In 1x11 or 1x12, 32 or 34 teeth which is better?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    In 1x11 or 1x12, 32 or 34 teeth which is better?

    What are the pros and cons on changing 32 to 34 teeth chain ring?

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  2. #2
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    Pro: you'd get a slightly higher gear.
    Con: you'd lose a bit of low end stump pulling power.

    In the end all you'd do is shift your entire gear range up slightly. That said, if you're on a full suspension frame, suspension kinematics may be optimized around a specific chainring size. However IRL I've switched rings on my FS and found that moving out of the optimized zone is no big deal. YMMV
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  3. #3
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    It depends a lot on what you use most: high or low gears? What do you miss more? high or low? There's no absolutely better.

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    I use pretty much every gear coz im training my legs for climbing and would like to go fast on flats as well.

    So i wonder if upgrading to more teeth will make me faster on flats or better on climbs.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    So i wonder if upgrading to more teeth will make me faster on flats or better on climbs.
    Faster on the flats with a bigger chainring but you won't be able to spin as much on the climbs. That's where a 51 on the rear cassette can really be helpful.
    Kind of like playing an electric drum kit

  6. #6
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    Thank you guys. I think I got the answer im looking for.

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  7. #7
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    Depends what your ratios are on the cassette and the wheel size...

    With a 9x46 e-thirteen cassette a 30t chain ring (29er wheel) works best for me so. I can still make it up long and steep technical climbs and still think after more than a year of riding this setup that 32t would be a bit much. I really don't run out of gear on the full on sprint side of things either.

    I also ride two rigid SS 29er's as well (and am more of a masher than many)- one is setup 36x15 and the other is 32x18.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    What are the pros and cons on changing 32 to 34 teeth chain ring?

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    How does the 11 v 12 spd play into your equation? Is it the 50t v 51t on a cassette?
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  9. #9
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    If you increase the ring size you can shift to an easier gear in the back. Effectively no change in gearing.

    If you want to go as fast as possible in your highest gear you'll need the larger ring. If you are not currently spinning out and are not going as fast as possible, no need to increase your ring diameter.

    If you increase the ring size, you'll not have as low of a first gear. If you are struggling to climb the steepest stuff you have, the bigger ring will be even more difficult.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    How does the 11 v 12 spd play into your equation? Is it the 50t v 51t on a cassette?
    Coz 1x11 is what i have and 1x12 is what im planning to upgrade.

    As of now, i have 42 on cassette.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    Coz 1x11 is what i have and 1x12 is what im planning to upgrade.

    As of now, i have 42 on cassette.

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    Ahha, the fine print revealed. If I'm reading you right and you're running a 32-11/42 setup now no reason you couldnt do a 34-10/51. Possibly even the 45/46t model cassette to match current 32/42 climbing gear if its new Shimano drivetrain that you're looking at. Gearcalc heads will probly scrutinize that comparison but you know what your capabilities are.😁
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  12. #12
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    So if I get it right,

    34T chain ring to 10T cassette is the fastest for mtb on flat terrain without sacrificing much climbing efficiency?

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  13. #13
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    I would not recommend just swapping things out without more research. Which gearing is right is dependent on the rider, terrain, bike, etc. What's good for me may be totally wrong for you.

    I would use a gear ratio calculator so you can understand where you are now and what the intended changes would do. I've used sheldonbrown.com...

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

    You may find that existing 11spd cassette gearing will be fine if you just swap out to a bigger or smaller chain-ring to dial in the highest or lowest ratio to your liking.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    So if I get it right,

    34T chain ring to 10T cassette is the fastest for mtb on flat terrain without sacrificing much climbing efficiency?

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    Fastest: Sure, if you are strong enough to ride as fast as the bike is capable of on a long flat out stretch for long periods of time.

    A 34/10 will allow the fastest option of what you're listed, yes. Still, only if you are fast enough. Probably would not ride any faster to swap to that gear from what you have currently because I can't pedal so fast in high gear that the bike is limiting me.

    So for the sake of conversation, you are saying that you are very very strong and your bike gearing is currently holding you back because your legs spin too fast.

    In addition, the 34t will make it difficult to climb if you have issues with strength in climbing. However, sounds like that isn't the case (because it sounds like you are very strong)?

    This is an easy test ...... Find a relatively difficult grade that you can go really fast in a gear, lets say your 3rd hardest gear. Now switch to your hardest gear and ride the same course just as fast. Were you able to? That would be similar to changing your front ring by 2 teeth.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    Coz 1x11 is what i have and 1x12 is what im planning to upgrade.

    As of now, i have 42 on cassette.

    Sent from my ASUS_X00QD using Tapatalk
    If you currently have a 32t and that's fine with an 11-speed cassette, go to at least a 34t chainring.

    A 32x42 is equal to a 38x50. So figure out how much easier you want it to be, what the max chainring size for your bike is and go from there.

    12-speed is kinda overkill. Hopefully one day designers will figure out a way to allow bigger chainrings so we can really take advantage of it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    So if I get it right,

    34T chain ring to 10T cassette is the fastest for mtb on flat terrain without sacrificing much climbing efficiency?

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    here the 34 would kick your ass, if you live in the flat lands go for it. no way I could run a 34 with our leg burning climbs

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    So if I get it right,

    34T chain ring to 10T cassette is the fastest for mtb on flat terrain without sacrificing much climbing efficiency?

