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How many gears do you actually need?

Since the invention of the first derailleur in 1905 and then the first competitive use in the 1937 Tour de France we have come along way with bike gears, but how far will this go. The 1970’s and 80’s saw us only using 5 to 6 rear cogs, then up to 10 in the 90’s and 2000’s and now we are seeing 12, compact, semi compact, super compact, 1x systems………………..and on and on.

Rear cassettes are getting bigger and bigger, where will this stop, where will we be in ten years time and do we actually need anymore?? 

“Vive la France!”

In the golden days of the Tour de France anything smaller than a 39 / 21 set up would have got you laughed off the start line, this was purely the “Macho” mindset of that era of cycling!! Are we any slower now – No! We now know that using the correct gear for the purpose will beat pounding out in the wrong gear and being “Macho”. 

What’s best for you?

This is a tough question, when we only had 9 gears then that was enough, then came 10 and that was enough……..and on and on. Much depends on what type of rider you are and what type of riding you do.

What next?

We are going to put our necks on the line and say that 12 cogs are enough (although in 5 years time when we are tuning 20 cog cassettes we may eat our words), we would also say that we are huge fans of the new 1x systems (as seen on the Giant TCX Advanced SX), we see more and more people opting for this type of groupset and this has been achievable due the increase in the number of rear cogs. This is such a hot topic at the moment and one that we can talk all day about!!

On reflection we have realised that we haven’t actually answered our opening question as this is so dependent on who you are, what you do and what you want, so you’ll just have to come in and have a chat with us instead!!! We work with every offering of groupsets, so come in and pick from the 4,754 choices!!

All we can definitely say is that gone are the days of a cog on each side of the wheel and having to turn it round to change gear!!!


Giant Bikes
Giant Bikes

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