1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    27

    I'm new to 2x10 - can I use all 20 combinations?

    Hi, since I'm new to 2x10 I would like to ask is it possible to use all 20 combinations (both gears using 10 combinations each)? for example the smallest ring in the front (high power) with the smallest ring in the back (high speed)? Or should the utmost rings in the cassete never be used with the contradictory front rings? I don't have an indicator which gear I am using at the moment and I sometimes get the feeling I am killing my chain. On the other hand there are also 1x10 and 1x11 systems where you have no choice but to stretch your chain ... some tips please! BTW I have Sram 1000 and X9.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: hey_poolboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    256
    I always try to avoid hitting the 2-3 smallest cogs in the rear when in the granny. Usually your front derailleur will let you know by that annoying rubbing sound.

    That being said, when using a 1x system the ring in the front is always in the middle position. That is what allows one to use all 10 in the rear without issue.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    27
    thanks for sharing your experience

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    174
    I always try to avoid direct diagonals it in high gear going front going to largest ring in the back and vice a verca. this was also suggested by my mechanic

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    153
    I think of the front rings as gear ranges, low med high on my triple. I don't bother trying to find the inbetween step combinations. As to cross chain, it can vary with the bike setup. If you hear that it noisy with a lubed chain, you are probably creating strain. On my bike it's pretty quiet over the whole range but I have a long arm rear der too.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    369
    I got a new bike with XT 2x10, and using all 20 has not been a problem at all. I think that is one of the big advantages of a 3x system.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,802
    No.
    Assuming normal gearing ratios:
    On a 2X10, the large ring is where most of your riding is done. The chainline for this gear will allow the use of all of the cogs on the rear cassette.
    The small granny chainring is for extremely steep climbs or very long steep climbs where you need a break to sit down and spin. If you are not doing that, you shouldn't be in the granny gear. Shift to the large ring.

    You might break this rule on a short less steep spot between hills. Front chainrings don't shift under load as well as the rear so you might pre-select the granny as you are about to hit the bottom of a hill, then downshift the rear as needed.

    If you ride this way, you never have to worry about cross chaining.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: lotusdriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    482
    The above is good advice. I never use the smallest rear gears with the smallest front, l change up to the middle ring.

    It should be possible to adjust the gears so the chain does not rub on the front mech even at extremes. Well, it is on mine anyway. But the above still applies.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    4
    The chainline for this gear will allow the use of all of the cogs on the rear cassette.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: lotusdriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    482
    In the end l try not to worry about which gear combination l am using.
    Although l will change down at the front if l end up on the large front chainring and the largest couple of rear gears.
    I use all combinations on the middle front chainring.
    I don't ever find myself in the small front and smallest rear gears, more due to the fact that l only use the small front gear for extremes of climbing.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    809
    More of your shifting depends on your terrain and your ring sizes, on my one bike I have a std 30x22 set of rings and for my local stuff I never use granny, on my FS I have a 34x24 combo and I will drop to granny on a few climbs as the rear is also smaller on this one 12x34 where as my other one is 12x36 and yes those few teeth make a big difference. Now having said that I broke my HT so have been riding the FS more and now I can climb those hill with out dropping to granny, your legs will get stronger with the tougher gearing WOOT!

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    227
    I look at my bike gears mechanically rather than numerically. For example, below is the how I use the 3x8 gear system on my bike:
    - Front: 1, Rear: 1
    - Front: 2, Rear: 1
    - Front: 2, Rear: 2
    - Front: 2, Rear: 3
    - Front: 2, Rear: 4
    - Front: 2, Rear: 5
    - Front: 2, Rear: 6
    - Front: 2, Rear: 7
    - Front: 2, Rear: 8
    - Front: 3, Rear: 8

    So, in practice, I only use 10 out of 24 possible gear combinations.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EDIT: Somebody who lack knowledge in mechanics neg rep'd the above post (and didn't understand it as an example only of what I'm pointing to), so I'm adding the below:

    Though you can basically use all gear combinations on a 2x10, you essentially have a range of 11 speeds only. And using both the largest gears or the smallest gears at the same time is just cross-chaining (though may not be as bad as in a 3xNN).

    NOTE: The above post neg rep'd by LyNx
    Last edited by mtb_beginner; 12-16-2013 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Somebody did not understand the essence of the post
    2013 Specialized Hardrock Disc (sold)
    2014 Specialized Crave Pro

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    369
    Interesting discussion. Every review (pinkbike, bike radar etc.) I have seen on 2x10 systems, either SRAM or Shimano talk about being able to use all 20 gears as a big advantage of the systems. Maybe they shouldn't be run like that, but they were designed and marketed to be run like that. Not speaking of converted 3x drivetrains, but designed 2x drivetrains. I have XT 38/24 front, and both rings are relatively silent across all 10 rear gears. They may wear a little quicker, but I don't see a functional disadvantage by using all of them.

