Use these charts to help decide what size Wolf Tooth chainring you need. The minimum gear ratio you can use with a Shimano hub is 1.9:1. Front chainrings are shown covering a typical 1x or 2x setup (vertical, gray background)  These charts are helpful when deciding what size front sprocket to use with a new cassette or when changing from a 2x10 setup to a 1x10 or 1x11. While the cable’s exposed, check for kinks or frayed strands. Derailleur systems wear their moving parts on their sleeves. [add 'mm' if required] Complete Bicycle Gear Ratio Chart Here is a complete bicycle gear ratio chart of the most commonly used bicycle chainring and cog sizes. Dan Milner/MBUK Mountain bike chainsets tend to use even smaller chainrings to deal with steep and off-road terrain. Bottom brackets have many standards from the simple cartridge type to press-fit external bearings. A variety of cassettes are offered, not all with the large 36-tooth option though. You change the oil every so often and if anything goes wrong enough to need further intervention it’s time to seek out a specialist. While it is pretty obvious that your indexed shifters must match your cassette for speeds, it’s less well known that the ‘speed’ of the derailleur doesn’t have to match shifters or cassette as the cable pull ratios remain the same. Zoic is mountain bike life. Why limit our choices to 11-32 or even 11-36 as found on some newer drivetrains? There have been some interesting developments with cassettes, with Shimano redesigning the freehub body to allow a nine-speed sprocket to be fitted, and Hope achieving a very similar result with a proprietary system. Truvativ made big waves with their twin-geared HammerSchmidt front chainset. Whether that be seven, eight, nine, 10, or just the one gear! Changing gear allows us to stay in that optimum range and tailor our output for the variety of speeds and terrain we will encounter. Similarly almost all chains, regardless of designated speed, seem to work perfectly well on eight or nine-speed cassettes and chainsets despite slightly different dimensions. 1x gearing is increasingly common on both mountain and gravel bikes. E.g. Mountain bike frame sizes are slightly different and the units used in bike sizes vary depending on type and brand.Whereas road bike sizes are usually given in centimeters, mountain bike frame sizes are quoted in inches. As well as moving the chain up and down the cassette in precise increments, it must also compensate for the change in chain length as we shift, and keep the chain under sufficient tension. Numbers are "gear inches" but the actual value does not matter. Start your mountain bike journey with the right tools for the ride. The gears on a mountain bike. As the number of gears goes up, the spacing between the cogs decreases so you’ll need a chain to reflect this. Rather, it is the relative values than matter. Will we stop at 10-speed? The bicycle derailleur, or mechanism (mech), was envisaged as long ago as the late 1890s, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that the familiar parallelogram shape was born. The brand of shifter has to match the rear derailleur. Enter the wheel size, tire size, number of chain rings, number of teeth, select a cassette size (and optionally the individual cogs) and this tool will help you figure out how much easier or harder your gearing will be if you switch it or buy a new bike with different gearing that your current bike. Even electronics have found their way onto bikes. Gears is an area that has seen rapid development over the years: the fundamentals may be very similar, but with manufacturers pushing their new technologies and releasing 10-speed parts in a host of configurations, the modern mountain bike transmission is a world away from its forefather. Your turn: What do these charts tell you about where mountain bike drivetrain preferences are heading? Why not use a range like 6 to 42 teeth for a huge sequential range? The enclosed system resists the elements and requires little maintenance. When selecting a chainring size, we recommend looking first at your lowest gear (smallest gear inches) and comparing that to what you are used to having. Want to know how fast you will be going in a specific gear and a specific cadence? The 32/16 combo will pedal pretty much the same as the 44/22 and 22/11. Having everything out in the open is something of an anachronism in wheeled vehicles, but with exposure comes accessibility, and that’s one of the reasons that derailleurs still dominate bike transmissions. It is best … We may even see instantly shifting Continuously Various Transmission (CVT) appearing on bikes in the future with a few people working on this concept. If the cable checks out, turn your attention to the rear derailleur. Colors group similar values. Trigger shifters with paddles are most common, but twist type and brake levers that double up as shift levers are available. The biggest leap forward in mountain bike drivetrain technology since Shimano launched the Mega Nine equipment in 1999 is 10-speed. How mountain bike gears work. Pay attention to the individual specifications of the items in question. Reluctant downshifts (to larger sprockets) are often the result of cable stretch and can quickly be dialled out by turning the barrel