Gear question/oval conversion.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    WillWorkForTrail
    Reputation: Cotharyus's Avatar
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    Gear question/oval conversion.

    I've been running a 32/18 gear on my SS with a round ring. I borrowed an oval ring from a friend a while back for a couple of rides, and it sealed the deal for me - I will be going oval. But I felt like it made things easier, and wondered if I could carry a little more gear than I have been. I wasn't sure about the jump to 32/17 - although only one tooth, it's may be more gear than I want to carry. Just to put some numbers out there:

    With my setup:
    32/18=51.4 GI
    32/17=54.5 GI

    My friend said he felt the same way I did when he switched to oval and tried 17 and it was just too much, so that's working in my head too. So I started looking at other possibilities.

    34/19=51.8 GI

    Could that be exactly what I'm looking for, or am I wasting my time? Has anyone tried going from a 32/18 to a 34/19 with oval or any other gear combo? Could you tell a difference at all?

  2. #2
    Downcountry AF
    Reputation: *OneSpeed*'s Avatar
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    this spring i went from 32:18 (round ring) to 34:20 with an oval (roughly 51.4 to 49.2). my hand was kind of forced into this combo because of my setup, but it's almost perfect for my terrain.

    AB website recommends you use either the same tooth count as your current setup, or one size down. unless you feel your current gear is too easy i would go with a 32t. you can always swap in a new cog to fine tune it. or if you want to run a bigger cog like a 19 or 20t, you could get the 34t ring. really it depends on if you like your current gear.

    the oval chainring makes it feel a little harder on the power stroke, and makes it a little easier in the dead spot of your pedal stroke. over all, 32:18 is still 32:18.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    What you propose would work. It's really a question about how much you want to push. I'd grab the 32T oval and ask your friend to borrow the 17T cog he's not using. See if it's too much. If it is, go back to 18T. Not like 51.4 to 51.8 GI is that big of a deal, so not much benefit getting the 34T cog.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  4. #4
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    Reputation: mack_turtle's Avatar
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    I was using a 32/20 with a round ring and planned to go 32/19 when I got an oval ring. I tried it once and settled on keeping the 32/20 with the oval ring anyways. the extra bit of power I get from the harder part of the oval makes the bike feel a little less spinny and the easier part of the oval makes turning over the cranks on a steep hill a little easier.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-18-2016 at 07:07 AM.

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