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  1. #1
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    32/16 is gonna have to go.

    I,ve been riding my ss for over 2 years on and off and more recently I have been exploring other areas and I am noticing I am suffering up the hills off road and I'm getting off the bike a lot more to push it up the hills.

    To be honest I ride for fun, I don't race and don't intend on doing so. Would going from 16t to 18t on a 26er make a big difference?.

    I normally just let gravity take over going down hill so I'm not worried about spinning out.

    Any advice on a subject that's probably been done to death would be great.

  2. #2
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    If you ride SS for fun itīs obvious you should choose a gear ratio that makes you happy

    Even 1 extra tooth makes a noticeable difference, so you might consider trying a 17t first.
    Ride more!

  3. #3
    Let There Be Dirt
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    Two teeth make a big difference

    for me. I've run similar ratios on a 29er ( 32 X 18 and 32 X 20). I've pretty much settled on the 32 X 20 for the rides I like to do ( Colorado Front Range) The perceived difference for me is huge. I stay on the bike more and walk less with the '20'. The suffering is the same but I climb faster and that's what I enjoy.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I've got 33x20 on my 29er. I've tried 32x18 and it was pretty tough up hills. IMO, 33/32x20 is great (on a 29er). In your case, I'd try 32x18.

  5. #5
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    Right there with you. I've settled into 32:20 on a Monkey, which translates to about 32:18 on a 26"

    I can push the 52" but since I just ride for smiles, somewhere around 47" suits me much better. Besides, coasting and spinning are all good for you.
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  6. #6
    Supreme Enchilada
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    I run a 32:18 on my single. Seems to be a good compromise for uphill and downhill.
    2006 Iron Horse MKIII Team
    On One Inbred SS
    2009 Santa Cruz Bullit

  7. #7
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    32:18 FTW!!!! I was in the same boat as you, 32:16. That lasted about 1 ride in my local loop (3 miles uphill with 1500ft elev. gain, 3 miles down).

  8. #8
    Dr Gadget is IN
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    What they said. 2 tooth is a big difference - I started with 34x22-29, then jumped to 34x20-29 after I got used to SS (Fixie, actually). It was really too big a step, tho I did get "on top" of it after a while. It did take the fun away in the meantime.

    If you have the $$ to buy 2 cogs - it shouldn't even be an issue. Or are you running freewheels? Anyways, horses for courses. There are some trails I change gears for, and it's nice to have a range - maybe for that recovery ride.
    Fatbikes are much more fun than they should be allowed to be!

    WSS/OSS: open source sealant

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadester
    There are some trails I change gears for, and it's nice to have a range - maybe for that recovery ride.
    Wuss.


  10. #10
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    I will look for a surly 18t cog and enjoy the ride, hopefully I will go further and wont feel as tired.

  11. #11
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    Yah, 32/18's about right for a 26"er. Makes it a whole lot more enjoyable.

  12. #12
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    32 :18 is a comfy place to be. Try longer cranks if you have the $ to spare. I went to a 180 mm and it did make a real difference. That little bit of leverage seemed to help a lot. Although maybe the longer crank arm just fit my body geometry better, on that thought start with gearing.

  13. #13
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    You've been riding SS for over 2 years you say? You just need to ride more
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobmouse
    I,ve been riding my ss for over 2 years on and off and more recently I have been exploring other areas and I am noticing I am suffering up the hills off road and I'm getting off the bike a lot more to push it up the hills.

    To be honest I ride for fun, I don't race and don't intend on doing so. Would going from 16t to 18t on a 26er make a big difference?.

    I normally just let gravity take over going down hill so I'm not worried about spinning out.

    Any advice on a subject that's probably been done to death would be great.
    34 X 20 works great for a 26'er.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel
    You've been riding SS for over 2 years you say? You just need to ride more
    I would love to but life gets in the way some times.

  16. #16
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobmouse
    I would love to but life gets in the way some times.
    I hear ya mate. Just a little something to spur you on
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  17. #17
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    Thanks guys, been on to the charlie the bike monger and ordered the parts I need.

  18. #18
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    I keep a 16,18 and a 20 handy. Depends on where I'm riding and my current fitness level.I usually ride with a group of 10-15 all with geared bikes. The 18 will suffice 90% of the climbs and I'm never "off the back" on the flats. The 20 will get me up 98% of the climbs but occasionally it's not tall enough when hammering on the flats. Like all things in life it's a compromise.

