Geared Bicycles

Take Your Experience A Notch Higher With These Tips To Ride A 21 Gear Cycle

  • Ninety One
    Team 91
  • 4-minute read
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Take Your Experience A Notch Higher With These Tips To Ride A 21 Gear Cycle

Whether you are a novice or a professional, everyone is aware of how cycling can instantly boost your mood. Even if it is a short ride to work or a weekend ride with friends, cycling is one outdoor activity that will never let you down. Having a tough day or have had an argument with your bestie, hitting the pedal will always change your frown to a smile. Also, how can we forget that cycling was one activity that helped us forget about our miseries in the pandemic world? So, if this outdoor activity has got you hooked and made you want to splurge on a brand new bicycle, we want to ensure that you end up picking an amazing one and also enjoy every moment of your ride. Before we get into the details of how to make the most of your geared cycle, here's a little differentiation between gear cycles and single-speed cycles.

Geared cycles: A cycle with gears lets you choose the gear ratio depending on the terrain you are riding on. For instance, if you are riding on a slope, a lower gear ratio lets you ride uphill easily by increasing your pedalling rate while decreasing your effort. You can also shift gears on a plain road to increase your RPM (rotations per minute) without pedalling too hard. Geared bicycles in India are a great investment if you are truly passionate about cycling and pursue it a little further than leisure riding.

Single-speed cycles: A single-speed or non-geared cycle is a bicycle without any gear and has a single gear ratio. The speed that you can reach on such bikes depends completely on how fast or slow you pedal. This particular reason limits the speed that you can achieve on a single-speed cycle.

If you have made up your mind about buying a geared cycle then it's important to understand that the most common gearing that bicycles come with are 10, 18, and 21speeds. If you want to understand the nitty-gritty of how to figure the number of gears in a bike then it's easy: multiply the number of front chainrings by the number of gears in the rear cassette. For instance, a 21-speed bike has a triple chainring in the front and seven rear cassette gears. Once you ace how to use the 21-gear cycle, you will then be able to enjoy longer rides that leave you less tired. So, let's understand how to ride a gear cycle and how you can make sure you enjoy a 21-speed bicycle.

Let's get technical:

The front chainring of your cycle features three rings and is controlled by your left handlebar shifter. When riding on flat terrain or during descents, the chain must be on the largest big ring, it should be on the medium ring when riding on moderate slopes, and on the smallest ring on steep ascents. The rear cassette features seven gears, controlled by your right handlebar shifter. The smallest rear gear is the hardest and the largest is the easiest.

Shift like a pro:

Shifting gears may not be as smooth as it seems if you are not doing it the right way. The idea is to keep pedalling while shifting gears, if you don't do that, it can cause the chain to jump gears or fall off. It should be a step-by-step process wherein the front chainring should be shifted first for the biggest adjustments and the rear gear should be a second shift to help fine-tune resistance. Avoid riding with the chain simultaneously. If you do so, an unnecessary chain stretch and derailleur wear could occur and could lead to an annoying, grinding sound.

Thinking Ahead:

Some of the most common mistakes that cyclists make with a cycle gear are: first, they don't anticipate gear changes ahead of time. If you see a hill approaching and know in advance that you will need to shift to an easier gear, do it before the climb and not mid-way. Trying to shift gears mid-climb is tough on the drivetrain and can be tricky too. The second mistake is not shifting into an easier gear when approaching a stop. If you are cruising on a flat surface or have a tailwind pushing you along, you may be riding in one of your hardest gears. It's all okay till you come to a complete halt and try to gain momentum in the same gear. Try shifting down a few gears before you approach a stop to make this easier.

Make your gears work for you:

The different gears on your cycle help you hold a steady cadence regardless of the terrain, wind, or leg fatigue. Maintaining a quick, continuous cadence of 80-90 RPM can noticeably increase your endurance and stamina. To make your gears work for you, it is essential to shift to an easier gear as you feel tired or approach a climb. If your cadence begins to drop after a while, take this as a signal to drop to an easier gear. On descents, tailwinds, and flats, it is best to shift to harder gears and capitalize on those. This will allow you to increase your speed while maintaining the same cadence and exertion level.

If you are still confused about whether you should invest in one of the best-geared cycles or just stick to the humble single-speed bicycle, we give you a low-down on why you need gears. For a simple understanding, gears are there to enable us to maintain a comfortable pedalling speed (or cadence) regardless of the gradient or terrain - something that no single-speed cycle is capable of doing.

A high gear, some time referred to by cyclists as a big gear is great when descending or riding at high speeds. The highest gear on a cycle is achieved by combining the largest front chainring size with the smallest rear cog. Vice versa, combining the smallest front chainring size with the largest rear sprocket size results in the lowest available gear, which will help you keep the pedals spinning when the road points steeply up.

Let's understand one thing for sure, having lots of gears is not about making the bicycle run faster. A cycle with 30 or more gears is not an indication of a machine designed to break the land speed record any more than a bike with only a single gear, assuming similar ratios.

Just like a car, bicycles benefit from a low gear to accelerate from a standstill, or to climb a steep hill, and at the other end of the scale, a high gear helps you achieve high speeds without over-revving. Similarly, in a car, using too low a gear at high speed would result in high fuel consumption. The same is true of your body pedalling a bicycle. So simply put, more gears mean more scope to find your preferred pedalling speed.

Ninety One Cycles has some of the best-geared cycles that you should have on your wishlist if you are interested in buying geared bicycles. Here are a few of them which will definitely make you want to add to your cart:

Snow Leopard 27T:

The key feature of the snow leopard is its lightweight aluminium alloy frame. It allows you to overcome all the obstacles that await you on your off-road adventure. The comfort of lock-in and lock-out suspension gives you the power to zoom through gravel roads without any discomfort. Moreover, the fierce looks of the bike and its sleek frame will definitely make you a fan of it. If you are not comfortable with the assembly of the bike, you can always opt for the 91 Cares feature which gives you the option of choosing doorstep assembly by one of the expert bike mechanics at 91 Cycles.

Viper 27T:

One of the best mountain bikes for gravel roads and rough terrains, the Viper 27.5T is ready to take on any challenge you may throw its way. With a sturdy yet sleek built, this bike is set to steal your heart. It is a bestseller at Ninety One Cycles. It is engineered with the durability of carbon steel, the superior performance of 21 hi-speed gears, and the comfort of shock-free suspension.

Panther 27T:

The Panther 27.5T is fierce as a big cat. It justifies the feline it is named after and promises grace, style, and a smooth experience even on the roughest of the terrains. The Panther 27.5Ts style and performance quotient can be amplified with a mudguard paid and a bottle cage. This bicycle comes in beautiful turquoise and green colours and will make you its fan from the very first ride.

When it comes to geared cycles, there are several options available at Ninety One Cycles that will absolutely blow your mind. While cyclists will always prefer a 21-speed cycle, what it really depends on is how you use your bicycle and how often you use it. So, if you do end up grabbing a 21-speed cycle, this is the perfect guide to follow that will ensure you have a fun experience riding.

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