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My bike has 21 gears the new wheel only has 18 gears w ill the bike work

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Yes it will. You will have to adjust the gear shift cable so that it doesn't go past the 6th gear on the wheel (as you would've had a 7th gear) otherwise your chain will constantly slip off the wheel and jam up

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Clueless


The rear cassette is only a part of the solution. The front gearset also comes with a variety of ring/teeth configurations.
Plenty on new bikes come with a 'compact' gearset (2 front rings, 10 speed rear cassette). That is generally a lower gear ration to aid in hill climbing.
The rear cassettes are easily interchanged (must be same brand as what the hub uses). Of the 3 you listed; the 11-26 would be "Fastest".

If you want to go fast, and are fit enough to power it at speed for a good duration... look for a large crank ring (greatest number of teeth) and a small cassette # (like the 11-26 you listed). It's a sinple ratio calculation. What you're looking for is the most amount of rear wheel rotations per crank rotation. That is achieved by a big (lots of teeth) front ring and a small (not many teeth) rear cassette ring.

While at the bike store, put the bike in it's highest gear (biggest ring on the crankset, smallest ring on the wheel cassette). Lift the rear wheel off the ground and count the amount of rear wheel rotations for 1 crank rotaion.

A triathalon/time-trial bike will come with a ratio of about 5.5-6.5 rotatotions of the rear wheel for each rotation of the crank.
An endurance road bike (with compact gearset) might come with about 4.25 rear wheel rotations for each crank rotation.

Tri/TT bikes are made to put the rider in the most areodynamic position possible thereby reducing the wind drag and making pedaling easier (so you can manage a higher gear ratio). Endurance road bikes are designed to put the rider in a confortable position (more upright) for all day riding.

Get the bike shop to fit you properly to the bike you choose, not all shops offer this. There are professional bike fitters that can help you when you get close.

Hope that helps

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