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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    What's a good gravel SS gear ratio?

    I've been doing a ton of "experimenting" with one of my bikes/frames and have come to the conclusion that I will be setting it up as a gravel grinder.

    I'm thinking initially a SS - hence the post in this thread.

    Do you think 36:18 is cool for dirt road/gravel grinder single speed duty?

    this is for CT/New England riding on dirt roads/fire-roads, rail trails etc.

    I'm thinking this might be an okay initial set up for me (plus I have a 36T chainring and an 18T cog!).

    But I'd love to hear about similar set ups from the rest of you.

    Thanks.

    Mark

  2. #2
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    I occasionally take my Steamroller shod with 38's on gravel/singletrack. I'm geared 48x18 (~70 GI). If I were to be strictly on gravel/fire roads, I'd be down at 65GI.

  3. #3
    meatier showers
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    I've been doing a ton of "experimenting" with one of my bikes/frames and have come to the conclusion that I will be setting it up as a gravel grinder.

    I'm thinking initially a SS - hence the post in this thread.

    Do you think 36:18 is cool for dirt road/gravel grinder single speed duty?

    this is for CT/New England riding on dirt roads/fire-roads, rail trails etc.

    I'm thinking this might be an okay initial set up for me (plus I have a 36T chainring and an 18T cog!).

    But I'd love to hear about similar set ups from the rest of you.

    Thanks.

    Mark
    26" or 29" wheel?

    --sParty
    disciplesofdirt.org
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    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    26" or 29" wheel?

    --sParty
    Neither!

    650b actually.

  5. #5
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    I had a lot of fun on my Karate Monkey this summer riding gravel on the 34-18. I would have liked to have a 36-18 but I ran what I had. It will be a fine place to start.

  6. #6
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    i run 34x19 for gravel and road (29er)
    i'm a full time bikeacholic also an workaholic and part time alcoholic.

  7. #7
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    I run 32:16 on my 29er all day every day (urban/campus riding and mild trails on the weekends). If it's too high a gear for a climb, I guess I walk it. If it's too short a gear for a long cruise, well I guess I go slow. C'est la vie with single-speed. It has forced me to learn to be more effective at very high and very low pedaling cadences, though. That's gotta be helpful in the long run.

    You should run the gear ratio that works best for you. Everyone rides differently and not all gravel is the same. If you already have a 36:18 setup, then try it out. In my experience riding on sand (more common than gravel here in San Diego) a lower gear helps you maintain a constant speed through the resistance, but you have to be careful not to bob too much or you're just pushing the tires deeper into the soft stuff. Momentum is everything, IMO.

    With my first forray into SS, I bought the $25 tensioner kit that comes with a 20t, 18t, and 16t. So I started at 20 and worked my way down to 16, popping links out of the chain as I went until I decided to upgrade to a better "permanent" cog (which turned out to be a piece of crap. Don't buy a WTB single speed cog). If you can find those cheap cogs by themselves they're like $4-5 each so you can buy a few and fine-tune your setup.
    Opinions are like a**holes: Sometimes they need to be punched in the face and told to STFU.

  8. #8
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    My "gravel-gear" is a 42 x 16 on a 26". Works well on some mild rollers around Chitown.

  9. #9
    blame me for missed rides
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    42x17@700c.

  10. #10
    Harmonius Wrench
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    I'm running a 36 X 17 currently and have used it on 100 milers and really hilly gravel road rides. In the past I have used 38 X 18 and 37 X 18 with great success.

  11. #11
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Ums, you rolling on Fatty Rumpkins or something larger with knobs? I did 65 gear inches on my rumpkins SS and I thought it worked well, but I was on pavement and then jumping off on side trails.

    With your ratio it'd be perfect for mtb tires. Which one of your sleds is getting the gravel grinding duty?

  12. #12
    SSlow rider
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    42x18 on 700c wheels here.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Ums, you rolling on Fatty Rumpkins or something larger with knobs? I did 65 gear inches on my rumpkins SS and I thought it worked well, but I was on pavement and then jumping off on side trails.

    With your ratio it'd be perfect for mtb tires. Which one of your sleds is getting the gravel grinding duty?
    Fatty Rumpkins installed last night (but I've also got Wolverines, Neomotos, Nevegals, and some cheapo Kenda 650b road tires) on the 44 Bikes SnakeDriver. Mary Bars also installed (need to flip em methinks). Just need to install the 36T ring tonight or tomorrow morning.

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