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  1. #1
    Retro Grouch
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    Is your gear ratio an ego trip?

    2:1; The magic gear ratio. If your really a strong heads-up kinda single speeder, then you ride 2:1. I've seen posters claim they ride 2:1 and ride anywhere, "Yep, I've never seen a hill I can't climb with a 2:1". Well that's were I started. Then I finally dropped down to a 34:18 when I switched to a 34 tooth chain ring and couldn't find a ready supply of cheap 17T cogs; I did feel guilty though. Now I switched to a 175mm crank and I'm struggling to get up some of the steeper climbs I used to clear. Granted I been sick for about three months and I'm finally getting strong; yes, I finally cleaned the wall at Nisene Marks (the one past Sand Point) for the first time in six months. I also discovered it is better to be out of shape then overtrained; the later takes more time to recover from.

    Anyway I digress, but I've been thinking about dropping another cog tooth because if the shorter crank arms. But would I be wimping out? I used to ride 32:16, then 34:18/32:17, and now I'm looking at 32:18. Since I seem to be getting stronger I'll probably stick with the 32:17 for a while. But back on point, do you take pride in your gear ratio? If you lower your gear ratio does than mean you're wimping out or getting weak?

    Oh BTW, I be showing my latest SS conversion probably tomorrow. My buddy gave me his old 1983 Trek 022 to convert; if the frame was a little smaller it probably would have tragically been stolen It really turned out nice.

    1G1G, Brad

  2. #2
    Waiting to exhale.
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    I have no pride in my gear ratio. 32:18. I struggle up the steeps. If I ever get to ride 2:1 ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE I will be a happy man. Most dudes that I have met that can ride 2:1 over some gnarly terrain are pretty humble and cool about it.
    Quite possibly the slowest single speeder on earth.
    Now skating 'cause its cheaper.

  3. #3
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad
    2:1; The magic gear ratio. If your really a strong heads-up kinda single speeder, then you ride 2:1. I've seen posters claim they ride 2:1 and ride anywhere, "Yep, I've never seen a hill I can't climb with a 2:1". Well that's were I started. Then I finally dropped down to a 34:18 when I switched to a 34 tooth chain ring and couldn't find a ready supply of cheap 17T cogs; I did feel guilty though. Now I switched to a 175mm crank and I'm struggling to get up some of the steeper climbs I used to clear. Granted I been sick for about three months and I'm finally getting strong; yes, I finally cleaned the wall at Nisene Marks (the one past Sand Point) for the first time in six months. I also discovered it is better to be out of shape then overtrained; the later takes more time to recover from.

    Anyway I digress, but I've been thinking about dropping another cog tooth because if the shorter crank arms. But would I be wimping out? I used to ride 32:16, then 34:18/32:17, and now I'm looking at 32:18. Since I seem to be getting stronger I'll probably stick with the 32:17 for a while. But back on point, do you take pride in your gear ratio? If you lower your gear ratio does than mean you're wimping out or getting weak?

    Oh BTW, I be showing my latest SS conversion probably tomorrow. My buddy gave me his old 1983 Trek 022 to convert; if the frame was a little smaller it probably would have tragically been stolen It really turned out nice.

    1G1G, Brad
    I know what you're saying. Who the heck came up with 2:1 as a benchmark ratio anyway? People always tell beginning SS'ers to start with 2:1 and adjust accordingly, but I bet that gear is too high for most first-timers who live anywhere near a mountain.

  4. #4
    TR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I know what you're saying. Who the heck came up with 2:1 as a benchmark ratio anyway? People always tell beginning SS'ers to start with 2:1 and adjust accordingly, but I bet that gear is too high for most first-timers who live anywhere near a mountain.
    34:20 and absolutely no qualms in telling anybody about it.

  5. #5
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOKEY
    I have no pride in my gear ratio. 32:18. I struggle up the steeps. If I ever get to ride 2:1 ANYWHERE and EVERYWHERE I will be a happy man. Most dudes that I have met that can ride 2:1 over some gnarly terrain are pretty humble and cool about it.
    Same here, 32:18. I was running 36:21 for a while, but that was a bit too spinny for me.

