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How Many Gears Should a Mountain Bike Have?

Mountain bike gears are important for shifting speed and power to match the terrain. This article discusses how many gears you should have for your bike.

Two mountain bike parked under a tree.

Mountain bikes are great rugged bikes that require fewer gears than other bikes. They usually have 18 to 27 speeds, with 24 being the most popular. The number of gears you need depends on the type of terrain you’ll be riding on and your own personal preferences.

Let’s look further into how many gears mountain bikes should have.

How Many Gears Do Mountain Bikes Have?

Gears of a red mountain bike.

A mountain bike should have at least 18 gears. This is because mountain biking involves a lot of climbing and descending, and having more gears gives you more options for adjusting your pedaling speed to match the terrain.

More gears also means lighter pedaling effort when you’re going uphill, which can be a big advantage on long or strenuous rides.

If you’ll be doing a lot of uphill climbing, you’ll want a bike with more gears so you can ride at a comfortable pace. Conversely, if you’ll be doing mostly downhill riding, you can get away with fewer gears.

Ultimately, the number of gears you need on your mountain bike is a matter of personal preference.

If you’re new to mountain biking, it’s probably best to start with a bike that has more gears. That way, you can experiment with different gear ratios to find what works best for you.

Advantages of Fewer Gears

A woman with her mountain bike on sunset.

As you become more experienced, you may find that you prefer a bike with lower gears. This is because having fewer gears simplifies the shifting process and makes it easier to ride at a consistent cadence.

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No matter how many gears your bike has, pedaling faster will always make you go faster. So, if you’re struggling to keep up with your friends on the trails, try pedaling faster rather than shifting into a higher gear.

You Might Not Need as Many Gears as You Think

A man with his mountain bike in a forest trail.

Many beginner mountain bikers think they need a bike with a ton of gears, but that’s not always the case. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably be surprised at how easy it is to get up and down hills with a bike that has fewer gears.

Of course, if you’re an experienced mountain biker or you’re planning on doing a lot of uphill riding, you may still want a bike with more gears. But if you’re unsure, it’s probably best to start with a bike that has fewer gears and then upgrade to a bike with more gears if you find that you need them.

How Many Gears Should You Have on Your Mountain Bike?

The number of gears you need on your mountain bike depends on the type of terrain you’ll be riding on and your own personal preferences. If you’re new to mountain biking, it’s probably best to start with a bike that has more gears.

As you become more experienced, you may find that you prefer a bike with fewer gears. Ultimately, the number of gears you need is a matter of personal preference.

Can You Change The Gears On Your Bike?

Blue mountain bike gears and break.

The number of gears on your mountain bike is determined by the number of chainrings and cogs on your bike. Most mountain bikes have either two or three chainrings, and eight, nine, or 10 cogs.

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If you want to change the number of gears on your bike, you’ll need to replace the cassette (the cluster of cogs on the rear wheel) or the chainrings (the sprockets on the crank arm).

You can also install a new shifter that’s compatible with the number of gears you want. For example, if you have a nine-speed bike and you want to add one more gear, you can install a 10-speed shifter.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to use all the gears on your bike. So, if you find that you never use the highest or lowest gear on your bike, there’s no need to worry about it.

Steps To Changing The Gears On A Mountain Bike

Before you begin changing the gears, you will need tools such as:

  • A chain whip
  • A cassette lockring tool
  • A adjustable wrench
  • An allen key set
  • Gloves

Once you have gathered your tools, follow these steps to change the gears on your mountain bike:

  1. Use the chain whip to remove the rear wheel from the frame.
  2. Unscrew the cassette lockring with the cassette lockring tool.
  3. Remove the cassette from the rear wheel.
  4. Install the new cassette on the rear wheel and screw on the cassette lockring to secure it in place.
  5. Reattach the rear wheel to the frame.
  6. Use the allen key set to remove the chainrings from the crank arm.
  7. Install the new chainrings on the crank arm and secure them with the allen key set.
  8. Reattach the shifter to the handlebars.
  9. Test the new gears to make sure they’re shifting smoothly.
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Changing the gears on your mountain bike is a relatively simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. Just be sure to consult your bike’s owner’s manual before getting started to make sure you’re using the correct size and parts for your specific bike.

If you are not comfortable changing your own gears, you can always take your bike to a local bike shop and have them do it for you.

What Happens If One of The Gears Break?

A man repairing a bike gears.

If one of your gears breaks, you’ll need to replace it. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to simply replace the broken cog or chainring. However, in some cases, the entire cassette or chainrings will need to be replaced.

How Many Gears Are Good For a Triathlon?

The number of gears you need for a triathlon depends on the type of terrain you’ll be racing on and your personal preferences. If you’re new to triathlon, it’s probably best to start with a bike that has more gears.

Mountain Bike Gears Matter

A mountain bike technician checking bike break.

In conclusion, the number of gears you need on your mountain bike is a matter of personal preference. If you’re new to mountain biking, it’s probably best to start with a bike that has more gears. As you become more experienced, you may find that you prefer a bike with fewer gears.

You can also change the gears on your mountain bike to better suit your needs. Just be sure to consult your bike’s owner’s manual before getting started and take your bike to a local bike shop if you’re not comfortable changing the gears yourself.

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