Front sprocket size on a 1x11?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    72

    Front sprocket size on a 1x11?

    I am looking to swap out a 30t for either a 28t or 26t on my SRAM setup. I do my fat biking on weekends and over holiday breaks at a small ski area in central New York, where the climbs are long and with some steeper sections. I'm finding some hills to be simply too tiring to clear; and I hate hike-a-biking. I'm not out for speed in the descents, so top gearing isn't all that important to me.

    What are folks' experiences with front tooth counts? How low should I go? I am currently leaning 26t....

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    356
    You have to use what suits you and suits your own terrain. I would generally recommend trying a 28 tooth first before going to the 26, and someday you may move back up to the 28 tooth anyway - they aren't all that pricey these days - but there's nothing wrong with a 26 tooth if that's what it takes to stay on your bike on the climbs you're doing.

    Personally I think it's best to push the envelope a bit to be on the biggest ring you can handle but only to the point that it makes you work harder, not if if just makes you walk more.

  3. #3
    aka bOb
    Reputation: bdundee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    8,678
    28t oval ring is about the equivalent of a 27t.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    813
    I've spun my 26T out to over 30mph and find myself wanting a bit more gear down low for steep sustained climbs. I am looking to put a 24T on, at least for winter.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: baltobrewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    242
    Depends on the watts you've got and your preference for top end. I just swapped out my 2x10 setup fro a 1x10 and went with a low gear of 28 front 42 rear. Since my middle-age wattage ain't what it used to be, I'd happily go lower (26 front), as I don;t care about top end either. So, if top end isn't important to you, I'd go 26 just to have the extra tractor in case you need it and know that you will always be able to stay on the bike.

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    26,551
    My low end is a 28x42 with 26x4 tires.

    It's just about right for me, though in deep snow, I do pretty much use the 28x42 the whole time. I have tossed around getting a 26t and using it only in wintertime just so I can spend more of my time with a better chainline and still have a lower bailout gear.

  7. #7
    bigger than you.
    Reputation: Gigantic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    3,068
    I run a 32x42, both 10 and 11 speed and have found it fine for all but the steepest of long climbs. There was an adaptation curve, however and it took a few weeks of grinding along to get used to it and get strong enough on some of the climbs. I'm switching to 32t Oval rings and am curious to how those turn out.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,432
    I just went down to a 30 up front and a 9-44 out back. Now I can use 2nd and 3rd most of the time in place of 1st and with the 9t top gear I still have better top end than I did before with the 32.

    This is why I'm considering dropping to a 28t after I get more time with the new chainring and cassette. I can run a 28 and almost have the top end of a 32 thanks to the 9t. Time will tell if I need to do it but I want a true bailout gear and not one I have to use all the time.

    Obviously I don't have a fatbike so my gearing will appear higher though it's not. I mainly wanted to bring up the new cassette that goes from 9-44t so when you drop two teeth on the chainring you end up with more top end and more bottom end than you would expect. Going down 4t on the chain ring loses very little top end if you add a 9t-44t in the rear. It's not cheap but the days of compromise are over. I probably sound like a salesman but I'm just excited that those of us with 1x setups now have the range of most 2x setups and even more range than some 2x setups. There will be far less talk and debate over what you're willing to give up, your top end or bottom end.
    '08 Hardrock HRXC
    '09 Epic Comp
    '14 Trance SX -

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    5,360
    If you don't run a 38t up front you should consider yourself lucky.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,723
    28T seems to do it all for me.
    Low enough to get up the steepest grade, yet I don't spin out on the descents.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Aceldama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    322
    I have a 30t currently and would prefer a lower gear for snowy climbs. Unfortunately I'd have to upgrade my X1 cranks in order to pull it off...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    207
    I like a 30T up front with my 11-42 in the back and 27.5 wheels. I ride mostly quick, reasonably steep climbs and descents. If I were climbing more serious stuff, I'd go with a 28T probably.

  13. #13
    likes beer
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    21
    For what it's worth, I use a 32t front with a 1136 rear on a 1x10 Pugsley. My other bike is a 32t front 18t rear single speed, so I may just be used to it.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    356
    I'm still on a 9 speed 11-34 cassette, so I don't have the range that some guys have. I do run 2 rings up front (27 and 34), with no front derailleur and just manually change before a ride depending on what I'll be doing. I think it's a great setup for winter, considering the luck I've had with frozen front derailleurs.

