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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals, I am riding a 32x16 set up. A buddy of mine is riding a 36x12, Is'nt this the same ratio as mine or am I looking at it wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes that is the correct numbers. It's a Mongoose fitness bike, first time I ever heard of one is when he bought it.
 

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The "x" notation sucks because it is mathematically wrong to think of gears as 34x20=680, 32x19=608, or 32x18=576.

Provided you are comparing gear ratios for bikes of the same wheel size you can simply consider it a ratio and use the "/" notation. When you switch the notation it becomes simple. 34/20=1.70, 32/19=1.68, and 32/18=1.77.

With the proper notation and a simple calculator you can easily see that 34/20 is slightly bigger than 32/19 and slightly smaller than 32/18.

If you need to also consider wheel size the math gets more complicated so you will want to use an online calculator.
Bicycle Bike Gear Ratio Speed and Cadence Calculator

For most people doing off road a ratio between 1.65 and 1.85 makes sense. The best performance will be a gear that keeps you in your optimal power range most of the time This depends a lot on the terrain you ride and your fitness.

If you are riding single speed on the road you are likely a hipster and as such the actual gear does not matter because it's a style thing.

Good luck.
 

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32/16 = 2. That means for every turn of the crank, your rear wheel completes 2 full rotations.

36/12 = 3. So for every turn of the crank, your friend's wheel completes 3 full rotations.

Your buddy's gearing is way harder than yours. (Again assuming that the numbers are correct - that is a pretty weird combo). 36/18 would be exactly the same as 32/16.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think its suppose to be used more on paved walk ways and streets. I dont think he could handle some of the trails I use. Also his bike has 29" wheels vs my 26".
 

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I think its suppose to be used more on paved walk ways and streets. I dont think he could handle some of the trails I use. Also his bike has 29" wheels vs my 26".
Almost certainly that bike is NOT using 36x12 gearing then. Taking a look at the bike on Walmarts website, it looks like it comes with a free wheel and I'd guess about 18t. (I can count 12t easily, not counting what is behind the seat and chain stay, so it's definitely more than that)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I never looked at it that close just going by what he told me. It's great around town just dont know if he has the legs to keep up off road but we will see.
 

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Almost certainly that bike is NOT using 36x12 gearing then. Taking a look at the bike on Walmarts website, it looks like it comes with a free wheel and I'd guess about 18t. (I can count 12t easily, not counting what is behind the seat and chain stay, so it's definitely more than that)
If this bike is actually from Walmart don't even think of taking him off road unless he has really good medical insurance and doesn't like his teeth.
 
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