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Ahhh the pain....
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I've been singlespeeding since about June last year and since that time, used a 32x21 for pretty much everything. Here in PHX, that gear has worked for me mainly because I'm riding places with sustained climbs or long rides (40-60 miles). I'm feeling like I need to move to a taller gear as my strength has improved, but feel like a 20t could be a big shock. So, here's the thought... change the front ring to a 33t. That increases the gear ratio by about 3% compared to 5% if I change the cog. Below is a table showing by alternating front and rear tooth increases, I can get a smoother progression. I know from my weight lifting days, we'd try and put a few lbs on the bar ever week...same sorta thing.... Seem like a better option?
 

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Raybum said:
I've been singlespeeding since about June last year and since that time, used a 32x21 for pretty much everything. Here in PHX, that gear has worked for me mainly because I'm riding places with sustained climbs or long rides (40-60 miles). I'm feeling like I need to move to a taller gear as my strength has improved, but feel like a 20t could be a big shock. So, here's the thought... change the front ring to a 33t. That increases the gear ratio by about 3% compared to 5% if I change the cog. Below is a table showing by alternating front and rear tooth increases, I can get a smoother progression. I know from my weight lifting days, we'd try and put a few lbs on the bar ever week...same sorta thing.... Seem like a better option?
One tooth in the back in certainly noticable, but not as much as you may think. With the amount of miles you've been riding, I think you'd have no problem with a 32x20. Worst case is you walk a couple of climbs you used to ride. Keep riding the higher gear and you'll be riding those same climbs again.

Do it.
 

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up n over
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407 Posts
I ride 32-15 everywhere in Florida, I'm thinking I MAY have to go to a 17 here in ND tho.
just ride the smaller cog and you will get stronger.
 

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Out spokin'
In cog? Neato!
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14,547 Posts
I agree with the others. I doubt one tooth on the ring will make enough difference for you, but one tooth on the cog should be like goldilocks.

--sParty
 

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Monkey Junkie
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One tooth difference on the chainring will hardly feel different. FWIW, 32x20 was a good ratio for me out here in CA with plenty of steep climbs. One tooth difference in back is noticable but not bad. If you have been running 32x21 and like the ratio, there really isn't any reason to switch though. For areas like you described, a low ratio makes sense. SS isn't really about building up to the highest gear possible, although I understand the curiousity. Gearing too high sucks and isn't efficient, so don't worry too much about running higher gearing. The goal is to ride, not walk.
 

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Ovaries on the Outside
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Raybum said:
Here in PHX, that gear has worked for me mainly because I'm riding places with sustained climbs or long rides (40-60 miles).
Doesn't seem like you have a huge reason to change cogs.
 
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