Gearing for SS 29"?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gearing for SS 29"?

    Howdy folks. Long time off-roader, first time single speeder.

    I'm in the final week of building up a Spot 29" and I need to decide on the gearing.

    The seasoned SS cats around here ride a 30x20 (about 39 gear inches) offroad. I'm guessing I'm going to be in a world of hurt for the first couple months, so I'd like to end up with something a little shorter, maybe 37-38 inch range.

    I haven't found any gear inch charts specific to 29" wheels. Of course, the rims are 700c, but a 2.3 tire is going to be a lot different from a 700x23 road tire.

    The cranks I'm putting on the bike (Truvativ SS) come with a 32T c-ring but I'm leaning towards tossing a 30T on there just because a 32 x 23 is going to be a tad heavier than a 30-22 or so. So maybe a 30x22, which is 36.8 gear inches dressed with a road tire and maybe ends up around 38.5 with a 2.3 on there??? Just guessing... hoping someone here knows for sure.

    Hope that makes sense. Thanks in advance, good peeps.

    Greg

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    You threw too many numbers at Me but gearing does revlove around which state You are in. I started with 2 easier than 2-1. (34-19) and just switched to 36-18. that is a stout gear for out west but I can push it now, (here in Michigan) this late in the season.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, man. That's a tall gear! Yowser.

    In this area, the climbs are either short, loose and steep or long, loose and steep. I did some reading (imagine that) and decided to go with a 30x22. Basically took my buddies' 30x20 and decreased the gear inches by 10-12%.

    Hope that wasn't too many numbers. Heh heh.

    Alright now... bring on the pain, SS Gods.

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    Can you put a 30 on the Truvativ cranks?

    Rule of thumb is to go two teeth more on the cog when going from a 26" wheel to a 29" wheel.

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    I would think 30/22 would be pretty dang low for anything other than climbing trees. Are you riding in Arizona? If you have hills that go straight up for half a mile, then 30/22 would be a gear to try, but for anything else I just don't know.

  6. #6
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    too many variables to say what gear is best for you....

    for what it is worth, I ride in Southern California on lots of technical steep stuff, as well as 8 mile fireroad climbs with 4500' elevation gain and have found that now that I am somewhat used to single speeding, the 32/20 gearing is good for 95% of my riding.

    I would personally recommend starting with 32x22 (or as you are leaning towards, 30x22...who cares, it should only matter to you. cant have too many cogs/rings anyway ).....perhaps you will find over time, or right away, that 32x20 is good. I keep a 22 cog around for select rides.

    bottom line is that it does not matter and it is better to start to easy than too hard.

    cheers and good luck!

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    To be honest with ya, I don't know, either. These guys are old-school mtn bikers like me and have been riding SS for 4-5 years now. They're pretty darn fit and like I said, they're running 30x20 on their 26"ers.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, FoSh. I wasn't really asking for a gear inch recommendation, but was wondering, when looking at a gear inch chart for 700c wheels, how much do 2.3 mtn bike tires skew the gear inches given for a particular chainring/cog/rim size figure.

    I'll keep your 32x22 rec in mind. Maybe just stick with the stock 32T c-ring and go that route.

    Thanks, everypeeps
    .

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Thanks, FoSh. I wasn't really asking for a gear inch recommendation, but was wondering, when looking at a gear inch chart for 700c wheels, how much do 2.3 mtn bike tires skew the gear inches given for a particular chainring/cog/rim size figure.

    I'll keep your 32x22 rec in mind. Maybe just stick with the stock 32T c-ring and go that route.

    Thanks, everypeeps
    .
    whoops....sorry. i did not read carefully to see the specific question.

