32 X 19 Is Kickin' My Butt!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    32 X 19 Is Kickin' My Butt!

    I have had my SIR 9 for about three weeks now after riding geared bikes for years. The demo bike I tested had a 32 X 19 so I stuck with the same gear for mine. I like to ride the climbs in the Colorado front range ( Mt Falcon is my favorite) but after 3 weeks it ain't getting a whole lot easier. Am I over geared or should I stick it out and try to adapt for a few more weeks? What do you veteran SSers run for longer (1/2 hour plus) climbs?

  2. #2
    meh... whatever
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    dont be a wuss...

    ...stick it out!

    seriously, it will get easier. just keep on mashin!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  3. #3
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    You may be over training slightly. If riding for three weeks and its not getting easier I'd take a couple days off, followed by a couple days of lower intensity then give it a shot. My bet is your body will respond by being stronger after some rest/recovery. You have basically been doing hill intervals for three weeks. Just some thoughts.

  4. #4
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    32 x 20 would give you a little more gear development than, say, 32 x 18 on a 26" bike. As far as I can tell, the SS cognoscenti consider that about the lowest you could ride and still be considered fair game for a random tattoo and/or branding the next time you pass out at the top of a climb.

    If it were me, I'd try a 20t out back for starters. And ditto on the rest time. Give yourself a little time to heal up before you attack it again.

  5. #5
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    Suck it up, buttercup!!

    Just kidding.

    It will get easier, though. Due to a miscommunication at the shop, I ended up with an 18 tooth freewheel instead of a 20. Unbeknownst to me, I spent all last season riding a 34:18 on my Niner. I did Falcon a few times, along with all of the other local haunts. While I can definitely make it up most of them, that ratio makes for maximum gruntage so I've been thinking of going down to a 19 or 20 tooth. 32:19 shouldn't give you much trouble once you get used to it.
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  6. #6
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    I ride the front range too, I ride 32x20. I have to hand it to you for riding Mt Falcon in that gearing I wouldn't even attempt it, I have enough trouble with that climb on my geared bike.

  7. #7
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    32x19 on my MC 29er, it was perfect for wednesdays ride, but last night (different place) I wish I had my 18 on the back.

  8. #8
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    No reason not to go with a bigger cog. I started out with 32:19 on a 29er. Rode it for many months and got quite comfortable, even on days with multiple, hour plus climbs.

    But then I tried 32:20 and was even more comfortable and I didn't feel any more spun out on the flats. Might try 32:22 next.

    I really don't see any point in breaking yourself trying to push the tallest gear possible.

  9. #9
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    I second that...and I'm coming from that side of the fence.
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  10. #10
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    keep riding that gear, everything will get easier, next thing you'll know, you want a smaller gear back there to help with flat land stuff.

  11. #11
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    I don't think that there's an objective answer to your question. In your shoes I think I'd drop 4 bucks on a cheap 20t and see if gearing down makes the ride more enjoyable. FWIW, 32:19 on my Rig works for me for sustained 6% grades in answer to your 30 minute question, but I'm big, old, and slow. I think that it's too easy to get focused on numbers-what you "should" be running is what feels best.

  12. #12
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    heh, not only am i big, old, and slow, but i like to enjoy the ride a little more slowly.

    i've been running a 32x23 for the 10%+ stuff around here, and it makes it more fun. of course the spinning out on the flats, not so much, but it is a trade-off.

    try a 20t, and if it still isn't *FUN*** try a 21t.

    you can always drop back down to the 19t when you are stronger

  13. #13
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    Man, i'm running a 32x17 on my 29er cog and having fun. Ran 32x16 on my 26" bike. I love teh 32x17. I tried the 32x20 on the cog when I frist got it and didn't like it at all.

  14. #14
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    Run what you like and experiment

    Don't worry about what anyone else runs. Just size up or down until you're comfortable. I've run everything from 40x16 to 36x22 on a MC 26er. Falcon is pretty much a SS ball buster no matter your gear. The only bottom end on going easier for me is when you spin out standing too easily which is why I trend towards 36x20 on my 26er for most of the front range stuff. It's a pretty good all around gear for me.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSIDE
    I have had my SIR 9 for about three weeks now after riding geared bikes for years. The demo bike I tested had a 32 X 19 so I stuck with the same gear for mine. I like to ride the climbs in the Colorado front range ( Mt Falcon is my favorite) but after 3 weeks it ain't getting a whole lot easier. Am I over geared or should I stick it out and try to adapt for a few more weeks? What do you veteran SSers run for longer (1/2 hour plus) climbs?
    Ugh. Put a 20 out back. My experience is that is a bit better ratio for our Front Range trails on 29 inch wheels.

  16. #16
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    Gotta agree with the "do what feels good for you" arguments... I have a 32x20 on my XXIX and it started off feeling a bit harsh on some of the stuff I ride. Not too steep, but a combination of "steep enough and long enough" makes me feel it after a few months even. I have a couple of local hills that I ride that are 1-1/2 to 2 miles of varying grade from 3 to 16 percent. After the steeper sections on one of them, I find I'm ready for a break! Up to about 8% is not too bad with a 20t. If I get stronger I may drop to a 19t, but the 20 is getting me there. Sometimes it tightens up my back though! Buy a couple of cogs and play. I've thought about adding a 21t and a 19t for some other rides... 21 for a bit longer climbs (say - 5 mile or so, average ~ 6% with some steeper sections) and for flatter rides put on the 19t. With the hills here, I doubt I'll ever get strong enough to run an 18 on a 29" wheel.

  17. #17
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    Nocturnus: Man, i'm running a 32x17 on my 29er cog and having fun

    But these guys are talking about serious, sustained climbs.
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  18. #18
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    I started the season with a 32-20 on a 26er. I'm up to a 36-20 now. Just roll with somthing low for a while. You'll get stronger, and you'll be able to move up in gearing soon.

  19. #19
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    I ride 32x15 and do some decent 30-40min climbs. But thats me and you have to set the gearing to suit yourself.
    You do get used to your gearing eventually, I get on my dually now and it feels weird to be spinning fast up climbs, especially when it seems I go up faster on the ss than the gearie

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantB
    As far as I can tell, the SS cognoscenti consider that about the lowest you could ride and still be considered fair game for a random tattoo and/or branding the next time you pass out at the top of a climb.
    Haw! You funny.

  21. #21
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    Am I the only one with a range of cogs to suit the trail? Aside from my 32t & 34t chainrings, I have 15t, 17t, 18t, 19t, 20t, 21t and 22t cogs. Maybe its just me but I like having the right gearing and it takes just a few minutes to get the Rig set up for a day of fun.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  22. #22
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    Nah you're not alone...

    I own a 40t an 36t chainring and 16,18,20,22t cogs. Rocked the 40x18 for TransIowa and 36x22 for the Rim Ride Moab. Still I hate changing around stuff so unless it's for a race I run my 36x20 most of the time. I have been playing with a 2x2 using the 40x16 for the long road rides to the trailhead (1-2 hours on the road each way).
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Am I the only one with a range of cogs to suit the trail? Aside from my 32t & 34t chainrings, I have 15t, 17t, 18t, 19t, 20t, 21t and 22t cogs. Maybe its just me but I like having the right gearing and it takes just a few minutes to get the Rig set up for a day of fun.
    I have 32t and 34t rings and 18t, 19t, 20t, and 22t cogs, but since they're not all from the same manufacturer I have to fiddle with chainline whenever I swap. I've found I've adapted to 34/19 x 29" for general purpose riding though, so I don't bother swapping any more.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    Am I the only one with a range of cogs to suit the trail? Aside from my 32t & 34t chainrings, I have 15t, 17t, 18t, 19t, 20t, 21t and 22t cogs. Maybe its just me but I like having the right gearing and it takes just a few minutes to get the Rig set up for a day of fun.
    To me, that defeats much of the purpose of a SS. My SS is not my only, or even my primary bike. It's there to be a reliable, no hassle, always ready to go bike. Just my $.02

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loudpawlz
    Ugh. Put a 20 out back. My experience is that is a bit better ratio for our Front Range trails on 29 inch wheels.
    I agree. I ride a SIR9 here on the Front Range as well, and I really like 32x20 for just about everything. Its a little slow on the flats, but its really nice for the extended and/or steep stuff around here you encounter on every ride.

    From what I've seen, a 32x20 on a 29er is very comparable to 32x18 on 26" wheels, and I know a lot of people on 26er SS with 32x18 (or 19). Put the ego aside and run what fits you better.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSIDE
    I have had my SIR 9 for about three weeks now after riding geared bikes for years. The demo bike I tested had a 32 X 19 so I stuck with the same gear for mine. I like to ride the climbs in the Colorado front range ( Mt Falcon is my favorite) but after 3 weeks it ain't getting a whole lot easier. Am I over geared or should I stick it out and try to adapt for a few more weeks? What do you veteran SSers run for longer (1/2 hour plus) climbs?
    Lower your gearing! The common 26" gear in my neck of the woods (Western Oregon Cascades) is 34x20, about the same as a 32x21 on a 29er.
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  27. #27
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    I have found my 32x20 works well for our tight twisty singletrack here in Michigan. Most of our climbs are of the steep and short variety. I second what everyone else says " you will get stronger" and your fitness will grow into that gear.

  28. #28
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    34x20 seems to be a good gear for AZ's White Mtns. I started out 32x20 and in a couple of months was ready to bump up a bit. I'm happy with it and thats what matters to me.... Ride where you're comfy, not where everyone else is, and thats what should matter to you. If you were a conformist, than you'd probably ride a nice geared Epic or a Nomad or something right?
    luck favors the prepared.

  29. #29
    local trails rider
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    Whatever works for you!

    I have heard so much about 32x16 on a 26" bike but my legs and lungs say that 32x18 is currently about right for me on my local trails.

  30. #30
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    I ride 34 x 17 and love every minute of it. A few weeks ago I bought my first road bike and have noticed that riding my single has improved my ability immensly. If you're having a hard time with the 19t cog step up to a 20. Remember biking is supposed to be fun.

  31. #31
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    I do most of my SS riding just outside east Boulder. I run a 38/16 for around the foothills and the I can change up to 36/18 for the mountains. All without changing the length of my chain.

  32. #32
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    33X20 seems to be a fine choice for most of my epic rides so much so that I rarely think of going bigger. Spinning is not a crime, just remember that. You'll get guys on here bragging about tall gear ratios but at the end of the day a tough gear isn't making you faster neccesarily. I like to spin a bit and while it's crazy annoying on the flats (especially w/ impatient geared riders) luckily I live in the mountains so flats aren't that common.

    I've tried 33X16 for flat land riding and it was great, I've tried 33X18 for racing and it proved too much for me that day. Run what works for you as others have said. A few weeks of pain will equate to big fitness gains. we promise.
    My one says BRAP!

  33. #33
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    Never go with "what everybody says..." Experiment for yourself. Picking the gear depends on a bunch of variables, including:
    1. leg strength,
    2. how fast you like to go (here in New England I always say to gear for the technical ups. Everyone's skill is different, gear to be able to turn the pedals over at a speed you're comfortable with..),
    3. your bike handling skills (related to #2)
    4. your leg speed...if you were a spinner as opposed to a masher you might want another tooth in the rear
    5. over all fitness. You can take away teeth as you get fitter.
    6. Your terrain...CO is different than NE. Climbing for a half hour? Our longest climbs are in the 10 minute range.

    Here in NE, there aren't any "flats", so we can get away with generally lower gearing...you're either climbing or coasting. I normally run 32:22, and have found that 32:23 is the "magic gear" for my bike...so I'll run that. I ride with some strong fellas, and the tallest gear they are pushing is 32:21.

    Don't buy any 2:1 BS...unless it works for you given all of the variables.

    Pick a gear that you can enjoy first, then you'll pick up fitness and you can drop teeth to go faster if you want.

    B

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