What ratio is everyone running?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What ratio is everyone running?

    As a follow up to my "Ow" thread, I was wondering what everyone else was running.

    I know that 2:1 is considered standard. But I was wondering how common it is to deviate from this standard.

    As stated in my other thread, I ran a 34:16. On a geared bike I normally push a really big gear, much bigger than other experts. But this seemed like to much. However, I can not picture going 34:17 (Or the standard 2:1) making that big of a difference. Afterall, its only one gear. But mabe a little bit makes a big difference? I wish I asked the other dudes in my race what gear they were using.

    What is everyone else using?

  2. #2
    Am I getting too bulky?
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    This clyde runs 34:20. It seems like the best compromise for me. It lets me climb a lot of stuff, I suck at climbing even with gears btw, and it lets me stay on top of the gear in slow technical twisty stuff.

    Oh, I did 45 miles of river trail yesterday using 34:14.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  3. #3
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    ENO me this

    On all my ENO bikes:

    Gunnar Rock Hound: 34/17
    Quintana Roo Panamint: 34/18
    Gunnar Crosshairs: 42/16
    Surly Pacer (fixie): 44/16

  4. #4
    Zippy, the wonder bike
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    I use a 32X16 ratio, seems to work good so far, I haven't had any problems with it yet.

  5. #5
    no gears, no tears
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    As a follow up to my "Ow" thread, I was wondering what everyone else was running.

    I know that 2:1 is considered standard. But I was wondering how common it is to deviate from this standard.

    As stated in my other thread, I ran a 34:16. On a geared bike I normally push a really big gear, much bigger than other experts. But this seemed like to much. However, I can not picture going 34:17 (Or the standard 2:1) making that big of a difference. Afterall, its only one gear. But mabe a little bit makes a big difference? I wish I asked the other dudes in my race what gear they were using.

    What is everyone else using?


    I was running a 32:15 as this was the "perfect gear" for my chainstay length. I was great for the road but not the trails. So I put an old xtr deraileur on for a tensioner (a la keith bontrager) and I'm running 32:16 now. Seems better, but i'm considering 32:17 so i'll be able to climb more cuz i hate hate getting off and running up the climbs.

  6. #6
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    Ratio

    32:16 now. Moving to 32:18 so I can ride up a section that I am currently walking on my usual ride.

  7. #7
    Rollin' a fatty Moderator
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    34:18 is my regular combo but change to 34:20 on trails that have lots of climbs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    What is everyone else using?
    34x20 here... It lets me do most of the climbs around here and I don't spin out too badly in the faster sections. There's nothing magic about 2:1 - it's just a starting point. Also, I do think that a one-tooth change in gearing can make a noticeable difference, just find something cheap to use for experimenting until you find the right gear.

  9. #9
    Belltown Brazer
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    Spinner here, apparently

    34:23

    Southern New England and especially my local rides full of steeps and really technical terrain. This ratio keeps me on top of the gear in technical stuff, and able to climb most of my hills.

    But I always have been a spinner. Also, no fire roads or double track or jeep trails. All singletrack...except for my driveway.

    B

  10. #10
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    34x18 26" 34x21 29"

    34x18 26"
    34x21 29"

  11. #11
    hidden persuasions
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    gear and a question...

    [
    What is everyone else using?[/QUOTE]



    32x17 right side, fixed, 29er

    but thinkin' 'bout going to 32x18 for the ECNASSCU2 in PA. has any body ridin' those hills? looking for any description of the terrain.

  12. #12
    theHeadlessThompsonGunner
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    32 x 19
    "I've courted brain damage like some courtesan of darkness."


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  13. #13
    The man who fell to earth
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    It depends...

    The ratio you run entirely depends on your personal ability/fitness level, the nature of the terrain you ride on, and whether you're more of a power masher or a spinner. For instance, I'm more of a masher than a spinner, plus I ride on relatively flat trails, so I run a 32:15 with good results. But when I go to much more hilly terrain, there's no way I can run a 32:15, so I switch over to 32:17 or 32:18, which just barely allows me to crest the worst of the steep hills without walking it. But then there are places with long, steep, sustained hills (with technical sections included) that even a 32:18 would bring me to my knees (and a grinding halt). Hills like that need a 32:20 or so.

    On the other hand I have seen some uber-SS-ers that run 32:16 on everything, and through some godlike process they can spin like mad on the straights, grind their way up the longest, steepest, gnarliest hills, while simultaneously bunny hopping 3 foot logs. I'm not like this, never will be...but there are people who can pull this stuff off.

    And you ask if going up or down one tooth is that significant...if you go up or down a tooth on the rear cog, it does make a difference...not huge, but you will notice the difference. If you go up or down a tooth on the front chainring, the difference is much less noticeable (by about half), but there will still be a subtle change.

