Gear change prompted by chain length- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gear change prompted by chain length

    Well, after much hemming and hawing, I got a new XL 2018 Kona Honzo. I'm totally psyched, pics to come, etc. But, I discovered that I can't quite run my usual gear, 32x22, on the shortest chainstay length. As it stands, running 32x22 requires that I have the dropouts roughly in the middle of their range. Not a terrible thing, but not quite what I was hoping for with this bike's short chainstays. Plus, I'm running a 32T narrow-wide oval on new XT cranks (96 bcd), so a half link is not an option. I do have a 21t cog, though, and before running 32x22, I ran 34x22 for a while, so I think I could run 32x21 with one less link in the chain. Based on a chain length calculator, 32x22 looks to require 47 links, and 32x21 looks to require 46.

    Anyone else made a similar bargain with their setup?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Armature speller
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    I run the ratio I want. I've never looked at stay length.
    But if my front wheel comes off the ground, it's an accident.

  3. #3
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    Personally, my ride would be way more heavily affected by a non-optimal gear than it would be if my wheel were a few mm one way or the other in the dropouts. Sounds like you're chasing a unicorn anyways, you may get your wheel slammed in the dropout but as soon as your new chain stretches you're going to have to move it back.

  4. #4
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    I agree also. Get the gearing right. The only other option is 34x23 which is ratio wise really close. I'll leave it up to you to determine if that will get you more forward on the dropouts.

    I know it isn't the point of SS with adjustable dropouts, but you could also fit some sort of a tensioner, that would likely allow you to use any dropout position you want.

    Personally, I'd run it with the gearing you like, and then consider messing around with it if you are trying to fix a specific problem when the parts wear out.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I'm sort of in-between the gear-inches provided by 32x22 and 34x22, so I could probably settle on 32x21. Who knows how much difference this might make, but I also went from 175 cranks to 180s.

    I hear you about chasing the abstract ideal of shortest chainstay possible. It might not end up being what I want. I guess I'm thinking of how much I enjoyed my old Karate Monkey when I ran it with 34x22 in the shortest possible setting. I felt like I could corner that thing pretty nimbly, and the Honzo has chainstays that can be about 15mm shorter than the old KM's were, so I was engaging in some if short was good, shorter might be better thinking...

    I'll give 32x22 a shot and see how it all feels. I should be able to get out on the bike tomorrow. Today I'm cutting down the steerer/brake hoses and setting up the fork.

  6. #6
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