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Thread: gearing choice

  1. #1
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    gearing choice

    I have searched around a bit and can't find any threads about what gearing people usually choose for SS.

    I imagine it has something to do with where you live and of course how strong you are but from when I have read what people are running they all seem to be in the same ball park no matter where they are.

    I tried SS on a 26er some years ago and after a while just couldn't live with being in the wrong gear 90% of the time and started adding cogs until I got back to where I began with a full cluster. But that was when almost no one was on SS and now it has it's own dedicated following.

    I have one bike that I don't really ride so I was thinking of setting it up as SS and giving it a try again just for fun.

    So what is your preferred gear choice for 26" and 29"?
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  2. #2
    Out spokin'
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    Personally I like about a 44" gear, maybe a cog tooth lower when the Oregon mud gets epic in the dead of winter.

    Currently I'm running:
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  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Here in AZ (PHX area), seems like most run 32x19-21 (29er). If you do fairly flat trails, then taller obviously. I've found a 32x21 enables me to climb almost everything a geared bike and is good for long day rides (7-9 hrs). So, I think it just depends on 1) how strong you are 2) how tough your knees are 3) How long of rides you do 4) how much walking you can tolerate 5) how much road riding you have to do to/from the trail.

  4. #4
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    Wife and I both run 32:17. I ride a 29er and she has a 26er.

    I have used this gear in flat Florida and hilly Tennessee/North Carolina with success. It's stout, but it has made me strong.

  5. #5
    Free your heel...
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    44 gear inches seems perfect for everything but the steepest stuff. I'm fairly new to SS, so I've been playing with my gearing. My bike came with a 32-18 and I changed that to a 32-20 after two rides but I'm going down to a 32-21 after watching every other rider with that gear ratio pull away on every climb. Seems just right for Denver's Front Range.

  6. #6
    NedwannaB
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    Ditto Raybum

    Quote Originally Posted by modifier
    I have searched around a bit and can't find any threads about what gearing people usually choose for SS.

    I imagine it has something to do with where you live and of course how strong you are but from when I have read what people are running they all seem to be in the same ball park no matter where they are.

    I tried SS on a 26er some years ago and after a while just couldn't live with being in the wrong gear 90% of the time and started adding cogs until I got back to where I began with a full cluster. But that was when almost no one was on SS and now it has it's own dedicated following.

    I have one bike that I don't really ride so I was thinking of setting it up as SS and giving it a try again just for fun.

    So what is your preferred gear choice for 26" and 29"?
    Really alot of factors here, and only you know yours for sure. If you're going to use a conversion kit w/ tensioner, buy a few extra cheap cogs near the middle cluster of teeth where you think you can run and try them out. Experiment with back tires too as they can make a difference on turning different gears.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  7. #7
    master blaster
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    32x18 26"
    32x19 27.5"
    32x20 29"

  8. #8
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    33 x 21 29er
    32 x 21 29er
    33 x 20 29er

    Sometimes a...

    33 x 18
    32 x 18

    or whatever I feel like or whatever is on my bike at the time...

  9. #9
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    38x22 on 26er - climbs great, slow as hell but decent trail speed. Will irritate you on the street tho.

    32x20 on 29er - SS standard for most (I think), good, climbs well but cant get up the steep ones.
    Last edited by Moozh; 11-27-2010 at 05:07 PM.

  10. #10
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    OK, I have to say I know there are quite a few threads on gearing but...
    I'm currently running 32x15 on my Redline Monocog flight 26" It sucks sometimes.
    I run 38x17 on a 700c surly cross check monstercrossish bike
    I think 32x16 is a good place to start, depending on your terrain you might go to an 18t or even 20t cog (hilly) or the other direction for flatter terrain.

  11. #11
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    32x21 on my 29er

  12. #12
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    There is a bit of a learning curve to riding single speed so I wanted to know a ballpark of what others are riding and start there on a cluster just not shifting and see what feels the best, then take off all the rest of the cogs and install spacers. Spacers on an old Hyperglide freewheel is the way I did it before. If I end up liking it then maybe I'll investigate if there is a SS freewheel that works with a standard 135mm hub. I haven't looked yet. Or maybe wider spacers to make it look more finished. Not that a bunch of small spacers looks bad....

    I know that if I push too big a gear my knees start complaining.

    In looking at that bike today I realized that I had integrated shifters and cable brake levers and the only brake levers I have in my stash are some really old and heavy Magura motorcycle levers. Some people (and me) used those a long time ago before there was much in the way of bicycle levers. So I needs me some levers to make this work.

    It's actually a FS bike so yeah I have to use a tensioner... that I have... somewhere.

    Btw, I tried several ways to search SS gearing and the search engine didn't come up with anything.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

  13. #13
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    If you goto "Advanced Search" and type in "SS Gearing" and search titles only a ton of results come up, whatever your doing is wrong, try this out and you'll have more to read than you want.

    BTW, I use 32x20 in SE PA on my 29er and am gearing down to 32x19 so I can get more speed on the flats, I'll suffer on the hills a bit but you'll be surprised how strong you get - quickly.

  14. #14
    Teen Wolf
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    32x18 on 29er
    34x17 on 26er

    can climb pretty much anything

  15. #15
    NedwannaB
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    2:1?

