29er SS gearing ratio 32x......?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29er SS gearing ratio 32x......?

    HI,

    Building up my first 29er SS. I don't have much to go on, but I live in an area with lots of climbing, nothing too super-steep though. Generally climbs up to 20 miles, gaining around 3K in elevation over that distance. My cranks are 175, wheels are 29er, and my fitness is generally good (I am a Cat2 on the road). On my fixie (track bike, ridden on the road) I run a 44x17 and spin it around 95-115 rpm when on a ride. On my mountain bike, I would like to spin somewhere around 80rpm. I just finished my build, and was recommended 32x16, but that feels way too big! Definitely not for my style of riding, at least.

    Any recommendations? I was thinking 32x18 to 32x20.

  2. #2
    AOF
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    general rule of thumb is 2 more teeth extra in the back for a 29er SS, from what you like for a gear combo in a 26.
    Ex: 26" I like 32x18, for 29er I like 32x20

    Mr. Sheldon Brown has a excellent gear inch calculator. **LINK**


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  3. #3
    One gear to rule them all
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    I ride 32x19 or 20 on my 9er, depending on the trails ....
    Todd............. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

  4. #4
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    Twenty mile climbs?! Uh, that's a long climb.

    Well, consider that you tend to stand when climbing with an SS, you may want to consider a lower gear so you can sit. I ride tech single track, East Coast stuff, climbs are short and steep, so I tend to run a 32-20 or if I really want to kill the hard moves I run a 32-21.

    Not sure where you ride, but I just got back from two weeks in the Rockies of WY, CO, NM and I rode a 32-21 out there, did fine, a 32-22 would have saved me some walking, anything taller than what I ran would have meant lots of walking.

    I'd get a couple cogs, try them out, you might find that you change based on where you're riding and conditions. I like a taller gear for dry conditions.

    Spin rate is important, but more important is being able to maintain your momentum. In an SS, your spin rate is less important than your ability to maintain traction and forward movement. You'll learn more after riding SS for a while... Start with a 32-20.
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  5. #5
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    I ride 34x18 in the Midwest. We don't have as much climbing. Most climbs are achieved through proper use of momentum and are mildly steep. If you have sustained climbs, I'd go 32x20, perhaps 19. 32x16 is way too big for SS 29er unless you are elite. Standard gearing for a 29er is usually 32x18, just like 32x16 is standard for a 26er. Go up or down from there.

  6. #6
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    If your climbs are as long as you're saying, I think a 20t is a good point to start, and depending on how steep it gets in places, you may want to actually go even bigger.

    Arek

  7. #7
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    As others have suggested, I would try a couple and see what works. I would say start with 32x20 and see how that goes.

    My riding is very different, with lots of short very steep technical ups and downs, and not much in the way of flats. (southern NY) My normal gearing is 34x24, and I still have to walk sometimes! On some of the flatter trails I will use 34x22.

    Mark

  8. #8
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    I ride 32x18 with some pretty steep hills. Took me a few weeks to get the strength to handle it properly but now it seems perfect.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info. I rode the 32x16 today and was definitely overgeared. I had to walk in 1 spot, was spinning around 50 rpm on most of the steeper climbs (would like to be closer to 65-70) and on techy sections on the climb, really had trouble getting momentum to clear stair-steps and the like. I was only out of the saddle for maybe 5% of the climbing, but in a few spots, I was barely turning over the cranks!

    I will start with a 32x18 and a 32x20. I think the 32x18 would have gotten me up anything today, 32x20 may have been a little undergeared for this particular trail, but would be great on something more technical.

    Question: what do you do if you have 2 different sized cogs with regards to the chain tensioner? I have a Surly Singleator, and it won't take up enough slack to run a chain suitable for both an 18 and 20. What device is better in this regard?

  10. #10
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    I ride 32 x 18 in Colorado front range. Im young and bounce back easily though, probably 32 x 20

  11. #11
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    I usually try to do around 3k ft. of climbing per ride on my SS's. On my 29er I run 32x20 as recommended above, and on the 26er I run 32x18. Hope this helps!

  12. #12
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    I would consider a 19t. If you are a cat2 racer, you are probably pretty fit. I run 32x19 on a 29er in CO and its the best gear for all around in the mountains.

    18, 19, and 20 are all good to have for versatility.
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  13. #13
    trail rat
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    Twenty mile climbs with 3K gain? Gravy.

    We have 2 mile climbs with 1K gain, 5 miles climbs with 4k gain, here in Kal-E-4n-Eye-A!

    On my 29er 32 x 22 gets me up most stuff, and walking gets me up the really steep parts.
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

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  14. #14
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    32/20

  15. #15
    Out there
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    I ride 32x18 for eastern tech stuff. I wouldn't run anything taller. I keep thinking about swapping out the 18 for a 20 but each time I go out on the SS I'm a bit stronger and I get up more stuff.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  16. #16
    HTFU and Ride
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    what about a 17/19 White Ind. ENO Dos? That seems like it might be perfect...if you run a freewheel.
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  17. #17
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    you want a 19, i promise. based on your fitness and terrain description. 18 is nice for the milder xc races, even a 17 if its a "roadie" course. 20 if there is a ton of climbing.

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