what ratio you guys run?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    what ratio you guys run?

    I went single tracking yesterday and rode 6.6 miles and had 1205 feet of elevation. I run a 1x10 with an XT 11x36 rear cassette and a 30T front. I spent 99% of the time in 2-3 cogs right near the middle. I rode 95% of the time up and on the pedals both climbing, descending, and on the flat (what a total body workout!!!!). I hate sitting down while I am doing that style riding. But on occasion on a short flat I sat down just to give my legs a rest. The gearing that I "think" I was in most of the time sure seems to be a lot lower than what I see on here. People tend to say they ride 34/20, 32/18, 32/20, etc. I would suspect I was in the 17-21 cogs. So lets say it was 30/21 for me yesterday (guessing it is possible I was also in the 24 at times???), Thats a lot lower than what most SS riders seem to be using. Advice?

    PS I rode this bike SS a couple years ago before I switched and then I rode 34/20 a lot. But I never rode this particular trail system then.

  2. #2
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    Why, the golden ratio; of course...


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  3. #3
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    The perfect ratio on your SS is the gear that your knees and ego can handle the best.
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  4. #4
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    I run 32x18, but it's a single speed...

  5. #5
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    34x20

    ETA this is on a 26" in mountain terrain near Big Bear, CA
    Last edited by Vader; 12-17-2017 at 12:48 PM.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  6. #6
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    Iím running 32x22. Itís perfect for my steep up and back local trails . Brown Mtn above JPL in Altadena CA. When Iím more constistant with 4plus rides weekly Iíll do 32x20 or 34x22. Iím a dedicated SS rider and have never had knee issues.
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  7. #7
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    32x(15/17/20) are the gears I find myself in the vast majority of the time on the fatbike and the geared hardtail. I rarely use anything else, unless I think I'm gonna get stuck and hop off the incline for losing momentum. On the SS, I'm currently using 34T AB oval with an 18 tooth rear, but it gets mostly city miles these days. When I was stronger or more stubborn the SS was 32x18 for the trails with a 650b wheel. When the SS was a 26er, I was anywhere around 33/32x15,16,17,18 depending on my mood. I'm in MN, so I don't see any mountains but there are some hills that can kick your butt in SS.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  8. #8
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    Wait, what wheel size are we talking? Typically, for riding I do, I am generally in the upper-40 gear inches. If Iím in Moab with short punchy climbs, I gear lower to say 32x22. Otherwise, 95% of the time, I am riding 34x20 on a 29er. My typical loop is 16 miles and 2.3k ft gain.

  9. #9
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    I've settled on 32x22 (29er)for the past couple of years. Before that I ran slightly taller gears. 33x21,then 32x21. Most of my riding is typical Colorado singletrack. Loose and steep.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    Wait, what wheel size are we talking? Typically, for riding I do, I am generally in the upper-40 gear inches. If Iím in Moab with short punchy climbs, I gear lower to say 32x22. Otherwise, 95% of the time, I am riding 34x20 on a 29er. My typical loop is 16 miles and 2.3k ft gain.
    650b. Been running 2.4 Ardents

  11. #11
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    you have to mention tire/ wheel size when you have this converstation. 32/20 means very different things on a 26 and 29er bike.

    I have only ridden 29ers with 2.2-2.4" tires for several years. 32/20 and 34/21 have worked well for me and my trails. I plan to ride 34/17 for my next gravel road race.

  12. #12
    Rod
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    29er with 2.3 tires and I run 32x20 or 32x19. My singlespeed isn't very light around 30 pounds. I mostly ride short punchy climbs with a couple 800 elevation climbs.

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  13. #13
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    I go 34/22 same as 32/21 on 29x2.2 Ikon.

    That's out here in So. Cal. Run the same short punchy climbs in the county parks as well as 8000-10000' death marches in local mountains.

    I don't change gears for different rides. I run the same gear for all rides.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    I go 34/22 same as 32/21 on 29x2.2 Ikon.

    That's out here in So. Cal. Run the same short punchy climbs in the county parks as well as 8000-10000' death marches in local mountains.

