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gear ratio

Old 06-07-23, 11:15 AM
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gear ratio

Just curious what everyone is running for gearing. I run a 51x17. Mostly flat rural roads and average about 16 mph. I usually have a couple of stop signs and some wind.
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Old 06-07-23, 06:59 PM
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It varies for me, but lower than that gear, because I like to maintain a higher cadence. So I've got 46x17 on one bike and 43x16 on another bike. Your cadence with that gearing at 16 mph will be only 68 rpm, assuming a 700x23c rear tire.
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Old 06-07-23, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by EJM73
Just curious what everyone is running for gearing. I run a 51x17. Mostly flat rural roads and average about 16 mph. I usually have a couple of stop signs and some wind.
Found it to be very ride and climbing dependent:
- For approx 20-30 mile rides and 2000 ft elevation gain rides, my 50x17 was okay. Was able to do a 60 mile ride with that setup
- For 3000 ft elevation gain rides, went to a 47x19, and was still difficult
- Finally switched to a 42x19, specifically for 4000+ ft elevation gain rides
(likely staying with my White Industries Dos Eno 17/19 freewheel and the 47t tooth chainring for most of my riding, except for major mountain climbing where I’ll use the 42t)
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Old 06-07-23, 10:47 PM
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I run a 46/17 with a 700x38 for 74.6 gear inches & about 90rpm@19mph. Works good for the local conditions. Spin out at 160rpm for some fast downs. Kick out 45 rpm & a pile-o-watts for the steepest hill I'm able to climb near my house. (But can still do it.)

Gearing is very individual based on locality & individual fitness. I'm not sure crowd sourcing a bunch of data points clustering around some average of around 70 gear inches really is going to mean much other than "most single-speed riders ride at or about 70 gear inches."
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Old 06-08-23, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
It varies for me, but lower than that gear, because I like to maintain a higher cadence. So I've got 46x17 on one bike and 43x16 on another bike. Your cadence with that gearing at 16 mph will be only 68 rpm, assuming a 700x23c rear tire.
I'm running a 25c tire. I usually use the fixed gear for short after work rides.
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Old 06-08-23, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by EJM73
I'm running a 25c tire. I usually use the fixed gear for short after work rides.
So that still works out to about a 68 rpm cadence at 16 mph. If you geared down to 51x19, you'd have a cadence of 76 rpm, which is about where I'm at.
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Old 06-08-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
So that still works out to about a 68 rpm cadence at 16 mph. If you geared down to 51x19, you'd have a cadence of 76 rpm, which is about where I'm at.
I will try that. I have an 18 I will try that then maybe order a 19
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Old 06-16-23, 03:53 PM
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23x6 for me, Thinking of going 24x6.
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Old 06-23-23, 11:05 AM
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52/14 for sorta hilly Atlanta. I know - seems backwards. But doing group rides mandated a bigger gear to keep up on the fast flats (and slight downhills).
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Old 06-23-23, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar
52/14 for sorta hilly Atlanta. I know - seems backwards. But doing group rides mandated a bigger gear to keep up on the fast flats (and slight downhills).
Wow ! I didn't even run that high of a gear when I raced on the track. 😲
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Old 06-26-23, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by EJM73
Just curious what everyone is running for gearing. I run a 51x17. Mostly flat rural roads and average about 16 mph. I usually have a couple of stop signs and some wind.
i don't single speed much, but just set up an UnseemlyRoller with 44t x 18t free (and the fixed a 17t) ~ I've not ridden fixed yet with it, as I'm making sure I have it debugged before I do what I don't know.

my 2spd kick back(on an '84 Miyata OneThousand), i think i set it up with like a 40t x 20t in the 1:1. Then when I kick back I think S-A goes like 1:1.38 ? I could google it, but I need to get back to work...... we're getting layoff announcements today. yay......
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Old 06-26-23, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
Wow ! I didn't even run that high of a gear when I raced on the track. 😲
I've never understood why people like to slog along slowly in a mammoth gear on a fixed-gear bike on the road. For fixed-gear road riding, I've been using a 72-inch gear since I got my first track bike, in 1964. I believe that that's about the same as the Brits used for most of their fixed-gear riding in the 1950's. I got very good at spinning while training with my teammates, who were all riding road bikes.
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Old 06-26-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mrv
...... we're getting layoff announcements today. yay......
Auto industry ?
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Old 06-26-23, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie;[url=tel:22935270
22935270]Auto industry ?
yup.
since I started working for The Ford’s Family 20+ years ago, we’ve been having layoffs. (How’s there anybody left!?!)

