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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 11-15-12, 06:06 PM   #1
David Broon 
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SS MTB Gearing?

I looked through the gearing primer, and I couldn't see anything. I'm building a MTB, and for the moment, it's going to be a SS until I can afford gears. It's going to be used for proper Mountain biking in the West Coat of Canada, with a lot of long sustained climbs, with some short steep stuff thrown in for good measure. I've got a pretty good road and SSFG Background, and a season of mountain biking, so I've got leg strength, and I can also spin like a banshee. I've just got no idea where to start. Suggestions?
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Old 11-15-12, 06:16 PM   #2
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here's a thread i started asking the same question in the MTB subforum.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...on-gear-inches
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Old 11-15-12, 06:39 PM   #3
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29er or 26er.....need to know wheel size in order to offer any real advice since it effects gearing.
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Old 11-15-12, 06:45 PM   #4
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mihlbach: Not really (need to know),if he gets advice for a 26"er but rides 29,simply adjust a couple teeth steeper out back

If you've got "sustained climbing as well as short steeps",don't let some guys living in te flats tell you "2:1 is the best ratio",they wil say it,trust me. For hilly rails witha 26"er,IMO I'd start off with 20-22t cog (assuming a 32t front),or 29"er I'd try a22-24t rear. I ran 32x24t (I own no 26"er mtbn bike,BTW) at my old house and local trails which are a bit hilier than here,I run a 22t for the hills here (until I sold my SS...building another as we speak,it will be 32x22 ). Just my 2 cents,I'm in no way an expert,but I know my own likes and dislikes,hope this helps

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Old 11-15-12, 06:55 PM   #5
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If you've got "sustained climbing as well as short steeps",don't let some guys living in te flats tell you "2:1 is the best ratio",they wil say it,trust me. For hilly rails witha 26"er,IMO I'd start off with 20-22t cog (assuming a 32t front),or 29"er I'd try a22-24t rear. I ran 32x24t (I own no 26"er mtbn bike,BTW) at my old house and local trails which are a bit hilier than here,I run a 22t for the hills here (until I sold my SS...building another as we speak,it will be 32x22 ). Just my 2 cents,I'm in no way an expert,but I know my own likes and dislikes,hope this helps
Somewhere around 52 gear inches is just fine. I ran a 32x18 29er in Tsali, NC and few places in Pittsburgh with minimal suffering. One of the regulars at our shop even races Leadville with his 32x18 29er.

http://surlybikes.com/info_hole/spew...ed_gearing_101
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Old 11-15-12, 08:51 PM   #6
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If there is mtb scene around you there should be forums where people discuss trail-specific gearing.
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Old 11-15-12, 08:56 PM   #7
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Somewhere around 52 gear inches is just fine. I ran a 32x18 29er in Tsali, NC and few places in Pittsburgh with minimal suffering. One of the regulars at our shop even races Leadville with his 32x18 29er.

http://surlybikes.com/info_hole/spew...ed_gearing_101
I found the same ratio (32x18x29) to be the most useful for trails around the Pacific Northwest. I'm not any kind of mountain bike expert but it seemed to meet my needs. Every now and then I could have used a lower ratio but I'd say 85% of the time it was just right. I switched to a 15t cog in the back for bad weather commuting and it's now way too high for the same kind of trails.
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Old 11-15-12, 10:14 PM   #8
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Somewhere around 52 gear inches is just fine. I ran a 32x18 29er in Tsali, NC and few places in Pittsburgh with minimal suffering. One of the regulars at our shop even races Leadville with his 32x18 29er.

http://surlybikes.com/info_hole/spew...ed_gearing_101
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Old 11-16-12, 03:38 PM   #9
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Thanks!
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Doing one-legged squats while holding chickens in each hand will make someone strong...that doesn't mean it's the best way to train for track racing.
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That would be spectacular. A trail of blood and sealant.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:23 PM   #10
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I go with a spinnier gear on my 29er; 33X20. It's a bit slow on the roads, but on singletrack it's perfect. Plus, you can clear pretty much anything in your path except super steep climbs. I've experimented with various gears, but 33X20 seems like a perfect blend of leverage and speed. Plus, you can "spin like a banshee" so you'll be able to kick your speed up pretty high.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:25 PM   #11
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34x17 on 26" for me
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Old 11-17-12, 03:03 AM   #12
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i was thinking the same, i wanted to make a singlespeed cyclocross type of bike, with 700x35 tire 44x18 gear ratio
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Old 11-17-12, 12:06 PM   #13
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i have 32 x 16 on my SS 29er, and its great around town.
but a tad too high for any actual off roading and trail use.
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