's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

I've got the single speed bug!(17 posts)

I've got the single speed bug!PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 9, 2002 7:10 AM
OK I'm officially hooked on the thought of getting a single speed.Doug Sloans thread yesterday put me over the edge.

Before I start serious planning though I have a fundamental question.It may be a simple question for you guys but please have patience for this is a rather new thing for me.

How do you choose the combination of big ring and rear cog?
Is this always 53X11 or can you use a smaller chain ring and not look silly.Same thought for the rear cog.

I don't have the strongest legs in the world so pushing that big ring would be rather hard in alot of situations.

Any help you can give would really be appreciated.
I use a 42x16;flat out at 30mph or cruise at 18mph;hills too. nmonespeed
Oct 9, 2002 7:14 AM
ditto nmJS Haiku Shop
Oct 9, 2002 11:52 AM
Now look hereEager Beagle
Oct 9, 2002 7:20 AM

32-16 has a handy gear table and suggest terrain thingy.

The rest are interesting stuff too.


And here's a few bike ideas for you.....Eager Beagle
Oct 9, 2002 7:23 AM
Easy --Gregory Taylor
Oct 9, 2002 7:27 AM
Ride around on your "geared" bike, and settle on a combo that you can ride comfortably without shifting. Next, figure out the gear inches that the combo represents - basically the distance that you travel with one revolution of the pedals. Sheldon Brown's website has a good calculator for this. Then select a rear cog - front ring combo that gives you the same (or close to the same) gear inches. Rear cogs are availble in a range of sizes, usually from 15 - 18 teeth. You can get cheap chainrings from Nashbar to match the bolt pattern for your crank.

My fixie is set up with a 46 X 16 gearing - about 75 gear inches. This gives an easy spin on the flats, and a good workout on hills.
re: I've got the single speed bug!Dave Hickey
Oct 9, 2002 7:28 AM
On my LOOK, I'm using a 45t front and a 17t rear. My others are 42t x 16t. The 42t x 16T seems to be the most common.
SSers spin.MB1
Oct 9, 2002 8:11 AM
I wrote a review of my Gunnar Street dog in May, we had a nice discussion about riding SS and fixed. Here is the link
MB1 "Buck-a-mile report. Gunnar Street Dog." 5/2/02 3:44am

FWIW riding Single Speed or fixed is one of the great bicycle experiences.
Select around 2.5:1 and then quit thinking about it ...Humma Hah
Oct 9, 2002 8:36 AM
The traditional gearing for general-riding road singlespeeds is around 2.5:1, and has been for about 120 years. 2:1 is a good starting point for off-road. 3:1 is generally only suitable for track.

I'm presently running the cruiser in its stock gearing of 46:18, but am probably going to goose it up slightly in the near future. I ran 42:18 most of last year, and the result was noticable muscle atrophy.

If you wanna go faster, pedal faster. If you wanna climb a hill, pedal harder.
Gotta agree with the 42x16 .....unless.....GTDave
Oct 9, 2002 11:49 AM
you ride primarily where it's dead level flat, then you might go higher, or you are working specifically on climbing, then you might go lower.

I run 42x16 mostly, but have run 42x14, which was fine on the flat, but hard to climb with for very long. I am thinking of going to a 42x18 this winter to explore some of the dirt-road climbs around here.
I like ratios more than gear inchesbigrider
Oct 9, 2002 12:18 PM
I like to use ratios since we all use the same or close to the same diameter wheels on our bikes. In my area I have been riding my fixed at lunch and am using a 48/19 which is a 2.5:1 ratio. I believe I am going to switch to a 48/17 when riding at lunch.

When at home I have a 10% hill right across from my driveway so I am thinking of a 48/21 for the hilly stuff. I am still experimenting.
A Comparison -Gregory Taylor
Oct 9, 2002 12:32 PM
Comparing the various gear combos thrown about here, they work out as follows:

46 x 16 -- 75.6 gear inches
48 x 17 -- 74.2 gear inches
42 x 16 -- 69.0 gear inches
48 x 19 -- 66.4 gear inches

This is based on a 700 x 23c wheel/tire. I can see where your 48 x 19 would feel a little under-geared.
A Comparison -Dave Hickey
Oct 9, 2002 12:50 PM
I just ran the gears when I ordered the 45T track ring.

42 x 16 70.87 inches what I used to ride
45 x 17 71.50 inches I like it better for flat Texas
45 x 18 67.50 inches
42 x 17 66.70 inches I spun like crazy on the flats
Wow -- sounds like you have that dialed in.Gregory Taylor
Oct 9, 2002 1:17 PM
Now for the joker in the deck -- what length crank arms do you use? Sheldon Brown has a measurement that takes into consideration the effect that different length crank arms have on gearing. Right now, I'm running 175mm.
I'm running 170's. I wondered about gearing vs crank length nmDave Hickey
Oct 9, 2002 4:08 PM
Single speed vs fixiebrider
Oct 9, 2002 12:20 PM
You can get away with a slightly taller gear on a SS than on a fixie because you can coast the downhills. I use a 44x17 on my SS, but will go to a 18 on the fixie (this on 650 wheels). I could go up one with either set-up, but I don't live in an area that offers too much flat land.
39 x 15 fixed, 39 x 16 SSTig
Oct 9, 2002 6:25 PM
I'm not yet finished with my single speed project, but will run a 39 chain ring up front (just happens to be what I have available). I thought about a 16 cog for the fixed gear side of a flip-flop hub, but didn't want to spin too much, even though I'm a better spinner than a masher. I'll keep the 16 on the freewheel side and use a 15 for the fixed side (similar to a 42 x 16 ratio). I'm staying with a 170 crank arm like my regular road bike has. I used to ride a 172.5, but like spinning a 170 now.