Best single speed gear ratio for cruising speeds?

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  • As title asks. I plan on building my Raleigh single speed project and wondering the best cruising gear ratio for riding mostly flat roads as I'm using it to ride around town and my geared road bike for long rides.

    So, best gear ratio for cruising speeds without spinning too much on flat roads?

    Thanks in advance.


  • 48/19 is the ratio for riding fixed on road. No idea about ss

  • Depends whether you like to mash or spin?

  • I live in flatish Norfolk, but at the top of a 18% hill. 48/16 is fine except going up that hill. 42/16 (same as 48/19 give or take) is fine except going down that hill!
    My SS road is 48/16 :P
    Nice frame thumbs

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  • 48x16 here as well. Gear of Champions.

  • @mashton et al advocate 48/19 Gear of the Gods

    It’s also easy to work out cadence as 20mph approx 100rpm

  • Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I think I'll give 48x16 a try first.

    I was advised on another site to try gear ratios on my geared road bike to work out what suits best too.

    My old SS conversion was something similar to 48x16, but I'm not 100% sure as I sold it in 2014.

  • Nice Merc!
    Chap I work with runs 42/18 and still averages 17ish mph on his 15mile commute, so there really are no rules to be honest.

  • 46x16 or 47x17

  • 47x17 suits me here in flat(ish) Cambridgeshire.

  • Ohhh, Mercian Strada Speciale, nice :)

    Doesn't seem like a lot of room to sort out chain tension on that drive side dropout in the OP picture?

  • 48x16 has one skid patch. ONE!

  • Although if this is an SS biek then go ahead.

  • 72 gear inches.
    surprised the old hands on here talk about ratios, they ought to know better.

  • But gear inches offer no information regarding skid patches.

    Irrelevant in this case but still a good motivator for ratio quotation.

  • All the geeky ratio numbers you could ever want;­eed_at_cadence

    Pick a cadence/speed you fancy and work backwards?

  • 50/14


  • 48x16 is grindy. Unless you're averaging 18/19mph everywhere youe knees will end up hurting from pushing a large gear at a slow cadence. Use the bike calc above to find a ratio that puts you at 68-72gi. The spinning is good for you.

  • Spin to win. Or to get away from the lights at least.

  • 48/16 is shit for cruising. 48/19 is perfect for me

  • Another vote for 48/19

  • Thank you everyone for the feedback so far. I'll have a play with the gears on my geared Carrera road bike and see which feels better between 48/16 and 48/19.

    midlife pointed out the right dropout which has concerned me.

    The right dropout is smaller. Will I have issues with chain tension when I make it single speed, or are there any ways around it?

  • Chain tensioner or lengthen the slot on the right dropout..

  • Thank you. I've never built my own bikes and a bit of a newbie so not too aware of things like this. Thus the gear ratio question.

    I found a picture of the same model with fixed/SS, but you can see chain slack, so I'll get a tensioner.

  • That's a different frame and different dropouts, chain is slack because it's just not done right, personally I'd lengthen your dropout.

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Best single speed gear ratio for cruising speeds?

Posted by Avatar for Kinny-PB @Kinny-PB