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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Go ahead and make fun of my weak legs. I'm trying to decide between a 26T or 28T direct mount chain ring from Wolf Tooth to go with my 12x36 9 speed.

I was thinking the 26 would be too low but after looking at a gear ratio chart I realized that with my 12x36 cassette my highest gear would still be higher than the 32x18 single speed set up I rode for a while. I remember spinning out a fair amount with that set up but only on stuff that was pretty wide open. I feel like I may not be giving up that much by not having the extra top end speed. I almost never ride anything involving fire road or pavement.

Anyone try a similar configuration? Thoughts?
 

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I run a 32 front with an 11-32 rear. I guess if you're some sort of super-spinner, the 26 will work when climbing, but I can't imagine it being any good except climbing.

With the 36 rear, a 32 front should be plenty. 24 granny with a 12-28 cassette used to be standard back in the day. Hell, I climbed Pikes Peak on the Barr trail with that gear. A 26 front 36 rear would be ridiculous. A 28 front might be tollorable if we're talking 29er here, but there's likely to be chain-line issues running the front ring in the granny position and crossing over to the small cogs on back.
 

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Be sure to figure in your wheel size. I'm a fan of giving up the big gears for the simplicity of 1x. I'm running a 26t on the front, but am running 30.5" diameter wheels and have a 10t on the cassette. Another plus for me is the added ground clearance. If you ran SS you know spinning. Just don't expect to keep up with others with higher gears on the faster stuff. Personal preference for sure.
 

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Chairman of the Beard
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If you can push 32x18 you can push 32x36. I'd run a 32 up front, especially with a 12T granny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If you can push 32x18 you can push 32x36. I'd run a 32 up front, especially with a 12T granny.
I wasn't really able to ride what I wanted on the single speed, pushing pretty well describes how I tackled a lot of steeper climbs.

Thanks for the replies. I think what I need to do is figure put the high and low ratios for both set ups and then do some riding in equivalent gears with my 3 ring set up. See if I can find the sweet spot.

Thanks
 

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650b me
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I rode a 1x10 on a 650b hardtail for a while. 12-36 cassette in the back. I started with a 32t chainring, then switched to a WolfTooth 28t and I was much happier when climbing. I could spin out on pavement, but you said you don't ride pavement much. It really depends on you: leg strength, fitness level, and personal preference.
 
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