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  1. #1
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    New question here. To all SS Commuters

    What gearing do you run?

    The terrain is mostly flat for this bike and I will only really use it in the winter, I will be able to swap cogs easily. And when I am not using it it will be used in the summer by my mother (I'm the best son). She never shifts and the der on this bike is pretty much crapped out.

    42/16 seem ok?
    Last edited by Mr Pink57; 07-28-2011 at 05:15 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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  2. #2
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    I run 42/17. All I can say about a 42/16 is that I wouldn't give MY mother a bike with that ratio. Also not sure how your mother will be using it. So kinda hard to answer that question.

  3. #3
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    I use 47/19, which is about the same as 42/17
    Ride more!

  4. #4
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    I've got 32/18 on my mountainy-commuter 29er, and 42/16 on my flatland 26er.

    Depends what your mom will be using it for, but 42/16 isn't really a "comfortable" gear - you have to stand up to get going, and hills are a pain. If she's just going to use it as a cruiser or for short trips you could swap to a chainring that's a 32 or 36 for the summer. That would be a nice "easy" gear to push.

  5. #5
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    does winter mean snow? 70 gear inches is about the max I'll run for commuting. In the snowy winter months I prefer 65 or less. It is also flat here.
    - Simon

  6. #6
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    M_S winter does mean snow and this is MN winter so there is more salt then snow

    I talked to her more about it and I left the chainring already on there which was a 36 and put a 18t out back she is comfortable with this. I actually passed her while riding (in a car) and she said it was a lot nicer and the bike felt lighter then before (1x9 with a frozen der). And what is also nice is I can push a 36x18 on the hills for a backup MTB.

    I think in the winter I will swap it to a 36x20 and see how that goes, but that der just got destroyed from so much salt.

    And I originally though a 42x16 only thinking it was capable of her since she is a marathon runner.
    Last edited by Mr Pink57; 07-28-2011 at 04:48 PM.
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  7. #7
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    i run a 36/16 on my redline urbis, its easy to get going, but not much top end..

  8. #8
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    A little bike pron.
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  9. #9
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    33x18x26
    But then I have a rather sizeable hill to climb each way. Speed is limited to low 40ish km/h on the flat with legs spinning like crazy. More sedate paces are generally kept though.

  10. #10
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    I did 52/20 when I had a SS. Can't remember if it was a 27" or 700C rear wheel. Good in NY stop-and-start traffic.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    46x16 on a 700cc. I often wish it was a 42 because I am weak sauce.

  12. #12
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    My commute buddy rides a 42x16 on 26'er wheels.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

  13. #13
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    Buffalo NY; which is also pretty flat; 42x17 with 700c wheels.

  14. #14
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    I was riding 42x16 on my 29er before it was stolen... that was here in FL, land of flat.
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  15. #15
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    56x17 solo on 700x23's (about 3.3:1)
    40x15 with trailer on 26x2's (about 2.7:1)
    and now 38x17 with trailer and 26x3's! (embarassingly slow 2.25:1)
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  16. #16
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    48-16 700C fixed. If I could coast I would put a 18 on the back.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  17. #17
    One Colorful Rider
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    San Jose Two
    700x40 Tires 44x16 FW

    Single Speed Sunday 7/31 by normbilt, on Flickr

    Surly Steamroller 700x35 Tires 42x16Fixed

    Hot Sweet & Sticky by normbilt, on Flickr

    Pre Surly Rat Ride 26x3.0 42x16 Fixed

    Fat Tire Day 03 by normbilt, on Flickr

    Specialized Seattle Langster 700x25 Tires 44x15 Fixed

    Panara Bagel Stop by normbilt, on Flickr

    Trek District 700x25 Tire 46x19 Belt Drive

    District Hauling the Mail by normbilt, on Flickr

    San Jose One
    700x40 Studded Tires 44x17 Fixed

    December Snow at M&M by normbilt, on Flickr

  18. #18
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    I run 42x15 fixed, with 700x32s. Very happy with it year round.

  19. #19
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    Ok I live in a slightly hilly area (Carson City, NV) and hoping to pick up a Bianchi Advantage frame locally soon here. Will convert to single speed for simplicity and cost savings so wondering what gearing I should go.. Looks like most use about 42/16..

  20. #20
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    I ride 46x16 with 27" wheels on rolling hills in southern Indiana.
    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    And don't be scared to walk. Walking is one of the mystical 3 gears of Single Speed.

    Sit
    Stand
    Walk.

  21. #21
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    34x19 fixed 26x2.4 tires
    Roscoe's Chicken 'n Waffles

  22. #22
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    completely flat & always warm here...

    42x16 fg / 700x32 & besides commuting, sometimes i change gear the ratio on this baby & hit the singletrack with it



    or...

    46x15 fg / 700x25 for when i have to get to work fast or want to take a long weekend road ride

    Last edited by markaitch; 09-17-2011 at 04:28 AM.