    I don't change gears for different rides. I run the same gear for all rides.
    Thats what I would prefer but IDK if I could get away with that. If I was riding in a group I would never be able to keep up on the flats. On singletrack that's ok but I do a lot of gravel grinding where I may have hill after hill and then a mile or so of flat. That's a long gap to make up. Granted a lot of my gravel grinding is done on my other bike though.

    One thing that's eating at me though is how easy will I be able to load my bike up and do a 50 mile gravel/bikepacking ride while using SS? I went on a 4 day trip in august on the Mickelson trail in SD with some friends and on day 2, when we got to camp, me and one of the group unloaded our gear from our bikes and took off up the highway to Mt Rushmore. That was a bitch! I was running 1x10 with 30x36 my max low gear and I was bonking hard. Maybe too much beer during the day and not enough food lol but I keep thinking if I was SS that trip could I have made it the 9 miles and back to Rushmore? Difficult to think about.

    I miss being simple though. Last winter I was toying around town splashing through the ditches and riding the gravel and jumping some light stuff and the derailleur stopped working so well as it got clogged up with ice and slush and mud. Plus yesterday there was some crap I went through that could have been close to damaging if I had went down on the drive side.

    If I go SS I want to stay SS and not just run it for a few rides then throw my gears back on to go bike camping with my friends. I want to SS all the time for everything.

    One thing I see is a lot of 32 and 34 chain ring combos being thrown out here. I have a 30,32,and 34 race face narrow wide and am currently using the 30. Why don't more people use a 30 instead of a 32 or 34?

    I am going to calculate some things and order a cog. I am kicking myself in the ass for selling off everything over a year ago. Had a nice CK 17T cog and a Surly 20T cog. Luckily I still have one Surly spacer kit.

  15. #15
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    I use 32 and 34 because Iím still on 104bcd. I know some rings and 104 cranks can take 30t, but itís easier for me to go 32 or 34. There were several threads about the merits of using bigger gears as there is more chain wrap and less angle of chain bend. Some were using 38t, but then you lose some ground clearance.

    These days, all Iím using is Endless cogs. Light and durable.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    I use 32 and 34 because Iím still on 104bcd. I know some rings and 104 cranks can take 30t, but itís easier for me to go 32 or 34. There were several threads about the merits of using bigger gears as there is more chain wrap and less angle of chain bend. Some were using 38t, but then you lose some ground clearance.

    These days, all Iím using is Endless cogs. Light and durable.
    Was looking at them as well as wolf tooth. A little nervous about aluminum cog over steel but I guess we run aluminum chainrings so.....

  17. #17
    Rod
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    I never needed to change my 32. I just changed the cog when necessary. I honestly don't need anything lower than 32x20 or if I went lower I couldn't keep up on the flats. I max out around 15 mph.

    You mentioned gravel and highway miles. If I take the ss I realize they're not going to be fast which is sometimes nice since I get to relax. I'm not burning matches going to the trailhead.

    Lastly, I don't take this bike on group rides with the local pro and his friends. Some people can do that, but I'm not strong enough to push those gears. For our local group rides it's no issue and I'm even running rigid.

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  18. #18
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    All honesty; 34:18 unless I head over to the western side of the state, then it gets a 19 or 20 out back. Wolf tooth oval ring up front.


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  19. #19
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    36x19 for mild slopes--300 ft of elevation difference, only about 1200 ft climbed over 10 miles at most.

    Only ended up with the combo cause they were on sale. I get used to what I run. If price weren't a factor, I'd go 22 back and 39 or 42 up front if the front rings were cheaper. They haven't become cheap enough, despite the fall of 2x and 3x's popularity. Chinese 32 & 34t rings seem to be super affordable at under $10 for a generic 7075-T6 NW (ex. Deckas). I'd combine it with a $5 Shimano DXR 16t or 18t cog in the rear. xD

    When I ride my geared 1x10 bike, I spend the most time in the 3rd highest gear in a 11-36 with 32t front ring on the pavement. On the dirt, I don't pay attention to what gear I'm in. My SS'ing has made me a lazy shifter. I used to be not only tactical, but pretty strategic about shifting in the past...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaiii View Post
    All honesty; 34:18 unless I head over to the western side of the state, then it gets a 19 or 20 out back. Wolf tooth oval ring up front.


