Old 07-12-19, 09:21 PM
Senior Member
Spoonrobot's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,350
Mentioned: 59 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1102 Post(s)
Liked 89 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Curious about this. It seems you get more range from a 50x34 than a 46x36. 34x34 would get you to 1to1 gearing. And a 50 x 11 gets you a little more speed on the downhills and maybe a touch faster on the tarmac for the ride back to the house.

Just wondering why 46/36 is popular with gravel.

Because it was an off the shelf solution with known characteristics and a developed product chain due to cyclocross racing. This made it popular with manufacturers. It works well for gravel because the 46 ring is big enough for a lot of riders to stay in for most rolling terrain, the 36 small enough for most long climbs and the 10t chainring jump allows 1 click double clutch to step down into the lower range while keeping close to the same cadence.

16 teeth is too big of a jump and both the 50t and the 34t ring are the wrong sizes for riding by themselves in most terrain. Cadence gets all blown to hell trying to drop to the little ring and then downshift twice to get to the next lowest gear and also the lower range. To say nothing of most riders being unable to get much additional performance out of greater than 90 gear inches.

1x marketing made everything think overlap was a bad thing when it's actually very good and makes for smoother shifting on inconsistent rolling terrain or terrain with significantly difference power requirements based on road surface - a fair amount of gravel in most areas.

Regardless, I think gearing is a fine science that has been under appreciated since the widespread popularity of integrated shifters. The difference in cog choice in the rear can have a significant effect on both enjoyment and performance for a lot of riders. And to a smaller extent the front as well. Gravel has really brought the focus back to choosing specific gearing options for rider preference, riding style, tire/wheel size and terrain.
Spoonrobot is offline