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  1. #1
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    Gear Ratio Question. 44/16 versus 41/18

    I've decided to start riding a bike again after over a decade off. Back in the day I always rode a 20 inch BMX bike with the classic 44/16 (2.75) gear ratio. I'm planning on getting a 24 inch BMX cruiser this time though since I think I'm a bit too old for a 20 inch these days. I already considered a mountian bike or other multi-geared bike, but I don't like them so a cruiser it is.

    Anyway, I noticed the cruiser I plan to get has a 41/18 (2.27) gear ratio. How will this compare to the 44/16 gear ratio of the 20 inch bikes I used to ride? Will it be about the same? Does the extra 4 inches of wheel on the cruiser make up for it? And oh yeah, the cruiser has 175mm crank arms.

    Thanks for any info.
    Last edited by Rick540; 03-21-09 at 12:32 AM.

  2. #2
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    A gear ratio alone isn't all that helpful. Try this article from the ol' master hisself, Sheldon Brown (and then try his calculator). http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gain.html
    suum quique
    Mountain bikes: Santa Cruz Hecklers (99, 02, 07), Santa Cruz Nomad, Moots YBB, Trek OCLV Pro Issue, American Breezer
    Road bikes: TST, Trek 2300 (Carbon/Alum)

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. After digging around the Internet I finally figured out that the two ratios are almost the same after multiplying the result by the wheel diamater.

    A 20 inch bike with 44/16 gearing comes out to 55. 44 divided by 16 = 2.75. Multiply 2.75 by the diameter of the wheel which is 20 in this case, comes out to 55.

    Likewise, a 24 inch bike with 41/18 gearing comes out to 54.6. 41 divided by 18 = 2.27. Multiply 2.27 by 24 and you get 54.6.

  4. #4
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    I have several single speed bikes and try to keep the gearing at about 70 gear inches. 55 is very slow. Roger

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