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How many gears?

jnr01jnr01 Posts: 3
edited April 2012 in The workshop
I've recently started commuting on my bike (a tricross - at 26 I've not ridden since I was 18) and am just about getting back into the swing of things. But the other day my brother asked me how many gears my bike had and I had no idea. I've just digged out my bike spec and the gears description is: Shimano HG-50 9-speed 11-32t.

Is it clear from that how many gears I have? And does anyone know what the HG and t stand for?

Thanks! :oops:


  • thecrofterthecrofter Posts: 734
    edited April 2012
    HG-50 is just the model no. 11-32t indicates the number of teeth(t) on the smallest and largest cog on the rear cassette. So with a 9-speed casette you can then multiply that number by the number of rings you have on the crank (probably 2, maybe 3) to give you either 18 or 27 ratios. Although some of them will overlap.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    The number of gears will be the number of chain rings multiplied by the number of sprockets on the rear cassette. So in your case that will be 18 or 27 gears (I have no idea what the standard spec chainset is on a Tricross).

    But due to the the range of avaialble gears there will be some overlap of ratios i.e. the same or very similar ratio is available using different combinations of chain rings and sprockets e.g 50/18 = 2.77 and 34/12 = 2.83. In that case it would be bad to use 34/12 as the chain would be running at an angle between the inner chainring and the outer sprocket and there will no doubt be chain rub on the derailleur. So an 18 speed bike has about 13-14 'usable' gears.

    HG stands for HyperGlide and is a Shimano trademark for the profiling of the teeth on the chain rings and sprockets which makes changing gear smoother.

    t stands for teeth. The smallest sprocket on your cassette has 11 teeth and the largest has 32 teeth.
  • jnr01jnr01 Posts: 3
    Very helpful both - thank you!
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