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Suggestions for FG/SS cyclocross gear ratio startup?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Suggestions for FG/SS cyclocross gear ratio startup?

Old 05-16-11, 03:51 PM
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Suggestions for FG/SS cyclocross gear ratio startup?

I hope this isn't an old or redundant question, but if it is, just point me to the right direction!

Hello everyone, here's the base for my build: Cannondale H300 converted to FG. I'm interested in FG and/or SS cyclocross. I'll post pics soon if you like.

A few Qs:

1. What's a good overall gear ratio? (if BMX basic ratio is 2.75, will that work fine for my purpose?)

2. How do [you experienced] FG cyclocross riders deal w possibilities of hitting bumps w pedals?

My experience w cyclocross is zip. I don't know what to expect w such an aggressive position off-road. I prefer hard tail or hard frame MTBs but this particular frame I'll be using has little room for slack. Any suggestions are welcomed.

Cheers and TIA!
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Old 05-16-11, 03:57 PM
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Heres my starting point...

The old stem is shown, but it's been changed to a longer one. This is pretty much where I'll be starting my build from.
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Old 05-16-11, 04:42 PM
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I think a 42/16 or maybe a 40/14 would probably be good for SS cyclocross. Atleast, for me anyways, since I'm working with a road triple and my once was SS mountain bike was a 32/18 and was way too easy for me.
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Old 05-17-11, 08:46 AM
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42:16 is incredibly stout for SS cross. Yes, it's what Adam Craig ran while winning SS nats:
https://www.cxmagazine.com/pro-bike-p...nt-singlespeed
But "[t]he gearing was likely the tallest in use during the singlespeed race in Bend," in a field of diesels. 42:20 or 42:19 is more where it's at.

And we're talking about 700c wheels, right? You can't just talk about gear ratio and ignore what size wheel it's driving.

Fixed gear will get you sympathy cheering but really it's not good for cross. Beyond the issue of dismounts and remounts, most cross courses have lots of off-camber sections and hairpie turns where you want the option of freewheeling, not to mention the occasional steep drop. Rules require front and rear brake, regardless.

Here is an article worth checking out:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlecross.html
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Old 05-17-11, 09:54 AM
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Eddie, Flargle!

Thanks so much for the response! I think I'll try the 18t cog I have laying around, then move up to the 20. I currently have a 44t chainring. For now i'd rather just mess with the cog sizes. Apologies for not making myself clear with the question in regards to FG or SS. I am actually going to set it up as a SS freewheel hub. I enjoyed going cross country on my bmx during my youth, I thought I'd relive it with a CX-ish frame =) The wheels will be 700c. The only reason I entertained a FG set-up is cos I've seen a few videos of it -looked fun (and scary)...
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Old 05-17-11, 11:33 AM
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I have a FG mountain bike (I don't race, I just goof around) and FG in the dirt is a lot of fun. If you have a flip/flop hub and can fix one side, I'd encourage you to try it out just for kicks. I think FG in the dirt is best on slow/technical stuff, rather than fast and bumpy. Back-pedaling to control speed and skid is very natrual in the dirt, and it won't be long before you forget you even have brakes.

Pedal strike at low speads isn't too big of a deal (fast/off-camber would be scary though).
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Old 05-21-11, 11:17 PM
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CHAD,

I put the 18t cog (44:18) on the rear and am finding it really enjoyable going cross country on FG. I'm still kind-of apprehensive about trying to hit steep downgrades -so I'm thinking maybe 2:1 ratio on SS free-wheel is going to be mounted on my extra wheelset.

Does anyone know if it is possible to upgrade cantilever brakes? (does tektro or any affordable company make ones?) I just don't feel comfortable w the feel of my stock setup...
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Old 05-22-11, 10:07 AM
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What do you do to get more than 18 teeth at the back in a SS setup? I'm building a SSCX thing and it seems the only freewheels offered with more than 18 teeth are humongously expensive boutique items like the ENO. Does anyone voluntarily go for a freehub+spacers setup? It's kludgy but comes with ample choice of wimpy sprockets.

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Old 05-22-11, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by darsu
I'm building a SSCX thing and it seems the only freewheels offered with more than 18 teeth are humongously expensive boutique items like the ENO.
Seriously?
https://www.speedgoat.com/Catalog.asp...C94&Prod=10367
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Old 05-22-11, 03:52 PM
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Thanks for the lead. None of the (European) net stores that I use stock that brand... I'll look elsewhere.
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Old 05-22-11, 04:22 PM
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The Eccentric eno hub lets you cobble together single speeds
out of old vertical dropout frames .
thats part of its added cost is the design requirements to tighten your chain.

Put a wheel in a horizontal dropout frame ,
and any cheap flip/flop rear hub will do.

just watching someone fall over barriers that they couldn't
get their dismount timed, because their fixie gear
wouldn't let them coast a couple strides early.
and get smooth flow over the barrier ,
is bound to be amusing..

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Old 04-28-16, 01:56 PM
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I rode my SS/FG on a FL greenway the other day. It has 46/16 gearing on 700x25 tires. Handled it fine except where the dirt was softer and tree roots came into play. I figure with 700x35 to 700x40 knobbies this bike is a fine gravel bike. It's a 54 CM Vilano track frame that I've had since summer of 2010. As a 700x25 it was an awesome Miami, FL city bike. But in Fernandina Beach, I need to go knobby 700x35+ tires. It'll never be a trail bike, but for street to get to a dirt/gravel road 46/16 is fine for me. I actually went thru the entire greenway at good pace. Hard on my shoulders, wrists and arms, but that's a rigid fork anyway.

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Old 05-02-16, 07:13 PM
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one of the better calculators out there.
BikeCalc.com - Bicycle Gear Ratio Chart
i found it to be pretty accurate.

i ride SS CX and Gravel. for CX i like the 2:1 ratio (38/19...34/17).
a tip i got from a Cat2 SS CX racer. gear your bike for the toughest hill on the course. if you can climb it without getting off the bike, you're in the right gear.

right now i'm training with 42/20 for a gravel race and i'll probably run 42/21 or 42/22 for the race. yes, i'll be spinning out on the flats but i need to be able to climb 7K+ over 72ish miles, this gearing will help get me there.
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Old 05-02-16, 07:17 PM
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there's no "magic number" or "best gearing", there's you and your bike, experiment.

buy some cheapo freewheels and test them out. once you decide on a good fit, see if you can find a quality freewheel. oh, by the way, use the cheapo freewheel for CX. it takes a beating and you'll trash it after 4 or 5 races.

https://www.amazon.com/Freewheel-18t-...rds=freewheels

https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Easy-O...rds=freewheels

https://www.amazon.com/ACS-Crossfire-...2JPY69YXMQTGTY

you'll need this too.
https://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Free...2JPY69YXMQTGTY

Last edited by sgtdirt; 05-02-16 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 05-02-16, 07:32 PM
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brakes
https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Mounta...r+brakes&psc=1

this makes it work with long pull brake levers.
Problem Solvers

or you can just buy these. they work awesome with those brakes
https://www.amazon.com/Cane-Creek-SCR.../dp/B003UWJPL0
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Old 05-02-16, 10:43 PM
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Ran 36/17 last year and was usually overgeared. Going to figure out a 2:1 setup this season - either an 18t cog or a 38 ring/19 cog setup.

I have a 130mm spaced frame, so I just run road wheels with 1 or 2 SS cassette cogs and a Surly SS conversion kit.
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