  15. #15
    LCW
    LCW is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LCW's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,384
    Installed an XT 1x11 drivetrain on my Wednesday this weekend. Running a 30T elliptical chainring with an 11-42 cassette. So far, the 30T seems ok. I was thinking of dropping to maybe a 28T, but I'd rather improve my fitness and use the 30T to get stronger. So I guess that's what I'd suggest to the OP also.

    Santa Cruz Hightower LT


  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    45
    I installed a Shimano 1x11 on my Blizzard and I'm running the stock 24 tooth front ring. Mostly my winter riding mimics my summer riding. Climb up and then descend down. The 24-42 feels nice on long climbs in sticky snow but I have to add that I have always been a spinner and run lower gearing than many. For reference I run a 28 front sprocket on my Enduro 29 in the summer.

  17. #17
    MaxTheCyclist.com
    Reputation: mdilthey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    665
    I'm running 33T x 11-36 (10-speed) because it's cheap and it's what I had around. Honestly, it feels luxurious because I'm coming from SS.

    I just climbed Mt. Greylock in a couple of inches of snow. I could have used lower gears, but I stayed warmer for the effort.
    Ultralight bikepacking and gear lists... MaxTheCyclist.com

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    135
    I run a very low 24 tooth front ring mated to an 11-42 out back. A damaged heart from a lot of chemotherapy once upon a time necessitates a low, low gear for me. Riding singletrack trails on Vermont terrain pushing 5" tires I'm not sure I'd want higher with a fully functioning ticker even!

    My setup is a RaceFace Next SL crank with a 64mm spider. The 24t chainring meshes fine with the 11 speed chain. Not a single chain drop in two seasons! Gear your bike as you feel you need. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: brentos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,756
    If you feel like you need a full gear lower, go 26t.

    If you feel like you're often 1/2 gear too tall, or stuck in between gears go 28t.

    26 tooth gets you equivalent to another entire step in gearing sequence. (vs. 30)

    28 tooth will just trim everything back equivalent 1/2 a gear. (vs. 30)

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    463
    If I could have a 22 t front only , I would .
    I'm not racing anyone so once I can coast down a hill I'm a happy guy. If all I had for gearing was a 22 front and 36- 16 t in the rear, I could do all the riding I want to do on a fat bike. Including on the road. But a 24 or 26 elliptical with a 40t rear low gear would be fine.
    I like to be able to sit and look the country over while I'm riding so going slow greatly appeals to me.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by L84Beer View Post
    I am looking to swap out a 30t for either a 28t or 26t on my SRAM setup. I do my fat biking on weekends and over holiday breaks at a small ski area in central New York, where the climbs are long and with some steeper sections. I'm finding some hills to be simply too tiring to clear; and I hate hike-a-biking. I'm not out for speed in the descents, so top gearing isn't all that important to me.

    What are folks' experiences with front tooth counts? How low should I go? I am currently leaning 26t....
    I know that you specifically asked for what tooth counts others are using, but I think this thread could go on for another 8 pages and you won't be any closer to answering what you really wanted to know: what is right for you and your conditions/riding situation.

    I think all that matters is whether you are finding yourself riding that largest cog up hills a lot. If so, then check the box for switching to a smaller chain ring.

    And if you're actually having to get off the bike right now because that gear is too tall, then hell ya: check the box for jumping down 2 sizes!

    You have a fat bike because it's fun to ride, not push. You'll still be riding it down the hills, even if you spin out on the upper end, and you'll still be smiling because you didn't just push that thing all the way up to get there.

  22. #22
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8,137
    Put on a 26 and call it a day.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    1,723
    Given his situation - yep.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bncrshr77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    535
    Lovin my 26t. Always nice to have it if I need it!

  25. #25
    Land of the 230+
    Reputation: GuitsBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    2,466
    The fatty 30t x 42t feels way steeper than the 32t x 42t on my 27.5 even without any snow. Wish I could have fit a 28t, but Ill have to wait till I upgrade the crankset. Not sure I'd go 26 where I live, but if you feel you could use the extra grunt, why not go for it!