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    I have a wolf tooth oval on my gravel bike which was geared. Man that is one awesome ring!

  21. #21
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    34:20 on 29x2.4's. Short punchy climbs here.

    The more you ride SS the stronger you will get. SS is a compromise if it's your only bike. Certain rides are more/less conducive. Group rides are typically a different challenge too for the reasons you mentioned. Flats suck with MTB gearing pretty much all the time.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    Thats what I would prefer but IDK if I could get away with that. If I was riding in a group I would never be able to keep up on the flats. On singletrack that's ok but I do a lot of gravel grinding where I may have hill after hill and then a mile or so of flat. That's a long gap to make up. Granted a lot of my gravel grinding is done on my other bike though.

    One thing that's eating at me though is how easy will I be able to load my bike up and do a 50 mile gravel/bikepacking ride while using SS? I went on a 4 day trip in august on the Mickelson trail in SD with some friends and on day 2, when we got to camp, me and one of the group unloaded our gear from our bikes and took off up the highway to Mt Rushmore. That was a bitch! I was running 1x10 with 30x36 my max low gear and I was bonking hard. Maybe too much beer during the day and not enough food lol but I keep thinking if I was SS that trip could I have made it the 9 miles and back to Rushmore? Difficult to think about.

    I miss being simple though. Last winter I was toying around town splashing through the ditches and riding the gravel and jumping some light stuff and the derailleur stopped working so well as it got clogged up with ice and slush and mud. Plus yesterday there was some crap I went through that could have been close to damaging if I had went down on the drive side.

    If I go SS I want to stay SS and not just run it for a few rides then throw my gears back on to go bike camping with my friends. I want to SS all the time for everything.

    One thing I see is a lot of 32 and 34 chain ring combos being thrown out here. I have a 30,32,and 34 race face narrow wide and am currently using the 30. Why don't more people use a 30 instead of a 32 or 34?

    I am going to calculate some things and order a cog. I am kicking myself in the ass for selling off everything over a year ago. Had a nice CK 17T cog and a Surly 20T cog. Luckily I still have one Surly spacer kit.

    I have to run a 34t.....32x21 doesn't work with my frame and 2.2 tires. Tire clearance is much too tight, or I have to max the dropouts out. With the 34t, I can keep the wheelbase shorter.

    I thought about going to 34x21 but I have a nice Niner RDO Ti cog that still looks new after 6000 miles.

    I don't know how it would be for multi day bikepacking loaded with gear. All my rides are single day, but I have stacked back to back to back to back days of 30+ miles / 5000'+ rides on it.
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  23. #23
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    I am thinking about going with a 19 tooth. For what I currently have on the wall, a 19 would be great for my 32 tooth front and if I needed more i could throw my 30 front chain ring back on. How many of you switch chain rings instead of rear cogs?

  24. #24
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    I am thinking about going with a 19 tooth. For what I currently have on the wall, a 19 would be great for my 32 tooth front and if I needed more i could throw my 30 front chain ring back on. How many of you switch chain rings instead of rear cogs?
    Cogs are relatively cheap compared to everything else in this sport. Buy a few and you're set. I rarely change from my one gear ratio.

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  25. #25
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    Ive never had a problem with 90+ rpm, but canít Ďmashí and have no desire to build that skill. I typically run 32x20 on a 29+. Most of the riding I do averages 100í per mile but it actually is pretty flat, with steep climbs mixed in. Often itís 3/4 mile with little elevation change, and a 1/4 mile with 200í gain.

    According to Sheldon Brown 29x3.0 makes each gear about 1/2 step harder than the equivalent tooth count 29x2.3

    I have a 22t that rarely gets used, and my 18t occasionally sees use, but itís almost always the 20t. Spinning out never bothers me the way stalling out and walking does.

    to address the OPís suspected ratio of 30x21, itís all in your head. Iím sure that if your derailleur broke and stuck you in 30x17, youíd have just manned-up and made it happen. I recently did a 12 hour race where I cut a few laps with gears, and sure enough, around mile 70 I was mentally barely able to push a 32x24 on a very shallow hill... like 50í/mi. I had to shake the funk, so I counted teeth, locked the RD down in 32x18 and just said ĎShut Up Legsí. Within a 1/4 mile, I was back in ĎSS-mindí and my legs felt very tired, but not Ďgoneí like they did when my brain was telling them they couldn just make it easier with a flick of a lever.
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  26. #26
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    34 x 19 with 2.35" 29er tires, lot's of short punch climbs where I ride

