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  1. #1
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    SS help from Wiss (or S. Jersey) riders - gear ratio?

    Hi there,

    I live in S. Jersey & ride the local trails here, Wiss is pretty close to me as well...I'm just a few minutes from the Walt/Benny.

    Anyway...I'm thinking of dropping the gears (1x9 now) on my Chameleon & giving SS a shot. I'll be the first to admit I'm not a strong rider & find myself hiking here & there even with gears. But I like the idea of simplicty & trying to get stronger.

    Do you have any suggestions for gearing for a beginner single-speeding at the Wiss? I was thinking of just ordering a conversion kit & ss chain today. Already running a 32T chainring in front & would like to keep it if possible.

    Here's a pic of the lizard to get converted (couple minor changes since the pic...new seat & Hone cranks):



    Thanks in advance,

    Mark

  2. #2
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    Good job! sweet thang

    Hey mark,

    nice rig. Next time your out at the wiss I'll have to throw a leg over her.

    I run 32x18 on my SS and I can climb the steepest hills out at wiss- but it burns baby. So keeping the front 32t at the front would be fine. I would suggest you buy an 18, 19 and 20t cogs- they are real cheap and start with the 19t at the back. your legs will adjust in no time at all. If it gets unbearable, then throw the 20t on for a short time. Once you get stronger (and you will) throw the 18t on and off ya go.
    The only suk about the larger cogs at the back is that you feel like your spinning out on the flats. I ride in from center city. But since your driving there from Jersey that wont be too much of a problem for you.
    Hope this helps.

    cheers

    Josef
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  3. #3
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    Thanks mate!

    Glad you mentioned the 18~20t cogs...I was just gonna get one of the kits w/ a 16t, but don't think I can hack it.

    Thx again,

    Mark

  4. #4
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    yeah you might struggle with a 16t first up. You never know, a few months down the track and you might be considering a 16t cog. mind you your legs will be the size of tree trunks
    let me know how things go.

    cheers
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  5. #5
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    I have a very similar setup on my chameleon. I built it up single speed from the get go and haven't thought of putting gears on it yet.

    If your planning on still running the disc brake, I have found a 32-20 puts the wheel in the same spot that the spacers place it if you are running gears. Plus I'm slow and outta shape so that gear works well for me.
    Disclaimer: I no longer fix bikes for a living.
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  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=electric mustard]Hey mark,

    nice rig. Next time your out at the wiss I'll have to throw a leg over her.

    I run 32x18 on my SS and I can climb the steepest hills out at wiss- but it burns baby. So keeping the front 32t at the front would be fine. I would suggest you buy an 18, 19 and 20t cogs- they are real cheap and start with the 19t at the back. your legs will adjust in no time at all. If it gets unbearable, then throw the 20t on for a short time. Once you get stronger (and you will) throw the 18t on and off ya go.
    The only suk about the larger cogs at the back is that you feel like your spinning out on the flats. I ride in from center city. But since your driving there from Jersey that wont be too much of a problem for you.
    Hope this helps.

    cheers

    I agree. I'm running a32t / 20t, and I'm still struggling a bit with the 18t. By the way if you see me at Wiss give me a little push as you pass by.


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  7. #7
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    Good job!

    [SIZE="3"]How about:

    Since you already have gears why not try riding in a certain gear and see how it works then try another. Then when you find the one you like just count the teeth and go with the same on your SS.

    [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3] Proformance Cycle[/SIZE]
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    [SIZE="3"]How about:

    Since you already have gears why not try riding in a certain gear and see how it works then try another. Then when you find the one you like just count the teeth and go with the same on your SS.

    [/SIZE]


    Good point and this is OK to get an idea. I have tried that on my geared bike when I keep it on the 18t cog in the rear its just not the same. At least on my bike, there appears to be more flex and a loss of power when I do this. I get on the SS and I pedal away. This is were the real understanding of simplicity of a SS tranlates into a more efficient mashing of the pedals without the gears getting in your way. my $0.02 worth
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  9. #9
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    i recommend a 32-20 for beginner SS in the wiss.

    you will spin out A LOT but it keep you climbing which makes you stronger so eventually you can move on up.

    this will be my 3rd year riding almost exclusivelt singlspeed and i still ride around a 34x20 gear equivalent (34x22/21 on my 29er).

    on the other hand, some people can push huge gears, i am not one of those people.

  10. #10
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    Thx again for all the replies & suggestions. Peformance has a kit that comes w/ 16, 18 & 20T cogs, spacers, lock ring & tensioner (though, on the chameleon I shouldn't need it).


    Quote Originally Posted by Proformance Cycle
    [SIZE="3"]How about:

    Since you already have gears why not try riding in a certain gear and see how it works then try another. Then when you find the one you like just count the teeth and go with the same on your SS.

