How Many Speeds Is My Bike? (Must Know Things)

How Many Speeds is my Bike

Knowing how fast your bike can go puts you ahead of the game. Most bikes come with a  7-speed.

Nowadays, racing bicycles feature two front chainrings and 12 gears in the rear cassette.

You can calculate your bike’s speed all by yourself without professional assistance. Once you know it, you shouldn’t use a bike with a slow speed for a high-speed job.

Your bike’s speed is the number of gear configurations available. If you want to know the number of gear configurations, multiply the number of sprockets in the rear part by the number of chainrings. e.g., ‘8 × 2’, giving us a 16-speed bike.

How can I Tell the Number of Speeds on my Road Bike?

How Many Speeds is my Bike

To know the number of speeds on your road bike, you need to identify certain bike parts, then count and multiply as stated in the introduction.

You should note that there are variations depending on technological advancement and products.

A typical bike has two gears(in front and back). The first gear is in the front, also known as the chainrings.

The second, also known as the cassette cogs, is located at the center of the wheel.

The emergence of triple (3) chain rings is due to technological advancements. With a fluid motion, the chain rolls around both front and back continuously.

Now that we have identified the parts needed to determine the number of speeds, we proceed to count and multiply them.

The front wheel’s gears (chainrings) should be 1, 2, or 3. At the same time, the back wheel ranges from 1 to 12.

So, to calculate the total speed number, you have to multiply the number of gears at the front by the ones at the back. 

For instance, if you have one front gear and five back gears, you have a 5-speed bike.

If you have two front gears and five back gears, you have a 10-speed road bike. And if you have three front and nine back gears, you have a 27-speed bike.

Knowing the number of your gears points to knowing your bike speed with a few specifications.

The specification is that the number of chain rings (front gear) is usually smaller than the number of cassette cogs (back gears). [0,1,2] [5…12…17].

How do I Know if my Bike is Ten or 11-Speed?

You can easily derive that your bike’s being a 10-speed would mean that it has 11 cassette cogs and one chainring. And it is an 11-speed; it would most likely be a 2 × 5 arrangement.

To know if you have a 10-speed bike, count the number of cassette cogs on the rear wheel(supposedly 5), multiply it with the chainrings in the front wheel(supposedly a double chainring setup), and with that, you have a 10-speed bike.

However, due to technological improvements and variations, some manufacturers have changed from multiplying the chainrings and cassette cogs (2 x 5 = 10) to just counting the sprocket.

The sprocket is the number of teeth of the cogs.

Some components and manufacturers do well to mark their products with the number of speeds, so you can access this and determine if your bike has a 10 or 11 speed.

You could still use a component marked with a 9-speed on a bike with a lower speed.

Getting an 11-speed bike is only possible if you have one front cog and 11 rear cassette cogs.

There are obviously few occasions where a 12-speed component could fit into an 11-speed bike, given that it has two redundant gear ratios.

A 10-speed and an 11-speed bike have just one gear difference. Having an 11-speed bike is like riding with additional gear.

In most cases, there’s a slight difference between 10-speed chainrings and 11-speed. You can convert a cassette body to accommodate an additional gear. 

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Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550MTB28-29ER Viva VB-1136 27.5T Nexa Mountain Bike (Black-Red)

How Many Speeds do I Need on my Bike?

The number of speeds required on your bike depends on the performance that you expect from it.

There are many bikes created for different reasons. Some bikes are best for slow rides, some for long rides, sporting activities, etc.

Definition of use will be a key factor in determining the speeds you need for your bike.

Say the bike is for slow movements, such as cruising in the neighborhood or to a friend’s house, a single-speed bike would suit you well.

A multi-speed bike would suit you better if you are adventurous and like going on rough paths at high speeds. You can go from a 3-speed bike to a 10-speed bike.

It would be necessary to sit down and consider a few questions. Avoid purchasing a bike that is under or over-capable for the required tasks.

Among the queries is, ” How far is your journey?” How long would a day’s ride be? Are you biking on rough or smooth terrain? Are you able to purchase it for the asking price? And many more inquiries.

Before choosing the speed that you require on your bike. A single-speed bike is technically the closest option for every individual.

It will get you wherever but exert more effort when used for complex journeys. So, it’s best to consider a higher-speed bike to ease some paddling and ergonomy while riding.

The speed you need depends on how you intend to use your bike. A single-speed bike is suitable for relaxation rides, visitation rides, spontaneous rides, and summarily single-travels.

But if the journey’s terrain, length, or complexity increases, you require the power of a bike with a higher speed (2+) to help ease your muscles while riding. 

Having a 2+speed bike would be recommended. For sporting activities, a >16 should be your speculation. The bigger the bike speed (gears), the costlier the price.

What Speed is my Bike Chain?

Your bike chain’s speed is your bike’s speed. A bike chain speed higher or lower than the bike’s speed will not match. For example, using an 11-speed chain will not work on a 9-speed bike.

In the case of a spoiled chain that needs replacement, Lay the replacement chain side by side with the spoiled, and make sure the rivets line up perpendicularly.

You can also do some calculations to get a chain’s exact or close-to-exact match. Get the number of teeth of the chainring and divide it by four (4).

Do this for the sprocket at the rear also. Please measure the length of the chainstay and multiply it by 2. 

Do this in inches, i.e, The chainstay is the length from the sprocket to the paddle’s rake in the middle.

Add everything plus 1 inch (2.5 cm) to get the chain length. That gets you a good bike speed chain for your bike speed.

Final Thoughts 

Getting to know your bike’s speed gives you a purpose for the usage of your bike.

In case it does not function as well as you’d like it to in the aspect of speed, you know where the problem comes from and can correct it and get the best out of your rides.

Josh Matthews

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