The Goldilocks Gear Ratio:

The Goldilocks Gear Ratio:

The Swiss Army Bicycle Reading The Goldilocks Gear Ratio: 2 minutes Next Keep Riding One Way or Another....

All I have ever wanted on a Bicycle is a comfortable middle gear;  Not too hard and not too easy; something to set a steady pace, something that is juuuust right...

There are two approaches to the Goldilocks gear ratio. It depends how hilly it is where you ride. I have been belting along for 10 years now, and this is what I have discovered. I have tried to get a good range of gears for off road riding, both chain and Gates Carbon Drive.

The following are the raw Gear Ratio data without considering wheel sizes.

Gear Ratios:

  • 33:18T = 1.83 = 39:21T
  • 32:18T = 1.77 = 39:22T
  • 32:19T = 1.68 = 39:23T
  • 31:19T = 1.63 = 39:24T
  • 32:20T = 1.60 (I used this ratio to ride 100miles of the SDW in under 10hours... )
  • 31:20T = 1.55

So the 2 extreme Single Speed Gear Ratios approaches are as follows:

FAST for the FLAT:

33:18T (1.83) is a fast gear that is hard to climb with but you win on the flats. In Gates Carbondrive this equates to 39:21T

Climb like a King or Queen:

This is a Strava reference. If you have read this far you will realise that I like to make a point...  Change your Strava profile to Singlespeedxxx, and you too can  make a point.  31T:20 you will climb with the kings - however you will spin out on the flats. I have found that 32:19T is a sweet spot for my style of 29er riding and this equates to 39:23T in Gates Carbondrive. Gates did not have 23T until recently.  

We have Izumi 1/8" chains and laser cut chainrings.  And if you want to try beltdrive, we have stock of 22T, 23T and 24T rear 9-spline carbondrive sprockets - ideal for all of the above ratios. Go out and look for your own Goldilocks gear ratio - There is no right or wrong, but there is going to be something just right...