Gear Ratio

Gear Ratios: Gear reduction vs overdrive

Gear ratio refers to the number of teeth or one gear's diameter compared to the other gear in a set. The gearset in the top illustration indicates gear reduction. The drive gear turns twice for every one revolution of the driven gear. Its gear ratio is 2:1 and increases torque. The transmission in the chart below uses gear reduction for 1st through 4th gears. Notice the first gear ratio in the chart is 4.027:1.

Gear ratio chart

The gear set in the second illustration indicates overdrive. In this set, the drive gear turns once for every two revolutions of the driven gear. This type of gear ratio (overdrive) increases speed over torque. The 5th gear ratio in the chart is 0.852:1. Notice that the one (1) represented by the driven gear is assumed and left out.