Best gearing for 26" single speed

Discussion in 'BIKE TALK' started by Indyjps, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

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    IMG_1615.JPG I find this chart helpful....
     
  2. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

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  3. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    Circling back on this, building a Schwinn, it came with 46/22. Im going to keep 46/22 with true 26" wheels, not Schwinn wheels (54 gear inches). Using with a Sturmey Archer 2 speed, so the overdrive should work well. I can always swap the rear cog to adjust.

    Also planning a single speed cruiser, I have a lot of 16t freewheels from BMX builds, so it may end up 34 or 36 / 16. depends on what I use for cranks.
     
  4. dropstep

    dropstep

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    I ride 42/16 on my bmx bike, but was finding 48/18 too much for some of the trails on a 26 inch mountain bike tire.
     
  5. Indyjps

    Indyjps

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    I ride 44-46/16 and prefer 180 crank on a bmx.
     
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  6. dropstep

    dropstep

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    Ahh yeah mines 42/16 with 180mm arms. 44/16 is what i used to run. The 26 inch bike needs a shorter gear for hill climbing, i cant rip it back and forth like a 20 inch. Short inseam!
     
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  7. handyandy1100

    handyandy1100

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    My Huffy beach cruiser had a 44/19 setup which was fine for a flat beach area, but further inland where I live it was a might too tall. I've swapped the front sprocket for a 36 tooth and it seems to work better. But I'm out of shape. LOL
     
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  8. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    Got nothing to do with the inseam. Bigger wheels=talked final drive, so you need to hear down to accommodate for the larger wheel diameter. You wanna calculate on gear inches rather than on a simple front sprocket: rear sprocket ratio. The overall gear is going to be different with different sized rims..
     
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  9. Dr. Tankenstein

    Dr. Tankenstein

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    For easy, effective cruising, I always use the 2/1 front/rear ratio.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    That makes sense. I finally wound up with 44/22 on my bike, (with 26" tires) just right for cruising.
    DSCI0002 - Copy.JPG
     
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  11. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    2:1 on 26"s is 52"; for me, that's way too low for street cruising...
     
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  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    I agree, when I was younger and lighter, 52 would be like 1st gear on a 3 speed. My cruising speed used to be about 12mph, now it's about 9mph, so 52 lets me ride longer. I'm just enjoying the scenery.

    22339149_1608453362509462_6474372614295591262_o.jpg
     
  13. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    Yeah, sure, different strokes fit different folks but I ride with some old timers and I don't think any of'm are pushing lot than 58" on the street. I know some tried roadies who take on the scenery on the big ring, pushing gears closer to 100" one more. Of course, there are factors other than age on play. Different folks have different fitness levels, plus South Jersey is pretty flat.. Geography is important, too. Thing is, I am pretty fast and I keep getting older, but spinning a 52" gear on pavement is less leisurely for me than a steady grind at 60 to 64"... Most of my off-road singles are geared 50 to 52 and it gets a bit frantic when I take one on a bar hop...
     
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  14. Dizzle Problems

    Dizzle Problems

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    When it comes to gear ratios, there really is no wrong answer. Its person to person, bike to bike, area to area. I tend to prefer the 62-67 range. I've figured my favs out through the years by good 'ol trial and error. I also live in a beach town where I can avoid bigger hills by adjusting my routes. Just depends on what someone is comfortable on.

    I've done a ton of single speed conversions for people, and when deciding what ratio, I will typically have them ride a geared bike with the same wheel size, shift through the gears to find the one they like best, and do the math from there.

    If I'm going to be climbing, I usually grab a geared bike. When I rode down the coast this summer, I did it on my touring bike. And faired fine. I know friends of friends that had done it on single speeds. Blew my mind.
     
  15. A.S.BOLTNUT

    A.S.BOLTNUT

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  16. clamdigger

    clamdigger

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    Has anyone experienced ( or read of ) , noticeable single speed , coaster brake gearing for 26'' wheel, effecting the operation of the coaster brake ?
     
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  17. Bicycle808

    Bicycle808

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    The lower gears give better breaking, particularly of it is achieved with a big rear sprocket, as opposed to a small front. Better leverage. I built a 700c wheel for a Schwinn Super Sport with like a 15t rear sprocket... Breaking is underwhelming. I might swap it out for a bigger one, but I wanna keep the gear high enough to keep up the fast, sporting nature of the bike...

    But yeah, short answer: a big sprocket in the rear will improve braking performance
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  18. franconuevo

    franconuevo

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    along the lines of what dizzle Problems said above, it's dependent on terrain, your strength, conditioning, or lack thereof...I'm in flatland Florida, so you don't wanna spin out all over the place, and you don't want it too hard going, cuz when you hit a causeway, they are almost like a mini mountain.
    I used to look at the gear charts, the gear ratios, the gear inches,[​IMG] but find it easier to just hop on a mountain bike..see what gear feels 'right' for you, and then approximate that on your SS.
     
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  19. horsefarmer

    horsefarmer

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    In my opinion this is one of the more interesting threads we have had on RRB. 2 years ago, when I first built my Schwinn cruiser four (nexus 4 speed with 1:1 first gear ratio coaster brake hub.) Stock the bike came with 46 t front sprocket and 22t rear sprocket for 1st gear 2:1 ratio yielding 52 gear inches. I thought that was too "tall" so I traded out the front sprocket for a kids bike 32t front sprocket and yielding 38 gear inches.
    cruiser four 49t sprocket.jpg This Fall, I put the wheels on a nicer condition frame and at that time used a 1/2" longer BMX crank arm and a 49 t front sprocket (from a old Ross 24") and 22t rear sprocket (original)
    For 58 gear inches in first gear. We have a few good hills around here so I figured if I could pull these hills in first gear I would leave it. Well, it's tough, but I can make it work so it stays....
     
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  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat

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    I went ahead and put on a 3 speed w coaster brake. Nexus Inter 3. I bought it used but have seen that hub really cheap brand new, $49, but you need to buy the shifter and cable extra.
    I kept my cog from the one speed, it's a 21, I thought it was 22.
    With a 44 chain wheel gives me 40,55,75 for gear inches. I tried it out on the 2 mile uphill ride home, I only had to hop off and walk once. Back in Florida where it's flat, I could make do with a single speed. But for any hills, I recommend gearing. And some neighborhood kid to air up your tires for you! :thumbsup:

    DSCI0028.JPG
     

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