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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished a ride with a buddy who just got a new GF Rumblefish II 29er with a 3X10 drive train. I find myself wondering why the 3X10, this guy usually rides the steepest hills on a 9speed 26er in the middle gear front and rear so he doesn't need a 22/36. I'm captain slow when it comes to climbing and even I can't see the need for such a low gear set up, you just spin without much forward movement. I can understand the 2X10 25X39F 11X36R because you get all the range you need w/o the extra chainring, or for the XC racer crowd the 30X45F. But the 22 chainring on the the 3X10 Shimano just seems to low to be useful. It seems like Sram did it's homework in designing it's 2X10 setup and it seems like Shimano with it's 3X10 is trying to jump on the bandwagon just by adding a 36t cog out back that serves no real purpose when combined with the standard 3 chainring setup.

It was an interesting ride with one guy on a SS 29er (me), one on a 29 "geared 3X9 hardtail, and one on a FS 29" 3X10. The guy on the FS 3X10 never touched the 22X36 low gear and we have some real steep long climbs.
 

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i agree,

i have never used my smallest cog on the crank, for singletracks i ride, i just stay on the middle one. I use this bike for trail riding too so i do use the big one
 

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I think most of Shimano's 3x10 set-ups use a 24 tooth granny. So if you're comparing it to a 22x34 lowest gear a 24x36 is actually slightly higher.
 

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IMO 2 x 10 is for strong x-c riders and freeriders who don't climb super gnarly steep ang long stuff.

I have a 3 x 9 dualie 44-32-22 and a 1x9 hardtail with a 32 up front, both with 11-34 cassettes. I don't take the 1x9 to places that have long steep climbs - it would kill me too quickly and stuff I could and I don't like getting off and pushing.

I rigged the dualie 2 x 9 this summer with 36-24 and switched back to 3 x 9 after two rides. That of course is way lower than the norm, but what I really hated was shifting the front der all the time. The front der is the weak link on a mtn bike, and the less you have to use it the better AFAIC. .

Here's the deal. As a middle of the bell curve joe average rider, I'm in the 32 (middle) ring 80-90% of the time on the triple - which is why I rigged the double with a 32. On the triple, occasionally I have to shift to granny on some big ass climb and occasionally I shift to the big ring on a descent. But most of the time I'm in the middle ring. So the 1x9 is awesome if I'm riding somewhere I know I wouldn't be using granny or big ring anyway. Other places it's nice to have those other two rings in case I might want or NEED them.

So I'm thinking the average rider is better off with a triple and the doubles are for racers, other strong riders, and freeriders who never use a granny.

1 x 10, 3 x 10 or 3 x 9 make more sense to me than any 2 x 10 setup, and forget 2 x 9.
 

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i just replaced my 10 speed gear with 8 speed gear. loving it!

my 10 speed cassette was almost 100 bucks, 200 grams. my 8 speed cassette was 18 bucks, 220 grams. chain is half the price, shifters are 1/3rd the price.. and the shifting! butter on the 8 speed! also changing gears now actually makes a difference. with 10 speed you spend half the time rowing through gears.

10 speed is useless unless you're highly competitive, racing, and riding road. it helps dial in cadence. theres no gearing advantage. dont buy the marketing, 11-36 has the same low and high range if its 7, 8, 9, 10, or even 11 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hate shifting, I have a FS bike with a 2X9 set up, 22/34 with 11-34 out back. So I like the idea of one less chainring to deal with. I'd rather have 26/39 up front with my 9 speed in back.

But I think Shimano should have gone with a 24 or 26 small ring up front instead of the 22.
 

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jollybeggar said:
But I think Shimano should have gone with a 24 or 26 small ring up front instead of the 22.
Actually, as I wrote a couple of posts ago Shimano has gone wiht a 24 tooth granny on their 10 speed cranks

XTR 3 ring: 42-32-24T

XT: 42-32-24T

SLX: 42-32-24T
 

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jollybeggar said:
It seems like Sram did it's homework in designing it's 2X10 setup and it seems like Shimano with it's 3X10 is trying to jump on the bandwagon just by adding a 36t cog out back that serves no real purpose when combined with the standard 3 chainring setup.
I agree. All Shimano did was to shoehorn in an extra cog. It was already possible to buy a 12-36 cassette, so there's very little added value in what Shimano did. Ten-speed makes much more sense to me when you also rethink the front chainrings, as SRAM did.

