Gears are a great way to make your bicycle easier or harder to pedal, depending on the terrain. Can you add gears to a bicycle? Yes! You can easily change out your old rear wheel for one with different-sized cogs, allowing you to ride up steep hills with less effort. 

Gears on a bicycle change the ratio of how much force it takes to turn the pedals and how fast you’re traveling. This allows cyclists to adjust their gearing depending on what they want or need for that moment.

For example, if you’re going up an incredibly steep hill, you would gear down so that more of your pedaling power is applied to turning the back wheel instead of moving forward (and possibly falling over).

Likewise, if you were cruising along the flat ground at high speeds with a group of friends, perhaps you’d want easier gears to maintain speed. The great thing about bikes with gears is that all these adjustments can be made while cycling; there’s no need to stop!

How can you add gears to a single-speed bike?

There are many different types of gear designed to fit a variety of bikes. The most important thing is that the cog size will match your rear wheel exactly. You can try out several different types to see what works best for you, but there are two basic types:

  • Internal gears
  • Derailleurs

Internal gear: Internal gear systems use a hub inside the back wheel instead of an external derailleur. The internal hub has many small cogs you can switch between using a gear shifter on the handlebars.

Derailleurs: Derailleurs are exactly what they sound like: they move the chain through different gears by physically moving the derailleur from side to side on either your seat tube or down tube.

3 Ways to add gears to a single-speed bicycle:

1. Internal hub

If you want to add gears (and make your bike easier to ride) without having too much involvement, then look into getting an internal hub gear system. You can find these systems on many new bikes, but if it’s an older bike that doesn’t have the technology built-in, you can buy a kit and install them yourself.

2. Change the rear wheel – (Best Way)

The best way to add gears is to replace your old rear wheel with new, different-sized cogs to achieve easier or harder pedaling, depending on the terrain.

For example, if you wanted easier gears for going up steep hills, you would choose a cog size larger than what originally came with your bike. If you want harder gears for going downhill, choose a smaller cog.

Let’s say you own a single-speed bicycle and want to add gears. The quickest and easiest way is to buy a rear wheel with different-sized cogs.

You’ll need the exact same cassette type as your current hub (number of cogs) or an upgraded one with even more cogs if you prefer.

The cassette will come with the lockring and spacers needed for installation and might even include a new gear shifter, depending on what brand you decide to go with.

3. Derailleur system

A derailleur system is one of the most traditional ways to add gears. Derailleurs come in many different styles these days, but they all work on the same basic principle:

The derailleur attaches to your seat tube or down tube and has a spring-loaded arm. When you push it towards the handlebars, it moves the chain onto different cogs (larger ones for easier pedaling).

You can also move the arm away from the handlebars, making your pedal harder to turn by pushing against your weight. You can switch between these positions by moving an attached metal or rubber band back and forth with a gear shifter on your bike’s handlebars.

There are several types of derailleurs, but the most common are high-gear, low-gear, and dual-range.

  • High gear: This derailleur type is for bikes with single-speed or internally geared hubs. It has a long arm you push towards the handlebars to change gears.
  • Low gear: This derailleur type is ideal if your bike lacks gears for uphill use. The arm needs more clearance than usual, so it’s best to attach it to your seat tube. You’ll need an extra-long cable.
  • Dual range: This type of derailleur keeps the arm in place on either side of its mount and uses an attached cable and gear shifter to switch between two sets of gears.

Regardless of what type of gearing you want for your bike, there’s no shortage of options available so swapping out your old rear wheel with an upgraded model is the best way to add gears to a single-speed bicycle!

How to choose the right gear for your bicycle?

Shimano Rear Derailleur, RD-TX800, 7/8 SPD, Direct Attach, Bla
Rear Derailleur (3x8-speed); 8-speed drive train; Quick assembly. Allen key type inner cable fixing bolt

Choosing a gear that is too easy or too difficult to pedal will frustrate you and make it harder for you to ride your bicycle. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right gear.

