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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 05-29-12, 09:05 AM   #1
maidenfan
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Setting up first singlespeed commuter - little help on a starting range.

I'm converting a geared Surly Ogre into a singlespeed commuter and am looking for a few starting points for a gear ratio. I've been riding my geared stumpjumper 29er in singlespeed mode, switching up the ratios in an attempt to get one that works well for my route. The bike setup will change quite a bit and I'm not sure how thats going to workout. Here are my questions:

- My current setup is an all carbon 29er running 2.35" Schwalbe Big Apples - I'm been running a 2 to 1 (32/16), 2.28/1 (32/14), and 2.6/1 (32/12) - I prefer the upper two as the 2/1 just doesnt cut it on the flats (too much spin). The Ogre will obviously be a bit heavier w/a rear rack, panniers, fenders, lights, etc and will be running a 700x32-38 range tire. How much of a difference does the weight and tire size/volume make in deciding what ratio to choose? My commute is in the SE Portland, Or area which is pretty much flat with a few rolling hills.

- I'm assuming a new singlespeed rider should error on the side of "spinning" rather than using a larger gear ratio? I'm a clyde (6'2" ~245), but am fit and have been riding for a few years now.

Thanks.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:19 AM   #2
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Someone should do up a gif'ed link to Sheldon's gear calculator: http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/. After plugging in the gears from your 29er I get gear inches of 58.3, 66.6, and 77.7. To get close to the 66.6 you could run 46/19 which would be 65.8 gear inches. This is still considered a fairly light gear, which, as you say, is generally a good thing. Check this thread out if you haven't: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...imer-for-Newbs
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Old 05-29-12, 09:28 AM   #3
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You will surely feel the added weight. Can you test the gear ratios with the extra luggage added so you can get a better realization? I'm thinking you will want something in the lower to mid 60's gi. unless it is completely flat. You will feel the extra weight on the rollers.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:46 AM   #4
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I put on a 15lb or so pack and rode my commuting route on the the stumpjumper yesterday. On that bike, 32/14 (66) seemed to be just right for the job. I think a 36/16 (65) should be a good place to start w/the new bike. Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-30-12, 10:10 AM   #5
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Here's another tool that's a little easier to interact with: www.gear-calculator.com

I think mid-60's is a great overall gear.
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