Noob noob noob ... gearing.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Noob noob noob ... gearing.

    Hi guys, new to singlespeed but not mtb.

    About to drop the bomb on a SS setup, probably gonna go with a Singular Gryphon or maybe Swift.

    My question is, what would be a good setup to start with gearing wise. I was thinking about getting two or three different sized chainrings and maybe probably three different cogs to enable me to play around with gearing for different rides in the future and also as my fitness changes (which no doubt it will being in one gear).

    If it was you, what would buy or recommend to a noob.

    Cheers in advance guys, and girls (if there are any there are any that make it to the SS forum).

    Si :-)

    Anyways, here is my current 2x10 ride, Lyskey Pro 29 Lefty, I9 on Stans Arch, XX Gear and Formula R1 brakes plus Schmolke bars and seat post. 21lbs




  2. #2
    RLK
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    You don't say what kind of terrain you're riding, or what your fitness is like, or how your knees feel about slow cadence, or any of that stuff... More info would help.

    I'm currently running 32 x 20, with an 18T in reserve, on my 29er. I have the fitness to use the 18T, but my knees detest slow grinding cadence, so the decision to run a 20T is greatly influenced by them.

  3. #3
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    Sorry I should have said.

    Fitness is ok, but like most things in life could be better :-)

    My riding is mixed between a twice weekly 17mile circuit on a fairly flat hard packed stone/shingle bridle path (fire road ?). I also do a 38 / 40 mile xc with some steep ascents but generally fairly mild climbing every couple of weeks or so, it varies and I would happily change out chainrings . cogs to accomodate, or even use my geared bike for the odd occasion.

    Cheers,

    Si.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLK View Post
    32 x 20, with an 18T in reserve, on my 29er.
    I think that is pretty usual on 29ers. Some might even go for 32 x 22, if they have a lot of hard climbing.

    34 x 20 would fall between 32 x 20 and 18.

    See how you like riding your current bike without shifting, in some of the mentioned ratios. It is not the same as riding a "real" SS bike but should give some indication of what might work for you.

    edit:
    if your climbs are smooth and easy, you might get away with taller gearing, except climbs can get harder after you have already been going for a few hours.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  5. #5
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    So I'm thinking 32 x 20 with an 18 to spare.

    If the climbing sucks get a 22 and if I want something in the middle of 32 x 20 get a 34 too ?

    That seems ok to me to have a few spare until I get things dialled.

  6. #6
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    32 x 22 would probably be slow enough to suck on any flat ground you might ride on...

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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    one note; spend as little as you can on cogs... get several cheapie cogs of varying sizes and try until you find what works.. THEN dump cash on a decent cog.

  8. #8
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    Simple, you have a bike. Just go for one long ride on your favorite trail and get a comfortable as you can with cadence, smoothness etc. find a gear you like best and STOP SHIFTING... Repeat the ride if you need to, just no shifting.
    Make a note of that gear combo you like best.
    Buy that gear (or equivalent in gear inches) and 2t up and 2t down from it.

    Other rule is 2:1 but that is really a shot in the dark given wheel size, crank length, fitness level, etc.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by misunderestimated View Post
    2:1
    2:1 is often good for 26" wheels, but a bit much for me on trails most of the year.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  10. #10
    CB2
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    2:1 is often good for 26" wheels, but a bit much for me on trails most of the year.
    2:1 on a 26" would be a 52" gear.

    32x18 on a 29'er is a 51.6" gear, 34x19 is a 51.9" gear.
    With the terrain you described, that's where I'd start.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy33 View Post
    one note; spend as little as you can on cogs... get several cheapie cogs of varying sizes and try until you find what works.. THEN dump cash on a decent cog.
    Ditto what he said. These guys are $3.98 each. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...nglespeed.aspx Like others have mentioned in the past, they're not the best for long term use as they have a narrow base and sometimes damage your freehub body. I've had them on two bikes for a couple of years with no issues though.

    I'm running a 32x20 but encounter a good bit of climbing on my rides. I also have an 18 and 19 tooth on hand. I wouldn't discredit only changing one tooth on a cog. It can still create plenty of a challenge.

    BTW, I like the ti/white look. My Carver is set up the same way. I'll have to keep my eye out for some white cables.

