With the Gravel Grovel quickly approaching, I have had gear ratios running around in my head. I have been struggling on what gearing to put on the Surly for the ride. I still hope to make a trip up to the area to see how well I like the tires and current gearing, but I am not sure I will make it up there before the event. I did take it out for a ride and was happy with the climbing I could do. I also did not have any big issues with the tires on the deeper gravel. I am sure event day weather might make a difference on both choices more then just how I like them.
I currently put on a 42×22 gearing after riding a 42×20 for a bit commuting. Over all the 20 was good, but I know there is a lot of climbing in Hickory so I figured I could use a little easier gear. When I left the house on the last ride, the gear choice seemed a little bigger then I might want, but by the end of the ride it didn’t seem too bad. This had me thinking I might need to go a little easier, but after looking up my last years gearing choice I don’t know what to do. Last year I ran my standard mtb tires with a 2.4 front and a 2.2 rear. This year my tires are a lot smaller then those, so that in itself will make the gearing a little easier. I could not believe it when I looked up what gear combo I ran. I had a 34×16 set up on there. After doing some math, this is a harder ratio then the 42×22 that I currently have on there. Humm…. maybe it is not too hard.
So, now I am trying to figure out if the current gear is good, too hard or maybe even too easy. I could always put that 42×20 back on there and be some where in between the current gear and last years choice. Then again, I could put on a 32×16 and be in between the 42×20 and the 42×22. Or maybe 34×18 and it would be a little easier then what I currently have. AAARRGGHHH!! The issues of riding a SS.
The real issue is I could probably put any of those on and be able to finish. No matter what gear I pick, I am sure I will not be able to climb some hill out there and I will probably spin out on some flat section. The big this is to try and keep from cramping up real bad this year and still putting in a good time. I guess I still have a little time to make a desision, but I will probably end up going with what has the least amount of maintenance needed.