  27. #27
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    34(oval)x16 most of the time on 29"

  28. #28
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    Wolf Tooth 19T stainless cog on it's way! Man taking the plunge! I haven't single speeded in almost 2 years. Going to be a new experience all over again.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    Wolf Tooth 19T stainless cog on it's way! Man taking the plunge! I haven't single speeded in almost 2 years. Going to be a new experience all over again.
    Eh, it's just like riding a bike.
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  30. #30
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    32x20 on 29x2.35's for just about any mtb situation, 36x18 for gravel riding on 29x2.1's.

  31. #31
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    33x20 on 29x1.90 for mountain rides, 38x16 on 700c x 33c for cyclocross racing.... same bike

  32. #32
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    32x18 on 26x2.3's. A better rider could easily go larger front or lose a few in the back on the fairly flat trails around here especially on a ~16lb bike with an 1100g wheelset.

    I didn't have much problem with this gearing up in CO either. Top end suffers, but I'm not trying to break any records these days.
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  33. #33
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    I'm out of shape and don't mind hiking up climbs. 32x20 on the 29er, 33x22 on the 29+. Used to be on 32x18 for the 29 but that was way too tall.

  34. #34
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    I'm in New England so weather permitting, I run my 27.5 w 2.8's with a 32/17 setup, but if it's not looking good out there, I'll take my fatbike with 4.8's which works out well with 30/19 (even in snow).
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  35. #35
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    Oval rings FTW!
    32/21-22 for training/normal riding.
    18-22 cogs for racing depending on the course.

    On the 26er, 1 tooth smaller on the back than the 29er.

  36. #36
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    This question gets asked like once a month, just go back through the archive and read up.

    But, there really are too many variables to make any recommendations. Tire/wheel size, terrain, rider fitness, length of ride, amount of vertical, phase of the moon, etc...

    For example, riding a 32x18 on a bike with 26x2.0 tires will be a whole different experience vs. riding a bike with 29x3.0 tires with that same ratio.

  37. #37
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    I'm 32:18 on my Hardtail and 34:20 on my squish, both 26ers. The 34:20 is very near the magic gear for me on the squish (vertical dropouts), so that's why I run different on each bike.

    I do quite a bit of climbing and sometimes feel like I should go with easier gearing, but over time my legs have adjusted.
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  38. #38
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    32x20 on my ss rigid Unit, here in the SoCal foothills and mountains--I'm climbing when I go out my front door...... Too old to go any tougher a gear than that!

  39. #39
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    I run 32x18 for most trails up here in the Sierra Foothills. For long/big days I'll swap out for a 19t cog, sometimes even a 20t if I know it's going to be rough. This is on 29x2.2 Continental X-King.

    Regarding the OP's thoughts on SS touring...I'm a pretty dedicated SS rider, but touring is where I draw the line. I'd think that would really exacerbate the nuttiness of SSing - the climbs would be brutal due to the bike being loaded down, but the flats would be soul-sucking since they'd seem so slow. I can't imagine you'd ever be able to find a good compromise of gearing. JMO though.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonmason View Post
    Regarding the OP's thoughts on SS touring...I'm a pretty dedicated SS rider, but touring is where I draw the line. I'd think that would really exacerbate the nuttiness of SSing - the climbs would be brutal due to the bike being loaded down, but the flats would be soul-sucking since they'd seem so slow. I can't imagine you'd ever be able to find a good compromise of gearing. JMO though.
    I hear ya. I have two bikes, a 1x11 gravel "adventure" bike, and my ss rigid 29r MTB(which I rode exclusively for a number of years before getting the other). Have started dabbling in some short bikepacking/touring with the gravel bike. The bags and gear I have could fit either bike. Except for the gearing, the ss would be much better suited for some of my intended locales, but man, really long days on the loaded ss....I dunno....