  12. #12
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    Its easier and cheaper to change cogs than chainrings. Just get a 32 in the front and a few cheapie cogs like mentioned above and see what works. I use a 32x20 on my 29er in rolling terrain with steepish/shorter technical climbs. I have good fitness but don't ever like to walk. I have an 18t as well but it was a bit much on the climbs for the little added oomph on the flats.
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  13. #13
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    I'd save your money and just convert that Lynskey to SS....looks like it has sliders and I'll almost bet that after you ride SS for a bit, you won't go back. I have a Lynskey Ridgeline 29SL setup as SS and have been riding it for over a year...no geared mtb's anymore...

  14. #14
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    Good eye I missed the paragons.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    I'd save your money and just convert that Lynskey to SS....looks like it has sliders and I'll almost bet that after you ride SS for a bit, you won't go back.
    If you convert they Lynskey, one of the following things will happen:

    1. You'll decide you don't want/need gears any more.
    2. You'll decide you hate SS and want to go back to gears.
    3. You'll decide you like both.

    No matter which way it turns out, converting the existing bike is the best way to start. You can always buy a SS-specific bike and convert the Lynskey back to gears in the future if you want both.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by misunderestimated View Post
    Simple, you have a bike. Just go for one long ride on your favorite trail and get a comfortable as you can with cadence, smoothness etc. find a gear you like best and STOP SHIFTING... Repeat the ride if you need to, just no shifting.
    Make a note of that gear combo you like best.
    Buy that gear (or equivalent in gear inches) and 2t up and 2t down from it.
    This sounds like a good starting point cheers, I'll probably start with a 32 up front and then go for a 18 and maybe a 20, I'll soon know if I need to be in the middle with a 19.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2 View Post
    32x18 on a 29'er is a 51.6" gear, 34x19 is a 51.9" gear.
    With the terrain you described, that's where I'd start.
    Will do, see above.

    Quote Originally Posted by ssjohn View Post
    Ditto what he said. These guys are $3.98 each. http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...nglespeed.aspx Like others have mentioned in the past, they're not the best for long term use as they have a narrow base and sometimes damage your freehub body. I've had them on two bikes for a couple of years with no issues though.

    I'm running a 32x20 but encounter a good bit of climbing on my rides. I also have an 18 and 19 tooth on hand. I wouldn't discredit only changing one tooth on a cog. It can still create plenty of a challenge.

    BTW, I like the ti/white look. My Carver is set up the same way. I'll have to keep my eye out for some white cables.
    Will go with 32x18 to begin with as my main mid-week loop is fairly flat and fast. I'' also get a 20 for the more gradient filled runs and then see if I need to have a 19 as well.

    Also like the Ti / white look, there are a few green ano bits there too in the wheel spokes and hubs, a few of the bolts around the brakes. If I go for the Gyphon I will try to get the same Stans Arch rims stripped of the white powder coat and redone in cream, there will be a lot of chrome / polished components too.

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Its easier and cheaper to change cogs than chainrings. Just get a 32 in the front and a few cheapie cogs like mentioned above and see what works. I use a 32x20 on my 29er in rolling terrain with steepish/shorter technical climbs. I have good fitness but don't ever like to walk. I have an 18t as well but it was a bit much on the climbs for the little added oomph on the flats.
    Cheers for this, didn't know if a couple of chainrings would be beneficial. Probably better to start small and see how I go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    I'd save your money and just convert that Lynskey to SS....looks like it has sliders and I'll almost bet that after you ride SS for a bit, you won't go back. I have a Lynskey Ridgeline 29SL setup as SS and have been riding it for over a year...no geared mtb's anymore...
    I did think about converting the Lynskey but some of the rides I go on definitely need gears so I'll keep this one like it is to suit the conditions.

    I also wanted to have something which is a bit less delicate and can be thrown around a bit more. I like the idea of drop bars on a simple as SS bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    If you convert they Lynskey, one of the following things will happen:

    1. You'll decide you don't want/need gears any more.
    2. You'll decide you hate SS and want to go back to gears.
    3. You'll decide you like both.

    No matter which way it turns out, converting the existing bike is the best way to start. You can always buy a SS-specific bike and convert the Lynskey back to gears in the future if you want both.
    See above for reasons not to convert Lynskey just yet.

    I may decide to in the future but really wanted a rigid, simple, clean bike to start with as a first dedicated SS bike.