    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h
    32x18 on 29er
    34x17 on 26er

    can climb pretty much anything
    Anywhere? AweSSome!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  16. #16
    Ride,Smile, Pedal Damn it
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    36x16 on a 26er. I hate spinning!
    Its not that hilly here, and bike is pretty light.
    I was feeling like a bad A$$ and changed it to 36/15 and it kicked my bad .
    I may have to change it back.
    Yes, I'm bragging a little.

  17. #17
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    I am running 32:14 in flat Oklahoma. only short climbs that can be won with momentum. I just converted am old steel road bike to 52:20. we'll see how stupid I really am

  18. #18
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    32/18 on 29er for short track.
    32/20-21 the rest of the time in ft. collins.

  19. #19
    no, I'm not riding SS
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    32/21 29er

    here in nothing flat VA

  20. #20
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    32:18 in Oklahoma, 32:20 in parts of Arkansas, both on 29er.

    Does it really matter? It's always the wrong gear, right?

  21. #21
    Dinner for wolves
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    30:18 29er in PA.
    Responds to gravity

  22. #22
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    Atlanta 29er 34x18
    north carolina 29er 32x20

  23. #23
    Beetlejuice!
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    I'm in Phoenix, bought a used SS that came set up 32x16. Was planning on making it a 1x9 but I'm enjoying the simplicity I'm trying to stick with the SS....changed to 32x19 which was better but I'm wimpy. With the varying terrain in this state I think I'm going to try 32x20 and see how that goes...I do feel like I'm getting stronger but I just need a bit more to clean some hills all the way and sometimes the frustration is making the ride not fun. I hope the new change helps. This is a 29er btw.
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  24. #24
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    32x20 on a 29r ... a little steep for my chicken legs, but hey ... i got into this for simplicity, so i ain't changing and it makes me stronger.

  25. #25
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    32:16 on my 29er. I prefer to stand up and mash than sit and spin. I also hate spinning out on flats. Thinking of going to higher gearing...
    Opinions are like a**holes: Sometimes they need to be punched in the face and told to STFU.

  26. #26
    Pwning Trails
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    I'm running 32x19 on my 29er. It took me like 4 rides to get over the pain, but now I really love this gear. I'm riding in Flagstaff/Sedona. For me, it seemed like 19 is a great combo for my weight (out of the saddle) to be most efficient.

  27. #27
    Zach Kowalchuk
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    I setup my C-dale back up as my winter SS xc bike. Going to try 34/16...I ran 38/16 in the summer without a problem, Helped my tree trunks get bigger,lol.
    At the end of the day, my bike is a bike, whether its made for XC singletrack or DH, I can make it do what I want.

  28. #28
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    I'm in NC and 34x17 works everywhere but the mountains for me. 34x19 there.

  29. #29
    4 Niners
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    I started out 32x20 (29er) and then went to 32x18 for a while. That was much harder but I was actually faster in lap times and I could not make every hill I used to make; so I just switched to 32x19.

  30. #30
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    26=34-19

    southwest va. pretty hilly.

  31. #31
    Let There Be Dirt
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    33 X 21

    33 is a Rotor ring.
    Last edited by BSIDE; 12-03-2010 at 10:54 PM.

  32. #32
    Propr
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    for xc racing - anywhere from a 34/16 to a 34/18 depending on the course.

    for my local ride with climbing 34/20 gets me up the hills and is still fun. You can push a harder gear but it's not fun for me.

    i started out with a 32/18 and then went 32/16...but found that the 34 with whatever combo worked best for me and my riding style/location.

    I'm on a 26" all-mountain geo ss with 140mm fork and lock out feature.
    10 TransAM SS
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    Nomad3cc xx1 - Sold
    Hightower LTcc - 18 Lg - Sold
    (Building up 19 in XL)

  33. #33
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    I live in Charlotte NC and we have a good mix of mostly rolling terrain. There are not any long climbs(you get up most in 2-4 minutes). I'm a 1-2 hour car ride from 6.000 foot mountains.

    All gearing is on a 29er:
    In Charlotte - 32x19 mostly. Sometimes I run a 32x18 if it's fast and flowy and sometimes a 32x20 if there are some punchy climbs or I'm going for a long ride.

    In the Foothills (Wilkesboro, NC) 32x20 or 32/21

    In the mountains (Brevard, NC/aka Pisgah) 32x22

    I would start off in an easier gear then you think you need so you don't have a bad experience and end up not wanting to do it again. I know this well as it happened to me, but luckily I gave it another shot and I'm really glad I did. It will take you some time to figure out what gearing you like depending on where you ride. Have fun and enjoy it!!!

  34. #34
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    32x16 on my 26''...in hilly atlanta/north GA.

  35. #35
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    Started building the bike today. I have some brake issues to sort out but that shouldn't be too hard. I'm trying to do the bike with what I have in the basement but I might have to buy a BB7 for the front. If I can buy just one. Cantilever in the back.

    I have a 34 tooth front middle ring on the crankset I'm using so I think I'm going to start with a 18 or 20 tooth cog and see how it goes. I'm more concerned with not hurting my knees than going fast for now.

    I can always change it since I'm using a spaced 8 speed freewheel. Should be able to get my chain line dead nuts too.

    Thanks for the input.
    No it never stops hurting, but if you keep at it you can go faster.

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