  41. #41
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    Interesting......... I got a 1x10 gravel adventure bike too, in a Soma Wolverine, but don't think I haven't thought about SS that bike too lol.

    Honestly when I say touring, maybe I should have meant "bike packing". There is a difference from what I have read. I got some nut ball friends that when we go bike packing think they need to load their fat bikes down with panniers and take apart cots,tents,jet boils, and pretty much the kitchen sink and toilet right from their damn house lol!!!! Seriously though they wrote the book on being ANTI MINIMALIST. I take either a small tent or a tarp, ultra light bivy, ultralight inflatable Klymit pad, zen alcohol stove, down sleeping bag, you get the picture? I try to go as minimalist as possible. So I think if you went light and minimalistic then SS would be more realistic.

  42. #42
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    This is how I judge as well:-)
    I'm 49 ~190lbs, ride mostly around Boulder, Fort Collins, and Gunnison/Crested Butte.
    32x19 on a 29er with 2.4 Ardents

  43. #43
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    32:19 with 3" Chupa 29s. typical ride is a 22-24 miles and 3000ft of vert around Santa Cruz.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

  44. #44
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    36x18 for most trails around where I live (my buddies ride 34, 33 or 32 x 18 on the same terrain and most can't fathom how I manage to mash up stuff they bail on). I swap in a 19t or 20t here and there for rides where I know there will be oodles of big and long climbs.

    Took me a few years of gradually swapping in smaller cogs and eventually larger rings to build up to that level of SStoopidity. YMMV
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  45. #45
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    I run a 32x18 most of the time on my Pivot LES with 27.5 x 2.6 Rekons. Sometimes I'll run 32x19 for a lot of long and/or steep climbs or a 32x17 for a flatter, faster trail.
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  46. #46
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    We don't really have flats here in the Appalachian foothills. Everything is either up or down, it's just a matter of how much, or little, incline. Lots of short climbs, with occasional longer ones thrown in.
    I ran 32x19 all of last year, then 32x21 on the same trails for most of this one. The lower gear was much more forgiving on longer/steeper climbs, and felt more natural any time I would begin to lose momentum and transition from seated to standing. While I *know* lower is supposed to be slower, it was not, because it was easier to spin(could stay seated and pedal faster for longer) and I was letting gravity do all the work on the downhills, anyway, so it didn't hurt me there.
    Most of the time on 32x19, all I could think of was getting to that next higher gear, and I was exhausting myself on the harder climbs trying to be faster. But I wasn't actually getting any faster.
    What makes for a "hard" or "easy" gear is subjective, because it's about your personal fitness level, but I thought it was kind of ironic that going lower didn't hurt my times at all. I saw regular improvement while being able to knock out more and more total mileage, afterwards, too.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    We don't really have flats here in the Appalachian foothills. Everything is either up or down, it's just a matter of how much, or little, incline. Lots of short climbs, with occasional longer ones thrown in.
    I ran 32x19 all of last year, then 32x21 on the same trails for most of this one. The lower gear was much more forgiving on longer/steeper climbs, and felt more natural any time I would begin to lose momentum and transition from seated to standing. While I *know* lower is supposed to be slower, it was not, because it was easier to spin(could stay seated and pedal faster for longer) and I was letting gravity do all the work on the downhills, anyway, so it didn't hurt me there.
    Most of the time on 32x19, all I could think of was getting to that next higher gear, and I was exhausting myself on the harder climbs trying to be faster. But I wasn't actually getting any faster.
    What makes for a "hard" or "easy" gear is subjective, because it's about your personal fitness level, but I thought it was kind of ironic that going lower didn't hurt my times at all. I saw regular improvement while being able to knock out more and more total mileage, afterwards, too.
    I agree with you. As I am getting BACK into SS after a couple years (or close to), I don't have the money to be buying several cogs. I spent a couple days pondering ratios and finally ordered a 19T. If i find that i need the 32-21 ratio (or something in the ball park) I will throw my 30T ring on the front in place of my 32 for the time being as I don't have to spend money to do that .

