If you’ve ever ridden a ‘fixie’ bicycle, you know that climbing a hill is as tedious as making the bike itself. Its tiring and could drain your energy. Thankfully, we have the options of bicycle gears in our BMX bikes. Gears help you garner speed and performance when you need it. Gears reduce your energy output while increasing the bicycle’s distance covered in each pedal. Every time you crank the pedal, the gear rotations increase, making the wheels’ rotation increase. This simple science is the beauty behind BMX gears.
Choosing A Set of Bike Gears
Bike speed depends on the number of bike gears it has. A simple multiplication will determine what the speed is. A triple chainring set-up with a 10-speed rear cassette is a 30-speed bicycle. Likewise, a double chainring paired with an 11-speed cassette is a 22-speed set-up. The higher the gear speed, the more combinations for you to play with. These combinations help you shift your energy level to gain maximum speed.
A key element to performance is weight. A bicycle’s gear system could add an enormous amount of weight especially to the rear of the bike. This makes pedalling tougher, subsequently tiring the rider out before he/she finishes the cycling route. For smaller bikes, a simple gear system would do. Go for a Standard Double gear set for smooth pedalling when racing. Alternatively, choose a Triple set that is perfect for riding through hilly regions. A Triple set is also the smaller of the lot because it has lesser gear teeth. You also must allocate for weight of the gear handle and crank. These all add to the overall weight of the gear system.
Types of Gear Shifters
So how do you shift gears? There are a few types of gear shifters you can try. Here are two types:
Grip Shifter – Shift by turning the handle bar towards you for a lower gear, away from you for a higher gear. As with most handle-bar shifters, the left is for the larger gears (1, 2, 3 combination) while the right has more sequences for you to alternate with.
Trigger Shifter – Trigger shifters are significantly easier to use thanks to their button-like contraption to switch gears. Much like grip shifters, trigger shifters have a combination on the right and left of the handle bar. Unlike the grip shifter though, trigger shifters are mounted towards the front of the handles. It takes a bit of time for you to get used to their weight and balance.
Gears are great. But you also need to keep in mind the pedals for each type of cycling activity that you choose. Pedals need to have grip enough to keep your legs mounted firmly. Pedals also need to be wide enough to fit your feet. If you’re wearing sports shoes instead of cycling shoes, you may need a much wider set of pedals.
Now that you know more about gears and how you could use them, go ahead and get a set for yourself.