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Hey JM, Fat bike Q:

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,429
1,841
AK
Gonna convert my ride from 2x to 1x. Likely going to get a sunrace 11-50, (11 speed) what chainring do you run for snow? 32? 30?

Thanks!
32 with either an 11-40 or 10-42 depending on what wheelset I’m using. I’m pretty active on the race scene usually and don’t need lower gears. 28-30t front is very common though and you even see 26t every once and a while, although rare. Easy gears are nice for making your way though powder and on ice the goal is to not be jerky(even with studs), otherwise you’ll skip. Low gears help with that too. If you are riding it on snow, speeds are generally slower and I’d recommend starting with the 30 at the most. If you primarily ride dirt and summer and won’t really be riding it on snow, the 32. If in between, go with the easier gear.
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
7,933
2,279
In the cleavage of the Tetons
All winter. We have amazing groomed trails here, so definitely some hills. Thanks.
Sounds like the 50 might be overkill (but I use it all the time in the summer)?
The summer trails that I use the 50/32 on in the summer are all packed down for biking and hiking in the winter too, so similar gearing demands.
 
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Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,429
1,841
AK
All winter. We have amazing groomed trails here, so definitely some hills. Thanks.
Sounds like the 50 might be overkill (but I use it all the time in the summer)?
The summer trails that I use the 50/32 on in the summer are all packed down for biking and hiking in the winter too, so similar gearing demands.
To me, it would be overkill, but I'd just accept it and run a 32 or 34. 32 50 is probably a good combo if you use it in the summer and won't switch over the drivetrain. In the summer I use it for commuting or some one-offs like the gravel grinder race I just did this evening, for that I have a 1x10 setup made of old parts that I put on the bike, so as to not wear down the expensive mega-range cassettes. The rolling resistance in the winter is way higher most of the time and soft conditions can just bog you down where you need stump-pulling gearing. The 50t isn't overkill to me, but going lower on the front ring would be (but just to me). 30 is totally legit for snow and no one I know has ever lost a race because they had a 30 instead of a 32. Still, for more all-around use and in the summer, 32 is probably better and we are only talking 2 teeth here, so it's not like the 30 will make you go that much more.

I push a 30t 10-42 on my AM 27.5 bike and a 32t 10-42 on my XC FS bike. On that last one I thought I'd have to run a 30t due to the wheel size, but that ended up being too easy and I never used the top gears, even on the steepest steep/gnar.