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  1. #1
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    A question for SoCal single speeders

    While I'm enjoying the heck out of my new RIP 9, I often find myself on rides that are more XC oriented and with friends/family who are either just starting out, or are a little more leisurely about climbing than I tend to be on my own. I've got my '08 GF Ferrous sitting around collecting dust, and after being advised to do so, decided to turn it into a single speed to address the situation.

    I'm wondering, what gearing are you all running in the SM Mountains, Simi trails, or San Gabriels? Never been to OC or SD, but your input is welcome, too. I've got a e*13 32t guidering on the way with a 22t Surly cog and will be starting there, but I'm curious as to what you're running, and maybe where you started.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I really use my SS exclusively on all of the coastal San diego trails, as well as inland a bit, but for the Cuyamacas and the Lagunas I use my geared bike.
    The SS has a 32X17 drivetrain, and works well on all but long mountain climbs.
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  3. #3
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    I use a 32-18 on my 26" SS, I find the gearing to be perfect for where I live (Big Bear) I do tend to spin up quite quickly on the flats, but find it only helps in all facets of my riding.

  4. #4
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    I ride my rigid 26" SS Kona Unit around the Santa Monica Mountains, Chesebro, and Sycamore Canyon trails. It started with a stock gearing of 34t chainring and 17t Shimano freewheel. I replaced the 17t Shimano freewheel with a 20t White Industries freewheel recently. I find that I can sit it out more now and stand up less. Not sure if that's a good thing or not yet.

  5. #5
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    Never ridden up your way as I'm in SD. I originally had my rigid 29er set up with 32 x 20. I read somewhere that gearing for 29ers v 26ers roughly equates as: 26 rear + 2 teeth = 29 rear, so my setup is in line with what previous posters on 26 bikes are running. Sucked at times climbing, sucked at times on the flats/descending. Was fun in an ascetic way I suppose. I've found a happy medium in self abuse with 1 x 9 and a squishy front end. A shorter stem and wide bars help with leeeeverage while climbing and the ability to pedal at 200 rpm would be nice going down or on the flats, though maybe not relevant if you're using said bike to cruise with newbie friends and family.

  6. #6
    REALLY?
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    I use 32/16 on a 26er for everything. Not very good gear for steep climbs, but good all around gear for everything else.
    DJ, "Because I'm sure the world need's more dudes stalking the woods stoned out of their mind carrying a deadly weapon."

  7. #7
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    The 32x22 is a great gear to start with...especially if you are riding it on more leisurely rides. You will be able to sit and pedal on the less gradual climbs.

    I always say, run whatever gear your ego can handle.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  8. #8
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    I use 32x20 on a 29er for my SS. It's perfect for my local trail Fryman/Franklin Cyn and it's good for Cheseboro although Modelo connector gives me a heck of a workout. With 32x22 you'll be spinning out on the flatter stuff like Cheseboro from the parking lot to Sheep Coral, but you'll be able to climb almost anything. I ride streets for a couple of miles to get to my local trails and I'm going to make my single a two speed with 34x18 for the streets. 32x20 is pretty frustrating to ride on pavement, especially when the Jr. High kids are passing me while I'm pedaling at 100 rpm.

  9. #9
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    I've been riding SS exclusively for a year and couple of months now. I started with 32x22 - about 7 months in I switched to 33x22, to 33x21. I rode it for couple of months and I realized I still got long ways to go to ride 33x21 (or 32x20) comfortably especially on longer rides so I decided to try 32x21. I'm very comfortable riding it especially on climbs, sometimes on flats can be annoying but it is what it is. I ride SM mountains; Ventura / LA county trails for the most part.

  10. #10
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    Hello, Your on the right track. Start with the 32/22 and see how you do. It takes a while to build up the SS muscles and the gears you can swap fairly easy. I am running a 32/19 on my SS 29er.
    When your out crusing with the friends and really want you feel it too easy or their too slow for you, heres a trick I like to do. Hit every hill at MAX, once you get to the top go back down to the last person and turn around and climb that hill again, repeat until the last person is at the top.
    Tell them your working on hill repeats so the faster they climb the shorter workout you get.
    You will be huffing and puffing but your strength grows quickly.
    Have fun.
    Pedal Dammit!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for your input everyone. Boxer, especially - what a great idea! Self-inflicted pain, with a duration determined by the slowest member of my group. I love it.

  12. #12
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    I run 32/20 on my 26er. I only ride it once or twice a month now, but that gearing allows me to climb just about anything for hours and hours.

