Cog Size Advice for Upcoming Race-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Cog Size Advice for Upcoming Race

    I'm doing a race in a month and intend on riding my Monocog 29er with 32/20 stock set up. This is my 1st race in several years, so I'm a little rusty and working off the spare tire/beer gut. For trails I ride this set up works fine, as the longest climbs are less than a 1/4 mile. The race will have longer sustained climbs and I'm thinking of changing out the the cog to 21T or 22T. Should I notice a difference in pedaling efficiency?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Its hard to really tell what exactly you need for gearing not knowing your riding ability or the race terrain but I can give you some advise from my experiences. Be sure to try out the new gearing before the race. Switching from a 20 to a 21 doesn't sound like much but it's a huge noticeable difference. Going too low might give you the feeling that your spinning but not going anywhere especially on the flats. Sometimes gearing will give you the feeling that your inbetween sitting and standing. I hate that. Personally distance of the race has more impact on gearing for me. Sometimes its faster to be able to crank it out on the flats and have more momentum for the hills and have to push a little than to be spinning out on the flats and be able to ride the hills. So far for short races 40 miles and under I ride with 34 19 and for a 6 or 9 hour I'll go with 34 20. This has worked good for me but so far but I'm not the most experienced racer. I would defiantly buy some cheap cogs and at least try them out at the race distance on your home trails if you can't ride the race course. Hope this helps.

    Edit: I just read your post again and you wasn't asking what cog to use but will I see a difference, sorry. Yes you will see a difference, a big one so maybe my post above is relevant.
    Last edited by JasonByers; 08-16-2011 at 05:05 AM.

  3. #3
    I Strava Hamburgers
    Reputation: 14Stone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I usually ride a 32/19 setup. For an 8 hour event I'll drop to a 21 or so. I tried a 21 for a 30km race, and found myself wishing I had my 19 on.

    The difference between my 19 and 21 is extreme. So much so, that I ordered a 16T just to train with figuring this should probably blow my quads apart once I get into the forest.

    You'll notice the difference right away. I actually found hills to be harder when I'm higher geared, more bike movement and pedaling to get to the top. Sure it looks boss throwing your bike around, but I always feel more drained at the top then when I get there because I'm not carrying a lot of momentum.

    Could be a perception thing, but I feel WAY slower up hills when I'm geared 32/21, even though its supposed to be "easier" then 32/19.

  4. #4
    Reputation: Crosstown Stew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    You will notice a difference in effort going to an easier gear but speed and time will depend on the terrain and course. Windy, technical courses with constant up and downs your going to be better off with a smaller/lower gear, 21 or 22. Predictable, straight, open courses where momentum is more important go with a bigger gear. In races less than 2hrs, conditioning would be the 3rd variable to chose gearing, behind terrain and course imo.

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