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Thread: 36x22 or 32x20

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BrandonNorCal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    36x22 or 32x20

    I'm buying a new wheel and new freewheel. I was just going to get a 20t freewheel to go with my 32t ring (don't laugh it's the ratio I ride OK!)

    I have a nice Blackspire 36 tooth ring and I thought that maybe a 22t would work nicely with it. So. IF i've done the math correctly the 32/20 and 36/22 give me about the same gear ratio. Is there an advantage or disadvantage of doing it either way?

    There's always money in the banana stand.

  2. #2
    CB2 is offline
    Jam Econo
    Reputation: CB2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    You'll have more clearance for rocks and logs with the 32, but your drivetrain will wear slightly less with the 36.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    I'd go with the 32T for the added clearance

  4. #4
    Birthday Collector
    Reputation: ATBScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    If you ride over a lot of logs, rocks and other obstacles, the smaller ring will give you a touch more clearance. If you ride farther distances and smoother trails the larger combo will wear longer and have a (probably imperceptible) bit less mechanical resistance. The bigger combo weighs a touch more, if you are a WW though. Nothing wrong with a 32 x 20 if you ride hilly or techy terrain. I ride a 33 x 20 on my 29'er and when I was starting off I wished I had a 32 x 22! As I got stronger, I sometimes want to put a 19 on the rear, but there are still a few really steep hills that I fight to get up with the 20, so it all works out. If I am going along the flats or down a hill, I just spin what I got, or coast!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living

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