What is fixed gear ratios? 6 things you need to know!

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What is fixed gear ratios?

The gear ratio calculated by dividing two whole numbers by the fractional part. The number of teeth on the derailleur (front sprocket) divided by the number of teeth. On the sprocket (rear sprocket) (rear sprocket).

What Gear Is a Fixed Gear Bike In? Gear Ratios Explained:

It may sound like a silly question, but if a fixed gear (or single speed) bike only has one gear, which gear is it exactly?

You may used to multi-speed bikes with between 7 and 11 cogs. Across from 2 or 3 chainrings that can combines to create the gear ratio that best suits the scenario.

When you strip away all those extra wheels and components. What sprocket/chainring combination are you left? Which is the best? And can it be easy to change?

Fixed gear wheels are common sold with a 46-tooth chainring and a 16-tooth sprocket with a 46:16 gear ratio. Fast enough on the flats but not too hard on the hills. It’s the equal of a 52:18, which can be a larger derailleur and 4th cog on a multi-speed bike.

It is a simplified explanation. And the exact details vary depending on the gearing configuration. Of the respective multi-speed bike. But before we get into the details, we need to be sure what a gear ratio is and how we conventional talk about it.

What is the gear ratio?

What is fixed gear ratios?

Simple put, a motorcycle’s gear ratio is a number that tells you how “easy” or “hard” the gear setting is.

The higher the gear ratio, the harder you must pedal to maintain the same speed. Lower gear ratios are more “spinney,” meaning a higher cadence at the same rate.

The gear ratio is a dimensionless measure of the mechanical advantage of a drive train. It’s a way of expressing how many revolutions the rear wheel makes each complete turn of the cranks.

The gear ratio calculated by taking the fraction of two whole numbers. The number of teeth on the derailleur (front sprocket) divided by the number of teeth. On the sprocket (rear sprocket).

A colon usually represents them. For example, 46:16 is the gear ratio of a wheel equipped with a 46-tooth chainring and a 16-tooth pinion.


What is fixed gear ratios?

A vital thing to consider when choosing a single-gear bike is the choice of gear ratio. When we opt for fixed gear or single-speed drive, we get rid of the weight of the derailleur.

It means that our two gears, precise in their size, will be the main factor affecting our cadence, and how quick. We speed up, and the top speed we can get to. It has a dramatic impact on how comfortable the ride will be.

Besides, as the name of the powertrain suggests, we will not be able to shift while driving. Thus, we should careful consider this parameter. When choosing parts for our dream bike.

Cycling cadence:

What does this term even mean? But, how fast we can pedal is the number of revolutions of the crank per minute. (often recorded as revolutions – revolutions per minute).

An optimal cadence will allow us to ride faster. More smooth, and avoid serious knee injuries.

This value should most often be in the range of 70-100 rpm and depends on our condition, and gear ratio. The geometry of our frame, and resulting position on the bike (correct (or not)), and many other factors.

To get deeper into this topic, we can start with this movie.

Sunday cyclists ride with a low cadence. While professional cyclists stick to the upper limit.

But, this does not mean pedaling like in the Tour de France peloton will guarantee a higher speed. It all depends on our abilities. But, it is worth learning to pedal with a high cadence. Because it will give us better performance and save our joints.

Bike sprockets:

The power of our legs on single-speed bikes transmitted through the chain and gears. the front (so-called pack) and the rear (gear).

By dividing the number of teeth of the first and second. We get the ratio value, which handles how many times the wheel turns during one revolution of the crank. For example, a derailleur has 48 teeth along with a rear pinion. That 18 teeth will give us a 3.0 ratio, and a 48/17 set will provide us with a 2.82.

By diving into mathematics and calculating the wheel’s circumference. We can determine how far our wheel will travel in one revolution. How does all this theory translate into reality? The larger the front sprocket and the smaller the rear sprocket, the greater the ratio – and vice versa.

The gear ratio of a bicycle:

What is fixed gear ratios

Getting to the heart of the matter and the consequences of manipulating this value. The higher the ratio, the harder it is for us to speed up and the lower the cadence. But, it will be much easier for us to maintain high speeds.

A small ratio allows us to increase the revolutions and achieve the opposite effect. At the same speed, we will pedal better, but we will have to “spin” more. If we exaggerate the value of the ratio in one way, our knees will probably hate us. But, we get the “hamster on a wheel” effect.

It’s straightforward, but it radical changes the feeling of how we drive. Positive and negative, especially on a fixed-gear bike.

Skid patches:

For many people, the biggest motivation in choosing this type of drive. And no other way to learn to skid, a braking technique reserved for fixed gearing.

By locking the rear wheel, we start to skid and “burn rubber,” like a car. Only two horizontal crank positions. (left or right foot forward) allow us to skid effective and impressive.


So that’s it! Gear ratio demystified. All the above information related to the gear wheel ratio. Makes this article informative.

This article cover what the gear ratio is. What gear inches are, and how to calculate perfect gearing for your bike. So go through it and make your bike super.