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Size chain ring should I have

  • Keep with 32T

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • Go with 34T

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • Go with 36T

    Votes: 6 42.9%
  • Balls out 38T

    Votes: 1 7.1%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in Texas (not a lot of climbing), and have been doing great with my 11-34 rear cassette with a narrow wide 32T in the front. Wifie got me the 11-42 11 speed cassette/shifter/derailleur for Christmas. My question is what should I do with my front chain ring, since I have a much lower gear available, I was thinking of getting a 36T or 38T front chain ring, The ratio calculators seem to give me roughly the same gearing in the low, but I will be faster in the higher gears?

Any ways the office guys who know as little as me are saying stay with the 32 or go 34.. What you more experienced guys think?
 

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32t Oval, gives you 34t in the power part of stroke & 30t in the recovery part.

Great at low cadence i.e. climbing/ratcheting up the gnar or long grinder climbs.

Easier on the knees & hammies + fatigue isn't isolated to one part of legs, i.e. more evenly spread across muscle groups.

When spinning quickly, minimal difference to regular chainring.

Had them on both my 650b AM mule (whom I sold & think about each day... went away Xmas Eve) & my fs 29er.

I'll never go round again.

Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
 

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which end of the cassette do you use the most, gear ratio depends on what and how you ride, where I ride there is a lot of steep awful climbing so most people use 30 or 28 tooth rings up front, but that probably wouldn't be ideal for you.

34 and 36 will both offer an improvement at both ends. If you were thinking 36 or 38 already, and say you don't have a lot of climbing, then 36 would be ideal to gain a tiny bit of ratio at the low end, and gain a bunch more at the top end.

Although what I would do is ride what you have for a bit and see if you really need to buy a new chain ring at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
32t Oval, gives you 34t in the power part of stroke & 30t in the recovery part.

Great at low cadence i.e. climbing/ratcheting up the gnar or long grinder climbs.

Easier on the knees & hammies + fatigue isn't isolated to one part of legs, i.e. more evenly spread across muscle groups.

When spinning quickly, minimal difference to regular chainring.

Had them on both my 650b AM mule (whom I sold & think about each day... went away Xmas Eve) & my fs 29er.

I'll never go round again.

Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
I didn't know that was how the Oval rings worked. I although have heard that the oval rings tend to mess up with the Clutch on the rear derailuer. Thanks for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
which end of the cassette do you use the most, gear ratio depends on what and how you ride, where I ride there is a lot of steep awful climbing so most people use 30 or 28 tooth rings up front, but that probably wouldn't be ideal for you. If you say you don't have a lot of climbing, and don't use your easiest gear a lot, maybe go 34 or 36. 34 would give a bit of improvement at both ends, so would make sense to get that if you can't decide if you want to gain at either end.

Although what I would do is ride what you have for a bit and see if you really need to buy a new chain ring at all.
Very good point, about keeping what I have, Amazon has some knock of narrow wide rings for dirt cheap, which I would try till I committed to a wolftooth or raceface there are few serious long climbs where I ride, and I spin out loosing traction more often than running out of steam, would a lower gear be less likely to spin out?
 

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Hey I kinda reworded my post, just edited it. Picturing you 'spin out' I'm thinking you are putting down a bunch of power and the rear wheel spins loose on the dirt. It might make a difference to have a lower gear to carry a steadier cadence, but I find working on your position, staying in the saddle longer (of course a lower gear helps you do that), experimenting with tire pressure all might also play a part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kevin,
Thanks a lot for asking me to figure out what part of the cassette I prefer to stay in
I have been able to ride with pretty low pressures since I am not the type to get any air, so I don't worry too much about pinch flats, but when I go any lower than I usually roll my side walls get squiggly and I freak out that my tire is going to come off my rim. I am running a 2.1 Geax aka in the rear and the rubber is almost gone, I might upgrade to the vittoria 2.2 Mezcal, and see if I get any better traction. My sweet spot of gears is the 13-15-17-19-21 with my 32 and saw the ratios will be almost the same if I went with a 36 on the 11-42t the sweet spot would be 15-17-19-21-24 and it would give me a quicker speed when riding to the trails, and have a slower gear to decrease chances of spinning out. anyone try "Solodrive" narrow wide chain rings, they are dirt ass cheap, just hope it last a couple hundred miles before I buy a higher quality chainring.
 

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Take a look at your chain stay clearance now. You may not be able to fit a 36t on there and very doubtful you'd fit a 38t, so 34t MAY be the way to go.
 

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I voted to go with the 36t since it will still be about 2 gear inches easier than your previous setup, yet still gain you 10 gear inches at the top end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Take a look at your chain stay clearance now. You not be able to fit a 36t on there and very doubtful you'd fit a 38t, so 34t MAY be the way to go.
Good
Question, is there somewhere that had those diameters so I can check?
 

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BOOM goes the dynamite!
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None of those will work. You're just gonna have to move to the mountains. That's all there is to it.
 

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Good
Question, is there somewhere that had those diameters so I can check?
Not that I know of. How much clearance do you have now between your 32t and the chainstay? Pictures? Someone probably has a 34 or 36t cog they could measure to see give you an idea how much wider it would be.
 
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