Most electric mountain bikes come with multiple gears, which lets you adjust or change pedalling effort depending on the terrain. For instance, gears are essential for eMTBs if you want to ride uphill or cycle on uneven terrain.
Therefore, if you are new to electric mountain bike gears, we'll explain everything about them in detail.
This article will walk you through everything you wish to know about electric mountain bike gear. Keep reading for more information.
Types of Electric Mountain Bike Gear
Derailleur gears are one of the most universal and common gearing systems on electric mountain bikes. They are named for the derailleur element of the bike system.
For instance, the brackets feature two cogs that hang below the cassette, connected to a mechanism on the bike's handlebars via a cable.
Therefore, adjusting the handlebar end of the mechanism decreases or increases the cable tension. This, in turn, moves the derailleur down or up the cassette, thus changing the gear.
With derailleur gear, riders could have the best gear for every situation due to the many gears.
Pros of derailleur gears
- They are cheap to replace if they get damaged.
- They are lightweight gearing systems.
- They provide a wide range of gearing options.
- Easy to maintain and adjust because of the open chain guard
- They are believed to be more efficient than hub gears.
Cons of derailleur gears
- Prove to get dirty because of the open chain guard. So they require regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Shifting is impossible when the electric mountain bike is stationary.
- Not advisable to change gears when the bike is stationary. It is also not recommended to change through several gears in one shift.
The hub gear is the most popular gear system in electric mountain bikes. They are entirely incorporated into the hub of the bike's rear wheel. So they require almost no maintenance.
A typical hub gear features seven gears, which gives you a perfect combination of mountain biking and convenience.
You can change gears when your electric mountain bike is stationary with hub gears. That's easier to start your electric mountain bike from a stop.
Pros of hub gear
- Requires little or no maintenance
- There are no visible gears
- It can be combined with an open or closed chain guard
- You can change the gears while the electric mountain bike is stationary
Cons of hub gear
- They are more expensive than derailleurs, especially for systems with more gears.
- They are relatively heavier
- You can not shift hub gears while pedalling
- They are difficult to maintain yourself
Derailleur vs hub eMTB gear system: Which is better?
There are many arguments on the internet about which is better, derailleur or hub electric mountain bike gears.
Fortunately, the best answer to this question depends on several factors, such as riding style, budget, and personal preference.
For instance, hub gear is the best option if you want smooth mountain biking with little maintenance. Hub gear also has advantages over derailleur gear for riders who prefer long tours over several stages on rough terrain.
Hub gears are often combined with a belt drive, which ensures quiet and low-maintenance mountain biking. Besides, a hub gear would be the best choice if you want to stop and restart multiple times while riding. That is because they can be adjusted when the eMTB is stationary.
On the other hand, the derailleur gears are the best choice if you want greater flexibility. For instance, they show off their benefits due to the higher number of gears and their greater load capacity. For instance, they can cope with the highest of torques.
What are the different eMTB gear system speed types?
Gears are typically at different speeds. And different electric mountain bikes come with varying gear capabilities. Therefore, knowing the gear system speed type will help you choose the best eMTB model based on the gear capability.
It is vital to note that the best electric mountain bikes should have seven speeds or more. For instance, bikes with more gear system speed types will be able to propel you up even on the most challenging hills.
The most common eMTB gear system speed types are;
- Seven-speed type: A 7-speed electric mountain bike like Netuno Electric MTB is for tackling uneven terrain and long distances.
- Shimano seven-speed type: Electric mountain bikes with a Shimano 7-speed gear system type are ideal for riders looking to transport cargo (heavy load) up or down a hill or rough terrain.
- Nine-speed speed type: A 9-speed electric mountain bike gives you the most choice for strength, lightweight, and precise shifting. The Netuno Pro eMTB is an example of a nine-speed eMTB capable of climbing steep terrains.
Why do electric mountain bike riders change gears while cycling?
Moving downhill is more manageable and requires less effort to propel the bike. So, you need to change gears to get better control of your electric mountain bike to descend safely. For instance, you need to reduce the electric assistance level to eco. Besides, you might want to use the smallest gear at the back and the largest gear at the front.
On the other hand, if you are riding uphill, you need more effort to propel your electric mountain bike forward. It entails increasing your pedal assistance to make pedalling easier. Therefore, you need to change gears. You might require the largest gear on the back (25 teeth) and the smallest gear on the front (39 teeth).
Electric mountain bike gearing tips and best practices
- You should always keep the cadence around the recommended 60rpm
- Adjust the mechanical gears for minor changes and the pedal assistance level for big changes
- Adjust the eMTB gear and pedal assistance shifter's position on the handlebars. For instance, they should be in the most comfortable position while biking.
- While changing between mechanical gears, keep pedalling at a smooth pace
- If in doubt, remain in a lower gear. For instance, it is easier to change to a higher gear and difficult to switch downwards
- Higher pedal assistance levels call for a higher eMTB gear
- Avoid changing through several gears at one time
- Avoid changing gears while your electric mountain bike is stationary
Learning and understanding electric mountain bike gears will make mountain biking enjoyable. It will also give your battery life greater longevity.