Sunday, August 20, 2006


Bicycle gears in easy terms

Bigger at the front and smaller at the back the faster you go for a particular cadence (peddling speed). Smaller at the front and bigger at the back the easier it is to climb a hill.

Now when you are peddling at different cadences you produce different power outputs and if you graphed it, it would look a bit like an upturned bowl. So for any particular power output there are two cadences that match and one in the middle which is peak power output, or optimum.

For going up a hill you would like the higher cadence as when you falter your cadence drops yet you produce more power and prevent a stall, and for the flat you would prefer the lower cadence as it is not so tiring and when you falter you can just push yourself a little harder or maybe not 'cause you're tired. Also if you would like varied riding every Sunday you would prefer overlap in your gears as it make it easier to change up and down without too much thought, but if you ride day in day out you would 'learn' where all your gears 'are' and so would prefer no overlap, just more gears and closer together so you can maintain your optimum cadence depending on road conditions and windspeed.

So, erm, no such thing as gears in easy terms, sorry.


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