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Higher gears

  1. Oct 4, 2011 #1
    Why do bikes have higher gears? At a higher gear, I'm still pedaling with the same force, but at a lower speed, so my power output is lower. What's the advantage of higher gears?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2011 #2


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    In a higher gear, you would be pedaling with more force (more torque). The advantage of a higher gear is it keeps the rate of rotation near what is optimal for a rider at higher speeds. Wiki article:

  4. Oct 4, 2011 #3


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    Gears allow you to go at a range of wheel speeds whilst your legs are going at the same (comfortable) rate. You can only deliver power at a given maximum rate. Power is speed times force. So you can deliver, to the wheels, a high force at low speed (uphill) and a smaller force at high speed (going downhill) whilst your legs are working at the same rate.
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