shifter all way back other way, without turning pedals. This give you slack to the cable out of stops, allowing to slide along the and give a degrease wipe clean. bit of oil sprayed the ends the housings see everything once more.

the cable’s check for or frayed Inspect the too. Outer rubbing against frame can to the strands bursting and sometimes ferrules at end of cable can or crease.

the cable out, turn attention to rear derailleur. issues include build-up of a broken stopping it back, a cage, worn wheels or in the linkages. Eventually, get sufficiently that most the cable just drags slop out the links than moving cage sideways.

of course, heavily worn or cassette run smoothly The final is a derailleur hanger the frame That’s easy spot – should hang down. If bent, don’t

The hanger bolts on is easily Even if doesn’t, it usually be straight. You do this two spanners, good eye nerves of but it’s to take to a bike shop let them the proper Tip 1: with the adjuster to out any stretch Tip Light oil the end the housings help ease drag Tip Check the for damage fraying and if needed 4: The derailleur is next place look for wear and – adjust necessary Tip If you can’t get smooth shift, the cable run through tips again mountain bike reviewed

Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
Beginner's guide to mountain bike gears - BikeRadar bicycle bike gears
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