    Personally, I would ignore the subtleties with the tire size (I assume Exiwolfs?) and just use the 32t up front that you already have and play around with the back cog to see what works. I highly doubt changing tires is gonna make much of a difference on the same bike....at least it has not for me.

    cheers

  10. #10
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    I'm going to be running the Ignitor 2.3s. I'll just not sweat the tire size so much and hop into a 32-22 and see how it goes, like you said. I'm using a White Industries Eno freewheel, so I probably won't be doing much back and forth experimenting with different gear ratios, due to lack of funds.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    I'm going to be running the Ignitor 2.3s. I'll just not sweat the tire size so much and hop into a 32-22 and see how it goes, like you said. I'm using a White Industries Eno freewheel, so I probably won't be doing much back and forth experimenting with different gear ratios, due to lack of funds.
    i did not know there was such a thing as Ignitor 2.3s in 29er......I have Ignitors and while they are pretty decent volume, they are 2.1 tires.

    It sounds like you have an ENO already.....they are very cool (i used to run one). As far as playing with gears, if you do have an ENO but do want to check other gears before buying another ENO, i would recommend you pick up a cheap ACS Claw in whatever gearing interests you to see if you like it....and then perhaps buy another ENO in that size once you confirm you like it. On the bright side, the 22t will come in handy either all the time or for certain rides for sure.

    cheers

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    You're right, my fault. I thought they were 2.3s. But alas, they are not.

    Thanks for all the tips... I'm stoked to get on a single speed after five years of poo-pooing them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    You're right, my fault. I thought they were 2.3s. But alas, they are not.

    Thanks for all the tips... I'm stoked to get on a single speed after five years of poo-pooing them.
    LOL....yeah, I started a tiny bit over a year ago and now they are all I like. Keep me posted on how you like it....and GREAT choice on the Spot. Let us know if you have any other questions......we LOVE to help people spend their hard earned money

  14. #14
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    Yeah, it's funny that all my SS evangelist friends and customers were exactly the thing that KEPT me from trying a SS all this time. So many just seem kind of elitist about it, like it's the only "pure" form of cycling, which I think is a load of crap. It can be your favorite, but don't go around telling everyone else how silly they are for riding multi-speed bikes, ya know? But I finally got over that and, honestly, married with a kid now and I just don't have time to maintain all of me and my wife's bikes anymore.

    For me, it was all about simplifying my life.

    Plus, my new rig is gonna be badass. Spot/Reba/Truvativ. Going back to Avid mechanical discs. King headset. Should be slick.

    I haven't been this excited about a new bike in a few years!

    Peace.

    Greg

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    does this help?

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/


    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Thanks, FoSh. I wasn't really asking for a gear inch recommendation, but was wondering, when looking at a gear inch chart for 700c wheels, how much do 2.3 mtn bike tires skew the gear inches given for a particular chainring/cog/rim size figure.

    I'll keep your 32x22 rec in mind. Maybe just stick with the stock 32T c-ring and go that route.

    Thanks, everypeeps
    .

  16. #16
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    It still doesn't take into consideration the tire size (OD). I'm either going to have to just guess or, once the wheels are built, mount the tires and do a rollout test.

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    confused by your assertion.

    Vkd1,
    Are you sure the dropdown for tire size on the calculator cannot give you a 'relative' estimate??
    What tires are you plannng on using??

    C.


    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    It still doesn't take into consideration the tire size (OD). I'm either going to have to just guess or, once the wheels are built, mount the tires and do a rollout test.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    The seasoned SS cats around here ride a 30x20 (about 39 gear inches) offroad. I'm guessing I'm going to be in a world of hurt for the first couple months. . .
    I'm guessing you are right, but that's singlespeeding for you.

    If 32:20 is what experienced riders in your area choose for the terrain, I'd roll with that and pay my dues.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    To be honest with ya, I don't know, either. These guys are old-school mtn bikers like me and have been riding SS for 4-5 years now. They're pretty darn fit and like I said, they're running 30x20 on their 26"ers.
    I would have expected 32x20 to be a typical 26" gearing, with old-school types even sporting 32x18.

    Anyway I don't believe in sticking with one setup for an SS so I use a freehub with cogs. There's a time and place for each setup from epic rides to anaerobic intervals, from guaranteed to make every climb (social rides ) or guaranteed to red-line somewhere..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    I'm guessing you are right, but that's singlespeeding for you.

