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If you haven’t a clue how many gears your bike has, how many you actually need or even how to use them properly, don’t worry — you’re not alone.
We demystify derailleurs and sprockets and explain why in cycling STIs are a good thing to have We’ve all heard it; most of us have probably said it, or at least thought it — why on earth do I need 33 bike gears?
As we’ve already said, the total number is not the selling point, instead it’s the ability to have such a continual progression of closely spaced gears.
Let’s be clear about one thing — having lots of gears is not about making the bike faster.
In other words, some gear combinations will result in the same ratio as others using a different sprocket and chainring. Also, certain ‘crossover’ gears, at the extremes of the range, may not be recommended for use, due to the additional strain that is placed upon the chain.
Old-fashioned advice, which is still relevant, is to avoid ‘crossing the chain’.
Why amateurs shouldn’t try to pedal like Chris Froome We’ve spelt it all out in the following article, so you’ll be much more the wiser, and a more efficient cyclists as a result — we promise.
It’s a simple multiplication of the number of sprockets at the rear with the number of chainrings at the front.