29er gearing. need suggestions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29er gearing. need suggestions

    Just started riding SS mtb last year. Ive really been enjoying it so far. The only issue ive been having is selecting the right gearing. Ive tried 32-20 and 34-20 on my 29er. Im riding in Michaux State Forest in South Central PA where most of the riding is more technical than vertical. Any suggestions for an optimum gearing?

  2. #2
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    i am new to ss and i am runnin 32-20 untill i can handle an 18 in the back, New Mexico is just as much technical as it is vertical.
    If its flat where you ride put on a higher gear out back. Your big wheels should roll over pretty much anything with enough speed.
    Last edited by Utilityman; 04-22-2011 at 08:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    I run 33/20 on a 29er

    I run 33/20 (29er) and find it perfect for the trails with lots of climbs. When it is a flat course with <1000' climbing per 15 miles then i will go to 19. I find that when i'm spinning with 33/18 and going too fast for most singletrack. 33/20 is what i used on Butte 100 last year and didn't have to walk more that 10% of the course!

  4. #4
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    Walking

    drMP, I am fairly new to SS, have been riding SS for about a year. I have done several races locally in FL, and even won one race in the open masters class against guys with gears. I am doing my first 100 next weekend on SS and have been wrestling with gearing. My indecision comes from the whole walking scenario. In other words, I know what I can ride with what gear and I am somewhat familiar with the course as I have raced this race with gears in the past. As I make my gear choice ( I think I have already made up my mind) how much walking should I plan on doing? You mention walking 10%. I am thinking of gearing where I won't have to walk that much. Should I gear a little less so I can't mash up all the hills? Thanks for your opinion.
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  5. #5
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    walking and ss

    the butte 100 course had >18,000' of climbing last year. I got quick at "nope, i'm walking that hill" sort of decision making. There were times in the race when you would turn a corner and see people walking as far as you can see (geared and ss). But that race may be a poor data point. I'm already signed up for it this year, again with 33/20 gearing. So i guess it really depends on how brutal the course is. Walking some steep hills/sections is not uncommon- ever do cyclocross racing?

    That said, I have also done cream puff (on gears) and didn't walk at all, and could likely do the course w/o gears and not walk too.

  6. #6
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    Go get 'em

    Great perspective! Especially with the take on quick decisions I am doing the Cohutta 100 in Tennessee, 14000 ft of climbing and I am going to run my Rotor Q ring 34 up front which really equates to a 33 and 20 out back. should be a blast. Thanks and all the best in the Butte 100!!
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  7. #7
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    I thought the 32-20 was great for normal technical trails with short climbs. I ran a 32-22 for high country which worked well for super long climbs and descents, but this year I'm going to try a 32-21 for the summer. My summer rides tend to be up and down with no flats like fall and winter.
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  8. #8
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    32x21 is my gear of choice for high country riding in colorado.
    Most of my rides are usually more than 30 miles so its another reason i spin an easier gear

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryHowe
    I thought the 32-20 was great for normal technical trails with short climbs. I ran a 32-22 for high country which worked well for super long climbs and descents, but this year I'm going to try a 32-21 for the summer. My summer rides tend to be up and down with no flats like fall and winter.

  9. #9
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    32: 21

    I have played with a lot of ratios. 32:21 works best for my riding style and the terrain i ride out here in Colorado. I have pretty short legs so i also went with shorter cranks- 170mm. Easier ratio and shorter cranks relieved some of the knee stress and makes spinning rocky technical climbs easier for me. There is no one ratio that works for everyone. Throw a 32 on the front and experiment with a 19,20 and 21. Keep them in the tool box and you should be able to swap out for about any scenario.

  10. #10
    ilmfat
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    high country?

    ill take gears please.

    course id be walkin it even with gears, so might as well push less weight and go SS.

    i run 32x14. but i dont really "climb". im gonna switch to 12t for the road and 16t for the mild trails im gonna be able to do.

    find whats comfortable and minus 2 (rear). youll kill yourself for a bit. then youll get comfortable. minus 2 (rear) again.

    watch out tho. itll put hair on your chest.

  11. #11
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    32 18 works great for me. A 32 20 if I am going to be doing a lot of climbing. It seems like I do a lot of spinning on the 20 though. You just have to pick what works best for you.......

  12. #12
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    32:18 and currently 33:18. For me it was more about being able to move my rear wheel a little more forward in the sliders (odd chain length issues). But I have gotten used to it and am planning my first group ride with the bigger gear this Thur barring weather/trail conditions. Been on it for about a month now and getting stronger but have no problems dropping it back down if I got to an area with more climbs! Would love to try a Rotor ring but they don't make them in a 102 bcd for my crank.

  13. #13
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    Easier than 33/20

    I asked a few strong riders about their gearing for Butte 100, and here is one reply that was common to most whom i asked:

    I ran a 33x20 last year at Butte and believe me it was not enough - made for some tough going in many areas. This year (if I get to go) I'm planning on a 32x21 or 22.

    drMP

  14. #14
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    I ride in south central PA as well and rock out a 32x22, but I mainly only ride my SS a couple of places all of which its either up or down no flats so I never feel like I'm spinning out. If it wasn't for this I'd probably run a 32x20 or 21.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
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  15. #15
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    All your base belong to us...

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  16. #16
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    I'm riding 36-22 right now and it's going great for short steep climbs and for minor technical riding. It feels too low for flats though.

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