  26. #26
    Anchorage, AK
    Reputation: Lars_D's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,340
    I have a 10-42 in the rear. In front, I used a 26t last winter. This winter I am using a 28t oval in front--it is a little bit too hard for deep snow. I am inclined to go to a 44 in the rear and keep the 28t oval in front.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Front sprocket size on a 1x11?-img00614.jpg  

    --Peace

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    177
    2016 Trek Farley 5 Frame and all custom parts.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    592
    I run a 26T RaceFace Direct Mount narrow wide up front, 11-42 10 speed rear using a Hope Giant Cog. Running Dillenger 5's. I'm in the Northeast - lots of punchy climbs and twisty descents, top end is far less important in these conditions.

    I see Wolftooth is doing some stainless drop stop chain rings for SRAM cranks now, they say they will do some stainless drop stop direct mount rings for RaceFace soon. I wish someone would step up and do a giant cog in stainless as well (or do a full cassette in steel, aluminum cogs wear out too quick)

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by SRALPH View Post
    I run a 26T RaceFace Direct Mount narrow wide up front, 11-42 10 speed rear using a Hope Giant Cog. Running Dillenger 5's. I'm in the Northeast - lots of punchy climbs and twisty descents, top end is far less important in these conditions.

    I see Wolftooth is doing some stainless drop stop chain rings for SRAM cranks now, they say they will do some stainless drop stop direct mount rings for RaceFace soon. I wish someone would step up and do a giant cog in stainless as well (or do a full cassette in steel, aluminum cogs wear out too quick)
    Sram 1195 and 1199 11 speed are steel, and the 42 is replaceable, which is the only alloy ring.
    2016 Trek Farley 5 Frame and all custom parts.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    If you feel like you need a full gear lower, go 26t.

    If you feel like you're often 1/2 gear too tall, or stuck in between gears go 28t.

    26 tooth gets you equivalent to another entire step in gearing sequence. (vs. 30)

    28 tooth will just trim everything back equivalent 1/2 a gear. (vs. 30)
    Thanks for the advice, all. I've ordered up a 26t. Come spring, I'll swap the 30t back in.

    Next decision is what to do about tires.....

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    1,432
    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    If you feel like you need a full gear lower, go 26t.

    If you feel like you're often 1/2 gear too tall, or stuck in between gears go 28t.

    26 tooth gets you equivalent to another entire step in gearing sequence. (vs. 30)

    28 tooth will just trim everything back equivalent 1/2 a gear. (vs. 30)
    This is the truth, I found it out the hard way. Going 32 to 30 up front plus 42 to 44 out back is almost like one full gear down. It's a nice change but not as big as I thought it would be.
    '08 Hardrock HRXC
    '09 Epic Comp
    '14 Trance SX -

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,342
    Quote Originally Posted by Aceldama View Post
    I have a 30t currently and would prefer a lower gear for snowy climbs. Unfortunately I'd have to upgrade my X1 cranks in order to pull it off...
    What cranks are you using? I have the sram X1-1000 on my Farley. Blackspire makes a 28 T front that will fit

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    72
    Went with the 26t, and it worked perfectly! I cleared every climb this weekend, except where I postholed the rear tire and lost traction. Once or twice, and only for about 5 seconds did I feel like I gave up top-end speed in a descent. The reality is, though, that the wind at those speeds made the ride uncomfortably cold in the 19*F air I was riding in, not to mention that I couldn't see through the tears the wind produced.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    177
    Those are tears of joy, happens a lot on fat bikes.
    2016 Trek Farley 5 Frame and all custom parts.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    142
    Now i have the new e.thirteen 9-44 cassette, i went up on the front, now on 30t. Tried 28, but the gearing for the long descents was too short. Now with the 44 in the back, i am little less shorter, but topend should be good now.
    Did some very long steep climbs in the swiss alps with the 28 in front, but 26 would be too short, i think its imposaible to keep the front down
    Bird zero AM with mt7 danny mcaskill, eagle nextie and some fun bits

Similar Threads

  1. Small front sprocket?
    By ZillaCycle in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 04-27-2015, 10:33 AM
  2. 26t front sprocket on Epic WC???
    By Havinfun in forum Specialized
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-19-2015, 10:12 PM
  3. Alternative to 1x11; 42T cassette sprocket
    By nightofthefleming in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 12-01-2013, 10:01 AM
  4. PBJ Max Chainring/Sprocket Size?
    By Foxbat in forum Transition Bikes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-26-2013, 11:19 AM
  5. Front sprocket teeth?
    By EZuphill in forum Drivetrain - shifters, derailleurs, cranks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-07-2013, 08:44 PM

Members who have read this thread: 7

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.