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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Slx 11-32 cassette and a 44-32-22 SLX crankset. I have been thinking of replacing the middle ring with a 36t and removing the big ring and putting in a bash guard. I have been doing a lot of research on this but can't seem to understand much about gear ratios. So the big question is, will a 11-32 cassette and a 36-22 crankset do a good combination? Where am I sacrificing by doing this? Would I gain speed on the trails with this?
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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You won't get any faster. You'll lose the lowest ratio on your 32t ring and the highest two on your 44t ring.

Gear ratios are just that - ratios. If you divide the number of teeth on the chain ring by the number of teeth on the cog, you get the number of rotations at the wheel for each rotation of the crank. There are some more complicated things you can calculate if you want to, but for purposes of comparing different gearing setups on the same bike, that's enough.
 

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Super Moderator
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danvar said:
I have an Slx 11-32 cassette and a 44-32-22 SLX crankset. I have been thinking of replacing the middle ring with a 36t and removing the big ring and putting in a bash guard. I have been doing a lot of research on this but can't seem to understand much about gear ratios. So the big question is, will a 11-32 cassette and a 36-22 crankset do a good combination? Where am I sacrificing by doing this? Would I gain speed on the trails with this?
You only gain speed if you upgrade the motor.

For most trail riding 36/22 is good.

You will likely be using the larger cogs more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So in theory, no advantage is gained by switching to a 36/22 or a 36/24 with a 11-32 cassette?
 

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danvar said:
So in theory, no advantage is gained by switching to a 36/22 or a 36/24 with a 11-32 cassette?
Depends on what you want. One rider's advantage is another's handicap.

I finding having a bash ring instead of a outer chainring an advantage on the trail. More clearance over rocks, roots and logs and without damage to the rings.

The big ring was just a couple of ratios I rarely needed.

Simplified front shifting.

If you swap your 22 for a 24 you would be losing some of your low range.

I have not used triple rings on my bikes for years. 36/24, 34/24, 32/22, 42/30 (sees more road use) generally with 11-32 or 11-34 cassettes.
 

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EDR
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So in theory, no advantage is gained by switching to a 36/22 or a 36/24 with a 11-32 cassette?
-What is you are looking to get from this change? The advantage for most of us is we rid ourselves of a large ring we don't really need in exchange for ground clearance and protection from bashing the chainrings into rocks/trees/etc that we do need.

will a 11-32 cassette and a 36-22 crankset do a good combination?
-Completely subjective. The answer depends on you and what you ride. Me personally, I have zero need for a 44t ring and really not much use for a 36t. I still run a 22/32 up front, but that's just me.

Would I gain speed on the trails with this?
- No, you'll spin out sooner. And if you go to a larger small ring (22 to 24) the hardest of steeps will feel harder. Maybe you have no use for a small ring, some people don't I suppose.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your replies. I figured that by obtaining a better ratio combination between the cassette and the crank I might have been able to have faster acceleration without compromising top end speed. I know that I play the roll of the engine here (how fast I can go), but I figured a certain combination might have helped me achieve it better.

I never use the big ring and was gonna get rid of it. So I thought it might be a good opportunity to update my middle and small chainrings and wanted to know what would be the best combo if any. But its true, every rider is different.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Why not buy a big enough bash ring for a 36t middle ring, but leave your current middle alone for now?

If you find you miss the three ratios you'll lose removing the big ring, you can always get a larger middle ring. If not, you've saved some money and have a little nicer shift between the small and middle ring.
 
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