  23. #23
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    Just got my first SS a couple days ago. Other than that strictly FS mt. biking. My commute is about 16 miles one way in Sacramento. Totally flat except for the one freeway overpass I have to cross. I've done it a few times now and am using 42/16. I'm planning on picking up a 52 this weekend and giving that a try instead. I think that will be fine. I feel like I could be going a lot faster. I don't like my cadence being really high. I'd rather do a slower grind then spinning really fast with the 42. Most people I asked about this change were more concerned about getting started but I weigh 220lbs. so getting started isn't too hard. Just put the one pedal forward and stand up. Gravity does the rest. LOL The guy I talked to at the shop today said at least with the 52 up front I can go bigger on the back if it's too hard. Any other advice?
    Last edited by B1KER; 09-27-2011 at 02:03 PM.

  24. #24
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    I would avoid the 52 up front that is a big gear to push, I know you said it's flat but I would look more at a 46 like a lot of people are using. Who knows you may use it for other things.

    Sitting and spinning you work a lot less then trying to mash the whole way there. I know this is my thread to start with and I personally ride a SS on the dirt and a geared cross bike for everything else. But I did used to run a SS road bike at about 42/16 and this kept me going with the geared riders.
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  25. #25
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    I did 52:20 for a long time.

    I wouldn't have chosen 52. I'd have gone with something smaller, and a smaller freewheel, if I had a choice about chainring size. But it was a converted bike, with a spiderless chainring. So a lot cheaper just to get a bigass cog.

    Anyway, I think 52 is a bit big for most mortals, unless you also want a really big cog. But I'm more of a spinner.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #26
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    I went to REI today and the only 52 they had was pretty expensive. However they did have a 48 that I could order for $30. Plus I could get it in blue. So that was my comprimise. Hopefully everyone isn't steering me in the wrong direction. I started thinking about my big chainring on my mountain bike and that's a 46. I ride that a lot, but with my rear at it's smallest. So I think I can get away with this set up for around town and the commute. I'll let you all know next week once I get it on the bike.

  27. #27
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    last weekend i put a 48t ring on my chrome bike in the pic a few posts up.
    as mentioned in that post, it is completely flat here & it is kinda nice to just sort of lope along purty damn fast without having to hamster-wheel.
    however...headwinds are a real biatch with this ratio so i will likely be changing back soon

  28. #28
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    I put on the 48 tooth chain-ring last night. I did a couple of miles to the gym last night and back just to see how it was and to sort of gauge whether or not I would try it on the commute. I wasn't sure if I should wait a few more weeks seeing as how I just started this commute 2 weeks ago. None-the-less the ride last night was no problem. I could definitely feel the difference in torque this morning and don't think there will be any issues with the commute. It's a 16 mile commute each way, the only thing I'm slightly concerned about is that there are days when crossing the causeway it can be really windy. I haven't experienced one of those yet. So for now I'm running the 48/16 and am very happy with it.


  29. #29
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    Denver, CO.....through to Golden, CO relatively often.

    52x20 on a 27" Schwinn Voyageur. Only time I have real problems are if my paniers are packed with a ton of rock climbing equipment....or beer.

  30. #30
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    Mtbg33k: is that a Back Alley Bikes sticker on your chainstay?

    Little late on this but yeah, I would stay away from 52/16 that's almost a gear they push at the velodromes. I ride 48/16 700c fixed. It's hilly here but not to bad. I like the ratio for this area.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    Mtbg33k: is that a Back Alley Bikes sticker on your chainstay?

    Little late on this but yeah, I would stay away from 52/16 that's almost a gear they push at the velodromes. I ride 48/16 700c fixed. It's hilly here but not to bad. I like the ratio for this area.
    Not Back Alley Bikes, it's a Raleigh Back Alley

    Last edited by B1KER; 09-27-2011 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Realized I read the previous question wrong

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbg33k View Post
    Not Back Alley Bikes, it's a Raleigh Back Alley

    Ha. That's funny. There's a bike shop in Chapel Hill NC called Back Alley Bikes. The city is close to Raleigh NC.

    Maybe it's not as amusing to anyone as it is to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  33. #33
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    Main commuter, Iro Phoenix, 700x28c tires, fixed gear, 42:16, fenders, riser bars.

    Townie/Pub bike, '98 steel Specialized Rockhopper, 2x1 (Paul Melvin w/ front derailleur), main gear is 44:18, "bailout" gear is 32:18, 26x2.3 slicks, Surly Open Bars.

    Single Speed CX bike, used for racing and sometimes riding to work, Surly Cross-Check w/ carbon fork, drop bars, 700x35c 'cross tires, 42:17 gearing.

    Fixed gear road bike, used for long fixed gear road rides and sometimes ridden to work, Surly Steamroller, 700x28c tires, 43:16, Nitto bullhorns.

  34. #34
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    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v319/mrpink57/7228b73b.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    36x16 summer (me)
    36x20 winter

    Got this beast figured out finally. Just need to get the Stouts on once the first snow flys.
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  35. #35
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    That's a funky seatpost, Mr. Pink!

