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  1. #1
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    what gear ratio for urban mtb

    I'm just curious to know what ratios you guys were running for urban riding on your ss mtbs. I live in Brooklyn so I don't have hills to deal with but I need something quick. I know we all have our preferences, but I would appreciate some ideas.

    I mostly use the bike for commuting, but I like to play weekends.

  2. #2
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I'm not rolling a MTB... but my street fixie has a 44:16 on it... it's cool on flats, or downhills.. but the uphills kinda suck... maybe an 18 or 20 on the back would be better for whatcha wanna do....

    jeff
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  3. #3
    what time is it? merztime's Avatar
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    I still have the default 38x18 on my monocog and I feel thats too low 90% of my city riding. I was wondering what others were running too..

  4. #4
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    46X16, riding around nyc

  5. #5
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    You could use a flip-flop hub and run a big gear for cruising and a small gear for trails or play. On my 700c Crosscheck I've got enough room in the drops to run a flip-flop that allows 42x17 and 42x21
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  6. #6
    Shiftless bum cavit8's Avatar
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    42x15 here on 700cc road bike conversion. Terrain is mostly flat with gradual but long up hills and the occasional steep bastard hill. If find it's quick from a full stop.

    Cam
    Quote Originally Posted by operator
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  7. #7
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I'm running 46/16 on my urban assualt bike (MTB). Allows me to keep up with traffic. On my road fixie I run 40/14.

  8. #8
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    40x18 in oakland, 40x20 in san francisco.

    this is on 26" knobbies.

  9. #9
    Senior Member shecky's Avatar
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    My old coaster braked MTB runs at 38/12, which works out to about 77.5". However, it's a bit high for most of my needs. Usually it's about 71". My fixie is 68".

  10. #10
    Not so Senior Member Eureka's Avatar
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    I have 40/16 and find it perfect for Long Island. 40/14 is next.

  11. #11
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben3041
    I'm just curious to know what ratios you guys were running for urban riding on your ss mtbs. I live in Brooklyn so I don't have hills to deal with but I need something quick. I know we all have our preferences, but I would appreciate some ideas.
    During some trial runs, I had my MTB semi-converted running 32/12 and 32/14 on 175 cranks. I was using a stock Shimano 9 speed hub with spacers, tension was accomplished with a Singulator, which made the cog change a breeze.

    This was mostly paved road / gravel trail riding, with slight inclines. 20-30 mile hops.

    I've converted the rig back to its original 7 speed (it's my commuter/crap weather bike) and am seeking out garage sale victims for the final transformation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member UNCLECHET's Avatar
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    I run 42/16 on my SS 1x1. It seems to be a good combo for around here. Of course this is Kansas but we've got a few hills and climbs. And then there is always the wind.
    Now this is the gearing I run for mostly urban riding. I switch it around for real trail riding or racing.

  13. #13
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Wow, I must be a puss, I run a 34/16 with low profile knobbies around pretty flat ol' Melbourne. I spin out a lot, but it's all about using your SS to DEVELOP a spin, not push a 50rpm cadence and pretend you're HeMan.

    Plus, arriving somewhere panting like a you're about to die doesn't impress dah laydeez.

    Okay, enough jocularity. Really, you need to just start with 2:1 and go from there. 2:1 is perfect for offroad XC, so chances are you'll need higher for urban/commuting/dicking around. Converting a Shimano DX hub to 135 is cool because you can run 2 cogs on the back and try out a few different combos, and I guess a flip/flop would give you the same effect.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  14. #14
    Senior Member UNCLECHET's Avatar
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    42/16's really not to bad around here. I think it's a nice trade off between spinning out and muscleing it out. That's why I like one gear bikes. They work you at both ends of the spectrum. I think this helps out even if (Heaven forbid) you're riding a geared machine and can't shift for some reason. I suppose the bottom line is everyone has to experiment a little to find out what works best for them and for what they do with the bike.

  15. #15
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    MTB with 1.4 slicks, 42X14.
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  16. #16
    the way we get by skitbraviking's Avatar
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    Like sipperphoto, I am talking urban road bike. But I am riding a 43 x 14. It paces well and sure it take a little bit of work on hills, but what's wrong with a little bit of work?
    "I can't go on, I'll go on..." —S. Beckett

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  17. #17
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    thanks for the tips, now I really need to get out of this office.

  18. #18
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    for me on my 700c road fixie:
    42x15 when i was in Brooklyn
    42x15 now in SF

    -D

  19. #19
    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    My '88 Peugeot mtn fixie is 48X20 (63") although I've never actually had it off-road yet!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNCLECHET
    I run 42/16 on my SS 1x1. It seems to be a good combo for around here. Of course this is Kansas but we've got a few hills and climbs. And then there is always the wind.
    Now this is the gearing I run for mostly urban riding. I switch it around for real trail riding or racing.
    Holy crap! I'm in Wichita. Now there are two people with single speeds here.

    My SS is 32:16 with big fat tires for the snow. Fixed is 52:21 for little wimpy knees like mine.

  21. #21
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    i just bought my first fixe - i ride in chicago so mostly flat. after reading the combinations I am interested to see what you think about a 52/16 ratio. my geared bike is in the shop to be fixed so I dont have anything to compare to - i never counted the cogs on that bike. starting off is pretty tough but once I get up to speed crusing seems ok. my main concern is stopping now as this is my first fixie!

  22. #22
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    52x16 is way high. Try a 44 in the front and keep a brake on. Your knees will thank you.

  23. #23
    spinspinspinspin fatbat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben3041
    I'm just curious to know what ratios you guys were running for urban riding on your ss mtbs. I live in Brooklyn so I don't have hills to deal with but I need something quick. I know we all have our preferences, but I would appreciate some ideas.
    Are you running skinny slicks, wide cruiser tires, or knobbies?


    With a single speed, i'd run a lower gear than the equivilent fixed, as you can do the spin-rest-spin-rest high cadence thing. I run 42X18 on WTB mutanoraptor 2.4"s as a play bike, though if i did more technical riding, i would drop the gearing.

    When i had 1.25" slicks, i ran 44X16.
    a radar blip, an empty clip, post-nasal drip, and kung fu grip

  24. #24
    Fissato Italiano Aldone's Avatar
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    It really depends on the tires

    A 1.0 slick is different to using a 2.5 maxxis hookworm

  25. #25
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    I doubt the OP is still here. He was a newbie in 04 and still is. I also doubt the newbie who brought this thread back to life is actually on a MTB. Not too many 52 chainrings on MTB's.

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