    If 32:20 is what experienced riders in your area choose for the terrain, I'd roll with that and pay my dues.
    LOL, I must be horrible at explaining myself. Seriously, I'm sure it's not your fault, but mine.

    Everyone else runs a 30x20. My cranks come with a 32T chainring, so I'm going to need to choose a 32x? ratio. If I was running 26" wheels like the others in this area, I would just figure out what 32x? combo equates to 39 gear inches... but I'm running 29" wheels so I was trying to figure out how to accurately determine true gear inches (which are affected not only by chainring/cog combination, but also by size of wheel and, more importantly, size of tire). All the gear inch charts I have found list 29" rims (which are simply 700C rims), but do not take into account a 2.1 mtn bike tire. All the calculators only compensate for 700c road tires.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsalty
    Vkd1,
    Are you sure the dropdown for tire size on the calculator cannot give you a 'relative' estimate??
    What tires are you plannng on using??

    C.
    Ah, yes, you are correct. I didn't even open that drop-down-menu because it says "Wheel Size" and not "Tire Size." Thanks!

    I'll be running 2.1 Maxxis Ignitors.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    I would have expected 32x20 to be a typical 26" gearing, with old-school types even sporting 32x18...
    I'm not sure why they run 30x20s, honestly. But I am choosing not to question them because if I make the mistake of offending them, my first several SS rides with those guys are going to be that much more painful.

    I really appreciate everyone's input... sorry I'm a SS virgin newbie dork. Heh heh. I'm actually an accomplished mechanic and bike shop manager, believe it or not, but I've been ignoring single speeds and 29ers for the past few years, so I have a couple things to learn still.

    I am leaning toward a 32x21 unless the locals' eyes open wide as saucers when they hear me say it... then I might go with a 32x22 or switch out the c-ring and go with a 30x21.

    SSs may be simple, but they sure as **** ain't cheap! I can tell I'm going to have to purchase a minimum of two ENO freewheels.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    LOL, I must be horrible at explaining myself. Seriously, I'm sure it's not your fault, but mine.

    Everyone else runs a 30x20. My cranks come with a 32T chainring, so I'm going to need to choose a 32x? ratio. If I was running 26" wheels like the others in this area, I would just figure out what 32x? combo equates to 39 gear inches... but I'm running 29" wheels so I was trying to figure out how to accurately determine true gear inches (which are affected not only by chainring/cog combination, but also by size of wheel and, more importantly, size of tire). All the gear inch charts I have found list 29" rims (which are simply 700C rims), but do not take into account a 2.1 mtn bike tire. All the calculators only compensate for 700c road tires.
    all of this is esimation holding everything else equal so dont sweat these details like tire size differences.....

    just use 29 instead of 26.5 to figure out the analogous gearing needed. all you should worry about is the "Relative" gearing between the two (ie, same relative sized tire on a 26(.5) vs the new 29er) so that the feel will be about the same.

    just hold the chainring size constant as that is what you will be using -> 32t ring

    ...so on the 26er, you would have had a 22t cog (21.7 to be exact)

    thus, on a "similarly" equipped 29er (ie, in terms of tires, relatively speaking), just use a 24t (23.8 to be exact).

    so if you stick with the 32t up front and want the 39 gear inches, i think you will be a little limited as not all manufacturers offer a 24t. but pretty sure endless cogs do....as well as Surly. if freewheel, try a new ACS claw, though a 24t in freewheel aint as easy to track down as far as i know. or then get a 30t chainring to make the freewheel more doable to find.

    bottom line -> dont sweat the details like tire size. just get a cog, if it works great, if not, try another and keep the old one(s) cause as Pacman says, though I am way too lazy to heed his advice, different rides require different cogs.

    my 2 cents anyway.....
    Last edited by FoShizzle; 07-05-2006 at 10:48 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1

    SSs may be simple, but they sure as **** ain't cheap! I can tell I'm going to have to purchase a minimum of two ENO freewheels.
    Or two chainrings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacman
    Or two chainrings.
    yep....ironically (at least i think so), rings can be quite a bit cheaper

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    I'm not sure why they run 30x20s, honestly. But I am choosing not to question them because if I make the mistake of offending them, my first several SS rides with those guys are going to be that much more painful.

