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Proper Gearing Ratios for Single Speed Bike(11 posts)

Proper Gearing Ratios for Single Speed BikeMax11
Dec 22, 2003 6:56 PM
Anyone know what the proper gearing is for single speed road bikes? Does it matter if you ride hills, rolling roads or flats? Thinking about building one up but won't do it if it restricts your riding.
Shoot for 70 gear inchesDave Hickey
Dec 22, 2003 7:01 PM
I ride 42 x 16 on 1 bike and 45 x 17 on another. Both are close to 70 gear inches. It's a great place to start and you can adjust from there..
fixie or SS?cyclopathic
Dec 23, 2003 8:40 AM
I thought it is a custom to run slightly shorter gear on SS, the friend of mine runs 42x16 on fixie and 39x16 on SS
SS nmDave Hickey
Dec 23, 2003 8:46 AM
Start with the gear you use most on your geared bike.dzrider
Dec 23, 2003 5:52 AM
For me it's 42x15. Single speed free wheel riders often use a smaller gear to help climb because they can roll down hill with their feet still. Brakeless fixed gear riders often use a larger gear to get a bit more stopping power. I don't ride mine on hillier routes but love riding it on rolling terrain and what passes for flat land in CT. You will learn to power over small grades and climb differently. I've never thought of my fixie as restricting in any way.
no such thing as properclimbo
Dec 23, 2003 5:53 AM
when it comes to SS or fixed gear. Restricting riding? Well, do you plan to climb Mt Ventoux on it? If so, then don't do it but most people do well enough in various terrain to be able to handle a SS or fixed gear in the 70 inch range as DH said. I'm not in to SS road bikes, fixed gear is great but I don't see why you'd go SS on a road bike unless it was for commuting around town or something.
A really rough guide....Gregory Taylor
Dec 23, 2003 6:37 AM
A general rule of thumb that I've seen applied is to start with a 3:1 ratio for a SS road bike, and a 2:1 ratio for dirt. I was running a 46 X 16 on my fixie, which was pretty versatile, but I've upped it to a 50 x 16 which works well on flatter terrain and gives a good workout on hills.
SS Convert softwareB2
Dec 23, 2003 7:38 AM

They make comments on the best application, pros, cons, etc. of each gearing selection you choose. Not a bad guideline.

Well, I must be the biggest wussy in the world, then...Cory
Dec 23, 2003 8:43 AM
I live in the land of large hills, and I use my SS as a sort of semi-cyclocrosser as well as a commuter, but all those guys are geared way too high for me. I'm running the 34-tooth middle ring that came on my crankset with a 20-tooth BMX freewheel. It limits my cruising speed to about 15-16mph, but it's the only way I can climb the hills. If I'm planning to ride someplace flat (Grandma lives in Sacramento, which is as flat as it gets) I may swap to a 16-tooth rear, but I usually don't bother.
Before you choose a setup, why not leave your regular bike in one gear for a few rides and see what you can live with? That's what I did when I converted mine, and I hit it exactly right for the kind of riding I do.
Hardly....Dave Hickey
Dec 23, 2003 9:01 AM
If you live in the land of big hills, your gearing sounds fine.
re: Proper Gearing Ratios for Single Speed BikeChainstay
Dec 23, 2003 5:48 PM
I ride a 42/19 and use it a lot for hill sprints. I couldn't use it on a long climb but it's a lot of fun for 1/2 mile hills out of river valleys.