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Number 284
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've only been riding XC for a few months now, but I was wondering how many gears does someone really need? I find myself relying only on a few gears no matter what the terrain. Normally I will use the small gear up front (24?) and then 4 maybe 5 on the rear. Which it now has me thinking of only having a single gear up front and doing away with the front derailer. I have 8 or 9 gears in back and think that would be enough of a range. What do you guys think? You guys use all your 24-27 speed gears riding trails?
 

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bi-winning
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I think it is good to have at least three. One for climbs, one for regular trail riding, and one for smooth/flat/road/downhill. Some feel one is all you need. Some like 1x9, some like 2x9... Everybody's abilities and preferences vary.

What do I actually use? 2x9 gears. though my bike has 3x9 capabilities.
 

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Most flat trails I stick with my middle chain ring in front, for climbs I use my small one and for smooth/wide downhills I use my big one.

When I'm using the granny I only use the 2-3 largest rear rings. When I'm in the middle chain ring I use most of the rear rings. When I'm in the big chain ring I only use the 2-3 smallest rear rings.

So I guess the answer is I use just about all of them.
 

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Number 284
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys... it's good to know what others are riding with. Oh did I mention I've only been doing this for a couple of months... lol. Yea I guess I'm using the granny gear. Seems like a good range but I guess I'll have explore with the others. And no, there are not really big hills around here in IN. Southern IN does, though there not the Rockies.
 

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mbtr member
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you only need 1 gear. As your strength/fitness gets better you'll spend more time in the middle chainring in the front. The big gear is there for people who bought a mtn bike to ride on the road, and xc racer heroes.
 

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Probably drunk right now
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9-12

In reality, we all use 18 gears. In a 27 speed gear set up, there are cross over gears. You'll find the same gear ratios in all 3 rings.

But you need the cross over in order prevent shifting primarily with the front derailer.

In Indiana (I lived in Fishers), you should not be in your granny gear that much. In the Hoosier NF, you may need to use the granny gear once in a while but still primarily in the middle ring.

Try staying in your middle ring for a ride.
 

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Probably drunk right now
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No..

scottzg said:
you only need 1 gear. As your strength/fitness gets better you'll spend more time in the middle chainring in the front. The big gear is there for people who bought a mtn bike to ride on the road, and xc racer heroes.
The big ring is also for people who ride in the mountains.
 

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Number 284
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm in Indy. I went down to Brown County SP and was finding that it was best for me to stay in granny with the hills and all. So I just stayed there after that. Also fitness is an issue. Anyhow, I'll check out the middle ring and see how that goes. That is if it ever warms up enough... might be a while.
 

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spec4life???..smh...
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Iv been riding for a short enough period that i can still remember my first year of riding, unlike these other guys ridiculing you for using your granny.

To be honest I don't think I came out of the first ring up front for a pretty good while. Dont worry about it. Stay up there and sit and spin up the hills. You will get in better shape and naturally progress to the second ring primarily as I do now.

Just make sure while your in your granny gear up front not to ride in your smallest two or three gears in the back, and your fine.
 

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Ken in KC said:
In reality, we all use 18 gears. In a 27 speed gear set up, there are cross over gears. You'll find the same gear ratios in all 3 rings.

But you need the cross over in order prevent shifting primarily with the front derailer.

In Indiana (I lived in Fishers), you should not be in your granny gear that much. In the Hoosier NF, you may need to use the granny gear once in a while but still primarily in the middle ring.

Try staying in your middle ring for a ride.
im finally getting strong enough to stay in the middle 95% of the time,riding my stationary bike is helping. the wet and colder than normal winter we are having im east missouri has me down to 1 ride a week (in the woods) .

im thinking about going 1x9 (34x11-34) maybe this spring .the way i look at it if i take the plunge and do it i have no choice but to get off granny :)
 

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Never trust a fart
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I use pretty much all of them. Depends on the terrain.


When I first started back up this spring after a 5-6 year hiatius, I primarily used the granny chain ring. As of now, I still use the granny chain ring, but not as much anymore. I try to now stay in the middle chainring, but there are some climbs that I can't get yet.

Spin the granny, and use the middle ring when you can. Your endurance will go up spinning the granny, and your leg strength will come with the middle ring.
 

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^ That's what I do
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spec4life said:
Just make sure while your in your granny gear up front not to ride in your smallest two or three gears in the back, and your fine.
I've done that on accident several times. Your speed drops to near zero and you have to get off and walk. Most of the time I ride in the middle gear up front, and 4th or 5th gear in the back. I only use the granny gear on steep climbs, but stay out of the smallest gears. I use the big gear for roads and flat sections of the trail.
 

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scottzg said:
you only need 1 gear. As your strength/fitness gets better you'll spend more time in the middle chainring in the front. The big gear is there for people who bought a mtn bike to ride on the road, and xc racer heroes.
Yeah....no.

For people who do long steep climgs the small chainring helps them. Also bear in mind that not everyone does it for the strength/fitness aspect of it. Some people just like to get out on the trails and have a leisure day in the hills away from work.

"To each his own." You'd do well to learn that phrase.
 

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^ yeah.. no.

if you cant push your middle ring up things, you're just not strong enough. its kinda just a fact. i sure cant push my middle ring up everything, i spent a lot of time in the granny, its bloody steep here! but other people can. they're stronger riders. the stronger you get, the less time you'll spend in the easy gears.

hes not saying you HAVE to ride everything in one gear.
 

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I spend about 85% of the time in the middle, going to the granny on very rare occasions and the big ring when I'm rocking out on the road. In the big ring and granny ring I only use 2 or 3 of the rear gears, but in the middle I use them all, so that makes about 14 gears or so out of 24 used. Yeah I am riding a 8 speed bike for now, but will be going 9 sometime next year only because I want to go SRAM with this bike.
 
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