    Best bet is to buy a couple different ratios and try them out. Or if you have a gearie bike, count the number of teeth on the rear cassette cogs and the chainrings and try out a few ratios on the various trails you ride. When you discover what you like, buy those cogs/rings for the SS and rock on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    I know that 2:1 is considered standard. But I was wondering how common it is to deviate from this standard. What is everyone else using?
    Last edited by Ziggy-Stardust; 05-17-2004 at 11:15 AM.

  14. #14
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    I run 34:17 for one reason.... It just happened to work out to fit my chainstays so I don't need a tensioner. Its a little tall for some mountains, but I'm making it work....
    Plus its fun passing the geared guys on the uphills!

  15. #15
    semi-evolved simian
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantrider
    I was running a 32:15 as this was the "perfect gear" for my chainstay length. I was great for the road but not the trails. So I put an old xtr deraileur on for a tensioner (a la keith bontrager) and I'm running 32:16 now. Seems better, but i'm considering 32:17 so i'll be able to climb more cuz i hate hate getting off and running up the climbs.
    If you can run 32:15 sans tensioner then you should also be able to do 34:17 and 36:19 - the only problem with that is finding odd-toothed rear cogs...

  16. #16
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    36x18, with a 24" rear wheel. Because it's what i had laying around. And i'm a muffin.

    I thought for sure that i would be walking a lot before i tried it on the trail (it seemed pretty tough climbing on the road.) But for maryland rolling hills, its just perfect. Steep sustained climbing can be daunting, but that's the way it's supposed to be, right?

  17. #17
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    34:17

  18. #18
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    38:18, yet to find a climb that these legs cant take me up with that ratio.

  19. #19
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    Well, I'm running a vert-drop frame, and really don't want to use a tensioner. I started with 28:15, which fit the stays perfectly, and was a pretty good gear - I could clear most climbs, and was faster running up the few that stopped me on the bike.
    I wanted to run larger gears, though, to spread the chain torque over more teeth. Probably makes no difference, but it let me run a slightly easier ratio, and still have amazing ground clearance.
    I'm at 33:18 now, and while it's awful spinny on the road to the trails, it works well on the terrain around here (Central PA). I'm more a masher than a spinner, so this forces me to work on my cadence, and lets me clean practically every climb.
    And Fixedbeer, the ECNASSCU2 is about in my backyard, and I'd go lower than 2:1 for sure. Tussey's home to some technical, steep climbs, and they're a lot more fun to roll up than run up. I'd say 34:18's a good start. I'm sure Roman will chime in at some point, but he's strong like bull, so take his advice with a grain or two.
    Jon.

  20. #20
    SS Chimp
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    ID says it all except.....

    when it is the wrong gear but generally i run that or 32x17.

  21. #21
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    Listen! For the Berryman Trail

    I run 34:18 at the Berryman Trail and suffer just the right amount.

  22. #22
    Bikes not Bombs.....
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    Ratios

    Bike #1 - 32x20
    #2 - 32x17
    #3 - 44x22

    JS
    Thanks to all of you for your friendships on this board..... -

  23. #23
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    34 x 18 most of the time, but...

    What is everyone else using?[/QUOTE]

    I will ride 34 x 19 or 34 x 20 depending on my fitness and terrain of certain rides or race venues.

  24. #24
    hidden persuasions
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    thank you sir,

    Quote Originally Posted by jw25
    And Fixedbeer, the ECNASSCU2 is about in my backyard, and I'd go lower than 2:1 for sure. Tussey's home to some technical, steep climbs, and they're a lot more fun to roll up than run up. I'd say 34:18's a good start. I'm sure Roman will chime in at some point, but he's strong like bull, so take his advice with a grain or two.
    Jon.

    for the info. sounds like i need to go do some hill training...

  25. #25
    no gears, no tears
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mine'sAPint
    If you can run 32:15 sans tensioner then you should also be able to do 34:17 and 36:19 - the only problem with that is finding odd-toothed rear cogs...
    I thought of that since 36:19 would give me pretty much the same gear as 32:17 (49.2/48.9). BUT, when i called the lbs my riding bud Rob said the only chainrings he can get in 36 tooth 4 bolt for my truvativ cranks were blackspire (ramped and pinned, $60 can.) and then i wouldn't be able to use my bash ring either cuz it only works with 32 or 34. SO i just went with the old xtr deraileur.

  26. #26
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    Gear ratio..

    54x11..

    My legs are like tree trunks and my knees have joints constructed of a carbon fiber - boron composite.



    Actually, I run a 42x17.. it's an around-town bike.

  27. #27
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    32x22 175mm cranks
    It feels the best to me, I never feel like im spinning and I can make it up every hill with very few exceptions. I also feel like I can move slower through the technical stuff.

  28. #28
    Birdman aka JMJ
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    34:17

    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    As a follow up to my "Ow" thread, I was wondering what everyone else was running.

    I know that 2:1 is considered standard. But I was wondering how common it is to deviate from this standard.

