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  1. #1
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    Why are 3x10s still around?

    I switched to a 2x10 on my Transition Covert 3 years ago, not knowing what I was getting into. It has worked amazingly well, I haven't missed my big ring a single time.

    Which leads me to... why is Santa Cruz and Ibis offering 3x10s on their XT Enduro/AM kits? Did Shimano build too many 3 ring kits and offer them at a good price or something?

  2. #2
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    I switched to 2x9 five years ago and wondered the same thing. If you're honest about your fitness level and gearing needs a double is all you'll need.

    A triple is one-size-fits all and is great if you have to travel a lot and are not sure how low of a low gear or big of a big gear you'll need.

  3. #3
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    Because there is no substitute for top end! I've ridden standard gears forever and the 110 5 bolt pattern until 2 years ago because I could finally get the gears I need. If you hang around long enough it will come back. I run a 24,36,46, and back in the mid 90's they went to micro drive, and now most 2 ring setups are a 24, 36 and bashring. It's like people forgot how to hammer and make their legs hurt, then singlespeeds came around then really light bikes to ditch the granny, then 29ers and 2x10 and every niche you could imagine and now you can get rings in a ton of sizes in 4 and 5 bolt and external bb cranks, having your cake and eating it too. Just my preference though, going mach speed pushing the big ring down technical downhills and getting pr's on strava with it.

  4. #4
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    Makes sense... I suppose I'm just happy to leave the last couple % of speed in the places where it's actually flat enough to need to pedal, yet fast enough to need that kind of gearing. Not having a bash guard must be a bummer though, I regularly hammer mine into stuff.

  5. #5
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    Why are 3x10s still around?

    What trails are you on that your spinning out on 36x11 gears? All I know is a 46t chainring would look like a taco after a few good downhill runs on my enduro. I have never wanted more gearing (on the high end) off road than what a 34t provides on my 1x10. Anyways...I have no idea why any mountain bike comes with a 3x10 setup, at least on anything with over 100mm travel.

  6. #6
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    3x10s are still around because people still want and buy them. Manufactures are running a business and as long as something sells they will continue to make it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker831 View Post
    What trails are you on that your spinning out on 36x11 gears? All I know is a 46t chainring would look like a taco after a few good downhill runs on my enduro. I have never wanted more gearing (on the high end) off road than what a 34t provides on my 1x10. Anyways...I have no idea why any mountain bike comes with a 3x10 setup, at least on anything with over 100mm travel.
    3x10 comes in handy if you ride road to get to the trail. I run 1x10/2x10 on my bikes, but it is definitely a compromise (at the high and low end).

  8. #8
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    Why are 3x10s still around?

    So you can replace the big ring with a bash.

  9. #9
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    Yeah I still have 3x9 but still I could see taking off the granny at the point of 11-36 10speed but I like the top end. I may change later but here's my current setup. Not needing a bashring, I manual off stuff a lot. Not the lowest BB either but if you go fast enough you just fly off stuff hahahaha, I couldn't resist. I will put the EC lower cup on to get more slack, maybe a works or angleset too.Why are 3x10s still around?-imag1150.jpg

  10. #10
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    I have not used a 3x10 this century.

    Even in the 90's, I replaced the big ring with a Rock Ring (or, as we say today - Bash guard) and never really missed the top end. But on the trail, gaining speed isn't an issue... gravity usually does the work and I'm always figuring how to use less brake.

    Don't miss or need it - EXCEPT maybe for street commutes. But I try not to do that too much, tires cost too much!
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  11. #11
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    Why are 3x10s still around?

    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    I have not used a 3x10 this century.

    Even in the 90's, I replaced the big ring with a Rock Ring (or, as we say today - Bash guard) and never really missed the top end. But on the trail, gaining speed isn't an issue... gravity usually does the work and I'm always figuring how to use less brake.

    Don't miss or need it - EXCEPT maybe for street commutes. But I try not to do that too much, tires cost too much!
    The original Rock Ring protected the big ring rather than replacing it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jungleb77 View Post
    It has worked amazingly well, I haven't missed my big ring a single time.
    There are people who like to mash along in the big chain ring on flat paths and roads. Plus 104bcd cranks are easy to fit bash guards to.

    Personally I went to bash gaurd and chain guide many years ago when a 44t chain ring left me needing stitches...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by suspman View Post
    Because there is no substitute for top end! I've ridden standard gears forever and the 110 5 bolt pattern until 2 years ago because I could finally get the gears I need. If you hang around long enough it will come back. I run a 24,36,46, and back in the mid 90's they went to micro drive, and now most 2 ring setups are a 24, 36 and bashring. It's like people forgot how to hammer and make their legs hurt, then singlespeeds came around then really light bikes to ditch the granny, then 29ers and 2x10 and every niche you could imagine and now you can get rings in a ton of sizes in 4 and 5 bolt and external bb cranks, having your cake and eating it too. Just my preference though, going mach speed pushing the big ring down technical downhills and getting pr's on strava with it.
    What technical fireroads are you descending that require a 46/11 gear to spin out. Thats a nice gear setup for my cyclocross bike but even the world cup DH bikes arent set up with that big of a big ring.

