If you have ever used a fixed gear bike, you may not know that bikes have different gears. A fixed-gear bike only needs you to pedal harder when going uphill and slower when going downhill. However, modern bikes have gears that make pedaling much easier. If you have a bicycle with gears, you may be wondering which gear to use on which road. When riding on flat roads, you should use hard gear that you can pedal at a cadence that’s comfortable for you. The middle gear is recommended on flat roads. That should be around 90 RPM if moving at the fastest speed possible. Nonetheless, if you are riding as a team, you may need to choose an easy gear so you can match their pace.
If you want to maximize your riding enjoyment, you should know your gears and get them right. A gear determines how fast and far you will ride. If you use easy gear, you may lag when spinning out. Likewise, when the gear is too high, you will not be able to turn your pedals fast in case of any challenge on the road, or you may come to a grinding halt when climbing a steep road.
What Is The Best Bike Gear On A Flat Road?
The best gear to use when riding on a flat road is the one you are most comfortable with when pedaling. For instance, when riding on a flat road and you feel as if turning over the pedals is becoming hard, or the cadence is too low, you may need to shift to a much easier gear to enable you to pedal fast and efficiently.
Also, if you spin too fast and your bike isn’t traveling very far, you will need to shift to a much harder gear to get more resistance to the legs and a high speed to the bike. If you get too tired, you will need to go for easy gear. If you want to ride faster, a slightly harder gear might be ideal for you. Riding is all about experimenting until you get the gear and gear ratio that will work best for you.
Types Of Gears
There are three types of gears: low, middle, and high. If you are riding on a flat road, you should consider using the middle gear. This is the best choice for any biker as it will help you reduce pressure from the feet onto your pedals. Thanks to technology, electric bikes have an inbuilt automatic gear that instantly changes based on the terrain and situations without the rider needing any assistance. Beginners are advised to use the middle gear on flat roads to master the tricks quickly and shift gears while relaxed as they understand the best one to use. The middle gear is good at saving some energy and preventing fatigue.
Low gear is used to ride uphill if you do not have a motor on the bike to help you or if there isn’t any electric bike available. Combining the small, large chainring and small chainring gives you the lowest gear. You must be able to pedal at least 50 RPM with low gear and a moderate throttle input with pedaling force through your pedals. Using the low gear makes the rider gets tired quickly, getting you off your bike and walking uphill since the gear is quite intense. The advantage of using low gear is that it provides higher torque and makes it easy for riders on flat terrains with a high speed since they can pedal at a lower RPM and still keep up their average speed as they maintain a more upright position. That can help them save some energy and prevent fatigue.
The high gear is the top one, and it’s used on steeper terrains with high speed to ride long distances effortlessly. You should avoid using the high gear when driving on a flat road so that you don’t damage and hole out the teeth of your chainring and cog. If you are a beginner and find it hard to shift to other gears, you should keep off the high gear as it will land you in trouble on the road. The advantage of using the high gear is that riders run less time to cover any distance since the bike makes more power at that speed. Moreover, there is less likelihood of getting tired as you cycle uphill or downhill because of better pedaling technique.
Best Gear Ratio For A Flat Road
As you choose the proper gear ratio, you should consider some factors, including your leg strength, personal preference, terrain elevation, etc. If you ride in hilly areas, you should avoid using low gear as your legs will move fast, which may cause an accident. However, if the ratio is too high, you may need to push the bike as you go up the hill since it will be too difficult to pedal.
If you are riding on a flat surface, the best gear ratio should be 2.6 to 3.0. If your cadence is 90 RMP, the lowest range value will allow you to cycle at 30km/hr. and if you choose the upper range, you can get up to 34km/hr.
As a beginner starting with a fixed gear and single speed, your gear ratio should be 2.7-2.8.you may change this gear ratio after you have ridden the bike for some time as you try to figure out if you require a high gear ratio or not.
Beginners may find the concept of shifting gears quite challenging, and they may feel tempted to avoid touching the gears at all. However, you will not ride for long if you avoid your gears. It’s essential to understand different gears and when to apply them. When cycling on a flat road, a middle gear will be ideal. When riding on rough terrains, you should know which gear to use to avoid getting tired too quickly.