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Is there a formula to use to know how many links need to be removed or added when changing chainrings and freewheel sizes?

My new single speed has a 46 x 18 gear. I live in a quite hilly area and my previous conversion bike has a 42 x 18 which I much prefer. I just spin on the flats and have a great gear for climbing. For the new ride, I'm either wanting to change the front ring from the 46 to a 42, or the rear from the 18 to a 19. The former will give me the easier gear, but I think I would also be ok with the latter.

If I choose the 46 x 19, will I need to add a link or two or can I just ride with the rear wheel a bit more forward into the frame? If I choose the 42 x 18, approx. how many links will I need to remove to keep the rear wheel in about the same area? Right now the rear wheel is centered in the dropouts. Thanks.
 

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I run 44x18 or 19 and 49x18 or 19. I use the same length chain going from the 18 or 19, but when swapping out the chainring, if memory serves, I need two or three more links from the 44 to the 49. You can pretty much eyeball it as you go to put the chain on.
 
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