Shimano probably did not want to be seen as copying SRAM. Unfortunately, they've consequently missed the boat completely.
 

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SRAM's Idea....

with the XX 2x10 and the 11-36 cassette was to create a drive train for racers (28/42 rings) and trail riders (26x39 rings), without the related gear overlap that is present in the "standard" 3x9 set up. The cassette and chainring tooth counts have been very carefully thought out and do significantly reduce overlap. The 2x10 drive trains that I've ridden do reduce the old searching for the right gear syndrome. And with the XX front derailleur design it is no longer the weakest link in the drive train. They are very stout and shift with much authority. It is one of the few front derailleurs that I've ridden with that you can punch out a shift while applying full power to the cranks and the shift WILL happen. The bottom line is the SRAM 2x10 gives you virtually the same gear range as a 3x9, with fewer overlapping gear combinations in a simpler better performing system. Believe me, it ain't just for elite racers or uber fit riders. I am neither and can ride anything that I normally could with a 3x9 or a 2x9 with a 2x10. The key is picking the front chainring combinations that suit your riding style best. As far as the Shimano system goes, they're just playing catch up. Looking at the "Dyna Sys" 2x10 it pretty much mirrors what SRAM released first.

As for the 3x10, that was inevitable. And I agree, it is almost as useless as a 3x9. You are simply adding one more gear to a triple ring set up. There is virtually no improvement, such as reduced overlap (you've actually increased it), and there is no significant increase in usable gear combinations. However, enter the "more is better" syndrome that many consumers labor under, and it was inevitable that both SRAM and Shimano would foresee a demand. So why not fill that demand. Whether or not it's worth it is another story, and has yet to be seen. I haven't cared for any of the 3x10 mtb drive trains I've ridden so far, to much "gear surfing".

IMHO the 2x10 drive train was well thought out by SRAM and a good move. It may not be for everyone, but I really can't think of a reason that a reasonably fit mythical "average rider" couldn't go to 2x10 and not ride the trails they normally do with it with very little if any additional effort. Will I run out and buy it right away? Nope, I'm happy with my 2x9 set up. But it won't walk away from a new bike that is equipped with a 2x10 drive train either as long as the cassette and chainrings are properly chosen for the bike and my riding style. But you won't see me with a 3x10 unless it's on a road bike.

Just my 2 cents! :D

Good Dirt
 

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dcb said:
Actually, as I wrote a couple of posts ago Shimano has gone wiht a 24 tooth granny on their 10 speed cranks
People don't like to read. They prefer to just make assumptions and then say how wrong Shimano is.
 

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dwt said:
I'm in the 32 (middle) ring 80-90% of the time on the triple - which is why I rigged the double with a 32. On the triple, occasionally I have to shift to granny on some big ass climb and occasionally I shift to the big ring on a descent. But most of the time I'm in the middle ring.
I think this reasoning makes sense for a lot of riders (not everyone of course). 32 teeth suits a lot of trail well. With Sram's double setups, I think a lot of riders would be either crossing the chain up a lot (big ring, biger cogs or small ring smaller cogs) or shifting the front derailleur more than they would on a triple.

I notice this to some effect on my cyclocross bike with a compact (double) crank.
 

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Squash said:
The bottom line is the SRAM 2x10 gives you virtually the same gear range as a 3x9, with fewer overlapping gear combinations in a simpler better performing system. Believe me, it ain't just for elite racers or uber fit riders.
I tend to agree. I'm in no way elite, but I like what I've seen of SRAM's system. It's not that different, really, from the 2x9 that I've been running on a couple of my bikes. I've been running 36/22 up front and either 11-34 or 11-32 (depending on the bike) in the back. That combination gives much less overlap than the more common 32/22. I shift up front more often, but the SLX double derailleur works so well that I don't mind the additional front shifting. SRAM's 2x10 front rings are taller, but their rear cogset goes to 36-teeth to compensate.
 

