Drivetrain

The term "drivetrain" refers to the components on the bike that are crucial for converting your pedalling motion into propulsion. The drivetrain is so fundamental that the interplay between pedals, cranks, chainrings, chain (or belt) and sprockets unites bikes of all types.Read More Here
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Bicycle drivetrain

If you are not using gravity or enjoying a strong tailwind, then you move your bike using your muscle power. The term "drivetrain" refers to the components on the bike that are crucial for converting your pedalling motion into propulsion. The drivetrain is so fundamental that the interplay between pedals, cranks, chainrings, chain (or belt) and sprockets unites bikes of all types - albeit in different forms. Whether you want to completely upgrade the drivetrain on your road bike, change the gearing on your mountain bike or replace worn parts on your e-bike, you'll find what you're looking for here!

From 1 x 12 to single-speed: The types of drivetrains on bicycles

As the drivetrains of some bikes are fundamentally different, we want to give you a brief overview of which types are common and which parts they consist of in addition to pedals, cranks and bottom brackets. This way, you can see at a glance which components are suitable for your bike.

Derailleur gears
The drivetrain here includes a cassette with up to 13 sprockets (gears), the appropriate chain and one to three chainrings on the crank. The derailleur drivetrain is the most widespread, especially on sporty bicycles. You can find the components you need to shift gears in the separate shop category “shifters & derailleurs”.

Internally geared hubs / gearbox
On bikes with hub gears or a central gearbox (around the bottom bracket) you will only find one sprocket on the rear wheel, the chain and a chainring at the front. A special case is the belt drive, which uses a toothed belt instead of a chain and suitable sprockets on the crank and rear wheel.

E-bikes
You will find derailleur gears or gearboxes on e-bikes, but these are often somewhat more robust, as the motor also provides power in addition to your muscle power. The support motor is often also referred to as the drive.

Single-speed bikes
There are people who voluntarily ride bicycles without the comfort of gears - in the city or even off-road. As with the gearbox, the drivetrain is reduced to a sprocket, chain and chainring.

Fixed-gear bikes
At first glance, fixies look like single-speed bikes, but they are even more spartan. A sprocket without freewheel is mounted on the hub. You can't stop pedalling while riding. Fixed drivetrains are normal on track bikes and are also ridden by some people in the city.

Compatibility of drivetrain components

The individual parts of modern bicycle drivetrains are precisely matched to each other. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, the individual parts must be compatible with each other. You should pay particular attention to the following:
• Select the number of gears to match the shifters and derailleurs (applies to cassette, chainrings and chain)!
• Mounting dimensions and standards: Wherever parts are fitted to other parts, the interfaces must match.
• Manufacturers: High-end components in particular are thought through down to the last detail and are therefore sometimes very specialised. Pay attention to the manufacturer's instructions regarding compatibility! This guarantees the best performance.

Off to the workshop: DIY

If you already have experience with tinkering with your bike and would like to work on the drivetrain yourself, we recommend taking a look at our blog category “How to”. There we have collected practical tips and instructions for working on bikes. Here are a few examples from the drivetrain sector:
How To: Changing a cassette on a road bike? This is how it’s done!
How To: Replace the Chain on Your Road Bike in Five Steps
How to: Replacing the MTB Chain

There you will also find tips for the time after installation. Because a well-maintained drivetrain lasts longer and is more fun: Grease, Lubricate and Maintain your Bike Chain.


Advice

Tips and Tricks

BC Guide: Finding the right bottom bracket for your bike

Guides

Thomas

There are so many standards for bicycle bottom brackets that it is easy to lose track of them all. We’ll help you find the right one for your frame.

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Shifters & Derailleurs for your Mountain Bike – An Overview

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Isa

XTR, XX1, X01, Deore, etc. – The choice of shifters & derailleurs for MTBs is huge. Find out which is the right one for you here.

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Ergonomics 101 – Making Adjustments to Your Bike

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Markus

Biking doesn't have to hurt! There are lots of adjustments you can make to adapt your bike to your needs. We’ll show you how.

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The Right Pedal Ergonomics: More Power and No More Knee Pain

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Fernando

Just pedal and go? What sounds so easy is actually quite complicated. Here’s what to keep in mind when considering the body’s interaction with the pedals.

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The Mechanism Makes a Difference – An Overview of Clipless Pedals

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David

SPD? ATAC? SPD-SL? Kéo? There are many clipless pedal systems for MTB and road bikes, but they are not all compatible. An overview of all systems.

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Slip-proof – Flat Pedals and Platform Pedals for Your Bike

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Phil

The variety of platform pedals, also called flat pedals, is vast. Here’s what to look for when buying a pedal so that it suits you and your riding style.

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Freehub and freehub body: function, compatibilities and conversion

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Pascal

How does the freehub on a bike work? What should you pay attention to when converting shifters &derailleurs, which freehub is compatible with which models?

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How To: Replace the Chain on Your Road Bike in Five Steps

How-Tos

Thomas

Is the chain on your gravel or road bike worn out? Do you want to install a new one? With our how-to guide, replacing the chain is a piece of cake.

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How To: Changing a cassette on a road bike? This is how it’s done!

How-Tos

Thomas

A cassette on a road bike or gravel bike can be changed quickly. We’ll show you how to replace the cassette with just two tools.

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How to: Replacing the MTB Chain

How-Tos

Thomas

Is the chain on your MTB worn out? Do you want to fit a new one? No worries. We’ll explain how you can replace your chain on your bike.

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