    Sent from my ASUS_X00QD using Tapatalk
    No. A 34/9t will be faster on flat. But what kind of terrain are you in once off the flats? Again, you're leaving out the fine print. What type bike are you on? 29er? 27.5? Hardtail? Full suspension? XC? Trail? All Mtn? Enduro? What kind of riding do you regularly do? Efficiency is relative to all these scenarios.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    If you currently have a 32t and that's fine with an 11-speed cassette, go to at least a 34t chainring.

    A 32x42 is equal to a 38x50. So figure out how much easier you want it to be, what the max chainring size for your bike is and go from there.

    12-speed is kinda overkill. Hopefully one day designers will figure out a way to allow bigger chainrings so we can really take advantage of it.
    Not doubting, havent ran it by chart, but seems like 38/50 is abit harder than 32/42.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    No. A 34/9t will be faster on flat. But what kind of terrain are you in once off the flats? Again, you're leaving out the fine print. What type bike are you on? 29er? 27.5? Hardtail? Full suspension? XC? Trail? All Mtn? Enduro? What kind of riding do you regularly do? Efficiency is relative to all these scenarios.
    I'm currently riding a Team Marin 29er. In my area, we use mountain bike for touring. (5-7 day ride 1000km at least). This include up-down road, through mountains, but 70% flat road. With this condition, faster I/we get to the destination, the better coz we are targeting to ride 200km per day before sunset.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    So for the sake of conversation, you are saying that you are very very strong and your bike gearing is currently holding you back because your legs spin too fast.
    No I'm not strong. But I can ride 50-60 km in 3 hours like nothing. I asked the question coz I want to go faster.. probably 50-60km in 2.5 hours will be much the target. or 30kph is the ideal on the type of riding we are planning.

    We use MTB on the road / touring / long distance by the way. I rarely go on trails with my 29er HT.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    I would not recommend just swapping things out without more research. Which gearing is right is dependent on the rider, terrain, bike, etc. What's good for me may be totally wrong for you.

    I would use a gear ratio calculator so you can understand where you are now and what the intended changes would do. I've used sheldonbrown.com...

    https://www.sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

    You may find that existing 11spd cassette gearing will be fine if you just swap out to a bigger or smaller chain-ring to dial in the highest or lowest ratio to your liking.
    I tried the calculator but unable to understand the figures that I got... hahaha... care to educate us on the numbers below?

    32
    11 14.3
    18.2 %
    13 12.1
    15.4 %
    15 10.5
    13.3 %
    17 9.3
    11.8 %
    19 8.3
    10.5 %
    21 7.5
    14.3 %
    24 6.6
    16.7 %
    28 5.6
    14.3 %
    32 4.9
    12.5 %
    36 4.4
    16.7 %
    42 3.8

    I'm not sure if I put the correct technical spec of my bike

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post

    We use MTB on the road / touring / long distance by the way. I rarely go on trails with my 29er HT.
    If you're looking for more top speed, then go with a gravel type setup where you don't need a big spread of gears and has more top end similar to a road cassette. 1x11 is plenty for that.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    No I'm not strong. But I can ride 50-60 km in 3 hours like nothing. I asked the question coz I want to go faster.. probably 50-60km in 2.5 hours will be much the target. or 30kph is the ideal on the type of riding we are planning.

    We use MTB on the road / touring / long distance by the way. I rarely go on trails with my 29er HT.
    I don't know if a sprocket will reduce your ride time by 30 minutes.
    I suppose it's possible, however you need to figure you'll be working harder than usual, could induce fatigue sooner than you are used to and may ultimately slow you down from riding too hard early in the ride.

    If you're strong, perhaps it's good.

    Just buy the gear -experiment. You can listen to the internet all day long and read charts, it's not at all helpful in terms of if your body is capable of being more efficient with the changed setup.

    We do not know you and can't honestly say how the gearing will cater to your fitness level over a 3 hours steady, fast push.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    If you're looking for more top speed, then go with a gravel type setup where you don't need a big spread of gears and has more top end similar to a road cassette. 1x11 is plenty for that.
    I wish I have extra money for that but I only have HT mtb for now and probably will stick with me for next 1 or 2 yrs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    I don't know if a sprocket will reduce your ride time by 30 minutes.
    I suppose it's possible, however you need to figure you'll be working harder than usual, could induce fatigue sooner than you are used to and may ultimately slow you down from riding too hard early in the ride.

    If you're strong, perhaps it's good.

    Just buy the gear -experiment. You can listen to the internet all day long and read charts, it's not at all helpful in terms of if your body is capable of being more efficient with the changed setup.

    We do not know you and can't honestly say how the gearing will cater to your fitness level over a 3 hours steady, fast push.
    You're right.

    I guess buying bigger chain ring and cassette with more teeth will not hurt the pocket that much. I will let you know guys the result once I have the chain ring and cassette replaced. For now I will improve my legs first. hehe

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gat3keeper View Post
    I'm currently riding a Team Marin 29er. In my area, we use mountain bike for touring. (5-7 day ride 1000km at least). This include up-down road, through mountains, but 70% flat road. With this condition, faster I/we get to the destination, the better coz we are targeting to ride 200km per day before sunset.
    That's some impressive kms. Now that we see your ride routine I would say even a 36t fr ring would be useful.

    Check out the gearing setup on this [email protected]$$ ultra endurance rider!:

    https://youtu.be/kl6A74T-2zI
    Last edited by JMac47; 12-08-2019 at 01:42 PM. Reason: More info
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