    Don't kill yourself with too big a gear if it's not getting easier after the first month. But once you get it dialed in, you'll be amazed at what you can do. Good luck!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 02-23-2013 at 10:48 AM.
    Why?

    Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalAl View Post
    I use 32x20 on a 29er for my SS. It's perfect for my local trail Fryman/Franklin Cyn and it's good for Cheseboro although Modelo connector gives me a heck of a workout. With 32x22 you'll be spinning out on the flatter stuff like Cheseboro from the parking lot to Sheep Coral, but you'll be able to climb almost anything. I ride streets for a couple of miles to get to my local trails and I'm going to make my single a two speed with 34x18 for the streets. 32x20 is pretty frustrating to ride on pavement, especially when the Jr. High kids are passing me while I'm pedaling at 100 rpm.
    You run 32/20 up Fryman? From the parking lot off Laurel? I know it's short, but that hill seems really steep for that gearing. Maybe because I haven't been on that climb since the first few months of mtb-ing.

  14. #14
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    32x17 on a 29er. work your way up to it.

    32x20 for rides longer than 7 hours and long climbs

  15. #15
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    So I got my stuff in the mail today - surly cog, e13 ring, and kmc chain. Is it normal to have good tension with the cranks in one position and not good tension with the cranks, say, a 1/4 turn around the stroke?
    '14 Lenz Lunchbox
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  16. #16
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    My tension varies a little bit but it's barely noticeable, I assume that my chainring isn't quite round. As long as it's single speed specific stuff, you shouldn't have any problems with losing the chain.

  17. #17
    beer is good for u
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    Yeah the better tolerances the cog/chainring have the less this happens. Surly cogs are good but once you get a king one you'll be spoiled!

    2/1 gear on 26" is pretty common. I ran that last year on my 26" for everything including bonelli and state champs. For 5+ hr rides I went to a 34/18 this year and its pretty nice. Sometimes it's faster to go a little less and spin it out.

    might have a 29" this year but right now I have no idea what the above equates to....

  18. #18
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    I run 30x18 usually and 30x19 for extended climbing rides on 650b. If the climb is too tough for my gearing, i walk. I'm slow and weak though. Yet, i still ride my SS 95% of the time no matter what trail i'm riding. Harding TT to Santiago Peak slow and steady for 3hrs of climbing. I'm actually slower spinning my gears up the hill than walking.

    I say, pick a gear and ride it. You'll know in 2-3 rides if you need a smaller or bigger gear.

  19. #19
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    Just for fun, here she is, currently at 32/22.
    '14 Lenz Lunchbox
    '08 Gary Fisher Ferrous 29

  20. #20
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    "Those flats are gonna hold you back..." ~ cat

    : )

    And think about a wider bar/shorter stem combo. I'm running 780/50 right now, and it makes a big difference. Go get it dirty!
    Last edited by dirtvert; 01-27-2013 at 08:25 AM.
    Why?

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  21. #21
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    Thanks, dirt. I'm definitely going with my Atacs - I just had these on to ride around the neighborhood. My bar feels plenty wide to me - it's at about 750 right now, and I just changed from 90 to 60 on my RIP 9 and LOVE the feel, so I'll likely be tinkering with that on this bike, too.

  22. #22
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    Have a RIP9 also, but ride my GT Peace 9R SS for lunch rides. 32x22(hate hiking, can climb most anything with that gearing) and love the 5.10 with flats, they don't hold you back at all especially in the rocks

    Last edited by socal_jack; 01-27-2013 at 09:20 PM.

  23. #23
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    I've never ran anything easier than a 32x20 on my 29er but I'd imagine being able to climb just about anything in SoCal with a 32x22. However, you will top it out quickly on the flats. I ride a 1x9 26" ht or a 2x9 160mm AM bike otherwise.

  24. #24
    No known cure
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    I live in the San Bernardino Mountains and run 34X20 on my 26" with 185mm cranks. I've never tried any other gearing.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  25. #25
    Gotta pay to play
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    I'm using 32x18 on a 29er GT Peace. There were several times in the first few weeks of riding where I thought I was going to have an Alienesque organ explosion out my chest. Then my body adapted to the pain and I flew up the hills like Superman. I mostly ride Sycamore Cyn, NP, and TO- but I am pretty much able to go up everything if I ride 2-3 times a week to keep up the fitness.

    If you are only going to ride SS every once in a while than go for a 22 on the rear cog.

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