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pepito
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i've been commuting on my ss (32:18) for a few months now, and as you can imagine, the gearing absolutely blows for any type of road riding. so i mix it up with as much single/doubletrack as possible. i find 32:18 to be just about ideal for me with the terrain and hills i have here on the local trails. so i'm building this road bike out of parts i've accumulated over the years, and i was thinking of ss'ing it. but i've been kind of hesitant to do that because i can't settle on a gear that would be suitable. i'm going to be using the bike for the occasional commute, but would like to mix in some extended weekend road rides. when riding my ss mtb on the road, i can clear just about every hill around here seated (34:18), but spin like a madman on the flats. if i build a roadie with like 44:16, i'll be able to move on the flats, but what about them damned hills? i really don't want to dismount and push up every friggin hill. what do you guys think? any gear recommendations? should i just go for it, or build it with gears (i have all the parts anyway)? any comments/suggestions/experiences would be helpful. thanks.

the_dude
 

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Two teeth can make a big difference

I don't know what your commute it like, but I find 32-16 is pretty good for general bike path type riding. You can go pretty fast with that setup and I find I don't start thinking, "This is really a lot of pedaling for a small amount of forward motion" twenty minutes into the ride.
 

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I am not quite sure what the terrain is like where you will be commuting. Having commuted around Baltimore for several years now which is moderately hilly (or rolling), I can say that I started with a 42T (convenient size that typically doesn't require a special order or exorbitant costs) by 17T and find the hills quite doable on a road bike. Over time, I have since moved to a 42x15T which I find much more amenable to this region’s topology. In flatter regions like the Eastern shore and the Midwest, I find a 53x15T to be the best.

In the end, you will need to experiment on your own and probably buy a few different cogs to hone in on the right ratio for you. But I think that is the fun part. ;)

You might also refer to Sheldon Brown's web site as he seems to ride fixies in MA too.

Hope this helps.

dd..''

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