    I'm not a strong enough rider to pull off 2:1 if there are any hills involved. I have a hard enough time cleaning the Nike site road at China Camp at 32:18 with 175mm cranks.

  6. #6
    Cracker-magnon
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    Yes, it keeps my ego pretty well tripped up. 34:20 or 32:18 What ever gets me up the hill using the 24" gear the least.
    [SIZE=2]"Life is a F@#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
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    32 18

    I ride 32 18 and get up most hills and I live in a pretty hilly area . I'm gunna try 2:1 though.

  8. #8
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    32:18, in out valley thats about the standard, I think that it is about the best, I have gone to fruita and it does about the best all around as well. Besides, single speeding is about simplicity and being modest, "I can run only one gear and beat most geared people, but I will only race for the hell of it",if you are bragging about what gear ratio you are running, your kinda mising the point.

  9. #9
    nachos rule!
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    no

    i run a 32:20 and i don't care what others think of it. my gig is being able to clean the tech sections of the climbs, that's what makes me happy. so what if i wind out a little sooner on the flats, like a couple of teeth make that big of a difference there anyway...
    plus a change, plus c'est la m'me chose - alphonse karr

  10. #10
    Needed Less ~ Did More
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    Its a starting point...

    But people tend to switch sprockets quite a bit....I blame SS cassette hubs my self :-)

    I prefere to spin gears, so I run 36:17 on the 26er and 36:18 on the 28" (both fixie 55-56"gear....really low)

    I have run 36:20 in the winter when all the trails were covered in sticky claggy mud (and Conti 1.5 XC tyres...they plough through mud brilliantly)

    I tend to spin out about 25mph, but its rare to hit that speed on dirt anyway.

    Spinning is good, it allows me to ride pretty much everywhere and maintain my golf-club like legs :-)



    Alex

    The 2001 Singlespeed World Champs "Third skinniest singlespeeder"
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
    -
    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  11. #11
    Reviewer/Tester
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    I've been running 32/18 but go to 32/20 sometimes for the hilly tracks here. I couldn't care less what anyone thinks about my gearing, actually.

    It's NOT about what you run, it's all about riding.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  12. #12
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    My ego is so big that I don't know where to put it. I'm so proud of being able to ride 32:20, kidding aside why care about what ratios others ride on.

    I started 34:17 and then changed to 32:18 and currently run 32:20 and habe been thinking of moving to a 22 for logetivity. I may do a solo SS 24hr race and last year I did it 32:20 and by night fall I was beat, that's why I'm considering a 22 to change ratios during the race.

  13. #13
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    I swap around a lot

    We have a quite a few trails locally in Charlotte that are gently rolling or they just have short, spiky climbs. I always run 34X17 locally. Take me to the mtns and I will run a 34X19 if I run my UST wheels. If I am going to the mtns with a bunch of long travel riders I will put on my Singletracks with 2.6 Stickees and run 34X20. 12-24 hour race? 34X19. Off Road Assault on Mt Mitchell with 13,000 feet of climbing in 55 miles? 34X18. Trans Rockies? I figure I will be all over the place depending on the days terrain.
    I know that horizontals, V's, and freewheels aren't that hard to work with, but I knew I would be swapping gears a lot when I bought my SS. An EBB and cassette style wheel makes gear changes a 10 minute process, so I take advantage of it.
    Any pride in my gear ratio selection? Not really. I try to pick the gear that is most appropriate for the ride to attain whatever my goal is for the day, be it fun or racing. I guess if I am racing and I have a good day then I am proud that I picked the right gear. It took me quite awhile to assemble my cog collection. It is hard to chunk down $120 bucks to cover all the bases. I would love to borrow my friend's 23 T Endless Kick Ass cog some day. I am not willing to pay for an experiment, but it might be a lot of fun in the mountains.
    My incoherent thought flow of the morning is over. Time to ride.
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  14. #14
    what a joke
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    Shhhhh just keep this between you and me........32x20 on the 29er
    blah blah blah

  15. #15
    Am I getting too bulky?
    Reputation: Bikehigh's Avatar
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    FWIW, been running 34x20 for a couple years now, and feel happy with the ratio of what I can and can't climb. Do have a 32 tooth ring on order for SSWC and a trip to Kingdom trails in two weeks.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  16. #16
    The Top Cap Guy
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    When I started SS I ran 32x18 and 32x20 depending on the trail... then I switched to a 34 crank... kept the same gears. This year when I went with a different crank again the front switched to 36 teeth and I bought a 19 and 21 tooth cog to try to keep it close... I've been riding the 19 tooth cog all the time and I was just thinking of switching to a 18 on the back for the flat local trails... I'm not sure why - I don't feel stronger. I'm definitely not fast.... so no ego here...