    I was looking at my Surly spacers tonight and I noticed one of the 2 mm spacers is missing. Dang it to heck......I got an old 7 speed cassette hanging there that I tore apart a few years ago and I will have to rob one of those spacers from it. Too bad as I am a perfectionist and hate to have an oddball spacer. I may stick it on the inside behind the rest so you can't see it lol.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    We don't really have flats here in the Appalachian foothills. Everything is either up or down, it's just a matter of how much, or little, incline. Lots of short climbs, with occasional longer ones thrown in.
    I ran 32x19 all of last year, then 32x21 on the same trails for most of this one. The lower gear was much more forgiving on longer/steeper climbs, and felt more natural any time I would begin to lose momentum and transition from seated to standing. While I *know* lower is supposed to be slower, it was not, because it was easier to spin(could stay seated and pedal faster for longer) and I was letting gravity do all the work on the downhills, anyway, so it didn't hurt me there.
    Most of the time on 32x19, all I could think of was getting to that next higher gear, and I was exhausting myself on the harder climbs trying to be faster. But I wasn't actually getting any faster.
    What makes for a "hard" or "easy" gear is subjective, because it's about your personal fitness level, but I thought it was kind of ironic that going lower didn't hurt my times at all. I saw regular improvement while being able to knock out more and more total mileage, afterwards, too.
    I've come to this conclusion as well. Use to run 32x20 for everything, now I run 32x22 and it has been a nice help on the longer days, longer steep climbs, and endurance type events.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

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    I am the opposite. I ran 32x20 for everything. This year, I bumped it up to 34x20 and set PR's all over the place. Most rides are 30 miles. If I were to do more 80-100 milers, I may drop it back down. But like someone said, it just depends on personal fitness. Some of those pro SS endurance racers use some crazy high gear.

  50. #50
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    I run 34x19 for most rides, but also 34x20 for longer or more techy rides. 34x18 for superfast rides. This for 29x2.2 rear tires.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    haha. So glad to see I'm not the only one running 32x22 (29x2.3 tires). You guys are making me feel better about myself.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2:01 View Post
    I am the opposite. I ran 32x20 for everything. This year, I bumped it up to 34x20 and set PR's all over the place. Most rides are 30 miles. If I were to do more 80-100 milers, I may drop it back down. But like someone said, it just depends on personal fitness. Some of those pro SS endurance racers use some crazy high gear.
    I've got a buddy who's an example of the opposite experience, too, though it's probably just that he started riding SS with too low a gear to begin with. Sharp contrast between our fitness, though, as I have no cycling background, and he's been riding road or mtb almost daily for years, does 100 mile XC races, etc. He started with 32x19 like I did(and instantly fell in love with SS), but within a few weeks was telling me he needed a higher gear, because it was way too easy for him. I'm kinda jealous

    Edit: oops, sorry grundy!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    ...I ran 32x19 all of last year, then 32x21 on the same trails for most of this one. The lower gear was much more forgiving on longer/steeper climbs, and felt more natural any time I would begin to lose momentum and transition from seated to standing. While I *know* lower is supposed to be slower, it was not, because it was easier to spin(could stay seated and pedal faster for longer) and I was letting gravity do all the work on the downhills, anyway, so it didn't hurt me there.
    this depends on many factors. I have one trail system that is pretty smooth overall, but has steep climbs 6-8% for 3 to 8 minutes. I am faster on 34x19 vs 34x20 even if stall out on these climbs. For me it has to do with my natural standing cadence. I am just faster on 34x19 vs 34-20 since I am standing on both and it just goes faster. Now in other areas if I can stay seated on 34x20 vs just needing to stand on 34x19 the 34x20 can be faster.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  54. #54
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    Thatís not a bad ratio, why kill yourself or have to walk sections.
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  55. #55
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    Got it done tonight. 32 x 19. I did stop by the bike shop today and I splurged and bought a 21T Surly cog. That will be for the future if I do any bike packing.

    Anybody here single speed on a gravel grinder? Thatís my other bike and Iím seriously thinking of converting it over too. It currently has a 36 tooth oval chain ring on the front. I have the 42T round chain ring hanging on the wall that originally came with the crank set. What gear ratios do you guys run on gravel? My buddy who runs the bike shop said he was running 42x17. But heís got monster legs compared to me. Thereís no way I could run that kind gearing where I live. A lot of my rides have 90-100+ feet per mile.

