Just thought I would share my experiences so far with the gearing of my 29er MTB and Alfine 11.
Vik's Scandal 29er Build...
My initial gearing was 32T x 21T. I ride steep techy trails with lots of roots/rocks and loose dirt. Lots of short accelerations up steep sections... Zero rolling buff singletrack...
I'm running a 2.35" Racing Ralphs.
The 21T cog gave me a low enough bottom gear for most of my riding. I figured I would try a slightly bigger cog to see how I liked it, but if you told me 32T x 21T was the smallest I could have I'd be able to live with it. If you ride more rolling terrain or your steep climbs aren't techy than you'll probably be happy with this ratio.
I got my hands on a 23T cog and I'm going to try that out next. For our local riding the only time we get rolling fast is a steep downhill and generally I'm just hanging on for dear life so I don't need a tall top gear.
On One Scandal 29er - a set on Flickr
It's too early to talk about durability. The shifting action is light and smooth. I'm used to IGHs so I haven't had any issues with shifting while pedaling. So far so good!...
I'll report back after some riding with the 23T cog.
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