Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,062

    Calling ss commuters! Gearing help needed!

    I have a rigid ss 29er that I want to start commuting on. It's gearing is 32-20 for single track but I don't mind going steeper. My road commute is about 24 miles and very hilly so I need to find a good median for climbing / spinning out on downs.

    Was wondering what you guys use?

    I will be usin this for both trail and road and don't like te idea of panniers on the trail so in sticking to frame bags.

    Thanks!




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  2. #2
    jrm
    jrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jrm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,148
    Using the Sheldon Brown Gear Calculator your 32/20 set up is 46.3 Gear Inches. Depending on the tire size something in the 60 to 70 Gear Inch (GI) range should work. Use Sheldons calculator to find chainring/sprocket combos. it helps to check a number of chainring/sprocket combos so that you cane see how they trend up or downward.

    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,062

    Calling ss commuters! Gearing help needed!

    Dang 60 sounds intense for our local Mtb trails. I'm a wuss too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  4. #4
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,716
    I ride 42x18 on 700x32's most of the time. That puts me at 63 gear inches. It's on the tall side for trails, but if they're fairly flat trails it works out okay. It's on the low side for flat roads, but it works out okay if there are some hills. I've done my 44mi commute on it. The gradual climb on my way home sucks big time if there's a headwind, but otherwise it's okay.

  5. #5
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,926
    I ride 34x15 on 29er 2.4 tires for commuting and local area trails where there are short abrupt climbs or longer gradual ones. I'm thinking of going to a 36 chain ring for less spin on the commutes and see if I still have enough mojo to make trail climbs with a 16/17t cog.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Saul Lumikko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,131
    I'd start with 42/19 if you have "proper" 29er tires. 40c or smaller should be fine with 42/18. If you spin out with these you're going quite fast already, but it's certainly not a ratio restricted to flats. As someone not familiar with your physique and commute it's quite impossible to be more precise. The good part is that you don't commit for life: just change the ratio if it doesn't work for you.

    If you need something that works on trails as well and want climbing torque, you'll have to accept that downhills mean coasting. Or spinning really fast. I've commuted one winter on a rigid fixed 29er with 34/18, but the distance was just 7 miles one way so the right ratio wasn't really that critical. In fact I quite liked the spinning practice I got sorta "without training".

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,118
    I've got two:

    My 29er with 2.4 knobbies is 33x18, so about 54 gearinches.
    My 26er with Bigapples is 42x16, so about 70 gearinches.

    The 29er is meant for trails, and is definitely geared low for commuting but my route has lots of stop-and-go so it works fine. I wouldn't ride it 24mi though.
    The 26er is surprisingly rideable on rooty singletrack, and I basically just end up walking a few more hills than normal. For commuting it's great, although it gets spiny going downhill.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: henrymiller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    135
    I run 34x19 fixed on a 26" with 2.4 tires. Gear inches is 47.3. Good for long climbs on my commute, ok for dirt. Not the best gearing for flat land, I get up to 13-15mph before I spin out. For a singlespeed, I would run 34x18 or 34x17, around 50 gear inches.

    Source:

    Me. 3400 miles commuting 34x19 with 2.4 tires.
    Roscoe's Chicken 'n Waffles

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,062

    Calling ss commuters! Gearing help needed!

    Thanks for all of the replies. I'm going to be installing midge dirt drops and some bb7 compatible drop levers come Wednesday. Ill change my gearing to 32-18 (51.6GI) from 32-20 and see how that fairs on a 24 mile daily commute. Ill take back country roads to get to work so its consistent with maybe 2 stop signs. Very hilly. I have been ridig t as 32-20 on the road to test it out and I don't have very good flat land. I'm hoping the 18 will help that out. I'm fine with coating down the hills though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,118
    I put a midge on my ss 29er earlier this spring. Nice bar and fun on singletrack, but it made riding on the road so boring.

    Like I said above, my 33x18 is a bit little low for commuting, but it's okay because the bike is usually a blast to ride. But riding in the drops I barely even felt like I was moving. Drops just "feel" more efficient, and when you combine that with inefficient gearing I felt so slowwwwwwww. It was a weird psychological thing, but I took the bar off after a few weeks.

    If I'd wanted to keep the midge I would have needed to gear up, or else I would have gone crazy.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    128
    My SS commuter has 28c tires and I run 48x17 with zero elevation gain.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,118
    And one more comment on the midge.

    On my route there are some hills that are easy, and some that are hard. With the midge some of the hard ones became impossible - I just couldn't mash as well as normal. It felt fantastic on the easy hills though.

    So I'm normally really happy with the gearing of my 29er, but with the midge I really wanted something higher for the road, but I also needed something a bit lower for the hills.

    My conclusion was that it wasn't great for an all-purpose ss. It would be good for a dedicated trail ss, or a dedicated commuter ss, or an All-purpose 1xwhatever. But it took a lot of the fun out of my bike.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,062

    Calling ss commuters! Gearing help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    And one more comment on the midge.

    On my route there are some hills that are easy, and some that are hard. With the midge some of the hard ones became impossible - I just couldn't mash as well as normal. It felt fantastic on the easy hills though.

    So I'm normally really happy with the gearing of my 29er, but with the midge I really wanted something higher for the road, but I also needed something a bit lower for the hills.

    My conclusion was that it wasn't great for an all-purpose ss. It would be good for a dedicated trail ss, or a dedicated commuter ss, or an All-purpose 1xwhatever. But it took a lot of the fun out of my bike.
    Very insightful. Thanks for that. I have a spare 8spd xt RD that I have been saving if the ss build isn't what I was hoping for.

    So you thought te midge bars made climbing harder? I never tried them on trails yet but on road it really opens up my chest when I'm standing and mashing. I also have them setup where I can use the drops AND te hoods comfortably.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: newfangled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    2,118
    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    So you thought the midge bars made climbing harder? I never tried them on trails yet but on road it really opens up my chest when I'm standing and mashing.
    I really, really liked them for some climbing. But there are a few hills that are always a real challenge (but are also always clearable), and with the midge they just weren't happening. When you need to "give it 110%" with the midge I could only do 100%, if that makes sense. If I'd kept using it I probably would have had to gear down, or just get used to walking more.

    I set mine up to ride mostly in the drops, but for climbing I could use the drops or the hoods. But for tricky stuff I just couldn't get the leverage when I really needed it.
    Last edited by newfangled; 06-09-2013 at 09:27 AM.

  15. #15
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,343
    48x19(or 18 or 17 depending on the time of year) fixed for my hilly 22.5 mile commute
    *** --- *** --- ***

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,062

    Calling ss commuters! Gearing help needed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    48x19(or 18 or 17 depending on the time of year) fixed for my hilly 22.5 mile commute
    And you use that 48 up front on yor regular singletrack trails?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  17. #17
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,343
    I don't ride SS off road...but yes..most of my big rings are 46 or 48 with one 50.
    *** --- *** --- ***

Similar Threads

  1. Mariachi gearing help needed.
    By abelfonseca in forum Salsa
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-04-2012, 01:20 PM
  2. Calling All Commuters - Worldwide! July 11
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-15-2012, 09:17 AM
  3. Gearing advice needed please.
    By Just J in forum 29er Components
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-04-2012, 08:03 AM
  4. Replies: 37
    Last Post: 01-14-2012, 09:49 PM
  5. Calling all commuters-take a picture Wednesday 11/9
    By mtbxplorer in forum Commuting
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 11-11-2011, 06:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •