32T to 34T or 36T?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    32T to 34T or 36T?

    I just put my single speed together. I'm going to use it mostly for riding to work which is about 2 miles and pretty flat. Right now I'm using a 32/16 combo because that's what came with my SS conversion kit and new cranks. I spin pretty fast in this combo and would like to have it a little harder to pedal so I won't spin so fast. I was thinking of swapping the front to either a 34T or 36T. Would I notice a real difference with the 34 or would it be better to go with the 36?

  2. #2
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
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    I take it... 26" or 29"er commuter?

    In that case, (>46):16.
    Mostly depending on gradient of the route to how big a front chaining you can run practically.

  3. #3
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    oh yeah, 26"

  4. #4
    Mtbr Forum Sponsor - Homebrewed Components
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    you might even want to go bigger than 36t, or smaller than 16t in the rear.

  5. #5
    I'm feeling dirty, you?
    Reputation: jonowee's Avatar
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    Again, depending on gradient of the route will affect how much you'll spin or crunch.


    For the relatively flat, without long hills for me to climb; I can play with 80-85 gear inches.

    My SS trekking is 44:14 magic ratio with a half link, on 700x28c. Works out to 84.1GI.
    My old 26"er as a commuter, was 48:16 on 1.5" slicks... a spinny 74.6GI. So to achieve a similar GI as my 700c trekker on the 26"er while running a 16T rear cog, the front chainring would have to be 54T.

    Keep in mind; a one tooth difference in the front can't be felt too easily, but a single tooth difference in the rear will make itself felt.

  6. #6
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    so maybe a 38t

  7. #7
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    36:16 is a decent short commuter ratio. I'd skip the 34T, unless you want to preserve some offroad capability.

    If your commute was a little longer, I would say 38:16 or even 38:15 fixed.

  8. #8
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    I think I may want 36T. It's a short commute and when I'm not riding to work I plan on riding around town and don't want a gear so hard that it's a pain to ride in town. If I take it off-road I can always throw the 32T back on.

  9. #9
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    Check out the Sheldon Brown Gear Calculator. It will tell you the speed for a given gear combo/pedal rpm. For instance here is the speed @ 90rpm for a 32/34/36 chain ring and 16 tooth gear:


  10. #10
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I'm more of a fan of 70 gear inches, assuming you are keeping it to (mostly) paved surfaces. It might be because I like to spin, or I don't like having to mash for thirty seconds to get up to speed after a light or stop sign.

    If you are doing some offroad that is flat, run 60.

    If you are doing only paved, think about 170mm crank arms.

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