How to Create a Bicycle Gearing Chart

How to Create a Bicycle Gearing Chart
A bicycle drive train will include between one and three chain rings and at least one rear cog. Each chain ring and cog contains a set of equidistantly spaced teeth. Gear inches (the number of inches the bicycle travels with each revolution of the pedal) are determined by dividing the number of teeth on the chain ring by the number of teeth on the cog. This figure is then multiplied by the diameter of your wheel. Creating a bicycle gearing chart is a convenient way to have this information on hand.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape
  • Calculator
Step 1
Determine the size of your tire in inches. Simply measure a point on the surface of the inflated tire to a point directly opposite. A common size for most road bikes is 27 inches.
Step 2
Count the number of teeth on each chain ring. Write down the figure.
Step 3
Determine the number of teeth on each cog. The number of teeth should be stamped somewhere on the surface of each cog.
Step 4
Draw up a grid. The left column will contain the same number of slots as cogs on your bike. The number of slots in the top column will match the number of chain rings.
Step 5
Fill in the slots in the left column with the size of each cog in descending order. Fill in the slots on the top column with the size of each chain ring from smallest to greatest.
Step 6
Calculate each gear combination and place the resulting figure in the proper column at a point beside the cog size and directly below the chain ring size. Again, this entails dividing the chain ring size by the cog size. Multiply the resulting figure by the wheel diameter. For instance, a chain ring/cog combination of 53/17 will result in 84.2 gear inches.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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