What are gear ratios?

You will often see gear ratios written as something like 44/16 or as a number such as 2.75 and you may even occasionally see a 'T' in their for good measure. What this all relates to is the number of 'Teeth' on both the main chainring (the larger of the two cogs carrying the chain) and on the rear-cog.

To take the above example:

44 is the number of 'Teeth' on the main chainring.

16 is the number of 'Teeth' on the rear-cog.

And the number 2.75 is simply the result of diving the number of 'Teeth' on the main chainring by the number on the rear-cog, or 44 by 16 in this example.

What the number 2.75 actually refers to is the number of times the rear wheel turns for every rotation of the main chainring. With 44 'Teeth' on the main chainring and 16 on the rear-cog, every time you pedal a full rotation the rear-cog will turn 2.75 times.


So, let's say you increase the gear ratio. What this essentially means is that you are having to apply more strength to turn the rear-cog, as it turns more for each rotation of the pedals, making it harder to pedal and slower to accelerate, but does however make for higher top speeds.

Conversely, if you were to lower the gear ratio, it would take less effort to turn the rear-cog, making it easier to pedal and faster to accelerate but result in lower top speeds.


Decrease ratio = increase number of teeth on rear cog. decrease number of teeth on main chainring.

Increase ratio = decrease number of teeth on rear cog. increase number of teeth on main chainring.


As standard, the Varsity Collection comes with a gear ratio of 44/16. The reason being is that it's set-up for commuters and for those who use their bike primarily for nipping around town. It's not too hard to set off from the traffic lights whilst still providing plenty of speed on the straights.

Our Signature One Range comes with a 48/16 gear ratio. This makes it slightly heavier and a great training bike but still great for commuting and getting around town easily and efficiently.


Ultimately, the perfect gear ratio is down to personal preference. Cycling skill, fitness levels and the terrain you're cycling on will all have a bearing on determining the most suitable gear-ratio for you. So our best advice would be to get on the bike and try it out. If you're finding it too difficult to get up-to speed then consider opting for a lower ratio and if you want to go faster, consider a higher ratio.

Do give it some time though, especially if you are not used to fixed-gear riding, as often it just takes a little getting used to.