    FF
    "If I'm leading, I'm bleeding."

  17. #17
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    It's not the size of the cog that matters.. it's the pain you put into the drivetrain

    I'm an old fart what lives in the hills. Thought I'd start at 32:20, and loose teeth as I got older, er, I mean, stronger. But... I'm using a freewheel instead of a cassette (not so easy to swap out), and it just so happens that there are plenty of climbs here on my local trails (Gap Mountain) that I can't yet clean. In fact, I'll be switching to 180's soon from 172's to get an edge on some rock garden ascents that freak me out. As far as spinning out on the flats....well, there aren't too many flats here, so it doesn't really factor in very much. As far as other folks I encounter on the trail, I generally use a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, so we can all be discrete about it.

  18. #18
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    i run a girly-man 32:20 and could give a %$#@ what people think......if I cared what people thought about me, I would never ride a bike period, let a lone a SS

    cheers

  19. #19
    now known as P.I.-SSer
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    32:18 here, and where I ride I am usually the only singlespeeder around (hope to change that soon!)

    In group rides I usually hang off the back, and ride quietly hehe, content with trying to keep up with the other high-zoot rides

    Never was an ego thing for me, I just wanna ride

  20. #20
    TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
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    The ego thing is about passing riders on gears and suspension on climbs and descents. Gear ratios are merely a subject of discussion with my brothers and sisters in crime.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  21. #21
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    Nope

    32-18 ....no ego here

    Eric

  22. #22
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    Lower is better

    I started out with 36:18 for a couple of years and have switched to 36:20 for the majority of my riding. The local in town loop is really easy with the gearing but just outside of town(10 min ride) the soil changes to very soft sand and the 36:20 is a better choice. I find the lower gearing is better for techy uphills where you almost stall after an obstacle and have no speed for the rest of the hill. Also when riding with geared riders I find I can out climb them when I am in the lead but if I get stuck behind one the lower gear allows me to regulate my speed better. I went to Jasper (Canada) to ride a couple of weeks ago and friends were asking if I was going to change my gearing. I stuck with 36:20 and it worked great. Sure the climbs were longer and more technical but the soil is more hard packed. I also find the easier gearing better for my back. I was really straining it to push the 2:1 especially in the deep sand trying to keep rear wheel traction. The lower gear allows me to ride comfortable over longer distances and that makes it riding more enjoyable.

  23. #23
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    Smile ahhhh - nah!

    [ But back on point, do you take pride in your gear ratio? If you lower your gear ratio does than mean you're wimping out or getting weak?

    1G1G, Brad[/QUOTE]


    32/18 on 26'er
    34/20 on 29'er
    44/17 on road going (for now, until V-brake mounts go on) beach cruiser/mtb. (well, this one may be an ego trip, soon to hit the trails with 32/16).

    ego? no man! i'm in it for the ride and fun, as well as (damn it, i can't believe it is but) exercise.

  24. #24
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    I think I did two rides on the stock 36x18. Then I mounted a 34T ring. Soon after a 20T FW went on. Then a 32T ring. Found a 22T FW and the 36 was remounted before I settled on 34x20 for 95% of my rides.
    mtbtires.com
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  25. #25
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    Out at Bootleg Canyon outside of Vegas, I've ridden 36x18, 34x18, 32x18 and 32x20...in that order While I can admit I've ridden the same hills on the 36x18 and the 32x20, the 32x20 is just easier on my bloody knees, especially since I ride a 48x15 on my fixed road-bike everywhere else (and have to stop it with that gear, too).

    Impressions...I'm certainly slower up the hills and everywhere else on the 32x20 than I was on a 36x18 or even the 32x18. Spinning didn't help me ride any faster...but as mentioned above, it makes the knees feel oh-so-much better

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