Those Fancy Bike Gears

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

My CruiserThe other morning was the first time I have ridden my bike to work using the highest gear the whole ride. My bike only has three speeds and until today, I never thought I would need anything more than that. I’ve had this bike for a year, but I’ve only started riding it regularly in the last month or so. Now, after a month of riding at least three times a week, I’m finally strong enough to use the fancy gears on those fancy bikes.

I used to think that the bike gears were there to help me get up big hills. They would make it easier to pedal. Of course, I had always been so out of shape that even on the lowest gear, I couldn’t get up the hills of Salt Lake City. I always had to get off my bike and walk it up. Last week, when I rode to UCMT, I took that hill on the lowest gear and didn’t have to get off my bike until I reached the bike rack.

I’m beginning to think that all those complicated gears are there to make pedaling harder. They are there to keep the tension high and the bike fast. I was pedaling as fast as I could with the bike in third gear, but I was still was going slower than those professional bike people on the road that morning (you know, the ones with the tiny butts, sponsors on their bike clothing and skinny tires on their bikes). I know my cruiser is heavier than their racing bikes, but I don’t think it’s that so much as the fact that they can put their bikes in 26th gear and they are strong enough to move the pedals.

Will I have to turn in the cruiser for the mountain bike for my morning commute? My mountain bike has been hiding in the shed untouched for over a year. Will I get strong enough to need those fancy higher gears before the snow flies this winter? I’ll have to see.


One Response to “Those Fancy Bike Gears”

  1. Amelia Says:

    If you want to go fast on the street, the skinny tires help as well as those high gears. The gears provide more resistance as you noted, which makes your riding more efficent in the sense of making good time, but the low gears are good for building up endurace (and those hills). So if you intend to become serious about bicycling, you may want to invest in one with all those complicated gears. Good luck and have fun.

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