    As stated in my other thread, I ran a 34:16. On a geared bike I normally push a really big gear, much bigger than other experts. But this seemed like to much. However, I can not picture going 34:17 (Or the standard 2:1) making that big of a difference. Afterall, its only one gear. But mabe a little bit makes a big difference? I wish I asked the other dudes in my race what gear they were using.

    What is everyone else using?
    For a few reasons:

    1. In the quest to build an inexpensive SS, I chose a standard-drive 180mm RF crankset, so the smallest I can go is 34 teeth.

    2. The standard 2:1 ratio seemed like a good starting point until I get my feet wet. So far it has been perfect for the terrain I ride.

    3. It so happens that 17 is my lucky number... so there! #8)>

    JMJ
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  29. #29
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Berryman
    As a follow up to my "Ow" thread, I was wondering what everyone else was running.

    I know that 2:1 is considered standard. But I was wondering how common it is to deviate from this standard.

    As stated in my other thread, I ran a 34:16. On a geared bike I normally push a really big gear, much bigger than other experts. But this seemed like to much. However, I can not picture going 34:17 (Or the standard 2:1) making that big of a difference. Afterall, its only one gear. But mabe a little bit makes a big difference? I wish I asked the other dudes in my race what gear they were using.

    What is everyone else using?
    Not everyone runs the ssame ratio. I usually use a 36 x 21. A 2:1 is too high for my legs and the terrain I ride most of the time. I will go a little high or lower on occasion for specific rides or events.
    mtbtires.com
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  30. #30
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    34x18

    34x18 on the BrewSSki, which is just a bit steep for our local PNW trails, but it makes me stronger, right?

    If I were to attempt to ride up the Alpine trail in Oakridge, OR, it'd surely go to 34:20 or mebbe even easier. ONce the GPNF trails open up, I might go back to that King 19t steel cog, excessive wear notwithstanding.

    We have found that something around 32:18 is great for SW Washington trails. 2:1 is just a start.

    bike ON

    bob

  31. #31
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    It sounds like for the most part everyone, but one person, is running a lower gear than me (34:16) or rather the equivelent

    Sure its good for the ego when you slap that gear on, but as I found out real fast, the end results is that even the flats and moderate climbs become hard as hell because it doesnt take long for the big and steeps to cook your legs.

    I think I am going to suffer with the 16 for now. In time, I am sure it will get easier. But the next time I race, I will deffinately slap on a lower gear.

  32. #32
    Manual4ever
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    36:16

    36:16 from a 42:16 I didn't mind the 42:16 too much, even in the trails. My new crank's Bashring only covers up to 36 max.

    I ride street, singletrack, and dirt jumps. Basically built a 26" BMX. heh

    laters

  33. #33
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    D*mn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime8
    36:16 from a 42:16 I didn't mind the 42:16 too much, even in the trails. My new crank's Bashring only covers up to 36 max.

    I ride street, singletrack, and dirt jumps. Basically built a 26" BMX. heh

    laters
    What kinda mileage you do on that 42x16? That's seems like a pretty steep gear for off-road. I run 42x16 on fixed-gear road bike, traded down from the 42x13 that I started out with. That was ok as long as I stop for lights and the starts and stops at that gearing were killing me...

    Off road I run 34x17 and it works pretty well for just about all the trails I ride.

    -Trevor

  34. #34
    Steamroller
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    Experimenting

    Right now I'm running 32x20, and it seems a bit too low but I have also run 33x18 or 33x16. I'm trying to find the perfect gear for most of the riding I do then I'll buy a White freewheel, (probably an 18 or 19).

    I'm running 40x16 on my grocery getter.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  35. #35
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    36x20

    I started with 36x18 on the BUSS and finally settled in on 36x20 with an ENO freewheel. Seems like a good compromise between hill climbing but not spinning out too badly on the flats.

  36. #36
    Manual4ever
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorInSoCal
    What kinda mileage you do on that 42x16? That's seems like a pretty steep gear for off-road. I run 42x16 on fixed-gear road bike, traded down from the 42x13 that I started out with. That was ok as long as I stop for lights and the starts and stops at that gearing were killing me...

    Off road I run 34x17 and it works pretty well for just about all the trails I ride.

    -Trevor
    I liked 42:16 and will definately go up to 38:16 at least...It's very flat here....no hills to speak of. Being a BMX "masher" guess i'm used to tall gearing :-\

  37. #37
    Bike Junky
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    39x20 on 26"

    I elected to go with a "road" crankset with 130mm BCD so the smallest ring I can go with is a 38. I picked up a whole bunch of chainrings to cover the whole range of 38-45t in one tooth increments. I find that it is much easier to play around with gear ratios making the change with chainrings. (Likely because I only had on 20t White Industries freewheel at the time.)

    I picked up a handful of ENO freewheels now so my options are pretty limitless. Building up another bike right now (gonna have to post pictures when done) that will be 34x18 fixed offroad. Gotta try it!

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