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22x32 gearing !?! (short rant)(11 posts)

22x32 gearing !?! (short rant)timfire
Apr 25, 2002 2:32 PM
I was looking at a friends mtbike today. I started looking at gears because the CR looked kinda small. 44/32/22. OK. Then I looked at his cassette. 11-32!


Why would anyone need a 22x32 gear!!! You would need to pedal 100rpm just to go 5mph! That's 100rpm just to ride a straight line! Now, I know I'm a roadie and not a mtb'er, but is there really any purpose to such a low gear that I'm not aware of?

I figure the lowest gear ratio anyone would practically need would be something around 1, which for my friend would be a 22x23 (9.5) or 22x24 (9.1). With a 22x24 (which he has), at 70 rpm you would be doing about 5mph. Isn't that low enough for climbing?

--Timothy Kleinert
You need to try MTBinglaffeaux
Apr 25, 2002 2:42 PM
Some bikes are geared lower still (22/34). I prefer a 24/34 low gear, and yes, you use it. The rolling resistance of a fat tire on rocks is a lot higher than a skinny tire on pavement. There are many long climbs near me where the low gearing is needed, and several small inclines that I can't get up even with that low of a gear.

I agree that on pavement it's overkill, but on the trail, it's nice.
live in the flatlands, huh?dsc
Apr 25, 2002 2:55 PM
I've got a 22x32 on my mtb, too. While I generally don't go below the 22x30, it is nice to have during those long, loose, rocky climbs at altitude. The times when I do go to absolute 'granny' is when I'm trying to get over some pronounced 'lip', at the top of a long climb. You know what a 'bowl' is in sking? Where you drop over said 'lip' and then go immediately vertical? Well, try climbing up OVER that in your 22x24!

22 or 20x32 is common around here, and you use it.cory
Apr 25, 2002 3:06 PM
Don't know where you live or how old you are, but if you were a middle-aged (or even 30ish, or 19 but with limited training time) rider in the Sierra, you wouldn't sneer at a granny gear. How much I use my 20-32 depends on what kind of shape I'm in, but in every direction but east from my house, the mountains go up 4,000+ feet. I even used to have a 24-32 on my road bike, and I'll probably put it back someday.
And anyway, so what? If a guy wants low gears, can't he have low gears? Nobody laughs at you for the leopard skin thong.
re: 22x32 gearing !?! (short rant)KEN2
Apr 25, 2002 3:13 PM
Try riding up a trail at 10,000+ feet, which many of us do on mtn. bikes. I use an Avocet 35 computer, which "zeroes out" at around 2.5 mph i.e. it can't register below that speed because wheel revolution is too slow. Hate to tell you, but that happens occasionally on steep uphills, and I regularly ride in the 3-3.5 mph range when climbing. Its not the steepness, it's the relentlessness and the altitude--you'll blow up if you push much harder.

BTW I'm a fit road cyclist who can hold 18-20 mph solo for many miles on the flat...
Forgot to mention...KEN2
Apr 25, 2002 3:14 PM
I run a 22 granny and 12-34 XT cassette.
re: 22x32 gearing !?! (short rant)rwbadley
Apr 25, 2002 10:45 PM
The altitude will definitely catch up with you. My Son and I used to ride tandem quite a bit. Around Lake Tahoe elevation 6300+ we were grateful for the triple with 25x30 gear, at times lower still would have been nice! Some of those climbs were brutal
part of the problem iscyclopathic
Apr 25, 2002 3:39 PM
that you can't really mash high gear on some climbs or you break loose. you have to sit back and spin at 100RPM+.

I run 11-34 with on 44/32/22, my lowest usable gear is 22x26 (32x34 is good for most). Still there were times 22x30 and 22x34 had been used on some sick 30%+ 3/4mi climbs and/or at high altitude.
Biggest Difference between MTB and Road bikingMrCrud
Apr 25, 2002 4:53 PM
On the road, even on the steepest of inclines, your balance is not pushed very hard. In the trails though, it's not quite the same. You need to maintain good balance before you can think about climbing fast, otherwise, the first few rocks and roots will knock you off course. I dont think asphalt can do that, at least, not where i live...

Also, the inclines in some trails can be much steeper than any roads, not for the same distances, but enough to stall you if you dont have the right gearing.

Do you ride an MTB in some good caliber trails? No? i guessed so...

re: 22x32 gearing !?! (short rant)pa rider
Apr 26, 2002 2:40 AM
Maybe the 22X32 doesn't sound right for you, but look at the most common gear range used for single track riding 32X32.

I use the middle chainring in fast single track in 1st or 2nd gear most of the time. I only need the granny gear when we get in the ATV trails that have loose rocks everywhere.

I ride with a guy who uses the cannandale 2X9 gear range figuring 30X34 granny gear range is all you need. He pushes half the trails when they get techinical.

My point is numbers for gear ratio mean squat when it comes to how hard your pushing a gear over terrian (Can you handle the pain).

I never use my 22X32 because I'm usually pushing those steep grade hills (trails washed out by downhillers) on the singletrack. We use to run 20X28 on 8 speeds and the 20 granny spinned alot.

How they say it, different strokes for different folks.

You're welcome to come on a ride with us... up some REAL hills!floatch
Apr 26, 2002 4:34 AM
I ride both MTB and road, and I've yet to find a road nearly as steep as most trails. Most brutal MTB climbs aren't that long, but they're really a grind. I've climbed some steep roads, but it's nothing compared to a l-o-n-g bumpy grind up a rocky, rooty, muddy deer trail up a mountain. Your back hurts, your legs burn, you get NO benefit from wind, bugs bite you, and thorns usually catch your knuckles and knees. Yeah, I think I'll go for a ride when I get home...