Gearing - 3 days of long flat roads and monster climbs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gearing - 3 days of long flat roads and monster climbs

    I need some help with choosing a ratio for an upcoming epic ride 3 day ride with my geared mates. Each day is about 100km. The route consists of lots of long flat or rolling roads with at least one monster climb a day. The first day has two monster climbs and the next two days each have the toughest hill I have had to face yet - approx 14km at 1:7 grade.

    I currently run a 36:21 ratio on my (steep) local trails which is fine for all but the meanest climb. For this climb a 36:23 still has me pushing some pitches but is very slow on the flats.

    For the epic ride, is it better in your experience to run a flatland ratio like 36:15 and resign myself to push up the climbs, or should I do the reverse and run the 36:23 and be slower on the flats but stand a chance of making it on the hills ?

    All advice and anecdotes appreciated.
    ____________
    Fear only Fear

  2. #2
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    What kind of frame or hub is the bike you're intending of using for this very neat sounding trip?

    EBB/Track ends/Sliding dropouts/ENO/Flip-flop hub/single-sided hub?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneFear
    I need some help with choosing a ratio for an upcoming epic ride 3 day ride with my geared mates. Each day is about 100km. The route consists of lots of long flat or rolling roads with at least one monster climb a day. The first day has two monster climbs and the next two days each have the toughest hill I have had to face yet - approx 14km at 1:7 grade.

    I currently run a 36:21 ratio on my (steep) local trails which is fine for all but the meanest climb. For this climb a 36:23 still has me pushing some pitches but is very slow on the flats.

    For the epic ride, is it better in your experience to run a flatland ratio like 36:15 and resign myself to push up the climbs, or should I do the reverse and run the 36:23 and be slower on the flats but stand a chance of making it on the hills ?

    All advice and anecdotes appreciated.
    What rear hub do you have? I think it is possible to fix an extra freewheel onto the non-drive side of certain hubs, then when the going gets tough you just get off the bike and turn the wheel around to the easier ratio.

    It sounds like a good solution for the ride you describe, so maybe worth looking into.

  4. #4
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    Hub info

    Sorry, I should have given more info on the bike.

    Its an Inbred with Horizontal drops and I run a Shimano cassette hub with a single sprocket and spacers converted to bolt-on.

    As a pride thing I probably wouldn't want to change gears. In past enduro-type events I have run easier gearing and spun a lot which seemed to work ok. This trip is both flatter and with meaner hills than before so I am a bit confused...
    ____________
    Fear only Fear

  5. #5
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    In that case if I were in your shoes, I would ehhh... do a 36:18 gear ratio which is simply 2:1 gearing, 3 teeth more in the rear for the flats than the 15T and 3 teeth less than the 21T climbing gear.

    I know I just simplify it into a very non-scientific answer almost trivalised the concept of the 'best' ratio, but hey less spinning on the flats, climable and just deal with maybe having to hike-a-bike if needed on the nastiest climbs.

    Those tough hills you mentioned sound sickening to me if I were caught out on a 36:15, Have a Good One OneFear.

  6. #6
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    Maybe I have done my math

    incorrectly, which is highly possible, but It looks like to me you are climbing 6500' plus or minus. I think that is a lot of feet in 8.6 miles and I just don't think any gear is going to work out for you. Kent Peterson rides almost always on a fixed gear and rides everywhere. You might check out his site for ideas of gearing. Good luck, I don't envy you at all. Just wondering where is this ride to take place? Sounds tough and maybe needs a little write up.
    http://www.mile43.com/peterson/rando.html

    Good luck, Ed

  7. #7
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    well, spinning too much on flats is gonna tire you out, as well. i say go somewhere in the middle.

  8. #8
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    Not the answer you're looking for, but it sounds good to me.

    Get a flip/flop rear wheel and run FIXED in the flats and Freewheel uphill. So- big gear fixed and little gear freewheeled.

    Not singlespeed--but not quite indexed either.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. W.C. Fields

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