Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc
42/18 is my flat & dry race gear on my Fisticuff CX race rig. Just short of the 44/17 on my commuter/brevet bike which sees a fair amount of climbing.
My slop & steep gearing on the CX bike is a 38/18 which has been good for just about everything I've encountered on the CX and light MTB-ish trails around here.
Singlespeed climbing is one heckuva great workout for strength and cardio, and I like that you're forced to vary technique depending on pitch of the hill and tiredness of your muscles. It's certainly a more variable workout than the typical "gear down and spin" that I got used to when I had wide-range gearing on my brevet bike.
The standard drawback, though: If you've got a great gear for climbing, you might be left in the dust on the descent! On my last group ride, me and the one other singlespeeder were passing people up all the long climbs, but we got smoked by a geared paceline ripping through the flat valley section.
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.