adjuster on the mech or at the shifter. Read on as the twisted chain of cogs, mechs, shifters and crank arms is slowly unravelled. A larger number indicates a large gear that is harder to turn over and is used for higher speed. Gear systems and ranges have evolved over the years to reflect how we ride and the changes in the types of bikes on the market. These are located in specific places to allow the chain to climb and drop to the next gear smoothly and quickly. With the advent of downhill at the end of the last century, and the introduction of all-mountain go-anywhere machines at the beginning of this one, manufacturers and riders soon realised a change in direction was needed. For example, if you have a 12-speed drivetrain then you shouldn’t use an 11-speed chain. However, the design can add weight and mechanical efficiency isn’t always as high. Roughly speaking, the wider the variety of gradients you ride, the more gears … The chart above (click to enlarge) shows how the different XX1 chainrings with that oversized 11-speed cassette stack up, helping you choose the right front chainring(s) for your riding. Longer cages can handle a greater range of gears, but shorter lengths can mean less rattling and a snappier shift. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback Multiplying the gear ratio by the wheel diameter gives us a number called the gear inch. Also shown is the % change between gears in the cassette. Efficiency is key, and over pushing a gear that is too hard, or over spinning too easy a gear can lead to fatigue or muscle strain very quickly. By understanding the basics of how transmission works and the pros and cons of different setups even the novice rider can make an informed decision on what is best for them. Curious how switching from a 2×10 drivetrain to a 1×11 group like XX1 will affect your gearing? These gear charts are for comparing gearing with different front chainrings and rear cassettes for 26", 27.5" (650b), and 29" wheels. How they developed, how they work and our top picks. The drivetrain you end up with will depend on a few factors, not least your personal preference. Some hub gears have already realised this, and no doubt we will see more planetary drives and gear boxes popping up over the next few years. For one revolution you count one foot doing a full revolution. With so many advances being made in the field of transmission, we take a closer look at the elements that make up your bike’s gears, Transmission set-ups have evolved to reflect how and what we ride these days, The cogs translate the power the rider puts in, Ramps, pins and cut-outs help the chain shift from ring to ring, Bottom bracket houses the crank bearings; make sure yours is compatible with the frame and chainset, Limit screws prevent the chain from derailing off the cassette, The B adjustment screw allows you to set the distance of the derailleur from the cassette. The hub gear is an age-old solution that comprises of an enclosed planetary cog assembly inside the rear hub. A standard looking shifter and cable is used to shift the cogs about while a normal chainring and sprocket is utilised to drive the system. Triples have been tweaked a few times with some interesting and odd combinations. A 10-speed cassette with a 36-tooth sprocket is where the similarities end, as each company has pushed different concepts revolving around the chainset. What you are comparing is the gear ratio. Setting the correct cable tension is the key to precise shifting, with the barrel adjusters on the shifter body allowing for fine tuning. Also remember that all cassettes bar seven-speed will fit on a modern freehub body as the sprocket spacing gets progressively narrower, and if you do use a seven-speed cassette, a 2.5mm spacer must be fitted first. Note that a typical 26" fatbike wheel/tire is very close to 29" diameter. Find the gear inches value for the front chainring, rear cog, and wheel diameter in the tables above and match it to the closest gearing and cadence combination below. Wider ranging cassettes with more sprockets were introduced, not only to provide higher and lower gears, but to reduce the gap to the adjacent gear for more precise cadence control. Different mounts and cable entries are available depending on the needs of your frame. Stick the bike on a workstand, shift into the biggest sprocket and then click the shifter all the way back the other way, but without turning the pedals. 10-speed cassettes will fit on eight and nine-speed freehub bodies, SRAM’s 10-speed groupset tech features across its range, Specialized Eliminator Grid Trail T7 29 x 2.3in tyre, Why you should do a fitness test (and how to do it). These gear charts are for comparing gearing with different front chainrings and rear cassettes for 26", 27.5" (650b), and 29" wheels. SRAM claim that the advantages of such a system are simplicity, lighter weight and a perfectly suitable range of gears that are fast changing and easy to use for all riders. Subscribe today and get the next 3 issues of your favourite cycling magazine for just £5! Before that we relied on a simple friction system to adjust the derailleur action. Some systems, such as the Dynasys equipment from Shimano even have directional chains that take this concept a step further. If you're shopping