BMX Gear Chart – All You Need to Know

Often times, we use the finest bicycles available in order to support our riding escapades, especially racing. In attempts to extend its potential up to its maximum extent, we look into its parts for any possible modification that can help its speed.

Gears, the one that makes up the overall bicycle, is one of the fundamentals that helps the quality of the bike. Not only does it allow the bike to move or function, but its characteristic can affect the comfortability and easy movement, which in return, can be your way to reach the finish line ahead of others.

As the gears circulate, the preferred ratio and its overall make-up may depend on the condition and  indicated setting.

In order to know how to calculate or evaluate its function, the text will indicate the details needed in order to improve the performance of the bike that you have!

How It Works: Gear Set-Up

Being a rider does not only require the skill of getting on the bicycle and finish first against the other athletes, but also, it comes with the responsibility regarding the things that you use.

With this, you should know how to assess and sustain the quality of the bicycle and accessories used, in order to achieve the maximum experience with the product.

The bike should be set up properly according to preference. In terms of gears, it is known to be one of the important parts in BMX racing. Knowing how to change your ratio depending on the tracks and conditions gives you a heads up compared to others, since it would significantly help your speed.

To know the basics of this fundamental, you can improve the acceleration by increasing the amount of teeth on the rear cog or decreasing the amount of teeth in the front sprocket.

To achieve a greater speed, pick a smaller freewheel or a big sprocket located in front. Keep in mind that if evaluating between the amount of teeth or a freewheel with smaller size, the teeth would have a bigger impact regarding the improvement of acceleration.

You need to experiment and evaluate your capability to know what can be used for your riding style. Most dilemma includes needing to find a gear that suits your speed, such as some ratios let you accelerate quick but if you cannot pedal smoothly and quickly, then you would be most likely left out by the rest of the competitors.

Gear Ratios & Inch Gears

When participating in BMX racing or is simply a bike enthusiast, it is important to know the ways of changing the gear ratio and at its destined time. A part of this process is knowing the gear ratio and inch gears, which can be obtained based on calculation. To know more about its process, here are the following ways—

Gear Ratio Calculation

The number in a gear chart can be acquired if you divide the number of teeth located on the sprocket upfront with the amount of teeth on the rear of your bike. An example of this occurrence is a gear ratio for 44/16 which can be set up to 2.75.

Inch Gear Calculation

The calculation for the amount in inch gears can be obtained by multiplying the gear ratio with the circumference of the wheel. The numbers obtained will be the distance that  you can travel in inches, since the front sprocket will have full revolutions.

Gear Size

For a reference regarding the size of the gears, here are some if the possibilities which can guide you to your calculation;

Wheels: 20”x1.5”

Rear 14:

With 34 teeth in chain ring: 46.8

With 35 teeth in chain ring: 48.1

With 36 teeth in chain ring: 49.5

Rear 15:

With 34 teeth in chain ring: 43.6

With 35 teeth in chain ring: 44.9

With 36 teeth in chain ring: 46.2

Rear 16:

With 34 teeth in chain ring: 40.9

With 35 teeth in chain ring: 42.1

With 36 teeth in chain ring: 43.3

The Size of The Wheel

The size of the wheel solely depends on the Athlete’s age and weight, since it would mainly support the rider while on the bike. Specifically, it modifies to meet the standard that is needed;

For under 5 years old weighting less that 54lbs: 18×1”

For 5 to 10 years old weighting 54-80 lbs: 20 or 24 x1 to 1/8”

For 12 to 14 years old weighting 114-145 lbs: 20 or 24 x1.50”

For 14 to 19 years old weighting 144-190 lbs: 20 or 24 x1.75”

For 19 years old and older weighting 190 lbs and more: 20 or 24 x2.00”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why not run smaller gears if shorter chains and smaller sprocket result to less weight?

The possibility to that reason can be explained in two cases. First, the freewheels can only be up to 14 teeth in models, so smaller than that requires a cassette hub, which is known to be more expensive and heavier that the attempt would not be worth it.

Second, the smaller sprockets means more stress on chain when laying down horse power. The small rear cogs results to less chain engagement since there are fewer teeth locked in chain, that occurs an occasional chain skips which may significantly affect the riding experience and  cause chain breakage to happen often.

2. Can the standard be 44/16 in ratio, just like in the past years, without any modification?

Riders used to engage to that idea, but as the years pass, a preferable alternative is seen, and that is calculating the gear ratio. The riders want smaller sprocket, which would not get caught in grinds yet want to lessen ounces whenever possible. This is why new edition bikes offer smaller gears.

Final Words: Arrange Your Gears For A Better Experience!

It is important to know your preferred gear ratio for a better result. Specifically, it can help in coinciding your speed, along with the knowledge of modifying your bike.

As a rider, it is your duty to take your accessories and parts up to your advantage, and sustain it in order to prolong its life. The lack of knowledge may also mean a lack of interest, which may reflect in your biking career in the long run.

What you need is determination to ensure that your bike reaches its full potential, in order for you to do too. Always remember, check, sustain, and use your bikes!