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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a Giant XTC 1 29er (3x10) which I enjoyed very much, but unfortunately I had to sell it. Back then I never learned anything about gear theory. I just got on the bike and rode it. I always had the front ring set to #3 and I'd adjust the cassette to my liking, usually around the last 3 steepest gears for flats / descents. And for steep climbs I'd adjust the cassette to one of the easiest gears.

Questions
-- Was this a bad way to use the gears?
-- Does that mean I never used the granny gear because I never used ring #1?
-- Does this mean I was using the gears as a 1x10?

One more question
On the XTC it was 24/32/42. Do the lower numbers represent the taller / steeper gears?

Thanks.
 

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1. Nope. As long as you can keep pedaling and moving forward, there is no bad way to use gears. It just may not be the most efficient.
2. Yes (Assuming you mean ring #1 being the smallest ring in the front)
3. Essentially, yes.

The #'s are the number of teeth on each gear (Or more technically, chainring. Chainrings are the front gears, cogs/cassette are the rear gears). 24 would be your "granny" gear, while 42 was your biggest gear in the front.

Cassettes (The gears in the back on the wheel) are also numbered by how many teeth there are. However, it's kind of reversed. In the crank gears, the smaller the number the easier it is. In the rear, the smaller the number the harder it is.

John
 

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Do the lower numbers represent the taller / steeper gears?

Thanks.
Think of 'Short' and 'Tall' gears in Automotive terms - putting a 3.42 Rear in a Muscle Car is 'Tall' (why these terms have stuck is still not clear though, the gears don;t make a person taller or shorter). Then, sticking a 4.56 Rear in makes a 'Short' gear. Basically how quickly torque can be applied is what has the two extremes, but only for a single ratio and a single transmission. Otherwise you'll have gear-inches.
 
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