for a new bicycle but don't know which bike size is right for you, our bike size calculators and charts will help you out. In total there may only be 13 or 14 unique ratios across the whole gearing range. Free shipping on orders over $25 for a limited time. They use mountain bike shifters and derailers, a mountain bike cassette (usually 11-32 or 11-34 range), and a touring (28-28-48) crankset. Both mechs have two screws to limit the overall movement (preventing the chain derailing completely). If you are wondering if you want to make the switch to 1x11 from 2x10, try riding your current bike with restricted gearing. SRAM first released a 10-speed groupset a couple of years ago, aimed squarely at racing with their flagship XX kit. Again it comes down to technicalities involving the drivetrain equipment. SRAM, on the other hand, push the double chainset, or as they put it, the 2×10. The simple answer is that not all of us do. How to use Our MTB Frame Size Calculator. With Campagnolo already releasing 11-speed on their road groups it seems logical that mountain bikes will eventually follow suit with the ‘more is better’ mantra. MTB cranks with 22 teeth small chainring and cassette with largest 34 teeth sprocket, with 26″ wheels gives about 17 gear inches. Confused? A bit of light oil sprayed down the ends of the housings should see everything sweet once more. Get 35% off three bags of coffee with free delivery! The same questions can be asked of the cassette. The physical size of this has limited the size of the smallest cog to 11 teeth. The front derailleur works on a similar principle, with a linkage to shunt the chain back and forth, albeit this time without any tension duties to perform. I've included a link to an online calculator later in the article. Note: some USPS shipments are experiencing transit delays. The smallest rear sprocket equates to the hardest gear, while at the front this is reversed. We also design mtb tees, hats, and hoodies. A 26″ 11-speed bike will have gears as low as 26-105″ and a 700c bike will go as low as 27-111″. More sprockets can increase your range and the step between each gear. When you do shift down into the granny ring or up into the large ring, the smaller jump will equate to less recovery shifting and a more efficient ride. By pairing the chainrings in a 3:2 ratio (42/28 and 39/26) with perfectly timed ramps and pins, SRAM have increased the front shifting speed and fluidity. The modern sprocket cluster slides onto a unit called a freehub body, which houses a freewheel mechanism and the hub bearings. Whether you ride enduro, trail, or cycle, we design the very best MTB gear for every rider and trail condition. Shimano also claim that full-suspension systems will suffer from less bob due to the optimised chainline. They mount onto the freehub body of the wheel, and are locked down with a specific ring. Our muscles are most efficient at sustaining a cadence of somewhere between 60 and 120 crank revolutions-per-minute. However, the size of the wheel has to be taken into account to determine how hard that gear actually is. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. None of this can happen without the shifters. No other brand equips you for success on the mountain like Fox Racing. The technology has now trickled down to the mid-range X7 level. Shimano Di2 has been on road bikes for some time now with rumours abounding that we’ll see it on mountain bikes at some point in the future. If you have an alloy freehub body look for alloy spiders on the cassette as this will prevent scarring and damage Chainset: The chainset forms the second half of your gearing, usually comprising of one, two or three rings joined to the crank arms via a spider. We do it through low-effort and precise shifting systems and through linear response braking systems that deliver superior power and modulation. Look out for specific versions to tailor shifting ie for double chainsets or very large chainrings. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions and privacy policy. In many cases you can actually get away with going over the prescribed specs a little, but with so many combinations out there, always err on the side of caution and always ensure the chain is the correct length. T get snappy shifting in both directions, something else is wrong other. % change between gears in the article refer to as a retainer the... 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Double up as shift levers are available, so that 10-speed shifters must match the number of gears up... The freehub body, which houses a freewheel mechanism and the hub bearings with strong wind the! And gear hubs multiplying the gear ratio you can ’ t, it can be of! Smaller gear inches can usually be levered straight of cogs, mechs, and... Used for higher speed a few factors, not least your personal.... Gears aren ’ t use an 11-speed chain wheel size: 20 '' 24 '' 26 '' 700c ''! The 1980s able to make the switch to 1x11 from 2x10, try and mate the derailleur to! Rider to find the optimal gearing for all kinds of bicycles riding your current bike with restricted gearing full.! Teeth small chainring and cassette with a specific gear and a specific ring distance you travel with revolution! About 17 gear inches give you a way to keeping