  14. #14
    Your Best Friend
    Reputation: Silentfoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,631

    Re: I'm new to 2x10 - can I use all 20 combinations?

    Wow. Yes. Yes a million times. It is designed so you can use all twenty. That is the huge advantage of a true 2x10 drivetrain. Do it, enjoy it, and don't worry about it.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    12,334
    Now that I have a 2x10 bike, I find I use the entire cassette with the big ring and most of it with the small ring. Small/small still doesn't work great.

    On my old bike, I used the middle ring with the largest cogs from time to time.

    If you're worried, look down at your chain when you're cross chained. On most bikes, it's significantly worse one way than the other.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: borabora's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    339
    No, you shouldn't use the small ring at all. That way you'll get ready for your next bike's 1x10 setup.

    Seriously, it's not black or white. It's only possible for one ring to be perfectly aligned with one cog. All other cogs result in some degree of cross-chaining. If it sounds and feels ok then it probably is. Small-small will most likely result in problems because the rear derailleur will have a problem taking up the slack. Big-big, on the other hand, can be useful even if you are not using it for pedaling because it keeps the chain taut and makes it less likely to drop your chain on a rough descent.

    People talk about more wear and tear when you are cross-chaining and I am sure that is the case. But the wear and tear is related to the forces you are generating. So, big guys and very strong guys need to worry about this more than normal riders. I have a 2x10 setup and really don't ever use my my small ring. My chain lasts about 3000 miles and and my cassette and ring last a lot longer. For what it's worth...

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MSU Alum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    884
    Quote Originally Posted by KrzysztofMTB View Post
    Hi, since I'm new to 2x10 I would like to ask is it possible to use all 20 combinations (both gears using 10 combinations each)?
    Yes. It is possible. Some combos may be marginally more usable than others, but using them all will do no harm.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    27
    3000 miles for a chain??? thats like 4500km. My chains last for 1000-1500km maximum - and I don't even live close to the mountains! When I looked at my chain today during riding I could tell that the chain is yelling at me not to cross small ring-small ring. and large ring-large ring maye doesnt make do much sense but it isn't that bad. BTW I have 39/26 and 11-36 in the rear. Still I can't climb that short steep river bank that I could on my 44-32-24 x 11-34 I wonder if I will ever be able to climb it again

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: J.B. Weld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1,791
    Quote Originally Posted by KrzysztofMTB View Post
    BTW I have 39/26 and 11-36 in the rear. Still I can't climb that short steep river bank that I could on my 44-32-24 x 11-34 I wonder if I will ever be able to climb it again
    Same bike? If it is then it's all in your head because low gear on both of those setups are near identical.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    27
    different bikes - the 3x9 is a Merida TFS bike, the 2x10 is a Scott Scale. The gearing ratio on the scott is 0,67 compared to 0,72 on the Merida. The scott is over 2kg lighter than the merida, maybe I have to get to know it better

    my mistake: the 3x9 has a 44-32-22 low gear, not 24.

  21. #21
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    12,334

    Re: I'm new to 2x10 - can I use all 20 combinations?

    Quote Originally Posted by KrzysztofMTB View Post
    3000 miles for a chain??? thats like 4500km. My chains last for 1000-1500km maximum - and I don't even live close to the mountains! When I looked at my chain today during riding I could tell that the chain is yelling at me not to cross small ring-small ring. and large ring-large ring maye doesnt make do much sense but it isn't that bad. BTW I have 39/26 and 11-36 in the rear. Still I can't climb that short steep river bank that I could on my 44-32-24 x 11-34 I wonder if I will ever be able to climb it again
    Do you maintain your chains?

    I'm not willing to do the little ritual, but I wipe my chain with a dry rag after every ride and relubricate as needed. Seems to keep them going for a good, long time. More than 1500 km, I think...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Do you maintain your chains?

    I'm not willing to do the little ritual, but I wipe my chain with a dry rag after every ride and relubricate as needed. Seems to keep them going for a good, long time. More than 1500 km, I think...

    Sure I wipe the chain and lube it before each race or after each 100km-150km. Better to by a new chain than to have to invest in new cogs

Similar Threads

  1. Tire Combinations
    By Raul34 in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-20-2013, 10:53 AM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-25-2012, 02:14 PM
  3. Best Tire Combinations
    By calcobra98 in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-19-2011, 10:48 PM
  4. Fat bikes & necessary gear combinations?
    By iamkeith in forum Fat Bikes
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 07-04-2011, 03:22 PM
  5. Tire Size/Combinations?
    By kfb66 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-06-2011, 09:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •