What gear are you running on your KM?????
What gear are you riding?
Where are you riding?
I feel compelled to ask this question because I just bought a new complete build KM a couple weeks ago with the stock 33 x 17 gearing and have found it to be near impossible to climb with.
This not a rant, I am just trying to find out what the best possible gear ratio may be depending on where you are riding...
I am an XC rider with many elevation changes, roots, rocks, etc...
I am sure this will end up being a trial/error type thing until I figure it out, but thought I would ask.
Last edited by A-Ray; 06-11-2012 at 06:38 AM.
I ride 32/20 or 32/22, depending on terrain and how strong I am feeling. 33/17 is pretty darn steep if you have any extended climbs. I am surprised Surly specs the bike with a gear that steep!
Difficult question to answer
you need to do some trial and error,
Most trails are different from different places,
You might need to consider a flipflop hub with 2 different cog to play around,
When trails gets tougher, Just stand up and deliver.
I run 33x17 now, but used to run 33x20 when I lived somewhere with lots of climbing.
bought my km 9/08; LBS built it up and set it at 32/18 to start with a shimano freewheel and a surly chainring. Was a little bit of a challenge that fall, but a good challenge climbing. i am in northern new jersey and like to climb. had to walk on a couple steep climbs, but by summer 09 i was much stronger and went to 33/18. same thing again - a good challenge. summer 2010 went 34/18 and put on a WI freewheel after my second shimano would not stop creaking (first one was pretty quiet). I like the 34/18 - I can climb 90% of the stuff I ever ride, and most the time it is not the grade or length of the climb that does me in, but the technical aspects which makes it a fun challenge. with the 34/18 I am not spinning like crazy on the flats.
So i would say find a ratio that is tough, but not impossible, and I would bet after a month or so you will be stronger and able to climb almost everything you were doing before. Enjoy your monkey; I love mine!
Tried 42x18 on 35mm conti CX race tyres, really trail specific big gear, hills was a case of winding on the power and stand up to pedal, getting caught behind a slower rider and i would stall and be off and running. Also awkward to put in pedal strokes in tight technical terrain, great gear on the flats mind, i would be passed on the hills but power past everyone on the downs and flats.
Next race i ran a more knee friendly 34x18 with WTB Bronson 2.2 tyres, although it was really muddy and hard going. Slower but faster, i was slower on shallow climbs and flat, sit and spin, but able to tackle steeper climbs and drop in some power strokes when in tight twisty turns, really steep climbs still had to jump off, but overall averages as faster, although i do miss the big gear flat track overtaking
Tempted to try 32x18 with the larger tyres. But 34x18 with 35mm CX tyres might be my happy spot.
Riding more and being fitter will help me a lot as well. Not a xc racer i do some SS racing for fun, later this year i aim to get a normal 29er wheelset so i will run gears on my Monkey at some point, although a 34/24 front x18 rear may come into play first. Experiment with some different ratios and tyres, as others have said in a few months you may well be fitter and able to alter your set up again anyway. Have fun trying stuff out.
Excellent feedback guys! I will be starting this trial and error with a 33 x 20 and see how it goes...