what does floating gears mean


What Does Floating Gears Mean?

Floating gears are an innovative bike gearing concept used in some bikes since the early 1990s. It is a combination of rear cogs and smaller chainrings set up in a way that makes it easier for the cyclist to switch between gears while maintaining a natural pedaling motion.

The Benefits of Floating Gears

Floating gears offer a few major benefits that make them an appealing option for cyclists:

  • Smooth gearshifts: By utilizing smaller chainrings, floating gears are able to smoothly transition between gears with minimal effort.
  • Reduced wear: By reducing the number of rear cogs used and by using larger chainrings, wear and tear on the hardware is reduced.
  • Improved pedaling: Floating gears allow the cyclist to pedal in a natural cadence because the shift is not a jarring shift between gears.

Uses for Floating Gears

Floating gears are used in a variety of applications such as mountain bikes, road bikes, and BMX bikes. They can be used for both off-road and on-road applications, and are particularly useful for those who want to maximize their efficiency while out on the trails.

Drawbacks of Floating Gears

Although floating gears offer many benefits, there are some drawbacks to the system as well.

  • Cost: The setup is quite expensive and can be more than the cost of the bike itself.
  • Compatibility: Floating gears are not compatible with all types of bikes, so some bikes may not be able to use them.
  • Weight: The extra parts of the floating gear system can add weight to the bike, making it less lightweight to the user.


Floating gears are an interesting development in bike gearing, and for those who can afford the setup, they offer many advantages. However, due to the cost and weight of the system, it is important to evaluate if the floating gears are the best choice for your particular riding style.