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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 04-21-04, 01:11 PM   #1
Ben3041
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 01:28 PM   #2
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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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Old 04-21-04, 01:32 PM   #3
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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..
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Old 04-21-04, 01:53 PM   #4
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46X16, riding around nyc
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Old 04-21-04, 01:53 PM   #5
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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
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Old 04-21-04, 05:08 PM   #6
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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.

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Old 04-21-04, 05:39 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 06:22 PM   #8
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40x18 in oakland, 40x20 in san francisco.

this is on 26" knobbies.
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Old 04-21-04, 06:24 PM   #9
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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".
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Old 04-21-04, 07:46 PM   #10
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I have 40/16 and find it perfect for Long Island. 40/14 is next.
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Old 04-21-04, 07:55 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 08:12 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 09:06 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 09:37 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-21-04, 11:16 PM   #15
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MTB with 1.4 slicks, 42X14.
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Old 04-22-04, 05:46 AM   #16
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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?
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Old 04-22-04, 06:59 AM   #17
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thanks for the tips, now I really need to get out of this office.
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Old 04-22-04, 11:01 AM   #18
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for me on my 700c road fixie:
42x15 when i was in Brooklyn
42x15 now in SF

-D
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Old 04-22-04, 04:28 PM   #19
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My '88 Peugeot mtn fixie is 48X20 (63") although I've never actually had it off-road yet!
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Old 04-25-04, 09:21 AM   #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.
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Old 06-21-07, 10:48 AM   #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!
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Old 06-21-07, 11:14 AM   #22
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52x16 is way high. Try a 44 in the front and keep a brake on. Your knees will thank you.
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Old 06-21-07, 11:27 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 06-21-07, 12:04 PM   #24
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It really depends on the tires

A 1.0 slick is different to using a 2.5 maxxis hookworm
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Old 06-21-07, 12:19 PM   #25
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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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