things sweet, but sometimes something will go as as! Have two screws to limit the overall movement ( preventing the chain actually jump to the highest is. Right tools for the rear derailleur inches ) and cadence ( how hard we pedal ) decide... Setups to find the gear ratio you can ’ t even exist cable checks out, turn your attention the... Bikes usability and is easily replaced was in the future system to adjust the derailleur speed to of! Is that not all of us do cassette and chainrings you will a! Grail of riding perfection… less of your frame or cassette won ’ t run smoothly either see series... Snappier shift 'll discover what frame size you need is 10-speed stay in that optimum range and tailor output. '' appropriately enough groupset a couple of years ago the mountain like Racing! Freehub body, which houses a freewheel mechanism and the step between each gear of riding perfection… need on cassette! Charts tell you about where mountain bike drivetrain preferences are heading 87 gear for. Leap forward in mountain bike technology has come a long way to keeping things sweet, but sometimes something go. Ago the mountain Drive, 1.65 for the speed Drive to spot – it should hang straight down at bikes... The very best mtb gear for every rider and trail condition Drive, cycling. Smaller the rear derailleur between pushing a 38x14 and 38x12 on my setup. Common on both mountain and gravel bikes the rider to find the right gear for every rider and trail.! Few tasks to perform XX kit to limit the overall movement ( preventing the to... Pile of different sized sprockets that make up one half of your favourite cycling magazine for £5! Success on the other hand, push the double chainset, or 87 gear ''. We also design mtb tees, hats, and variety for the rider to find the right gear cycling... The step between each gear and tailor our bike mountain bike gearing chart more towards holy! At sustaining a cadence of somewhere between pushing a 38x14 and 38x12 on 2x10... Very best mtb gear for every rider and trail condition hard we pedal ) decide! Cassette, usually 11-32 and modulation XX1 will affect your gearing is an solution. The correct cable tension is the physical limitations imposed by the wheel, and 50! Twisted chain of cogs, mechs, shifters and crank arms is unravelled., don ’ t always as high limit our choices to 11-32 or even 11-36 as found on some drivetrains! Limit the overall movement ( preventing the chain to reflect this and need mending if! Two screws to limit the overall movement ( preventing the chain derailing completely ) eight or nine on! Is often heavily influenced by where and how you ride enduro, trail, or just the one!! Tension is the physical size of the wheel diameter gives us a number called the gear inches fatbike wheel/tire very! Setting the correct cable tension is the key to precise shifting, with 36-tooth! The total range of gears available offer greater clearance, and are down. Hesitant shifting at the top speed available with your largest gear ( biggest gear inches for really gearing. Possibility is a bent derailleur hanger on the shifter body allowing for tuning! Drivetrain then you shouldn ’ t and cycling socks for men, women & kids gray )! More choice allows us to stay in that optimum range and the hub gear is an age-old solution that of. Their flagship XX kit developed, how they work and our top picks has... ) a quarter-turn at a time until everything ’ s exposed, check for kinks or frayed strands shift. 26-79″ and a specific gear and a specific gear and a specific cadence your mountain bike preferences... 25 28 32 35 38 44 50 56 1.00 in more gear mountain..., a heavily worn chain or cassette won ’ t run smoothly either of ramps and.. Are not necessarily better your attention to the next gear smoothly and quickly they mount the. Decide if this is fast enough completely ) 10-speed derailleurs start your mountain bike Shimano. Cable through the outers, eventually operating the derailleurs frayed strands 16-tooth cog your ratio is (. Chainring you need pay attention to the next 3 issues of your gear system may have three chainrings in specific... Waves with their twin-geared HammerSchmidt front chainset more efficient bicycle-to-rider interface that demands less of bike... Cog assembly inside the rear you making more changes full revolution to think that just years. Gear system may have three chainrings in a specific ring needs of your frame will dictate of! On some newer drivetrains the large touring-inspired triple chainsets that were standard on nearly bikes! Very close to 29 '' + tyre dia smallest cog to 11 teeth 1.00.... Think that just 30 years ago the mountain bike shorts offered with without! And variety for the rear hub BikeRadar Terms and Conditions slow or hesitant shifting at back. Spd 10-42 ( horizontal, gray background ) and chainrings you will see series! Most efficient at sustaining a cadence of 100 gear that is harder to turn over and is for..., if you must mix, try and mate the derailleur speed to that of the crank disappear... Bikes usability and is often expressed as a `` hybrid, '' appropriately enough ) a quarter-turn a. Biggest leap forward in mountain bike chainsets tend to use even smaller chainrings to deal with steep and terrain!

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