How do bike gears work? A simple and detailed explainer for beginners intermediates

If you don't have a clue how many gears your bike has (let alone how to use them!) we've got you covered with this simple explainer. For more depth, just keep on reading

Gears on a bike
(Image credit: Future)

Understanding the fundamentals of how gears on a bike work will help you choosing the most suitable gearing for the terrain. This'll see you able to scale the steeper climbs and put out the power on the flat. 

By the end of this article, you'll (hopefully!) know what a road bike groupset is, the difference between a 'standard' and 'compact' chainset (and which is right for you) - as well as whether or not you really need the latest 12-speed gearing (such as that of the relatively new Shimano 105). It might be that an 11 or 10-speed model will have you covered - and would be much better value.

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