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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-02-06, 09:56 PM   #1
xccx
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Would it be weird/possible to run 39:17?

ok, so i'm trying to figure out the best gearing for my new steamroller. The majority of my riding will be on fairly hilly roads (vermont) and rolling, cyclocross-style off roading. i'm gonna race it too, or at least have it for my pit bike, so i dont mind hopping off the bike and running with it when/if it gets too steep. yes, i know about the cross check but i like the 'roller much better. anyway, my process to figure out the best gearing has been to take my geared bike out and find a gear that works best for the styles of riding i mentioned. well, that seems to be 39:17, which is close to a 2:1 ratio. lots of ppl seem to run a 42 up front and either a 16 or 18 in the back for this kind of riding, but i think that might be a little to tall for me. so...am i crazy? is this a weird gearing? illuminate me....
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Old 09-02-06, 10:08 PM   #2
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Sounds like you went about it right. It'll be slow on pavement, but for hills and off-road, it should do. You might be able to bump it up to 42/17 cuz of the straight chainline and lack of weight from a geared setup.
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Old 09-02-06, 11:27 PM   #3
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My advice is to get a fixed/fixed or fixed/free flip flop hub and stick with the small chainring idea. The smaller your chainring, the bigger difference a few teeth in the back make. With some chubbier tires you could run say, 39x16 and 39x19 or 20. Definitely factor the tire size you plan to run in early. Bigger tires will raise your bottom bracket and allow for larger cranks, although I wouldn't go too nuts if you're riding fixed off road.
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Old 09-03-06, 12:29 AM   #4
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I'm over in Albany and I ride a 53:22 (may play around with 53:21 soon), which isn't too far off of my old 36:16. Don't worry about it, go with what's comfy.

Oh, and climbing Adirondack and Green Mountain hills on a fixed is going to make you want to die, but your legs will be totally beefy after a month or two.
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Old 09-03-06, 09:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marqueemoon
My advice is to get a fixed/fixed or fixed/free flip flop hub and stick with the small chainring idea. The smaller your chainring, the bigger difference a few teeth in the back make. With some chubbier tires you could run say, 39x16 and 39x19 or 20. Definitely factor the tire size you plan to run in early. Bigger tires will raise your bottom bracket and allow for larger cranks, although I wouldn't go too nuts if you're riding fixed off road.

yeah, i plan to get a flipflop hub. so what you are saying is that it sounds like i am on track? ok, cool. i also read somewhere, i think in the surly blog, that it's better to have smaller chainrings and spin a little more because it stresses the drivetrain less, especially on hills and off road riding. i'm more of a spinner anyway, and i am a bit concerned about a catastophic chain failure...
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Old 09-03-06, 09:25 AM   #6
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howdy... a bunch of my friends and i race on a SS only team. we race mtn and cx. heres a rundown of some of the ratios we run for cross-

dan 42:18
laura 39:17
peter 48:20
tim 38:17

this puts all of our gears in the 60-65 gear inch range, which seems to work pretty well for east coast cyclocross.
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