Here are a few things which you should notice while buying new gear:

  1. People who ride uphill generally prefer easier gears, while downhill riders require harder gears.
  2. Go with the middle range of gears if you don’t know what terrain you’ll be riding on in advance.
  3. The larger the cog, the easier it is to pedal, but also more difficult to get up speed quickly when starting from rest at an intersection or stop sign since the chain has further to travel for your crank arm to complete one full turn.
  4. The smaller the cog, the harder it is to pedal but easier to get up speed quickly when starting from rest at an intersection or stop sign since the chain has less distance to travel for your crank arm to complete one full turn.
  5. Most people prefer a range of gears that allows them to switch between pedaling easily and powering over hills and obstacles as they ride their bicycles.

    If you’re unsure, go with a middle range of gears that will allow easy pedaling on flat ground and sufficient power over obstacles such as gravel or sand if you don’t already have fenders protecting you from dirt thrown up by the tires of passing cars and trucks.
  6. One benefit of internal gearing is they allow you to switch between gears without removing the wheel from your bicycle. This can be helpful if one of your derailleur cables breaks and you must ride home or just want to change gears quickly.
  7. If you decide that gears aren’t for you, consider replacing your rear wheel with a single-speed model since it will be cheaper than building an entirely new bike. 

My recommendation for you: 3 Best gears for your bicycle:

If you are looking for the best gears for your bicycle, then check these 3 gears I recommend. They are very popular and great compared with other gears in price and performance.

So here it is:

1. Shimano Tourney TX800, 7/8 Speed

Shimano Rear Derailleur, RD-TX800, 7/8 SPD, Direct Attach, Bla
  • Rear Derailleur (3x8-speed)
  • 8-speed drive train
  • Durable light action shifting peformance for stress free riding. Double...

Shimano Tourney has been a standard for entry-level bike gear and is great for people who want to enjoy bicycle riding. This newest model, the TX800, is no exception with its reliability, affordability, and easy shifting action.

It is made of steel, making it more durable than other cheap gear from other brands. In terms of performance, this gear can deliver multiple speeds downhill very easily; you don’t have to worry about thinking those higher gears will slow you downs on those slanted roads.

The next good thing about this gear is that it only weighs 5lbs. At this lightweight, you can ride your bicycle without worrying too much about dragging your gear. It is great for all kinds of riders, whether you are riding casual, downhill, or cross-country.

What I love the most about this gear is its adjustment feature. If your gears stopped working at some point when riding, you don’t have to live with it and replace the whole unit since the Tourney TX800 can be adjusted accordingly.

2. Shimano Acera M360, 7 Speed

Shimano Black Acera Rear Derailleur RD-M360
  • Shimano Acera Rear derailleur compatible with all Shimano 7 & 8 Speed shifters....
  • Direct frame fit. SIS Rear index shifting.
  • Megapulley oversize jockey wheel. Smartcage pulley plate.

If you do not want to spend too much money on gears but want awesome performance that even pro bikers use, then this one’s an awesome choice!

The Shimano Acera M360 is very popular in price/performance ratio among biking enthusiasts. This specific model has sold out fast despite being made from low-grade alloy compared to its higher-end brothers.

It can deliver great performance downhill and is even better for people who do not follow the shifting schedule when riding.

On top of that, this gear only weighs 5lbs as well. Acera M360 is made with you in mind if you are a weight lover!                       

3. Shimano Revo S400

Another great gear by the best bicycle gear brand Shimano. This one might be a bit more expensive than other brands due to its name, but it’s worth your money since it has been tested with many different quality standards before being shipped from their warehouse.

The customer service they provide has been praised by cycling enthusiasts worldwide, so if your gears stop working, you can contact them, and they will give their best effort to help you.

This model is highly recommended for all riders, from beginners to pros. Its durability can last long enough that people have been using these gears for decades without experiencing any problems.

It has been lab-tested for its resistance against water and rust, so there is no need to worry about the weather condition when riding your bicycle since it is designed for use under any climate or season! If you want great gear from one of the greatest brands in the world, Shimano Revo S400 is your choice!

I recommend those gears above because those were my experiences when I used them before. As we all know, bicycle manufacturers want us to buy their products, so they’ll do anything to make them more attractive and better. However, I recommend those three if you are looking for the best gear from a trusted manufacturer. No need to think twice. Just try them all out and feel the difference!