    It's like you dont know how to spin?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    The original Rock Ring protected the big ring rather than replacing it.
    Wow. You are absolutely right... for some reason I remember switching the big rings out
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  15. #15
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    I recently went from 3x9 (22/32/44) to 1x9 (28t):

    Why are 3x10s still around?-1x9.jpg

    So compared to the triple ring setup I basically lost 2 speeds at the low end and three from the top (just looking at gear-inch equivalents). Not much downside to that even on the road and it's a big improvement on trails as before I was constantly shifting between 22/32 rings.

  16. #16
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    Honestly, I bet a lot of it is marketing. Back in the day (90's) more gears was better, and having 21 was awesome and 24 was like the bling equivalent of running XXI today. I still get routinely asked by non-riders "Wow, look at that thing! How many gears does [I]that [I] have?" When I tell them it's 18, they get disappointed. I'm sure lots of newbs walk into bike shops with the same question, and sales people like to say "yep, this bad boy is rocking 30 gears"

    I do have one friend who is a die hard 3x9 rider and loves mashing the big ring on flats and downhills. He also rides more road than I do to access his local trails. To each his (or her) own, but personally I have never once wished for the big ring after swapping it for a bash a few years ago.

  17. #17
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    I have a hard time believing people when they say they run out of top end on a 2x10 setup - maybe they are racing down roads. But if they want to buy the big ring, not my business.

    I think 2x10 should be the norm though. 36x11 is a big enough gear for virtually anywhere. Heck, my DH bike runs a 34x11 top gear and it works fine for pedalling down jump runs at 40-45kmh.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostBoyScout View Post
    I have a hard time believing people when they say they run out of top end on a 2x10 setup - maybe they are racing down roads. But if they want to buy the big ring, not my business.
    I used to live in the South of England and there were stretches of fire road where you could stay in the big ring and hammer along at 25mph for ten+ minutes at a time. Dead flat, smooth and straight (boring too). 44x11 and skinny tyres do work in some places, but now I'm back in the north I don't miss it!

  19. #19
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    I recently picked up a new santa cruz bronson and the bottom two spec'd models came with a 3x10 set up. I do not understand why as virtually everyone that buys the bike will be swapping it out. I think it is definitely a price point thing. I am now running 2x10 XT with no chain guide and have no complaints!

  20. #20
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    i always thought it was marketing... 27-speed (3x9) vs 18-speed (2x9)! more gears, more options, more numbers LMAO!!!

    i use 2x9 with bash guard btw.

  21. #21
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    I used 2x9 with bash in place of the third ring for a while and loved the setup. Recently bought a new bike with 2x10...love the smooth shifting, miss my lower gears and bash guard.

    What I really want(ed) was 2x10 with 24 and 36 rings and an integrated bash. Bike spec'ed with a 2 speed front derailleur and shifter...

    I like to spin, ride steep, and am weak. But have money to spend. Anyone listening?
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  22. #22
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    MATHS TIME!!!!
    36x11 gearing on a 29" wheel is still putting you at the 27km/h (about 17m/h) mark at a 60rpm cadence. Fair enough, that's not quite spinning out, but say you flinging it around at 90rpm, that's still clocking in at 40km/h (25m/h).
    I've gotten my Fuel EX in excess of 50km/h out on the trails in downhill sections, and that's got a smaller wheelsize which requires even more spinning to reach the same speeds as the 29er in the calculations there.

    Admittedly, that's sort of my max speed, an I am inclined to agree that for the most part, a lot of rider's don't make great use of the large gear range. But just because someone doesn't, doesn't mean others can't use those gears; some people prefer the larger shifts changes for the terrain they ride, some people ride terrain with sharp climbs that beg for a small gear that then plateau onto higher speed track that demand a higher gear.

    It'd be nice if people chose gears appropriate for both their riding style and their terrain, and didn't care about whether or not they're in vogue of their selection.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    I used 2x9 with bash in place of the third ring for a while and loved the setup. Recently bought a new bike with 2x10...love the smooth shifting, miss my lower gears and bash guard.

    What I really want(ed) was 2x10 with 24 and 36 rings and an integrated bash. Bike spec'ed with a 2 speed front derailleur and shifter...

    I like to spin, ride steep, and am weak. But have money to spend. Anyone listening?
    Is it 64/104bcd? If so, give RaceFace Turbine a look. They sell a 24/36/bash matching setup. I have and its great.

    When paired up with my 10x rear (11-36), I find I only max out on fire or paved roads at over 30mph (per GPS).

  24. #24
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    Depends on the terrain and your riding style.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WV_XCE View Post
    So you can replace the big ring with a bash.

    +1

    That's what I did!

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