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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum - please take it easy on me. I got a 2013 Surly Karate Monkey complete build. Been loving it and riding rolling trails - currently has 33t chain ring and 17t freewheel. Thinking about moving to a lower gear ratio by either going to 19t/20t freewheel so I can clear more climbs. Or dropping down on the chain ring to 31t and moving up to a 18t freewheel. I have two questions ==> 1. Would you recommend a 19t ENO freewheel OR 31t chainring with shimano 18t freewheel. It looks like the ENO freewheel will be a bit more $. 2. Do I need a new chain to go with new gears? I estimate I have about 300 miles on the bike. Thanks.
 

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Get the ENO unless your chainring is so worn that it needs replacement. If your wheel is way back in the sliders you might be able to use the same chain but I'd plan to change it.

Check out the parts swap thread you can probably swap your 33 for a 32 in there. You may not be able to get smaller without replacing your crank set.
 

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at 300 miles, your drive train is not worn. getting the larger eno freewheel is a great way to gear down, but for $15 or so, you could play with cheap freewheels to get the right gear ratio before committing to the WI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey AlexCuse and Cygnus - a much belated thanks for your suggestions - they were helpful. I ended up getting a 32T Suryly chainring and a 18T Shimano freewheel, new Sram 8 speed chain and played around with this setup for a while. I still felt like the freewheel was too small, but I felt close to being dialed in for the trails I am riding. So, I splurged and got the ENO trials freewheel 20T and have been loving it. Also put on another new chain and flipped the Surly 32T chain ring. Now I have a bunch of options, which should keep me going for a while. Again, thanks for your help:)!
 
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