    [/SIZE]
    DOH! Don't know why I didn't think of that..lol. Suppose that would be the easy way to figure it out...but I think I would cheat & push the triggers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kramonut
    DOH! Don't know why I didn't think of that..lol. Suppose that would be the easy way to figure it out...but I think I would cheat & push the triggers.
    It's definitely not the same feel as a direct SS drivetrain, as Electric Mustard said above, don't figure out what ratio you want based on the feel of a certain ratio on a geared bike, it will be different. Do as he says and buy 18,19, and 20T cogs -- they're cheap.
    pete

  12. #12
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by kramonut
    Thx again for all the replies & suggestions. Peformance has a kit that comes w/ 16, 18 & 20T cogs, spacers, lock ring & tensioner (though, on the chameleon I shouldn't need it).




    DOH! Don't know why I didn't think of that..lol. Suppose that would be the easy way to figure it out...but I think I would cheat & push the triggers.
    [SIZE="3"] I can tell you from experience that you have to have a harder gear so as you can ride into the gear. I don't really know how to explain it, but if you are riding a course with mixed terrain you have to use a higher gear, so when you stand you have resistance. If you choose a gear that is to easy, then forget it. When you try to stand a power up something it just ends up being too easy. Not to mention you spin out on the flats.

    It's definitely a personal thing. You have to try and see what works for you and where you ride. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3] Proformance Cycle[/SIZE]
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  13. #13
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    SS gearing at Wiss

    I started 2:1 and found it too tall. I then went to 34/18 (1.9/1) which works great when you're riding strong. I dropped down to 34/20 (1.7/1) over the winter to give myself a break. I rode the full loop at Wiss last night with the gearing. I can climb everything except 2 sections but I have to bail more due to the rocks then the slope (i.e. I couldn't climb it on a geared bike in my granny). I think I'm going to go to 32/18 for training and 34/18 for racing (I have WI ENO crank, so swapping rings is easy).

    I think the 2:1 starting point many people recommend is just too tall. Ride a single speed for awhile with an easier gear and work on your strength and skills then gear up.

  14. #14
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    Got the lizard converted!



    Just got done turning the lizard into a singlespeed after running 1x9 for awhile. This will be my first venture into singlespeeding since riding BMX. Just took it for a spin around the neighborhood...man it's so much quieter, very smooth & feels a bit lighter.

    Stats:
    '05 Chameleon - medium
    Marz All Mountain 3 (130 mm) - hopefully replace soon
    Hone Crank - 32T - Sram PC58 chain w/ powerlink
    Azonic Outlaws w/ 2.4 MotoRaptors
    Thomson stem/post, Deity bars
    Hayes Mag (front), Formula Oro K24 (rear) (need a longer hose for the K24 front)
    Performance SS kit - starting out w/ a 20T rear cog

    Couple more pics:





    Right away I noticed my rear QR not holding so great. I have it cranked down tight & noticed some slippage. Gonna order the 10mm solid axle for the Outlaws. I tried using the derailleur inserts for the dropouts, but couldn't get the chain together. The rear disc lined up great & there's no rubbing.

    Hopefully soon I'm going to make some changes. I'd like to try a 90mm stem & lower riser bars (i.e. Syncros Bulk). Also, saving for a Pike & a custom (lighter) wheelset. I have M545 pedals to go on...but need some shoe's first.

    I think it'll be a fun bike for the Wiss & local Jersey trails. I'm sure it'll be hard at first, but I look forward to getting stronger. Besides that...I already find myself pushing the bike uphill with gears might as well just lose 'em & try it with one gear!
    Last edited by kramonut; 04-04-2007 at 08:12 PM.

  15. #15
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    I'm late to the party, sonce you already bought and installed the kit. But I think you made the right choice. I personally run 32X18 on 29er, which is equivalent of 32X16 on 26er, and it's hard, really hard.
    With 32X20 you should be able to climb everything you climbed with gears,and still leave enough reserves to complete the whole ride. SS has less losses to the chainline and friction issues, and just something mental that allows one to climb much harder hills.
    On my old 26er SS with 32X16 I cleared hills which I had given up on on the same bike in geared form with 32X30...
    That's good to have three cogs, for flatter S Jersey rides you could throw 16t on there and 20t for palces like Wiss
    Enjoy!

    dz
    I Crash Therefor I Am!!![SIZE="4"][/SIZE]

  16. #16
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    Hey kramonut,

    I have hope QR skewers on my SS. I placed a surly tugnut on the drive side and I have no slippage problems at all, even when I hammer down. Makes it easier if you have to change a flat too.
    It also serves as a neat beer bottle opener. We all know how critical that is

    cheers
    Climb like a goat, descend like a banshee

  17. #17
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    You are absolutely right. For some reason, using a 32/18 on a geared bike, and using it in the single speed are two completely different things.
    You gotta love the simplicity of a single speed.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by electric mustard
    Hey kramonut,

    I have hope QR skewers on my SS. I placed a surly tugnut on the drive side and I have no slippage problems at all, even when I hammer down. Makes it easier if you have to change a flat too.
    It also serves as a neat beer bottle opener. We all know how critical that is

    cheers
    Thanks! I just ordered a Surly Tugnut from Performance instead of getting the solid rear axle. Would rather not have to carry a big 'ole wrench for the axle nuts, so hopefully the tugnut will do the trick.

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