    Btw, I have a 26er that I'm converting to an SS city bike. Terrain is mostly level with very gradual incline. Thinking of going 39t x 18t. Fine for a 26er?

  36. #36
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    You can probably run a higher ratio if you like.

    After the bike I had in NY, I'm inclined to think that the ratio to go with my flats cruising speed (NOT average - most of us ride faster than our averages if we actually get to ride uninterrupted for a while on level ground) is the way to go for a singlespeed.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  37. #37
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    summer/slicks: 42/15 (I want a little heavier gearing, but 14 is too heavy), 26" fixed
    winter/studded: 42/17. (works awesome, even uphills. 42/17 okay with snow up to 1 inch, cumbersome with 2 inch snow, useless on 3inch snow. 42/16 is too brutal.) 26" fixed

    700c/23mm: 48/17 works awesome. 48/16 is even better, but not on hills or when I am tired. fixed.

    I experienced in the beginning at each new gearing the legs needed few months to get used to it, and after that it was easy-schmeasy to ride in each condition!

  38. #38
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    I run 32/18 on my steel 29er. I'l give carbon belt drive a try with 39/22.


    As for your mom, why dont you give her a day to go out and ride? Give her a geared bike to test which gear combination best fits her. Once she finds the most comfortable single speed ratio then that's it.

  39. #39
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    46/14 (with a 38/20 also on the bike). 700cx45. 95% of my riding is perfectly flat.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheeliam View Post
    I run 32/18 on my steel 29er. I'l give carbon belt drive a try with 39/22.


    As for your mom, why dont you give her a day to go out and ride? Give her a geared bike to test which gear combination best fits her. Once she finds the most comfortable single speed ratio then that's it.
    The der rusted so bad from last year I had to get rid of it, plus she never shifted when she used the bike anyways. I put her on a 36x18 and she is fine with that and really likes SS, the bike got lighter which helped out a bit in the end. I even took her on some easy singletrack!
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  41. #41
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    Running 48x18 fixed. I freakin' love this thing. Since my commute is flat and short this will probably become my main commuter.
    Jason
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  42. #42
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    48/17. I originally intended to use a lower gear, but my cranks came with a 48T and my wheels came with a 17T sprocket, and I never felt the need to change. This is on 23C slicks on mostly flat terrain though.

  43. #43
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    Karate Monkey SS

    I got my Karate Monkey SS last March and my life hasn't been the same. I own a half dozen super nice bikes, but this has been the most fun. I commute on it, run errands, grocery shop, and basically go anywhere I don't absolutely need a car. It has become my defacto "adventure bike" for exploring gravel roads in the area -- my cross bike is jealous!

    I even did a century "large event group ride/race" last year and finished second to a pack of carbon roadies ... boy were they worried as we swapped the lead on and off all that day. I'd put time in to them on the hills and they'd inevitably claw back on the flats.

    I've kept the stock 34x17 gearing. I live in a very hilly area including a 120' hill at 10-15% on my way to work, but I still manage to struggle up it ... just barely. I have a 20t rear sprocket, but haven't caved in yet; the bigger gearing just works better.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tidelag View Post
    summer/slicks: 42/15 (I want a little heavier gearing, but 14 is too heavy), 26" fixed
    winter/studded: 42/17. (works awesome, even uphills. 42/17 okay with snow up to 1 inch, cumbersome with 2 inch snow, useless on 3inch snow. 42/16 is too brutal.) 26" fixed
    maybe it's time with an update?
    Still on 42/15. Still crawling uphills at ridiculous low cadence. Still love it.

    Tried a long trip on gravel in September, and I used 42/16 with Racing Ralph, worked fine, but my arms and legs was smashed after 40km or so, mostly due to stiff fork and one gear. But I still enjoyed my work machine, it was a awesome trip, and the body surely will remember more than me!

    Later I rided a lot on asphalt with Racing Ralph with 42/16, but I prefer 42/15 with slicks, 42/16 is a little too light on asphalt, the cadence was little too high to make me comfortable.

    When I am thinking back on these five-six years at one gear, the never-ever-changing gear, the point zero around my ever-changing legs, the health, the seasons, winter, snow, rain, sunshine, hills and especially my tired legs/arms.
    I feel that I have a gotten a very deep connection with my work machine, how I am impacted by it's no-way-punk attitude by choosing one gear for me.

  45. #45
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    Yeah, it is about time.

    My fixed 26er is still happily 42x16 with bigapples in the summer, and studs in the winter.

    I've had to admit a bit of defeat with my 29er though. It's 32 upfront but now I'm using a dingle 16/18 in the rear. I'd been running 33x18 for a couple of years, and it's just a little too spinny road gear. 32x16 is just a little bit nicer on the road, and it's still good for my daily trails, but is too much for my weekend trails, so that's when I switch to the 32x18.

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