    My main mid-week ride is a 17 mile loop on hard packed gravel / shingle and I very rarely change gear (only when I get lazy or the sea breeze is blowing hard). I also ride with the fork locked out most of the time and therefore thought a simple rigid bike with one gear would suit.

    If I convert the Lynskey and the XX Stuff will sit in the corner of my flat gathering dust.

    Cheers for all the sound advice guys, I'll keep you posted of how things go.

    Si :-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonhi View Post



    Will go with 32x18 to begin with as my main mid-week loop is fairly flat and fast. I'' also get a 20 for the more gradient filled runs and then see if I need to have a 19 as well.


    I did think about converting the Lynskey but some of the rides I go on definitely need gears so I'll keep this one like it is to suit the conditions.

    I also wanted to have something which is a bit less delicate and can be thrown around a bit more. I like the idea of drop bars on a simple as SS bike.

    32x18 is where I started... and to be honest with you, I have a nicely decked out geared soft-tail that is collecting dust because single speed is this much better. I ride a lot faster and better after riding my ss. I rode the geared bike a couple of times and it just seemed boring... I am planning on making it a single speed. Just my two cents.
    Friends don't let friends ride geared bikes

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonhi View Post
    ...
    + rep for bar ends.

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    We get old because we quit riding.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0mb3r View Post
    32x18 is where I started... and to be honest with you, I have a nicely decked out geared soft-tail that is collecting dust because single speed is this much better. I ride a lot faster and better after riding my ss. I rode the geared bike a couple of times and it just seemed boring... I am planning on making it a single speed. Just my two cents.
    If I do end of making the Lynskey an SS I will also probably ditch the Lefty and go with a Niner carbon fork.

    Just not yet.
    Last edited by Simonhi; 06-17-2011 at 12:17 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simonhi View Post
    Sorry I should have said.

    Fitness is ok, but like most things in life could be better :-)

    My riding is mixed between a twice weekly 17mile circuit on a fairly flat hard packed stone/shingle bridle path (fire road ?). I also do a 38 / 40 mile xc with some steep ascents but generally fairly mild climbing every couple of weeks or so, it varies and I would happily change out chainrings . cogs to accomodate, or even use my geared bike for the odd occasion.

    Cheers,

    Si.
    17 miles on a relatively flat fire road !!!

    I think you need to be half-way between xc-mtb and singlespeed roadie. In other words average 50 gear inches and 70 gear inches, for something dead in the middle like around 60 gear inches.


    FRONT TEETH / REAR TEETH X WHEEL DIAMETER = GEAR INCHES

    33 / 16 X 29" = 59.8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4130 View Post
    17 miles on a relatively flat fire road !!!

    I think you need to be half-way between xc-mtb and singlespeed roadie. In other words average 50 gear inches and 70 gear inches, for something dead in the middle like around 60 gear inches.


    FRONT TEETH / REAR TEETH X WHEEL DIAMETER = GEAR INCHES

    33 / 16 X 29" = 59.8
    I'm going to agree with this. I ride my SS to some trails near my apartment on relatively flat pavement, and the 32x18 is painfully slow. I spin my ass off the entire way there. I would imagine I'd have the same trouble on fire roads.

    On the other hand, three miles later when I make it to the trailhead, I find 32x18 to be a great gear for singletrack with some moderate climbs.
    Last edited by theblackbullet; 06-17-2011 at 06:09 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmc4130 View Post
    17 miles on a relatively flat fire road !!!

    I think you need to be half-way between xc-mtb and singlespeed roadie. In other words average 50 gear inches and 70 gear inches, for something dead in the middle like around 60 gear inches.


    FRONT TEETH / REAR TEETH X WHEEL DIAMETER = GEAR INCHES

    33 / 16 X 29" = 59.8
    Cheers for the advice , I'll take it onboard.

    It makes sense and now leaves me wondering whether to go 32 or 33 ? I was always going to get two or three cogs so that I've got the adjustability to play with as needed.

  23. #23
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    But then there's also the

    "38 / 40 mile xc with some steep ascents but generally fairly mild climbing every couple of weeks or so"

    Not being there, it is hard to judge if you'd be just fine there with 32/16, 33/16 or even 34/16. I think it has been suggested that you buy a cheap selection of cogs and experiment a bit. For my first conversion, I got a set with a selection from 14 to 19 - or something - for less than one slightly nice cog costs.

    Chainrings with even tooth counts seem to be more available than odd ones.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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