- a traditional unit for measuring the gears of bicycles. In low gears, the pedals are easy to turn but have to be turned very fast to achieve any speed; in high gears the pedals are harder to turn but don't have to be turned fast to achieve high speed. The gear value is computed in gear inches as the diameter of the drive wheel times the size of the front sprocket divided by the size of the rear sprocket, all measurements being in inches. (This is the same as the diameter of the drive wheel times the number of gear teeth on the front sprocket divided by the number of teeth on the rear sprocket.) This is the diameter that the drive wheel would need to have to give the same pedal effort as if the pedals were attached directly to the wheel, as on a child's tricycle. Values range from about 25 gear inches for the low gears on mountain bikes to more than 100 gear inches for the highest gears on racing bikes.
Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.
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