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SoCal 1x Gravel Riders - what's your gearing?

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SoCal 1x Gravel Riders - what's your gearing?

Old 01-21-19, 05:50 PM
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pbass
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SoCal 1x Gravel Riders - what's your gearing?

Just curious here. Talking about the typically rocky, rutty, and most importantly, very steep, mountain riding we have so much of here in SoCal. Y'kow the type--grueling long fire road slogs with pretty significant elevation gain is the norm. I started with a 40t in the front, then down to a 38t and now just felt compelled to order a 34t (11-42 in the back). Maybe it's because I basically use this thing like a mountain bike, I'm fine with giving up more top end. Just wondering if other folks in these parts are going that low on their gravel bike.
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Old 01-21-19, 08:26 PM
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I'm in SD and I'm on 44t 11-42 but I'm thinking about changing to 40t oval.
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Old 01-21-19, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
I'm in SD and I'm on 44t 11-42 but I'm thinking about changing to 40t oval.
Well, admittedly, I'm old, but man, I'd be walkin' A LOT on a 44t here up in the San Gabriels. I was mashing a lot with the 40, the 38 is better, but I've cried "uncle" I guess....
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Old 01-22-19, 10:09 AM
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I ride the San Gabriels. I have a 3x9 (its my road bike too) Granny gear is 26T with a 12-36 cassette. Previously I had a 30T granny gear. Ive now got one more lower gear. I can get up the mountains stopping less (whatever thats worth) and at the end of the ride I don't feel like I've done permanent damage to myself. I can ride longer and farther and recover sooner. Also, with a higher cadence I'm more stable on rocky sections and less likely to fall over. On the very steep Im still mashing compared to some of the MTBs I see.

Edit: If I had a 1x11 I would guess a 30T ring with an 11x42 would just cover my needs. But i'm old and slow. When you go low its hard to go back.

Last edited by Bingod; 01-22-19 at 10:20 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-22-19, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Well, admittedly, I'm old, but man, I'd be walkin' A LOT on a 44t here up in the San Gabriels. I was mashing a lot with the 40, the 38 is better, but I've cried "uncle" I guess....
Wouldnt a 2x11 allow you to have a ton of range and not sacrifice the high or low end of that range?
46/34, 46/32, or 46/30 chainrings, depending on your preference.

34/42 is 22.39 gear inches, assuming a 40mm tire.
A 30/36 combo is 22.94 gear inches with the same width tire, which is almost the same. You then also get the use of a 46t ring for cruising, going downhill, etc. And you get a cassette with smaller jumps since its between 11 and 36 instead of 11 and 42.
The smaller cassette is about 175g less(sram PG series that i looked up once), and thats offset by a front derailleur weighing 140g, plus a shifter, cable, and aluminum large ring(100g). Ive read that changes are in the range of 60-110g heavier overall for a 2x with the same easy gearing.

That was all offtopic, I understand, but its just what I thought about when I read about the struggle to get easy enough gearing while giving up potential speed(even if you are OK with it).

I have 30-42 on my mountain bike and can (slowly)climb walls, even though im not the lightest by any means. I would think this gearing would allow you to conquer most any hills out there, even if its at a snail's pace.
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Old 01-22-19, 01:49 PM
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Yeah, I know a 2x would allow more range, but I'm 1x for now with this bike. I'm gonna put the 34T on and see how it goes. It'll get me to around 21.5 gear inches on the bottom I figure, with around 82 on top. Should be ok - I mostly coast down long descents anyway
Thanks for the replies - I know every rider is different, was just curious what other folks run for the kind of steep stuff we have around here when working with a 1x setup.
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Old 01-22-19, 07:03 PM
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I am about to build up a bike and 1X vs 2X is a big decision. I live in Orange County right at the base of Modjeska and Santiago peaks.
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Old 01-22-19, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sully151 View Post
I am about to build up a bike and 1X vs 2X is a big decision. I live in Orange County right at the base of Modjeska and Santiago peaks.
Well, as I say, I use my gravel bike pretty much like a mountain bike. I don't do many long extended rides on pavement--I just use the road to get to the dirt so giving up some top end is tolerable with a low-geared 1x.
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Old 01-22-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
Well, as I say, I use my gravel bike pretty much like a mountain bike. I don't do many long extended rides on pavement--I just use the road to get to the dirt so giving up some top end is tolerable with a low-geared 1x.
One of the reasons I want a gravel bike is so I don't have to ride on the road!