  19. #19
    I have red hair
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    +1 on the 18

  20. #20
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    Yes, even 1 tooth can make a huge difference. I would recommend trying a few combinations yourself and figure out what is right for you. Go buy yourself a cheap shimano ($20?) 18 tooth freewheel - if it's too small then buy a 17. Once you figure out the gear that works for you, then go buy yourself a nice WI freewheel for durability and longevity.

  21. #21
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    32X16 gear must go!

    Quote Originally Posted by r1Gel
    You've been riding SS for over 2 years you say? You just need to ride more

    Hi everyone,
    I have been riding Single Speed 26er rigid for over 2 years now and I first started out with 32x18 gear and eventually worked my way up to a track standing on climbs 34x14.
    To me, the 34x14 has gotta go and with the same chain length, the 32x16 is going to be the gear for off road spin like crazy to stay with the gear heads and the 34x14 with 29er wheels and 700c 23 tires for pavement recovery/commute/leasury rides.

    I garrantee that you will eventually build back up to the 2.1 ratio. (seems to be thee gear IMO)
    Try a 17T Surly cog first.
    One tooth may make enough of a difference for ya.
    My road bike is also Single Speed and i use a 48x12.
    First started out with a 46x14 then a 47x13.

    Bicycle weight and body weight and height (leg length) have to be included in.
    My MTB weighs 16.5lbs and my weight is 128lbs. Total bike and body weight + strength makes a difference on gear choices that best fit each and every Single Speeder.
    Glad to have made the choice to be a Single Speeder and have no geared bikes anymore.

  22. #22
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    Fast100, the OP says he is "exporing other areas" which means to me that he's riding in new places .. how can you *guarentee* that he will be riding it with a 32 x 16? I get your meaning though, start with a lower gear and work your way up.

    I think 32 x 16 is completely overrated, sure it's a good reference point, but it's not even close to being practical in some areas. Some of the best singlespeeders in my area run 32 x 18; these are guys who will podium expert and elite categories against geared racers. Nobody and I mean nobody runs 32 x 16 in my neck of the woods.

  23. #23
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    Got my bike back yesterday, yey. I'm all set to go.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by byteMe
    Fast100, the OP says he is "exporing other areas" which means to me that he's riding in new places .. how can you *guarentee* that he will be riding it with a 32 x 16? I get your meaning though, start with a lower gear and work your way up.

    I think 32 x 16 is completely overrated, sure it's a good reference point, but it's not even close to being practical in some areas. Some of the best singlespeeders in my area run 32 x 18; these are guys who will podium expert and elite categories against geared racers. Nobody and I mean nobody runs 32 x 16 in my neck of the woods.

    Whatever gear works for you.

    Have to laugh at the elite/expert racers podiuming against other expert racers with a 32x18 gear on a 26er. I find that imposible to believe. LOL!
    On any straight section, that gear is way too low dude to hang with expert gearies.
    I spun my as off with the 32x16 gear barely keeping up with Tinker was spin out hard!
    Where is your neck of the woods anyways. Just curious.
    Riding for fun and racing are alittle different and spinning like hell with a 26er 32x18 gear during a race tiring yourself out while getting passed by expert gearie racers is not fun. Even a 32x16 is hard enough with great fitness and can see elite/experts using that gear choice is posible. Not 32x18 unless it is a 29er.
    Did not meen to change subjects but i have done alot of expert races and podiumed alot in Florida.

    Time for a ride!

  25. #25
    human dehumidifier
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    Did not meen to change subjects but i have done alot of expert races and podiumed alot in Florida.
    Well there it is, the reason you like taller gears. Gotta be able to get away from those gators. That, and it's mostly flat there.

    I've got a 34x16 on my SS, and ride it on a rolling riverside trail. It's a lot of fun because I have to be flyin' to carry enough mo' get around without straining. I ride there from here, so I don't want to be spinning out with a tiny gear, and I've gotten pretty used to the 34x16 where I use it.

    I'm thinking of changing to a dingle-dingle setup - 36x16 to get there and a 34x18 to ride the trails on so I can expand from just the river trail. I've got the parts, just haven't taken the time.
    I may or may not be laughing at you.

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