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Thread: Gear Set Up

  1. #1
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    Gear Set Up

    Just looking for a overall gear set up. Currently I'm running 29t/20t and I find that setup a little light for me. My trails are fairly simple. Does anyone have any suggestions? Where is a good place to get it from? Thanks

  2. #2
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    32:18, lbs
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  3. #3
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    Try an 18t. If it's still too easy, consider a 17t cog or possibly a 32t chainring. If the 18t is too hard, get a 19t.

    I think it's good to have a few different cogs if you have a variety of trails. I don't change mine much for general riding, but for racing I'll run a 32t oval up front and either 17, 18, 19, or 20 depending on which race it is.

  4. #4
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    Generally speaking you start off with a 2:1 (i.e. 32:16) and then vary it from there depending upon your trails. I tend to climb alot and still run 32:17 this time in the season. Early in the Spring, I sometimes will switch to a 32:18
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

  5. #5
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    According to others online, you would be better served getting a larger front ring first. Apparently, if you take two identical ratio's, one with two larger rings and one with two smaller, the larger will be more efficient. Based on that, I would go... say 32 front, see how it feels, then buy a rear if necessary.

    I run a 32x21 or 32x22 on my 29er's to deal with the steeps in Boise. From another thread, many seem very happy at 32x20.

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    I feel like the 2:1 rule works for 26ers, but you need a little more gear for a 29er, if that's what you are after. 32/20 works well for the short hills in central texas. If I lived somewhere flatter, I would go 32/18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I feel like the 2:1 rule works for 26ers, but you need a little more gear for a 29er, if that's what you are after. 32/20 works well for the short hills in central texas. If I lived somewhere flatter, I would go 32/18.
    Good point! I'm still on a 26"
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the input. Going with 32:18 just hope I will be able to hang with that set up. Had to drop bike off bike at the shop because the crank seized up on me. It was difficult to turn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepfan View Post
    Just looking for a overall gear set up. Currently I'm running 29t/20t and I find that setup a little light for me. My trails are fairly simple. Does anyone have any suggestions? Where is a good place to get it from? Thanks
    Assuming that the bike has 29" wheels and a 170 mm crank:

    29/20- 42 gear inches ( 10 mph @80 rpm)
    32/18- 51.4 gear inches (12.2 mph @80 rpm)

    So that's quite a bit of a jump, but for simple trails( no crazy extended climbs) that should work great. If it's too much, throw the 20t cog back on. That will put you at:

    32/20- 46 gear inches ( 11 mph @80 rpm)

    For reference:

    Gear calculator-
    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    Gear Theory explained-
    Gear Theory for Bicyclists

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brunjc2 View Post
    Assuming that the bike has 29" wheels and a 170 mm crank:

    29/20- 42 gear inches ( 10 mph @80 rpm)
    32/18- 51.4 gear inches (12.2 mph @80 rpm)

    So that's quite a bit of a jump, but for simple trails( no crazy extended climbs) that should work great. If it's too much, throw the 20t cog back on. That will put you at:

    32/20- 46 gear inches ( 11 mph @80 rpm)

    For reference:

    Gear calculator-
    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    Gear Theory explained-
    Gear Theory for Bicyclists
    Thanks for the links. I didn't consider the jump in gears hopefully I'll be able to handle it. But like you said I'll hold onto the 20t for now. My current setup of 29/20 is just too light for me. You are absolutely correct I am running 29" wheels I am not sure of the crank.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepfan View Post
    Thanks for the links. I didn't consider the jump in gears hopefully I'll be able to handle it. But like you said I'll hold onto the 20t for now. My current setup of 29/20 is just too light for me. You are absolutely correct I am running 29" wheels I am not sure of the crank.
    I think you'll find it close to perfect.

  12. #12
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    29/20 to 32/18 is BIG change. I find the first too easy (tedious) and the latter too hard for most trails. 32/20 is a great place to start, then move to 32/19 when you get the itch.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    According to others online, you would be better served getting a larger front ring first. Apparently, if you take two identical ratio's, one with two larger rings and one with two smaller, the larger will be more efficient.
    Seriously?

  14. #14
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    I ride a 32/16 (29er 175mm crank) and its just right. Before that ran a 34/18. Depends on where you ride, what your target cadence is, etc etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Seriously?
    Gerry Pflug claims this to be the case.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    According to others online, you would be better served getting a larger front ring first. Apparently, if you take two identical ratio's, one with two larger rings and one with two smaller, the larger will be more efficient.
    After realizing I initially misread your post, then doing some "research" - it appears there's some truth in this, that big/big is slightly more efficient (less drivetrain loss) than small/small. Most SSers run a 32t ring, give or take, so probably not worth sweating over. But yeah, everything else being equal, 32/20 may be a hair more efficient than 29/18.

  17. #17
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    Ok I tried the 32/18 and it is a lot better than I had before. I'm glad the places I ride are fairly flat going to go with the 32/18 setup for a couple of weeks then try the 32/20

  18. #18
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    I going to have to try the 32/19 then

  19. #19
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    Lots of climbing here so mtb I run 36x22 or 32x20. If I take her out on gravel roads I will run 36x18 usually.

  20. #20
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    32x18 -26" for me. still gives me a lot of cardio on the climbs!

  21. #21
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    Bigger gears mean less bend for the chain. Some say it's a better set up. My current is a 34x22 for my steep local trails.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    Lots of climbing here so mtb I run 36x22 or 32x20. If I take her out on gravel roads I will run 36x18 usually.
    What area are you located in? I'm in FL so I have no right to complain about climbs. There are climbs, but they're all very manageable. I just ran a 32x16 on my 29er this week and I think that's the sweet spot for me.

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