Jenson USA carries one of the most extensive selections of curated bike gear online. We’ve developed learning guides to aid you in making informed decisions and we have backed this up with our expert Gear Advisors who are available by phone, chat, or email 7 days a week.
The most basic and freeing sensation felt while riding a bike is pedaling on a flat dirt surface. You felt it as a kid and you still feel it today. The gripping sound of a tire implanting tracks into the soil and the chain wrapping around the gears in a methodical symphony of grinds and rattles that sedate your mind as you pedal farther from reality. The driving force of this human powered escape is the drivetrain. The drivetrain is a group of mechanical components that allows the rider to propel him or herself forward. The most basic drivetrain is a single speed. A single speed is composed of a crankset, a chain and a smaller gear ring that is connected to the rear wheel. While pedaling, the cranks rotate the large gear ring, which circulates the chain and turns the smaller gear ring attached to the rear wheel. This cycle propels the rear wheel forward. Not to hard of a concept to grasp. The large gear ring is called a chainring. The chain is simply called a chain and the smaller gear ring mounted to the rear wheel is called a cog or freewheel. The bike you learned to ride on probably used a single speed drivetrain. Single speeds are common on an array of bikes including kids, bmx, commuters and mountain bikes.
Single speed bikes are great, simply keep the chain tight, lube it up every now and then and smoothness will continue. That is until you encounter a large hill. While your single speed drivetrain will be running smooth, your lungs and legs will not when they have to take on the hill with just one heavy gear. The world is not flat and the best parts to ride mountain bikes are usually found in areas of undulating terrain. Thus the need for interchangeable gears, shifting and all the components needed to help the mountain bikers get to the top of the mountains was created. This is the break down of how a multispeed drivetrain operates and how to select the right drivetrain for your next bike.SHOP BIKE DRIVETRAIN
When buying a complete bike in any of the mountain bike categories you will see two main drivetrain brands, Sram and Shimano. From that point the list of drivetrain models get pretty long and confusing. XX, Zee, Deore, Eagle, XTR, GX, etc. The models all have different qualities and price ranges. It is important to do your research on the drivetrain model that will come equipped on your bike. A top of the line drivetrain will have precise shifting, be made with weight conscious materials and will have lasting performance. An economically priced drivetrain will get the job done but wont be the smoothest or shift precisely for an extended length of time. A low-grade drivetrain can be used to get the price down on an entry-level carbon complete bike. A mid or top tier drivetrain can enhance the value of an aluminum model mountain bike. Quality drivetrain components dwarf the weight savings of the carbon frame almost always. Smooth and consistent shifting over many rides will be a more noticeable value because it is something the rider will be interacting with throughout every ride.SHOP BIKE DRIVETRAIN
Drivetrain selection can be an intimidating section to navigate when purchasing a new mountain bike. The research and final selection process will take some time but hopefully the end result will be a quality drivetrain that suits your ride experience requirements and personal budget. We want to make sure you can go from shopping to riding as soon as possible. Our expert Gear Advisors are available to help you cater your protection setup with just the right combination of protection and comfort. Contact a Gear Advisor: 888-880-3811, Mon-Fri: 7:30am to 7pm, Sat-Sun: 9am to 5pm (PST)