What are the advantages of having gears on a bike?

The main advantage of having gears on a bike is having a much wider range of speeds available. The following are some other benefits that come from adding gears to your bicycle and some disadvantages.

Gears allow you to cycle up steep hills easier and faster, making it possible to ride your bike in places without roads, such as woods, meadows, and open fields.

If you don’t want the inconvenience of switching between multiple sets of gears or replacing broken cables, consider going with a single-speed bike since gearing options aren’t permanently built into the frame.

Some people find riding bikes with many different gears confusing and hard to learn how to use properly – especially internal gear hubs since they require special tools to switch the gears.

Remember that you will need to maintain all of these gears by keeping them clean, lubed, and in working order, or they might not stay in place while riding your bicycle, which will cause the bicycle to stop suddenly and possibly injure you.

Bike gear also keeps pedaling motion smooth, especially on steep hills where gears are used more frequently than foot power alone. Gears allow for small movements using feet or legs that can reduce pedaling strain in many circumstances when riding your bike.

Gears allow for locomotion through various terrains such as uphill, downhill, forests, deserts, etc. Multiple gears can be shifted in any terrain depending upon its condition.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it possible to add gears?

Of course, this is possible, and it’s called a “mid-drive” or “crank drive.” This drive system works by driving the bicycle chain with a motorized wheel.

The great thing about these systems is that you can add as many gears to your bike as you want, so it’ll never be too hard for your legs to pedal!

Gears allow you to cycle faster up and downhill, but they also require more maintenance. It might be difficult to remove and reassemble them if something breaks since crankshaft gears are complicated and need the right tools to work properly.

How much does it cost to put gears on a cycle?

This depends on your gear system since some gears are more expensive than others. For example, electronic gear might cost around $180-$200 but will last many years, which is highly recommended for beginners, so try those out instead!

Meanwhile, crank drive units might cost around $230-$250 and last much longer than derailleur gears. They’re great to use if you’re planning to ride your bicycle in heavy terrain like mountains, hills, etc.

Can you upgrade the single-speed bike to gear?

Yes, you can definitely do this, and it’s called “Derailleur gears.” Derailleur gears allow the rear wheel to turn independently. This means that your pedals will never stop moving, which is good for beginners since they don’t need to change gears often, making their lives much easier!

What is better single speed or gears?

It’s very subjective in my opinion, since both of them have their own benefits and disadvantages. I think gears are better for beginners only because they don’t change gears that often (if ever), making it easier to learn how to use them properly when riding your bicycle.

On the other hand, single-speed bicycles tend to be lighter due to having fewer parts in general, so this might make you want to ride it more often if you like lightweight bikes!

However, despite popular belief, gears allow you to go faster than single-speed bicycles on a flat surface or downhill, even though they have fewer speeds available. This can be explained by simple physics, but trust me on this one – you’ll never get tired of using gears!

What gear should I use on a flat road?

This depends on your preference and how fast you want to go. For example, if you use lower gears, you’ll travel much slower since the wheel will need more rotations.

On the other hand, using high gears (bigger sprocket) means that vehicles might struggle to pass by you easily because larger changes in speed are required – which can be dangerous for beginners since they don’t know when to switch gears properly while riding their bike!

What is a bike cassette?

A bike cassette is a group of gears you’ll find on your standard bicycle. They allow you to change speed when riding your bike downhill or up a hill; for example, increasing the lifespan of your brake pads and chain simultaneously is highly recommended since they’re much more stressed than normal.


Before using gears on your bicycle, you need to understand the basics of gears because it might be dangerous if you don’t know how they work! Gears allow bicycles to travel much faster than normal, but they also put quite a lot of stress on different parts, which is why I recommend beginners not to use them since their legs aren’t strong enough yet.

I hope this article helped you better understand basic bicycle gears, even though it was pretty short! If you find any mistakes or typos, please feel free to comment below so I can improve my articles in the future. Happy cycling!

If you click on the Amazon link or Add to Cart and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Last Update: 2023-01-27