How Folding Mountain Bikes Work

When you take your mountain bike out on a trail, you will have no doubt seen some strange looking bikes out there. There are a lot of features offered when it comes to folding mountain bikes, this post will help you understand them and how they work.


​Mountain bikes these days have a huge range of gears, some bikes even containing 27 gear ratios. The way gearing ratios work on mountain bikes is by having nine sprockets at the back and 3 at the front, these sprockets are of a different size which helps produce these gear ratios.

The reason for the huge range of gears, is to give the rider the ability to change gears to help them pedal at a constant speed, irrelevant of the type of terrain or slope. Without the access to these gears for example, a single sprocket bike would have a 1:1 gear ratio, meaning that for each pedal rotation would mean a single rotation of the bike wheel.

Changing Gears

​When it comes to changing gears, many people select the front sprocket before they attempt an incline, as the front sprocket is the most difficult to change whilst under strain. Therefore, many people use the gears at the rear, as it is much easier to change between the gears when the chain is under load. When riding up a slope, riders will usually opt for the lowest front sprocket then switch between the ranges of gears on the rear to keep them pedaling at a constant pace.

​The Derailleurs

​Derailleur Gears are fitted to most mountain bikes, as well folding mountain bikes. The derailleur is a small device which helps to change the chain from one sprocket over to another. As with the sprockets, there is a derailleur at the front and the rear of the bike, having a high ratio involves having the chain on the biggest sprocket at the front and the smallest in the back, this allowing the bike to produce its fastest speed.

For the easiest pedaling experience with a slow speed, then the lowest ratio is produced by having the smallest sprocket at the front and the biggest at the rear, especially useful for steep hill climbs.


​Most mountain bikes produced today have a suspension system, which is made up of a rear suspension and front springs. Because of the nature of the bike and where the rider will be taking it, having a suspension helps the bike to cope with bumps along the trail. The way it does this is by moving the wheels up and down with the terrain, helping to give a smoother ride and better control of the bike overall, as it keeps the wheels in constant contact with the ground.


​Of course the most essential part of any bike is the brakes. These are what help to slow down from high speeds, with years of development, the main design of brakes which is used on most major mountain bikes is the cantilever brakes. There is a cable which runs from the brake lever on the handlebars down to the two levers at either side of the tire, once the brake lever is pulled these two levers are pulled toward each other causing the brake pads to squeeze against the wall of the wheel.

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Hey there, I'm Frank. Folding Bikes and biking, in general, has always been a passion of mine. I hope you find this site beneficial and start to love folders as much as I do.

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