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JonathanGennick said:
much less overlap ... I shift up front more often ... double derailleur works well
Sounds about right to me. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 

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what they did could have been done with an 8 speed cassette. they sold it to everyone like they revolutionized gears and the only way to do it was with a 10 speed cassette. its misleading. you can achieve less overlap by using readily available chainrings.

its the same concept as compact road gearing.
 

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Squash said:
But you won't see me with a 3x10 unless it's on a road bike.
Interesting; this is the exact opposite of my experience.

As I posted above, on my mtb, I'm in the 32 ring most of the time. The granny (I'm running a 22) is there when I need it, maybe once or twice in a 3 hour ride. Same with the 44. So basically, I'm not using the front der a lot and that's the way I like it off road.

I tried 2 x 9 and the extra shifting of the front der. was a pain in my ass.

On the road, I'm running a compact 50/34 up front with 11-28 in the back, which will get me up or down anything I run into where I live with no problem. I don't mind shifting the front on the road - I'm not likely to get caught in too high a gear like off road, coming around some corner and running into a steep pitch. 2 x 10 is fine; 3 x 10 would be overkill and useless baggage. Plus, I'm self conscious and don't want to look too Fredly :D

But the same idea holds. Those who ride triple on the road are in the middle ring most of the time, and shifts up or down are occasional.

So if you run a double off road, plan on shifting a lot up front unless you are very strong or don't climb a lot. Personally, I'd go 1 x 10 before I'd go 2 x anything off road.
 

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Regardless of whether or not you are fit... your legs should "spin" to reduce damage to your knees. If you ride steep inclines with names such as "the Three *****es", "Puke","Pressure cooker", or "Skyscraper" you will probably want the 3X set-up. Yes you are going up in altitude faster than you are moving "forward" that is to say you could walk these hills faster, but that's part of mountain biking. If I were rich, I'd just own specialized (not the brand) bikes with 1X for my XC only rides, 2X for my faster XC, and 3X for the mountain goat trails I like to conquer. It really just depends on what type of terrain you like. There is a ride in OC that I call "Lambert" cuz it's off the Lambert exit of the 57FWY, but others call it "Chino Hills". Anyway, there is sandy steep granny ring stuff where I can guarantee some folks with a 2X set-up would have to walk and then there is a rolling hills section where I am in my 44f / 11r and just smoking the pace. It's way too fast for any front ring under 40. I think they refer to this as "horses for courses". Ride on.
 

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It really just depends on what type of terrain you like. .
+1 I'm in my 26T granny for about 90% of my riding. Rarely to I spin out the 26X11 combo. There's only a couple of trail systems I ride at where I can use a 32T ring. So I pretty much never shift the front derailleur while riding. It's either a 32T or 26T ring for the entire ride.:thumbsup:
 

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What about this setup?

What about this setup on a 26" fsr bike, 38/24, w/ alloy guard front and 10-speed, 11-32t rear for light trail, xc, and commute?

for commutes I am doing average speed of about 25-30km/hour. My commute is about 20 min cycling. With top speeds about 50-55km/hour.

do you have any charts to compare gear ratios e.g. final drive for 26" and 29" rims.
 

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What about this setup on a 26" fsr bike, 38/24, w/ alloy guard front and 10-speed, 11-32t rear for light trail, xc, and commute?

for commutes I am doing average speed of about 25-30km/hour. My commute is about 20 min cycling. With top speeds about 50-55km/hour.

do you have any charts to compare gear ratios e.g. final drive for 26" and 29" rims.
Gear calculator
 

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Using the gear calculator you can see that a 3x9 setup gives you more range that 2x10 and by shifting one up on front and two down in the rear you get the next ratio. On the 2x10 setup you will have to shift 4 down in the back for every one up in the front to get the next ratio.

So when spinning upp from stop to top speed often the 3x9 has the advantage but if in constant slow or fast pace the 2x10 should be better?
 
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