    The one thing Iím concerned about is even though I run gears now on gravel, I do like to stand and mash up a lot of the hills. Some of those hills are very very steep and if they have a bunch of fresh Gravel on them the wheel starts to spin badly with the rear wheel unweighted. On a SS my rear wheel will be unweighted on almost every hill and I wonder how often I will stall. I spun so bad on one freshly graveled hill a couple months ago that I came to a stop and had to unclip.

  56. #56
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    I ran 36/18 for the last gravel grinder I raced (Kona Unit with 2.25" tyres).
    Only just made it up the 8% 1km sections.
    51km long and 1st place (almost everyone else did the 81km version

    38/18 would have been better if it wasn't as steep.

    On my CX bike, I ran 38/17 for the same hills last year with 33mm tyres.

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    I suppose to win a gravel race with that ratio you would have to win in the SS division? I mean anyone geared would have the top end and you wouldn't be able to keep up. Different type of riding than single track.......Gravel has more straightaways where you would lose on the top end. Seems like a lot of gravel racers are riding similar to what my buddy is. And one article I read had one guy riding 50-16 and won the damm race!! I know on gravel, even riding gears (11-42) I still will hit the 36 regularly and 42 only on the steepest of steep after a ton of miles when I am tired. So many dang hills around me.

  58. #58
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    39:17 on my cross bike with chunky tires. Very much setup/geared for offroad use here with lots of climbing.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  59. #59
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    34 x 17 29er. The golden ratio.
    Sometimes you eat the trail, sometimes the trail eats you.

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    I suppose to win a gravel race with that ratio you would have to win in the SS division? I mean anyone geared would have the top end and you wouldn't be able to keep up. Different type of riding than single track.......Gravel has more straightaways where you would lose on the top end. Seems like a lot of gravel racers are riding similar to what my buddy is. And one article I read had one guy riding 50-16 and won the damm race!! I know on gravel, even riding gears (11-42) I still will hit the 36 regularly and 42 only on the steepest of steep after a ton of miles when I am tired. So many dang hills around me.
    No SS class.
    It was a really nice day and I needed to be back and pick up my wife. Most others kept going for the 81km version. I would've if I didn't need to get back earlier. Then I would have been in the back 1/3rd of the finishers
    For single speeding the gravel races here, I wouldn't want any higher gearing.
    Hey, I won a slab of chocolate and a bottle of wine

    I've been SS'ing for 3 years now and not one race here has had a SS class

    There'll be one in March though. Bro and I are entered in a 100km back country gravel ride and the organiser has made an SS class just for us

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    No SS class.
    It was a really nice day and I needed to be back and pick up my wife. Most others kept going for the 81km version. I would've if I didn't need to get back earlier. Then I would have been in the back 1/3rd of the finishers
    For single speeding the gravel races here, I wouldn't want any higher gearing.
    Hey, I won a slab of chocolate and a bottle of wine

    I've been SS'ing for 3 years now and not one race here has had a SS class

    There'll be one in March though. Bro and I are entered in a 100km back country gravel ride and the organiser has made an SS class just for us
    You rock dude! I got a ride/race in June. Come on down for the fun

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    You rock dude! I got a ride/race in June. Come on down for the fun
    Where's the race?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Where's the race?
    Itís a ride but this year I am turning people loose to ride or race. I am letting people decide how they want to ride. I may have a board where people can record their times. I havenít decided yet. My signature has the official blog spot where you can see slideshow teasers of nest years ride and results from the 2017 ride plus the registration link. I am thinking that in mobile view my signature doesnít show up? Tell me if you canít see it. Some of my replies above show my signature and I see this reply does not.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    Itís a ride but this year I am turning people loose to ride or race. I am letting people decide how they want to ride. I may have a board where people can record their times. I havenít decided yet. My signature has the official blog spot where you can see slideshow teasers of nest years ride and results from the 2017 ride plus the registration link. I am thinking that in mobile view my signature doesnít show up? Tell me if you canít see it. Some of my replies above show my signature and I see this reply does not.
    Ahh, that's about 13,100km away.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Ahh, that's about 13,100km away.
    LOL!!!!! I should have guessed by your name. My bad. Have a Merry Christmas!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    LOL!!!!! I should have guessed by your name. My bad. Have a Merry Christmas!
    13,100km to the SouthWest
    New Zealand.