I am a little concerned with a 1X if I use the bike for some short bike packing trips.
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Old 01-22-19, 08:29 PM
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42T w/ a 10-42. If it's too steep for 1:1, I have no real desire to ride there. For reference, this morning's ride was 2,700 feet in the first 23 miles, and a healthy chunk of it was in the dirt. Only fell down once!
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Old 01-22-19, 09:13 PM
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Well I got the 34 on there and the chain was fine, so I can always go back up without much hassle. We'll see how she goes in Cherry Canyon tomorrow bright and early! I couldn't handle a 42T with my rig and location like the Dr, and the 40T I started with had me mashing at times so...hopefully this puts me where I need to be. I haven't toured/bikepacked on this bike yet, but I figure if there's anything I'd be wanting for loaded up it'd be on the low end.
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Old 01-22-19, 09:58 PM
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ive done cherry with a 42t and a 10/42 as well. had more fun with that gearing than with the 46/36 and a 12/32 on my first cx bike.
as far as extended socal climbs go, i dont think a 38t up front would make chaney any less of a pain.
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Old 01-22-19, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by motrheadsroadie View Post
ive done cherry with a 42t and a 10/42 as well. had more fun with that gearing than with the 46/36 and a 12/32 on my first cx bike.
as far as extended socal climbs go, i dont think a 38t up front would make chaney any less of a pain.
Dude, I drive up Chaney and park before riding up Mt Lowe, that's where I'm comin' from!
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Old 01-23-19, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sully151 View Post
One of the reasons I want a gravel bike is so I don't have to ride on the road!

I am a little concerned with a 1X if I use the bike for some short bike packing trips.
there just isn't a downside to 2x on a gravel bike, unless you ride where mud collects in the bottom bracket and crank area which then throws off front shifting.
beyond that, there just isn't a downside and gives you way more range.

but still, it's a personal choice and neither is right or wrong. 2x or 1x is like flat bar or drop bar. Totally different setup and what works for one person might be terrible for another person.
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Old 01-23-19, 06:22 PM
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I run a 10 speed 11-40 in the rear with a 34t single chain ring. Works awesome!
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Old 01-23-19, 09:37 PM
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1x is great until I hit those steep fire roads. Currently have a 2x with 34/40 climbing gear. My next gravel bike might be a 1x and I'd probably go no lower than 40 or 42t up front and just succumb to suffering up the steep bits.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tFUnK View Post
1x is great until I hit those steep fire roads. Currently have a 2x with 34/40 climbing gear. My next gravel bike might be a 1x and I'd probably go no lower than 40 or 42t up front and just succumb to suffering up the steep bits.
That's the thing here. As a guy in my LBS said yesterday, "we don't have gravel roads in LA, we have dirt roads that go straight up". I rode nothing but a singlespeed rigid 29r MTB for a number of years before getting my geared gravel bikes and as good a training as it was, man, sometimes you just can't stand up and mash and maintain any traction on this loose over hardpack stuff. Anyhow, rode the 34t today (11x42 out back, 650b) and it seems good--especially on the many long steep climbs where I ride. Since I'm mostly coasting down the steep descents the loss of top end will probably not be an issue.

Last edited by pbass; 01-23-19 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 01-24-19, 06:58 PM
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It's been my experience that the decision to go 1x vs 2x in SoCal has a lot to do with how you get to the trailhead. If you cycle there (or also use your gravel bike as a commuter) than the additional 2-3 high-end ratios offered by the 2x set-up makes sense. If you routinely drive to the trailhead, than you can take full advantage of a 1x geared to your chosen fire road.
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Old 01-25-19, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by tp4surf View Post
It's been my experience that the decision to go 1x vs 2x in SoCal has a lot to do with how you get to the trailhead. If you cycle there (or also use your gravel bike as a commuter) than the additional 2-3 high-end ratios offered by the 2x set-up makes sense. If you routinely drive to the trailhead, than you can take full advantage of a 1x geared to your chosen fire road.
I agree with this. I'm about 50/50 riding/driving to the trailhead--just depends on how much time I have. Unfortunately where I live, I go out my front door and I'm instantly climbing to get to all my fave fire road rides. It's actually kind of a drag as there's almost no warm-up before I start going up, so I start off spinning in a fairly low gear right away. But that's just my day to day. When I travel to other parts of SoCal I do get to enjoy some flats here and there
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Old 01-25-19, 01:49 PM
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I currently live in the Ojai Valley, so there's always at least a 1 mi paved street/bike trail pre-ride. But I plan to move down to the beach soon, so since I'll be driving to my fav fire roads, a 1x10 might be in my future.
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Old 01-26-19, 09:09 AM
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i didnt have the same top speed as my road bike coming down the 33 back from rose valley with a 2x or a 1x drivetrain. but i also didnt ride a road bike with standard gearing up sisar and over the ridge. but i did ride up dirt sulphur and that was stupid.
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Old 01-26-19, 08:53 PM
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Dirt Sulphur is my nemesis, regardless of bike, componentry, tires, whatever...but at least I have a 7mi uphill ride from the trailhead to my house after the white knuckle decent.
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