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So I started a thread with "SS on the flats". The reason being that here on the coast of VA there is some riding but alot of bigger chain ring and moving through your cassette, than granny gear riding.

That being the case, I am leaning towards a 36T chain ring and a kit with 16-20T cogs to get me going.

I have seen the 2:1 comments, and then the 34-16 set ups, but was wondering:
Does anyone have a good place to start, to optimize my test time vs changing the cogs every other day?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have given up trying to gear for flats and hills. I always gear for the hills, 'cause I hate pushing my bike. Perhaps start off with a gear that you know will cause you some difficulty on the climbs, and see how that feels on the flats. For me, that would be 32x20 on dirt and 48x16 on the road.
 

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[NEC] No Excuses Campaign
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pinkrobe said:
I have given up trying to gear for flats and hills. I always gear for the hills, 'cause I hate pushing my bike. Perhaps start off with a gear that you know will cause you some difficulty on the climbs, and see how that feels on the flats. For me, that would be 32x20 on dirt and 48x16 on the road.
32x20 on my 9er, 14-15mph on the flats is about all I can maintain and I consider it spinning fairly fast. I can spin up to 17-18 but can't hold that pace for long. It is ideal for climbing for me so far. .
 

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pinkrobe said:
I always gear for the hills, 'cause I hate pushing my bike.
I have 32X22 on my 29'er for steep climbs. It's super spinny on the ride to the trails, but I don't mind. I've decided on 38X22 on my singlecross - but some of the stuff will definetely be hike a bike time.
 

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pinkrobe said:
I have given up trying to gear for flats and hills. I always gear for the hills, 'cause I hate pushing my bike. Perhaps start off with a gear that you know will cause you some difficulty on the climbs, and see how that feels on the flats. For me, that would be 32x20 on dirt and 48x16 on the road.

are those ratios for the same bike? or is the road ratio on a road bike?

I run significantly harder offroad but significantly easier road than you, find that wide range suprising.
 

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I should clarify. 32x20 is what I run on the Misfit diSSent for mtn biking [and I'm very likely going to a 32x22T this year]. I use the same bike to commute in the winter with a 42x14 gear setup and studded tires. I also have an SS road bike [Wabi Lightning] that I set up with a 48x16 last year. With those gears, I'm stalling out on off-road climbs, getting down to 2-3mph up hills in the snow, and spinning out at 30mph on the road.

Why the huge spread? Well, most of the trails I ride are up or down - there aren't that many flat bits - so I can run a low gear to climb with and coast on the way down. For the road/street stuff, I need to try and keep up with cars [LOL], so I run a high gear and suffer a bit on the climbs. My point to the OP was just to run the biggest gear you can and still be able to ride the hills. My bad for not clarifying better.
 

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gearing.

in south central ks i ride a 26er with 32x16 gearing. it is less than i want at the start of the ride, but almost always more on the end. I ride alot of dirt and gravel roads since we're hurtin for trails and the surface can differ from hard clay to sandy river bottom stuff, so the 2:1 is pretty good for everything. the only other freewheel i own is an 18t that i'll use for trails north of here. monotany on the straight and flat.

also duration of ride matters alot. on a 45 min ride a bigger gear is great, but for me 2+ hours with varying surfaces and winds 32x16 is all i can do without hurtin myself. if i want to go farther faster i ride my cross bike. its geared.
 

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T Smee
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I run 32x19 or 32x20 in and around Birmingham, AL. We have some good steep hills that i can barely turn that gear, but then some flats where i quickly spin out... I know other guys, stronger than i, that run 32x18 and even 32x16 here. These are all in reference to 29ers
 

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geared bikers are laffing at this...

but who cares...
I started with 32x20 and went to 32x18 once I got strong enuf. I could pull all but the steepest trails and it allowed a decent pace on the flats. I forget the actual mps figures but the 20 let me spin about 3mph faster and it was very significant. Since the terrain is flat in a lot of areas here, it's a good compromise. I keep wondering when someone will invent a double chain ring or a 2-speed rear cog w/ derailleur. The winter has me going back to the 32x20 though due to less hours in the saddle.
 
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