Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    84

    Altitude Gearing Suggestion - PM listening?

    I've been riding an Altitude 790 all season, mostly around Whistler and the North Shore. I ride a Small.

    I finally got around to installing a 32t chainring - I'm running SRAM X0 2x10. What an incredible difference. Now I'm on the big ring 95% of the ride whereas with the stock 36t ring I was spending too much time in the granny gear. Best upgrade for the money.

    My point is this: for smaller riders, a smaller chain ring makes sense. Why not spec smaller bikes with appropriate gearing? It didn't make a big difference before with 3x but with 1x or 2x it makes a huge difference.

    My suggestion is 30-32t for S, 32-34t for M, 34-36 for L.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    326
    I don't follow. To me, the ideal chainring size (or sizes, if running a multi-ring setup) depends on a rider's fitness and terrain, not height. There are plenty of tall heavy people who need a tiny chainring to climb. And short, light fit people who can climb well with a bigger ring.

    I'm pretty sure Rocky, and every other manufacturer, pick rings that they think will be acceptable for the most riders, even if not optimum for many. You changed your ring, and it works for you, but might not for other people who ride a small.

    Another factor is that many suspension designs are designed to work with particular chainring sizes. Going to a significantly larger or smaller ring changes the suspension behaviour (especially antisquat and pedal-kickback).

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: binrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    78
    I'm relatively heavy at 6'2" 230ish lbs. I'm running 38/28 up front and 36/11 in the rear. It works for me real good.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    84
    You might be right. Perhaps it is more a question of fitness rather than torque. My layman's theory was that taller people have more leverage in their pedal stroke. What I can say for sure is that for me, someone who rides the Shore and/or Whistler Valley 3 times a week and has competed in the BCBR and many other races (i.e. reasonably competent fit rider), I find I get way more range out of a 32 tooth chainring than a 36t. I'm really curious what the experts think about this.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    326
    Ha, I didn't mean to imply you weren't fit :-). I should have added 'masher' versus 'spinner' as an important factor in ideal chain ring size. And there are short mashers, and tall spinners.

    I'm 6'2" and ride an XL. A 32 or 34 x10 suits me for riding the Shore, but when rolling 45km/h fire-road descents in Colorado, or trying to hang on during gravel sections of the Wilderness 101, I'm looking looking for a bigger big ring than 32. My wife, who is 5'2", rides pretty much the same gearing as me, and likewise will change it if needed dependant on terrain (we're about the same speed up and down; she's nationally competitive in elite XC/XCM, which makes me a fairly-fast old guy).

    Anyway, my point is that these factors -- terrain, fitness, masher vs spinner -- trump height when it comes to selecting chain rings.

    It seems to me that the industry has been moving toward smaller big-rings for all riders, and that's a good thing for most. 34t big rings aren't uncommon these days, whereas it wasn't that long ago when bikes were almost all specced with 44x11 monsters.

    I'd be curious to hear from a PM too.. I suspect that if RMB started systematically speccing smaller chain rings on size small bikes, there would be a bunch of angry, burly short guys, who like to mash big gears, making life uncomfortable for product managers.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by adviljunky View Post
    You might be right. Perhaps it is more a question of fitness rather than torque. My layman's theory was that taller people have more leverage in their pedal stroke. What I can say for sure is that for me, someone who rides the Shore and/or Whistler Valley 3 times a week and has competed in the BCBR and many other races (i.e. reasonably competent fit rider), I find I get way more range out of a 32 tooth chainring than a 36t. I'm really curious what the experts think about this.
    Jerome Clementz is 5'5 or 5'6 and is almost always pushing a 36t or bigger. I'm 5'10 and began 1x10 with a 30t now I use a 34t with 11-36 out back.

    If you ask me, chainring size is all about fitness. I haven't gotten taller since moving from 30t to 34t.. i have simply ridden harder, faster, and longer.

    I ride with my brother pretty often and he is the same size as me but can't use 34t cause it absolutely kills him on the long climbs... I am simply more fit.

    On an average ride I'll do 12-18 miles of New England rocks and roots and gain about 1500 feet of elevation with an average speed of 7.5-9.5mph

    I'm aiming to move up to 35 or 36t next season after some heavy squatting this winter

    BTW, I'm on a 2012 Slayer 70 thats weighing in around 31 pounds.

Similar Threads

  1. What are you listening to right now?
    By Hutch3637 in forum Off Camber (off topic)
    Replies: 2453
    Last Post: 10 Hours Ago, 02:28 PM
  2. What are you listening to? V 2
    By AZ in forum Off Camber (off topic)
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 01-04-2013, 04:19 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-07-2012, 03:02 PM
  4. what are you listening to NOW?
    By shekky in forum Off Camber (off topic)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-12-2012, 12:49 PM
  5. I'm not listening...!
    By GilaMonster in forum Arizona
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 08-11-2011, 07:48 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
  •