    I really appreciate everyone's input... sorry I'm a SS virgin newbie dork. Heh heh. I'm actually an accomplished mechanic and bike shop manager, believe it or not, but I've been ignoring single speeds and 29ers for the past few years, so I have a couple things to learn still.

    I am leaning toward a 32x21 unless the locals' eyes open wide as saucers when they hear me say it... then I might go with a 32x22 or switch out the c-ring and go with a 30x21.

    SSs may be simple, but they sure as **** ain't cheap! I can tell I'm going to have to purchase a minimum of two ENO freewheels.
    I would make my own choice, and then let the "locals" look at my back wheel far out ahead of them as I set a new standard that they didn't even know they were capable of.

    What is your terrain like? Mad hills? 1000' of climbing in 2 miles or less? Does this go on for thousands of feet? Technical rock garden climbs? Are you crazy stout and strong, or long and lanky? Can you smash pedals for hours, or do you prefer to spin slow and steady. What can you squat or press? That is what it is all about when judging gearing for SS. Trying to make the call based on what someone else runs might just have you both running lower than need be, and too low for max efficiency.

    It would be cool if the locals are running too low and they very well could be.

    Just my thoughts on "locals". Hehe.

  27. #27
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    My bad.

    I saw 32:20 when I originally read your post. If the "standard" gearing in your area for recreational riding (as opposed to racing) is 30:20 on a 26" bike, I'd go with 30:22 or 32:24 on a 29er.

    If you have a cassette hub, Endless makes a 24T cog. If you need to run a thread on FW, White Industries makes a 23T. It is going to be fractionally harder to push, but you can tell yourself the that easy rolling big wheels make up for it. - actually, there is something to that in my experience.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29Colossus
    I would make my own choice, and then let the "locals" look at my back wheel far out ahead of them as I set a new standard that they didn't even know they were capable of.

    I dig the way you think, but it probably won't happen that way. I'm 6'3" 184 lbs and this is a high-altitude, mountainous climber's town. Bunch of mountain goat little dudes who ride chill and then hit the base of climbs and just hammer. Drives me nuts, cuz it's my weakness. Heh. Steep, loose and rocky as hell. I can hang just fine but I don't plan on blowing anybody outta the water. Definitely a masher if left to my own devices, but I try to be disciplined and spin as much as possible.

  29. #29
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    Yeah, I would say from that perspective and info, you are on the right track. I run 32-20 up here in Aspen, and I can climb most of what I ride, but my gearing does leave room to conquer a lot of hills yet that I can't climb. A 22 rear would be handy to have, but I am trying to hold it off!

    As far as the ratio formula for the bigger wheels/tires, I just use 32/20*29. I compare that with 32/20*26.5 when judgeing gears between 29" wheel/tire and a 26" wheel tire. Far from technical in regards to gearing and tire size I know, but I use those formulas anyway from the information I have read on the 29er forum and this forum. This probably had little to do with your question, but maybe it is helpful.

  30. #30
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    FoSh, I missed your last post. Very helpful, Thanks. And thanks, 29Col. All of ya's.

    We just threw an XT crank (kept hearing of the TruVativ crank arms shearing off when used for SS) on there with a 32 (surly) x 22 (Eno). So that's that and we'll just have to test it out on the trails.

    I'll post up some pics this weekend when it's complete.

    Ya'll rock. Glad I found ya.

    Greg

  31. #31
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    Did some calcs using Sheldon's gear calculator...


    Locals Gearing:
    30x20 w/ 26x2.1 tires = 38.9 gear inches.

    Velokid's Gearing: 32x22 w/ (700x50c) tires = 42.1 gear inches.

    We'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'm over-thinking the whole thing.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Did some calcs using Sheldon's gear calculator...


