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How many gears does a mountain bike have

How many gears does a mountain bike have?

Mountain biking is an exhilarating and challenging sport. Mountain bikes have different gears and features to tackle different terrains and inclines. Depending on where you will be riding your mountain bike, you need to know how many gears it has. There are pros and cons to different gear setups. Understanding the different types of gear will help you make a more informed decision when purchasing your mountain bike.

How Many Gears Does a Mountain Bike Have?

We did some online research on different bike websites and found that Mountain bikes generally have between 18 and 21 gears, with most models having 21 gears. The number of gears or speed is determined by the multiplying number of sprockets on the front by the number of sprockets on the rear hubs. For example, a bike with three sprockets on the front and nine on the rear would have 27 gears or speed.

Types of gears in a mountain bike

There are many types of gear used in mountain bikes. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of gears used in mountain bikes are the following:

Triple Chainrings – A triple chainring has three gears on one chainring, which offers an advantage over other combinations. It’s suitable for use in challenging terrain and climbing hills.

Triple Chainrings
Triple Chainrings

Double Chainrings – A dual chainring has two gears on one chainring. It’s the most common type of gearing. It’s suitable for use in a variety of terrains. And a lighter option than a triple chainring.

Double Chainrings
Double Chainrings

Single Chainrings – A single chainring has one gear on the chainring. It’s lightweight and suitable for climbing. But it’s not good for use in a variety of terrains.

Single Chainrings
Single Chainrings

Internal Hub Gearing – An internal hub gearing has one gear hidden inside the rear wheel hub. It’s lightweight and doesn’t take up room outside the bike. But it’s not suitable for use in various terrains and not as durable as other types of gearing.

Internal Hub Gearing
Internal Hub Gearing

How many gears do I need on my mountain bike?

There is not a specific number of gears you should have. This will depend on the terrain you’re riding, your skill level, and how much you want to spend on your bike.

If you’re planning on doing a lot of uphill riding, you might consider a bike with more gears to better manage your pedaling cadence. Conversely, if you’re primarily riding on flat or moderately rolling terrain, you might get away with fewer gears.

If you’re new to mountain biking, you may want to start with a bike with fewer gears to get used to shifting and learn how to use all the gears effectively. Once you have more experience, you can opt for a bike with more gear. And If you’re a serious rider who travels to different mountains and wants a more specialized setup, then it is good to have a bike with at least 12 gears.

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8-speed mountain bikes

8-speed bikes are suitable for use on smooth, flat terrain. They’re great for beginners and those who plan to stay inside the city. An 8-speed gear has many gear options so that you can go on many different rides. You may want an 8-speed bike if you want a simple and moderately priced bike.

9-speed mountain bikes

9-speed mountain bikes are suitable for use on various terrain, even inclines. They’re a good middle-of-the-road gear choice and are moderately priced. A 9-speed bike is a good option if you want a versatile but not the most advanced one.

10-speed mountain bikes

10-speed bikes are suitable for use in various terrains, including hills. They’re a good option for more advanced riders but more expensive than 9-speed bikes. 10-speed bikes are a good option if you want something more advanced.

11-speed mountain bikes

11-speed bikes are suitable for use on very challenging terrain. They’re ideal for more advanced riders and are very expensive. 11-speed bikes are a good option if you want to ride in extreme conditions and want a very advanced bike.

12-speed and more – Is “more” better?

More gear is always better, right? Well, that’s true if you’re riding in extreme conditions and traveling to challenging terrains. But for most riders, having fewer but high gear ratios is better. 12-speed bikes are costly and not necessary for most people. If you’re a serious rider who likes to take on extreme challenges, then you may want a 12-speed bike.

multi gear mountain bikes
Multi Gear Mountain Bikes


Why do mountain bikes need more than one gear?

Different mountains will have varying terrain and inclines. You need to be able to tackle these challenges with the right gear. A bike with just one gear may handle one kind of terrain but not another. If you only have one gear, you can get stuck or be unable to go up a hill. Bikers with multiple gears can tackle all kinds of terrain.

How fast can a 21-speed mountain bike go?

The speed of a 21-speed mountain bike depends on a few factors, including the gear ratio, the size of the wheels, and the rider’s strength and endurance. Generally, a 21-speed mountain bike can achieve 60 to 70 miles per hour on flat terrain. However, the speed will be lower on more challenging terrain, such as hills or mountains.


Gear types and numbers can vary depending on the manufacturer. The most important thing is to find a bike that is right for you and your riding style. Remember, more isn’t always better. You only need the correct gear setup for the terrain you plan to ride in. Always keep in mind that gears are only a part of the total experience when it comes to mountain biking. What terrain you plan to ride in, your skill level and your riding style all play a part in what gear setup is best for you.


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