Chain ring size for road single speed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wink Chain ring size for road single speed

    Hi

    I would like to make a single speed light weight road bike. What size chain ring
    would I use on my crank?

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    Depends on how fast you want to go. 42 or 44 seems to be common on commuter style bikes, with 16 or 18 in the back. If you can go faster, 48 is quite normal.

    edit:
    play with this a bit.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/
    Last edited by perttime; 11-20-2008 at 02:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Kinda depends on your approach; I aim for 70 gear inches with a fast tire like 700x23 or a 26x1.5, I go lower with fat tires. 67ish.

  4. #4
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    I ride 46x17 and 42x16 (71.4 GI / 175mm and 69.2 GI / 170mm) fixed. I have a 17t freewheel on the "other side" of the 46x17.

  5. #5
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    46x16 (about 77 gear inches) works for me. Pretty fast with decent acceleration for urban riding. If my area were more hilly, I'd up the cog.

    bf

  6. #6
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    42x14 on the old steel gardin, freewheel'd not fixed.

    But I've got light spinergy wheels on it (albeit with heavy armadillo tires!)
    Even swapping other rings I've found that 3:1 ratio on roadie wheels was always best for me, could spin out at the top but crank hard up grinders, all good.

    Also ran a 42x13 for a bit, but hurt more on the climbs and when loaded down.

  7. #7
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    Very hilly where I live. 46/17 is what I use. Then again, my bike is lighter than air it seems, so that helps a little.

  8. #8
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    46x16 or 48x17 are good ratios. If you're weaker, go up a tooth in the rear.

  9. #9
    CB2
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    My fixed has a 40:15 w/ 700x32 cross tires. It works out to about a 75" gear. With 700x23's, or 25's I put on a 42 to give about the same gear.

  10. #10
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    I like to use the smallest drivetrain possible it keeps everything light and out of the way 39-12 or 13t f/w

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasem
    I like to use the smallest drivetrain possible it keeps everything light and out of the way 39-12 or 13t f/w
    and your drivetrain wears unnecessarily quickly...

    i use a 46x17 in the summer when i am feeling fast and go to a 46x18 in the winter for my fixed gear.

    for my longer distance "touring" crosscheck i find a 44x18 with a freewheel to work quite well.

    both allow me to climb pretty well without being totally spun out on the flats.

    in the future i am gonna set up a 53x21 to use some of the pile of road chainrings i have laying around. i find big chainring combos make for a really smoov drivetrain and i like that on my bikes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasem
    I like to use the smallest drivetrain possible it keeps everything light and out of the way 39-12 or 13t f/w
    Excessive drivetrain wear, requires higher chain tension (thus leading to more bearing wear), never go lower than a 16T.

  13. #13
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    I ride 44x16 and can go pretty hilly and into a sustained wind.

    but, that's after riding SS on the road for a while. I was comfortable starting at 42x18.

    i'm a bit of a spinner. your gearing will depend on your strength and riding style.

  14. #14
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    I often run 42 x 17 with a freewheel. About 65 gear inches with 700C x 25 mm tires. Not so fast on the flats, but I can climb all the hills in my area. And I can coast downhill - wheeee!

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    another tool for figuring out gearing and stuff:
    http://eehouse.org/fixin/fixmeup.php

  16. #16
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    I like my 47/19 (170mm cranks, 700x23c) on my fixie.
    Ride more!

  17. #17
    Off the back...
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    I run a 53x18, but I'm not much of a spinner. It's all hills and headwinds 'round here, and even on the multi-geared bike I end up doing a lot of my climbing out of the saddle.

  18. #18
    Bike to have fun.
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    48/19 on my track bike, but if I'm going a long distance on a paved trail, i use 48-14

  19. #19
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    I kinda enjoy 42 16.
    Wanted: broken Titec 2 bolt seatpost, any size

  20. #20
    One Colorful Rider
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    I have three Fixed Geared Road Bike.
    Ranging from
    42x15 for grocery hauling
    44x16 Mostly Comuter
    And
    44x15 Saturday Sunday Fun Rides

  21. #21
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    Since I use my "worn out" small road rings flipped and always live places with hills I use 39-15 or 42-16 almost everywhere fixed or free. Gear size has more to do with terrain, ride style, and experience than any other factors.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasem
    I like to use the smallest drivetrain possible it keeps everything light and out of the way 39-12 or 13t f/w
    Ever seen a track bike, real tiny gears ...

    You're riding on the road, wtf do you need clearance for?
    Last edited by ernestrome; 11-24-2008 at 09:37 AM.

  23. #23
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    nope- 2 yrs and 1000s of miles with the same chainring, f/w and chain I've worn out more pedals... less = more

  24. #24
    Bike to have fun.
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    Ive seen this one kid in my city who has like a 28t in the front, im guessing pretty small rear. but man is he spinning, he looks not too bright. I assume its for bike polo, its a bit of a fad here.

  25. #25
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    Wow, looks like I'm at the far end of the spectrum. I live in a hilly town, so I run 39x17. With 700c wheels I find it get's me around fast enough between stop lights without killing me on the hills.

  26. #26
    Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chasem
    nope- 2 yrs and 1000s of miles with the same chainring, f/w and chain I've worn out more pedals... less = more
    Hey, I'm with you..well not really, I run very common sizes, but I say run what you like; them little gears look cool. SS drivetrains last longer than multi gear setups and if you keep an eye on the chain you'll get a reasonable wear.

    For me, I ride a 48x18 on my do everything fixie, 46x16-13 on my track bike (the easiest Dura Ace ratio I could find and up), 42x16 on my single speed and a whopping 52x22 on a fixie conversion using the original pressed on chainring crank.
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

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