being in the pension program the targeting laser has been swinging closer and closer… at least so I think!🤔


ps- and this came today!! Hahaha

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Old 06-27-23, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I've never understood why people like to slog along slowly in a mammoth gear on a fixed-gear bike on the road. For fixed-gear road riding, I've been using a 72-inch gear since I got my first track bike, in 1964. I believe that that's about the same as the Brits used for most of their fixed-gear riding in the 1950's. I got very good at spinning while training with my teammates, who were all riding road bikes.
Who said anything about going "slowly"? ;-) The bike with the 99 gear inches is a lot of fun on our "fast days" (relative term, we're all old guys) - the mid-week morning ride; a 20-mile loop with about 1,200' of elevation gain/loss. Those rides are just over 22 mph. But yeah, if I rode that bike a lot - for other than that quick blast in the mornings, I'd much rather be in the 70-80 Gi range.
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Old 06-27-23, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar
Who said anything about going "slowly"? ;-) The bike with the 99 gear inches is a lot of fun on our "fast days" (relative term, we're all old guys) - the mid-week morning ride; a 20-mile loop with about 1,200' of elevation gain/loss. Those rides are just over 22 mph. But yeah, if I rode that bike a lot - for other than that quick blast in the mornings, I'd much rather be in the 70-80 Gi range.
By my calculation your cadence is 75 in that gear at 22 mph, which is not very high. Personally, I'd rather be at a cadence of at least 90 when I'm trying to push hard, which works out to about 83 gi at that speed. Do you guys ride in a paceline, taking turns at the front, or are you in the wind all the time ?
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Old 06-27-23, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie
By my calculation your cadence is 75 in that gear at 22 mph, which is not very high. Personally, I'd rather be at a cadence of at least 90 when I'm trying to push hard, which works out to about 83 gi at that speed. Do you guys ride in a paceline, taking turns at the front, or are you in the wind all the time ?
I completely agree. 90-95 is my sweet spot. 22 is the avg. There are some sections (one long one) that require peddling at 32++. We keep a mostly organized line for that ride - taking turns at the front. Because I'm the only one on a single speed, I try to minimize the disruption... like spinning out and slowing down the line - well, the part behind me ;-)
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Old 06-28-23, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaskar
I completely agree. 90-95 is my sweet spot. 22 is the avg. There are some sections (one long one) that require peddling at 32++. We keep a mostly organized line for that ride - taking turns at the front. Because I'm the only one on a single speed, I try to minimize the disruption... like spinning out and slowing down the line - well, the part behind me ;-)
My knees hurt just thinking about that gearing!
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Old 06-29-23, 07:48 AM
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4616 on relatively flat terrain. Optin is 42/16 which I may swap to since I moved.
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Old 06-29-23, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426
4616 on relatively flat terrain. Optin is 42/16 which I may swap to since I moved.
I heave never experimented with the front chain ring. Currently, 51 / 17. flat roads but wind from the lake Erie. I'm right of the shore in rural area.
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Old 07-02-23, 08:15 PM
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Depending on which bike, between 65-70 gear inches.
42/18 with a 50c tire.
44/17 with a 32c tire.

Last edited by stevel610; 07-03-23 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 07-06-23, 10:26 PM
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44x17 for me, so 69.5" at 30mm tires. That puts my sweet spot at 18mph, and up to 20.5 is comfortable.

I rode a 200k Tuesday with ~4k feet of elevation, with a tailwind all day. I can manage 150rpm/30mph for a brief period on a descent, and I was at that limit several times. On the other end, I had to dismount and walk one short steep hill, and I slogged up a few others. On some of the tailwind flats, gearing was limiting my speed. Overall, I think my gearing was a pretty good compromise.
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Old 07-06-23, 10:33 PM
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I guess I'm an outlier - I'm not the fastest rider these days and I'm OK with that, I have a 17% grade on the road into the neighborhood, and I don't like lugging in low RPM, so I've been rather happy with a 38/18 on a 700C wheel. It does mean I'm spinning a bit going down that 17% grade, but it's not an impossible task.
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Old 07-07-23, 10:54 PM
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I'm a big fan of "medium gear" -- being in the vicinity of 72 gear-inches but not exceeding it. It's a good compromise between speed and the ability to climb hills without stalling. On my bike, it's currently 44/16 with a 26" tire for 71-ish gear inches.
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Old 07-12-23, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
I'm a big fan of "medium gear" -- being in the vicinity of 72 gear-inches but not exceeding it. It's a good compromise between speed and the ability to climb hills without stalling. On my bike, it's currently 44/16 with a 26" tire for 71-ish gear inches.
My first fixed gear was a Kilo TT I owned for a brief period of time. I tried it out and just didn't think I liked riding fixed. IIRC it was geared something like 75"-80". Ended up selling it after not too long (really regretting that, thinking about it now )

It wasn't until a few years later that I found some old track hubs, built some wheels around them, and converted a road frame in to a porteur bar cruiser. This time I decided to go for a much chiller ~70" 44x17 because this bike was just going to be for riding rail trails and I ended up liking that gearing a lot.
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