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So, I'm looking into converting my 29er into a single speed, but I'm not quite boss enough to start out with a 32T or 34T crankset...I was hoping to find something that came with a 26T but haven't had much luck. I was just wondering if any of you guys could give me a hand or at the very least let me know if I'm barking up an ally that doesn't exist! Thanks!
 

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I'd go with the 32T up front and adjust the rear to a larger cog. I'm not in the best shape but for what it's worth, a 32Tx20T setup really is a pretty good starting point. You can go bigger with the cog if you need to. Not sure how big they go, but certainly there's something out there to match your fitness level.
 

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I agree w/ Nubster except for the part about 32x20 being a good starting point. Your good starting point will depend upon your local terrain, your strength, aspirations and fitness level. I'm nearly 50 now, still a weight-training 200-pounder living in the mountain west w/ no racing aspirations, and I've never felt the need for anything other than my 32x22. I'd recommend starting w/ that, given your doubts about jumping into the stiff stuff right away. If that's too hard, you could go 32x24 w/ minimal more $, but anything lower than that, I think, would not really be satisfying as SS. No matter what you choose, go for it - you'll most likely enjoy it even more than you might imagine.
- Joe

I'd go with the 32T up front and adjust the rear to a larger cog. I'm not in the best shape but for what it's worth, a 32Tx20T setup really is a pretty good starting point. You can go bigger with the cog if you need to. Not sure how big they go, but certainly there's something out there to match your fitness level.
 

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Agreed - stick with 32 up front and just buy a bunch of rear cogs to play with. The 18t in the rear is tolerable on the flats (barely)... anything bigger will annoy you when not going uphill.

I can do about 12mph without looking like a gerbil on meth on paved surfaces en route to trails with 32/18 setup. Any smaller tho and I'm walking a lot of the steeper stuff here in Boise. It's all a trade off and depends on your terrain of choice.

Ride 32/18 for a week and you'll find your leg/glut strength builds quickly
 

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I agree w/ Nubster except for the part about 32x20 being a good starting point. Your good starting point will depend upon your local terrain, your strength, aspirations and fitness level.
That's true. I guess what I meant was that that combo generally isn't considered a hard to pedal combo, but like NuMexJoe, it all depends on the person pedaling and the terrain. You should be able to get a pretty good idea what you can and can't do to start by messing around with the gears on your current bike.
 

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Ok, the other single speeders are going to make fun of me but a 29er running a granny works great.
I've got two bikes setup that way and it works for me. Where I ride, there are no long downhills, lots of very steep uphills and it's twisty and tight. Plus I'm old.
Is that enough excuses?
Large rear cogs are hard to find and expensive. Granny cogs are easy to buy and cheap.
I run a 17 or 18 on the rear, and a 24 on the front. That's close to a 32 X 21 on a 26er.
I've got 22 and 26 front gears around if I need to change.
Chainline isn't a problem, specially if you are using a stack of spacers on a freehub.
And you can center a granny gear easily so you don't get the tight and loose spots in the chain.
 

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Ok, the other single speeders are going to make fun of me but a 29er running a granny works great.
I've got two bikes setup that way and it works for me. Where I ride, there are no long downhills, lots of very steep uphills and it's twisty and tight. Plus I'm old.
Is that enough excuses?
Large rear cogs are hard to find and expensive. Granny cogs are easy to buy and cheap.
I run a 17 or 18 on the rear, and a 24 on the front. That's close to a 32 X 21 on a 26er.
I've got 22 and 26 front gears around if I need to change.
Chainline isn't a problem, specially if you are using a stack of spacers on a freehub.
And you can center a granny gear easily so you don't get the tight and loose spots in the chain.
You can get 22T cogs for less than $20. But yeah, if it works for you, go for it.
 

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There's Middleburn and Blackspire 26T colored chainrings around. I'm using 26x20, hopefully by next week I get to install a 18T in the rear... LOL
 
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