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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So now that we've been semi-snowed in for a good month, I thought I might ask for some advice on SS gearing for the Front Range Open Space park riding.

I just bought a used Gary Fisher Rig and have swapped-out some parts to make it a little lighter. This is my first SS so I'm wondering what gearing works for most people considering some of the hills around the Denver area. I bought the SS to try to build some power and to some extent use the SS as on-bike weight training. However, a few years ago I did have some knee strain issues. I got fitted with Andy Pruitt and those issues are gone now. With this in mind, I would like to ease into the SSing, especially in the hills. I do own two geared 29ers (Dos Niner and Leviathan) as well so I can bail-out on the SS if the knees start to scream too much.

The Rig has the stock 32-18 gearing and I was thinking of taking it to 32-20 and was wondering what people are running around this area for riding the open space parks around Denver, Buffalo Creek, and some of the nearby moutains. I'm sure I'll need to be pushing some of the time and that's OK.

My experience level includes decades of mountain and road biking and several years of Sport level racing (geared XC). Any advice on gearing and your favorite places to SS ride around here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help.
 

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Bad Case of the Mondays
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ABRider said:
The Rig has the stock 32-18 gearing and I was thinking of taking it to 32-20 and was wondering what people are running around this area for riding the open space parks around Denver, Buffalo Creek, and some of the nearby moutains. I'm sure I'll need to be pushing some of the time and that's OK.
I'm new to 29ers, but my 26" SS friends on the Front Range run something like a 32/18 or 34/20. With the bigger wheels, I'd think 32-20 would be a decent place to start.

I'm curious as well, as I'm building up a 29er SS this winter too and not real sure what gearing I need either.
 

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contains quinine
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I ride my geared bike more, but here's my experience. 32-20 for Hall Ranch will get me up the Antelope side in one shot, and through the rock garden with a few breaks. Works pretty good most other "ranch" rides I've taken it on.

I also just put on a 32-18 for the flat stuff around here - I ride Marshall Mesa from home, I'd consider it for Green mountain, Red Rocks, etc, but I havn't been down there on that bike yet.
 

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ABRider said:
The Rig has the stock 32-18 gearing and I was thinking of taking it to 32-20 and was wondering what people are running around this area for riding the open space parks around Denver, Buffalo Creek, and some of the nearby moutains. I'm sure I'll need to be pushing some of the time and that's OK.

My experience level includes decades of mountain and road biking and several years of Sport level racing (geared XC). Any advice on gearing and your favorite places to SS ride around here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help.
I always start easy early and build up to bigger gears as the season progresses. Purists may scoff.

Sounds like you should be able to start with 32/20 given your experience and ride strength but don't be afraid to hit 32/21 or even 32/22 for early season big hill climbing. As the season progresses and if you feel strong, 32/20 to 32/18 work great in general. I usually top out at 34/18 or 34/16 for places like Buffalo Creek or on the FR roads (i.e. Evergreen). Climbing Mt. Falcon or Belcher or Warren Gulch are singularly difficult and require special consideration.

Good luck and enjoy -

Ed E
 

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Good call

Been a while since I've lived out there on the front range, but thinking back I'd bet for someone with your years of experience, starting with a 32x20 would probably be perfect. Maybe even on the easy side, but considering the past knee issues... you can always switch to a 19 once you start feeling good.

Good call on substituting SSing for weights. Last winter was the first in many that I did no leg weights, but rode my SS all winter. Came into spring with lots of power like before... only this time, had A LOT MORE FUN over the winter!

Enjoy your ride!
 

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i live in colorado springs and have been riding single speeds here since 2003. on my rigid vicious cycles ss i run a 34-19 and it works fine for most things. i did notice at palmer park on some of the tech climbs i get hung up. on my niner i am currently running a 32-19 and it seems to work pretty well. fire road climbs and things like that i wish it was a bit steeper but thats just a personal pref.

when al this snow melts if you ever want to ride up some trails in c-springs hit me up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Front Range Gearing

XCutterX

I'll look you up when things thaw-out. I usually go west for riding, but considering I'm in the Denver Tech Center I could make it down to the Colorado Springs area just as fast. The riding around there sounds pretty cool.

I think I'll start with either a 32x20 or 32x21 for the first part of the early Spring and then move into the 32x18 assuming there are no knee issues. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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ABRider said:
I think I'll start with either a 32x20 or 32x21 for the first part of the early Spring and then move into the 32x18 assuming there are no knee issues. Thanks for the feedback.
You are making a good choice with 32X20 I think. That is what I run and have never run anything else on the 29er. I rode 32X18 on the 26" racing endurance stuff (Not as much as Ed!!) and never changed my gearing with good results at the races. The 29er feels better about holding speed so I don't feel as "spun out" as I did on the 26. Good luck.
 

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riding a steeper gear will not hurt your knees if you stand when you should (almost all the time), i believe this is a common misconception about SS'ing. for the record i have horrible knees (multiple ACL / MCL / cartilage) and i only get pain when i sit too much.

i ride in the alberta rockies front range (straight up/straight down), i'm hoping to run 32x18 for all riding by mid-season, but for early season it's 32x20. if you go too far down (32x22 IMO) you'll be spinning out on all but the steep climbs, which (personally) gets really annoying.

i ride 32x16 on my 26er and find it very similar feeling to the 32x18 on my 29er.
 
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