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Yet to wrap your head around how bike gears work? Here’s our simple explainer for both beginners and intermediates
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Yet to wrap your head around how bike gears work? Here’s our simple explainer for both beginners and intermediates

Understanding the fundamentals of how bike gears work – and what effect shifting between the different sizes of front chainrings and rear cassette sprockets has on your pedalling – will help you choose the most suitable gearing for the terrain.

By the end of this article, you’ll (hopefully!) know what a road bike groupset is, the difference between a ‘standard’ and ‘compact’ chainset – and which is right for you – as well as whether you do really need the latest 12-speed cassettes (such as the new Shimano 105) or if an 11 or 10-speed model will have you covered.