What is a Low Gear on a Bike?

Do biking events excite you? Does your adrenalin level shoot up when you take part in racing competitions? However, have you been practicing well enough to ride without causing any accidents? Do you know how to switch gears let alone know the different gears available in a sports bike?

Here we are going to talk a little more about low gears on a bike. It is important to know what your bike offers and the usage of different gears if you own a geared bike.

While cycling a regular bicycle may not seem all that difficult to comprehend, the same cannot be said with the ones that have gears. Maintaining the right gear is important especially while riding on different terrains such as over the hills or across the mountains.

5 Important Tips About Gears on A Bike

Bike repairing. Spare parts and tools.

Learning how to ride a regular bike might seem like a piece of cake. However, learning to ride a geared bike is much more complex. You will need to understand how different gears work and how much you need to pedal to match different gear levels. Here are five simple tips that will help you understand gears better.

First of all be prepared before a ride, irrespective of your route or destination. One important thing that you can do before you start your trip is to grease the chains. This will ensure easy shifting of gears is easier. Moreover, greasing helps the rings present in the derailleur to move smoothly and keeps the cycle chain in tact while pedaling and shifting gears up and down.

Always maintain the mid-path between the bigger ring and the smaller ring between the tooth while shifting gears. A standard front gear has 50-tooth and the rear has 34-tooth. Hence, a 16 T makes it easy to race ahead while shifting gears.

Keep the cassette spaced between the cogs while setting the gear ratio. The rear wheel spacing here refers to the cogs. There is a little math involved here but this will definitely help you to pedal effortlessly while on a long ride. This ratio is simply a determinant of how efficiently the chain ring is spaced between the front wheel.

Switch to a low gear when you first start riding the bike. It allows you pedal easily and pick up speed faster. Gear 1 stands for low speed in your bike.

Most importantly watch out and be attentive on the road always. Shifting your gears suddenly might lead to cross chaining and throw you out of speed. Turns and road signals have to be pre-empted and gears will have to be shifted progressively

Biking can get exhaustive but understanding the tricks will help a great deal. You can always switch to the hardest gear and then come back to the first step but this requires a lot of shifting and could reduce your speed, which is not ideal if you are racing.

Stay Safe, Stay Alive – Switch to A Low Gear

end of biking season.parked bicycle covered by snow from a heavy snowstorm.Winter cyclingUnderstanding the different stages of the gear set up in your bike is both useful and effective.

If you are planning to ride on mountainous terrain, then it is best to ride in low gear. This you can calculate using the Sheldon Brown’s Gear Calculator. Set your bike in a low gear with a very small revolving ratio varying between 1 to 2 between the front and rear wheels so that the chain can rotate and pave way for easy pedaling.

If you think you need additional fittings to speed up, then think again. You can achieve the same without any extra fittings by riding in a lower gear and replacing the crankset with a bigger 14 mm bolt. Additionally, you will need to grease the bike and remove the chain before making these small changes in your bike. Smaller parts are easily available online and some even come as a part of your bike’s accessory kit.

Use a small pulley, as it helps in pushing one cog to the other and maintains the balance and friction in the chains. Closely spaced gear boxes such as in the standard type, makes it easier to maneuver. On the other hand, compact and triple gear types have wide spacings in between the cogs, which leads to a higher gear ratio, making it hard to pedal.

Always carry a tool kit with the essentials in case of unforeseen situations. For instance, there might arise a need to manually change the wheel or anything that might have been stuck between the threads while riding in a low gear. A spare crank set, chain, and freewheels are must-have items.

Always keep in mind the basics about how far and how long you intend to travel. Based on this buy or rent bikes with the apt features. Secondly, always remember that you can anytime tweak a thing or two in your bike even after the purchase/rent in case you feel you need to get more power from your bike. Cycle pedaling requires lot of effort and for this your entire body needs to pump a lot of energy to put forth the best. It is definitely the most environment-friendly mode of transportation that allows you to move on this planet without leaving behind any carbon footprint.

Related Topic: What is A Tandem Bike? A Perfect Bike For Partners


As an average rider, you must focus on riding in the low gear to build up stamina in order to ride effortlessly on geared cycles. Being fit matters here, as merely spending huge money in buying a gear bike will not increase your sustenance levels to ride seamlessly for long distances. However, switching to low gear is the best option while riding on hilly region, as it increases the feasibility to jump across uneven path easily. With a good durable shifter and cable, the derailleur will be able to move easily without compromising on the quality, thereby increasing your endurance levels at the same time. Lightweight bikes will also help you ride better on rugged terrains and mountains.