Confused with high and low gear terminology

novetan

Well-Known Member
I'm confused with the high and low gear thing. I have 10 speed at rear cog and only one front crank. If I change to the smallest gear at the rear (meaning riding with max effort), do you call it riding in high or low gear?
 

lejogger

Veteran
Location
Wirral
High
 

glasgowcyclist

Charming but somewhat feckless
Location
Scotland
High gear.

Think of the gearing in a car or motorbike where 1st gear is the lowest, the one you'd set off in, and 5th or 6th is the highest, the one you'd maintain cruising speed in.

It's the same on your bike, the lowest gear is the one that'll have you spinning out at 3mph and the highest is the one you'll use to keep a high cruisng speed.


GC
 
Easiest gear = lowest gear = biggest rear cog = smallest front cog = highest cadence = slowest speed
Hardest gear = highest gear = smallest rear cog = biggest front cog = lowest cadence = highest speed

What's confusing about that? ^_^
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
This has also always (and still does) confused me for 2 reasons.
  1. The effect of changing gears on the chain set (with a double or triple) has the opposite effect. i.e going to the smallest cog on the rear cassette puts you in the highest gear while going to the smaller cog at the front chainset puts you in a lower gear.
  2. The cassette sprockets get smaller and as you step 'down' the cassette to the 'smallest' gear/cog/sprocket you are actually moving to a higher gear :wacko:
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
"Low Is Slow"
Yes but..... is that slow motion or slow pedalling? :crazy:
 

deptfordmarmoset

Full time tea drinker
Location
Armonmy Way
This has also always (and still does) confused me for 2 reasons.
  1. The effect of changing gears on the chain set (with a double or triple) has the opposite effect. i.e going to the smallest cog on the rear cassette puts you in the highest gear while going to the smaller cog at the front chainset puts you in a lower gear.
  2. The cassette sprockets get smaller and as you step 'down' the cassette to the 'smallest' gear/cog/sprocket you are actually moving to a higher gear :wacko:
Maybe you could think of it as - highest gear = biggest difference between front and back.
 
Just talking to a m8 about that last week.
I always think of the bigger cog on the cassette at top and vise versa.

I usually outthink it by thinking like a driver - top gear = the one that makes you go fastest = big ring small cog.
NO, thats not a euphemism.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
There is confusion, because cyclists used to refer to the largest sprocket as a big gear and to changing to larger cogs as changing up. Usage has mostly changed in line with motor vehicles, but occasionally, from old cyclists, I hear the old terminology.
 
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