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bon vivant
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Between 34:16 gears, and 34:18 or 34:20?

I've been running 34:16, simply because it fit without a tensioner and no one local had the 17t cog I wanted to run 2:1. So I've gotten used to 34:16 on the local trails. When I go hit the more strenuous ones that have what passes for 'climbing' in Texas, I do okay, but I DO miss some climbs that make me feel like a lower gear would help me clean them.

How much difference can you really tell with a change of one or two teeth on the cog? Am I needlessly stressing my knees or is it just a matter of running with them long enough, and eventually I get strong enough to make them go - at least in the flatlands?
 

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truman said:
Between 34:16 gears, and 34:18 or 34:20?
How much difference can you really tell with a change of one or two teeth on the cog?
I changed from 32:16 to 32:17 and it makes a significant difference. I can clear hills that were just out of range before.

However, that is before changing to clipless pedals. Now I'm pretty sure I could handle the 32:16, and I will be changing back to 32:16 this weekend. (I'll keep the 17t for times when I will hit harder trails though.) The clipless pedals are great and make a big difference.
 

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on a SS 1 or 2 teeth does make a difference you can feel....

and 4 teeth (16 to 20) makes a hell of a difference. I have tried 34:16 , 18 and 20 to find what works for me (52 years old out of shape weekend warrior). For me, 34:20 ( flat pedals, rigid steel HT, fat tires) gets me around and helps me execute manouvers like front wheel lifts and wheelie drops. I use a road derailleur as a tensioner. It allows you to change the rear cogs without needing to change the length of the chain.
 

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flatlands

you can push a huge gear on flat rides. it's the climbs that determine the gear on your bike. one tooth change in back is a significant difference, two teeth is huge.
 

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King Pin
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Think length.

Of the ride, that is.

I have the King Pin set up 34/18 fixie.
Surly 32/16 fixie.

On my commute home, which involves the same singletrackeage as my off day rides, climbing the same hills is just as easy on the commuter (Surly).

But.....extended rides on the 32/16 bike would be much tougher (on me) than would be the same rides on 34/18.

I was worried the first time negotiating my hilly singletrack with the tougher gears, but all was fine....really didn't notice any difference.
 

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bon vivant
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since none of the local joints stock either half-links, or any cog other than a 16t, I'm gonna go ahead and order up a 17 and a 19.

As i recall, 34:17 (freewheel, from another wheel) fit just a touch loose, but I snugged things up with a ghost ring.
34:16 is perfect tension with no help

I'm gonna shoot for a good fit with no tensioner, but if 34:18 is just too low to ride comfortably, I'll suck it up and get one for the 17t..

Here's a dumb question:
I can't imagine that there would be any palpable difference between a 34:17 and a 40:20, or any other tooth combo that results in the same bottom line ratio - at least until you start getting into how much weight one is adding in extra chain, et cetera. Is that a correct assertion, or are there factors I'm not aware of at play?

I appreciate all the responses - thanks, folks.
 

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well my friend do what you will, but if a 34x16 is perfect tension the rule-of-four holds that a 36x18 will also be perfect tension and will be 2:1.

do a search for the "fixed innovations" webpage and see for yourself.
 

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Yep

the rule of four works.
36x18 would give you 2:1.
Sure you could run a 40:20 but you would have a lot less ground clearance under that 40t chainring than you would with a 32t.

mon t said:
well my friend do what you will, but if a 34x16 is perfect tension the rule-of-four holds that a 36x18 will also be perfect tension and will be 2:1.

do a search for the "fixed innovations" webpage and see for yourself.
 

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bon vivant
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
steelbike said:
the rule of four works.
36x18 would give you 2:1.
Sure you could run a 40:20 but you would have a lot less ground clearance under that 40t chainring than you would with a 32t.
I understand the rule of four - I was just trying to weasel out of buying a new 36t ring, when the 34t I have has only 150 miles or so on it.

Anybody got one they wanna trade?
 

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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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The last 2.5 years I've been running 32x17, and last week I went to 34x17. I noticed a difference in climbing. I wasn't able to make a couple of hills that I do ok on in the lower gear. Since it isn't on my main bike, I'm going to keep this gearing as is.
 
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