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Thread: 24x34 vs. 22x32

  1. #1
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    24x34 vs. 22x32

    I'm in a bit of a dilemma regarding gearing choice.

    I'm currently running a 22t granny with a 11-32 cassette but I'm getting a new crank that comes with a 24t small chainring.
    What would be better: get a new 11-34 cassette to offset the larger chainring or just swap it with a 22 and keep the 11-32 cassette?

    I suppose the 24x34 setup would be slightly smoother and the reduced gap from the large ring (36, 2x9) would be beneficial, but it will be slightly heavier and short-term more expensive (new cassette). In your experience is there any other difference I haven't considered? For ex. is chainsuck reduced with a 24? Anything else?

    [and yes I could just man up and run 24x32, but we have lots of long & steep & rough climbs where the 22x32 comes handy]

    Thanks for opinions!

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Your old gear ratio, if you don't get into issues of crank arm length and wheel size, is just 22/32 = 0.6875.

    The new gear ratio, same simplification, is 24/32 = 0.75.
    With the new cassette, 24/34 = 0.706.

    Keep in mind that the absolute difference between different ratios doesn't need to be very big for the difference to feel pretty significant. It's the relative difference that matters. You'd probably feel the difference between 22/32 and 24/34, but it would still not be all that much. Less than half a shift, with the size of the shifts on a MTB. The difference between 24/32 and either of those ratios is more significant, though, although still less than one shift.

    In your shoes, I'd probably just slap the new crank on and go ride. If, in the real world, it bothered me, I'd look at my other options. If I was okay with the size of the front shift, I'd probably try swapping on the 22t granny. If it was already feeling a little big and difficult to use, then I'd be thinking about the 11-34 cassette. You might find that it's okay, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Without changing the cassette, going from 22/32 (.6875) to 24/32= (.75) will feel about like a 22/"29.5" (.746), a much higher low gear.

    Going to 24/34 (.706) is still higher than 22/32 (.6875), but not by enough to feel after a ride or two.

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    I agree with your computations, I came pretty much to the same conclusion.

    What I'm most interested is, given that 22x32 is pretty much equivalent to 24x34, which one would you pick and why?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenk View Post
    I agree with your computations, I came pretty much to the same conclusion.

    What I'm most interested is, given that 22x32 is pretty much equivalent to 24x34, which one would you pick and why?
    34t cassette, because you will have a larger range of gears available for your middle ring too (assuming it is staying the same size as before) and might even be able to avoid shifting into the 22t ring in some situations.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The OP is switching to a double crank with a 36t large ring.

    I'd go with an 11-34 with such a setup. Better range for the large ring, tighter shift between the small and large rings.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    The OP is switching to a double crank with a 36t large ring.

    I'd go with an 11-34 with such a setup. Better range for the large ring, tighter shift between the small and large rings.
    Thanks, I missed that part. Either way, we agree: more range for the rest of the rings not just the granny

  8. #8
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    Wider range for the 36 chainring and tighter front shifting make a lot of sense.
    In fact I already run a double, 22-36 with 11-32, however the new crank comes with a 24 granny and made me rethink my cassette choice.

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