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From CycleChaos

A transmission or gearbox provides speed and torque conversions from a rotating power source to another device using gear ratios. In British English the term transmission refers to the whole drive train, including gearbox, clutch, prop shaft (for rear-wheel drive), differential and final drive shafts. The most common use is in motor vehicles, where the transmission adapts the output of the internal combustion engine to the drive wheels. Such engines need to operate at a relatively high rotational speed, which is inappropriate for starting, stopping, and slower travel. The transmission reduces the higher engine speed to the slower wheel speed, increasing torque in the process.