Hub gears - Cadence vs Speed for each gear ratio

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Use the graph above to choose your ideal gearing.

Assume that as far as possible you need to pedal in the green area (which you set to your cadence range) with max comfort and power in the region of deeper green.

Enter your bicycle data

Click on hub model to graph and analyse this hub:

Sturmey Archer AW
Sturmey Archer S3X
Sturmey Archer X-RD8, X-RF8, X-RK8, X-RR8
Sturmey Archer S80 W,X-RD8 W,X-RF8 W,X-RK8 W
Shimano Nexus 333,SG-3S21,G-3S23,F,G,3SC,3CC
Shimano Nexus Inter 3
Shimano Nexus Inter 4
Shimano Nexus 7-speed
Shimano Nexus, Alfine 8-speed
Shimano Alfine 11-speed
Rohloff 14-speed
Single gear - fixie

View analysis

Front sprocket: Rear sprocket:
Wheel diameter (mm):
Bicycle weight (kg):
Air resistance
Coefficient KA:
Rolling resistance
Coefficient CR:
Explain KA and CR

Enter your personal data

Body weight (kg): Max power (watt):
Low cadence: High cadence:
Want to climb: 1 in
Explain cadence

Enter config data

Graph scales:
Max speed (mph): Max cadence:
Data used in analysis:
Headwind (mph):
Gradient: 1 in 0 = no Gradient

Analysis of Sturmey Archer AW:

Low gear, hill climb - with your lowest gear, what's the steepest hill you can climb at your optimum cadence?

Your lowest overall gear ratio is lowestgearing and at your optimal cadence of optimum cadence rpm this equates to mph mph. At this speed the power lost through air resistance is lost power watts and the power lost through other types of frictional resistance is lost power watts. At this rpm and speed, you can climb a 1 in one in hill with your max power of your max watts. You want to climb a hill of 1 in your hill and to do this at this speed / cadence you need to produce hill watts watts to overcome the gradient giving a total of needed watts watts.

Flat ground with at optimal cadence


with at optimal cadence


Analysis of each gear combination


Analysis of each MPH point - which gear combinations could you use at this MPH and remain within cadence range?

Both headwind and gradient (above) are taken into account.


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, mistakes are possible therefore use it at your own risk!

Cadence - the number of revolutions of the crank per minute

Cadence is the number of revolutions of the crank per minute, this is the rate at which a cyclist is pedalling/turning the pedals.

Take a look at the Wikipedia article on bicycle cadence.

There has been much scientific research on optimum cadence. For most people a cadence of 60 to 100 rpm is a comfortable range, with some sources measuring maximum power at 85 rpm and others at 90 - 95 rpm. Even if you do not have expensive instrumentation, you can measure your own preferred cadence. Zip tie a cheap watch (or a speedo with a timer) to your handlebars and count how many times your pedals rotate when you are pedalling hard. Factors are the degree of fitness of the rider and the degree to which efficiency or peak power are important.

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Gear calculation

Use this website to choose the ideal gearing for your personal riding style.
  • At the high speed end, how fast do you want to be able to go with a cadence near your maximum? Can you produce enough power to achieve this speed, on the flat, uphill/downhill, and with a headwind / tailwind?
  • At cadences lower than 60 rpm it is harder work to create a given amount of power. Sure, athletes can create high power at low revs but it is still less efficient than pedalling faster! So, at the low end do you have a suitable gear that you can pedal within your cadence range that will get you up a steep hill?
  • Inbetween, have you enough gears to be able to pedal at all speeds and keep within your target cadence range. It is inefficient if when you reach your max cadence in one gear the change to the next gear takes you below your min cadence.
Click on View analysis and information is provided for that gear set and for your personal information:
  • For that gear set what gradient of hill you can climb given your preferred cadence, weight and power capabilities.
  • What power is required to pedal at different speeds in different gears with and without a headwind.
  • For each gear ratio; what speed could you achieve within your cadence range and how many gear inches does the gear equate to.
  • For each MPH point - which gear combinations could you use at this MPH and remain within cadence range
Change you gearing and see what the effect is.

Gear calculation input data

A figure of two watts (of power) per Kg of body weight is often quoted as a maximum sustainable power for a fit person. Athletes can produce figures much higher than this.

The calculations take frictional losses (tyres, bearings, chain), air drag and energy to climb a gradient into account when calculating power requirements.

The calculations for air resistance with a headwind / tailwind (enter a negative headwind) assume the wind is not at an angle and not affected by objects such as buildings or hedges.

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