    Locals Gearing:
    30x20 w/ 26x2.1 tires = 38.9 gear inches.

    Velokid's Gearing: 32x22 w/ (700x50c) tires = 42.1 gear inches.

    We'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'm over-thinking the whole thing.
    we all overthink...many of us anyway

    bottom line is that gear inches is only a single parameter of MANY. After all, if you used 30x20 on a 19.0 lb 26" hardtail and used 32x22 on a 34.0 lb 29er hardtail, are they gonna feel the same on climbs?

    keep us posted. you picked a great starting place as far as i am concerned. just play around with various combos and dont get discouraged if it feels tough.

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    we all overthink...many of us anyway

    bottom line is that gear inches is only a single parameter of MANY. After all, if you used 30x20 on a 19.0 lb 26" hardtail and used 32x22 on a 34.0 lb 29er hardtail, are they gonna feel the same on climbs?
    Interesting. . .How much of the extra weight would be in the wheels?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Interesting. . .How much of the extra weight would be in the wheels?
    precisely the reason I am only interested in light 29ers....to mitigate the acceleration issues.

    ironic part is that for me, one of my wheelsets is right at 1600 grams which is the lightest wheelset i have ever had....and it is a 29er wheelset and it works great.

  35. #35
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    32/22 sounds like it could be your best bet.

    Here is a gear calculator that works well. Select the cog/s and select 700cc wheel size, for singlespeed.


    Place 0 in everything else.


    http://www.jbarrm.com/cycal/cycal.html


    Enjoy.....


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    ironic part is that for me, one of my wheelsets is right at 1600 grams which is the lightest wheelset i have ever had....and it is a 29er wheelset and it works great.
    So about 50 cents a gram?

  37. #37
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    I'm hoping my SS will come in under 22 lbs.

    PBB, is your username an E.T. reference? Maybe a TV edited version of the movie that sub'ed "peanut butter breath" for "penis breath"? Just been curious.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    So about 50 cents a gram?
    ha ha ha...

    you are wrong on this one sir!

    my 1600 gram wheelset actually only cost me $200 out the door brand new which was/is a KILLER deal....so only 12.5 cents a gram if only i could get more at that price

  39. #39
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    Good job!

    Nice.

  40. #40
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    VK:

    Realizing I'm a bit late to the party (I was out riding...) here's something to think about:

    Don't be afraid to go longer gear inches than you think possible, and then stick it out for a few rides on the same trail. I just started riding my new GF Rig SS at 32x18 and was basically living in fear of my first few rides on the local hills here in SoCal. Loose, gravely, sandy, steep, etc. etc. Sure I had to pull over a few times and gasp/rest the legs the first time out, but today I just levered, pushed and pulled right up to the top of the same trail without stopping.

    I was thinking 32x20 or even 32x22 before I rode, and after my first ride or two it seemed like I should go shopping for at least that. Now I'm not so sure, seems like sticking with the 32x18 may turn out OK and whip me into shape too!

    MP

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gearless
    You threw too many numbers at Me but gearing does revlove around which state You are in. I started with 2 easier than 2-1. (34-19) and just switched to 36-18. that is a stout gear for out west but I can push it now, (here in Michigan) this late in the season.
    You doing this on a 29" SS, or a 26"? This sounds like the gearing for a 26".
    --
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    Definitely a masher if left to my own devices, but I try to be disciplined and spin as much as possible.
    Soory, I am late to the show as well. I don't have a good excuse either. I am pretty sure this is why a lot of the guys you ride with are running the low-ish gears. Long arduous climbs where sitting and spinning is less energy sapping. For the short climbs, even on my geared [sorry folks] road/commuter, I like to get out and mash. That is what SSing has taught me. On my SS when climbing loooong climbs, I try to stay seated as long as possible, mash, sit, mash, sit...drink a beer....repeat!
    FWIW-34:20 (26" most of the time)
    34:22 (26", winter sucking @$$ gear).
    Tuff Schist

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