How many gears do I need?

How many gears do you need?

How many gears you need depends on how far you will be riding and the type of terrain that you will be riding. If you are riding further or have more hills then you will usually want more gears. Generally we think about our bicycles like this.

Bike Type Type of riding or terrain most suited to
Single Speeds or Fixies Flat or fairly flat terrain, shorter rides of 7-10km a go. A single speed has a gear range of 100%. If you fit and do a lot of riding then you can do much further on a single speed, but generally most people use them for shorter distances.
Three Speeds (Mens & Womens) Low level hills and longer rides of 10-20km. A typical three speed gear range is about 160%, similar to that of a 6 speed derailleur bike but only has the top, middle and bottom gears. It has one for flat terrain, one for hills and one for going faster. If you find that the gear range is too low or too high for you, it is easy to change the rear cog size and move the gear range up or down.
Five Speeds (Mens & Womens) Slightly larger hills or longer regular rides than the three speed. Or for those who just want a few more options. Five speeds have ranges around 220-240% so slightly more than a three speed which will give greater range up hills and going faster. Like the three speed there is a base gear but it has two lower gears and two higher gears to choose from.
NuVinci Hub The NuVinci hub, is the ultimate internal hub with a fully sealed hub unit that is supposed to last 10’s of thousands of kilometres. It has a range of 330-380% depending on the model which is equivalent to a compact derailleur on a road bike. We recommend the NuVinci for people who are regular commuters or those who are looking for a seriously reliable and robust hub. The smoothness of the gear changes and the quietness of the hub also need to be experienced to be believed.
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