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    All this talk about single speeding on gravel got me to thinking today. Before I go waste money on a single speed cog for my gravel bike I thought I would go for a short gravel ride and just leave my chain in one gear and not touch the shifter. I was running 36 oval front and I left it in the 18 rear. Any more than that and I had no top end. It was a short 8 mile ride with close to 800 feet of elevation and I realized fairly quickly that leaving it in one gear was not for me on gravel rides. On single track itís one thing because you got the short punchy climbs followed by fast smooth downs. But on gravel you have long climbs and they wear you out when youíre stuck in one gear. All I really needed was about 4-5 gears from the middle on down today. I think I could go with a 1x5 lol! This is just me speaking LOL. Iím not a weak rider but Iím not one of these Clydes with pistons for legs either. I have past experience single speeding on single track but todayís ride made me realize that on gravel I better stay geared. Single track watch out!

  68. #68
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    I like the challenge and I'll never be at the point end of any race

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    I like the challenge and I'll never be at the point end of any race
    Donít get me wrong I love SS but for me anyways, I have to tailor it to specific types of riding. I am not man enough to SS on my local gravel in a gear that I would be ok with on the flats. I could do similar gearing that my MTB is running now (32x19) but that would be a poor choice for gravel in my area on everything except the climbs. In other words as much as I like the simplicity and ďromanceĒ of the SS, I am not one of those guys that will use it for every type of riding I do. But man its fun on the mountain bike.

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    Iíve done 50 mile gravel rides on my 29er rigid SSrunning 36x18. 5000+ ft of climbing with some climbs lasting 20+ minutes. 2-1 seemed to be the magic ratio for me on gravel. I toasted the geared riders I rode with using that gear.

    SS is all about compromise, but with the right ratio you can be quite fast.

  71. #71
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    I hardly ever run, I'm either on my bike or walking.
    By continuing to browse my posts, you agree to send chazpat cookies.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    Iíve done 50 mile gravel rides on my 29er rigid SSrunning 36x18. 5000+ ft of climbing with some climbs lasting 20+ minutes. 2-1 seemed to be the magic ratio for me on gravel. I toasted the geared riders I rode with using that gear.

    SS is all about compromise, but with the right ratio you can be quite fast.
    I really want to. It could have had something to go with it being winter and me being bundled up too. Maybe this spring I will toy with it some more after riding SS on my other bike exclusively. Maybe by then I will be stronger.

    Oh ok I will confess....... yesterdayís ride was an hour and a half after stuffing myself with Mexican food and 3 Dos Equis. Maybe I should retry under better conditions lol!!!!

  73. #73
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    Ha! That would have killed me!

    I have found the gravel ratio killer for me is steep climbs where I am consitently hitting above 9%. Other than that it isnít as bad as you would think.

    I say all that but now I have a geared gravel bike. No worries though, Iíll have a SS again.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by khardrunner14 View Post
    Ha! That would have killed me!
    Lol!!

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    I'm running 30/21 here in Colorado. Just switched from oval to round for 2018. I've seen some guys riding 30/18, but I'm not strong enough after only one season.

    Tech climbs are probably the most difficult bit, as I just can't get pedal speed fast enough to get over some stuff. Plus, I'm not very good at tech in general.

    Rode a 30/20 on a 20 mile loop and 3,336 ft of climb. Sick ride and gave me all I could handle.

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_of_earth View Post
    I'm running 30/21 here in Colorado. Just switched from oval to round for 2018. I've seen some guys riding 30/18, but I'm not strong enough after only one season.

    Tech climbs are probably the most difficult bit, as I just can't get pedal speed fast enough to get over some stuff. Plus, I'm not very good at tech in general.

    Rode a 30/20 on a 20 mile loop and 3,336 ft of climb. Sick ride and gave me all I could handle.

    Sent from my G8141 using Tapatalk
    I feel for ya but something I have learned......sometimes a little speed helps you climb so if your so low that u canít build speed it can be detrimental

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