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  1. #1
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    Expedition Touring 2x10

    Hi everyone,

    I'm going on a heavy duty tour over the himalayas with a fair amount of steep off-road, but lots of flat, on road, also. My 3x9 crankset is bust, so am wondering if people thought it worth it moving over to a 2x10?

    I am thinking to get a 2x10 (28/40) and for simplicity remove the front derailleur, thinking I can spend the majority of time on the outer ring and manually switch, when up in the mountains/off road. Would swap out the outer for an e*13 guide ring, so it wouldn't slip off. I assume the inner ring wouldn't slip as it would be held in place by the outer.

    Any thoughts? Durability of 9 speed better? Chainline issues? Should I go for a smaller inner ring? Also, would this setup work with a 9 speed derailleur, chain and cassette (will prob get rest of 10x parts later)?

    My knowledge of the technicalities is v limited, so please fill me in if you can

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    The front derailleur helps to keep the chain on the rings, not just shift, so it might not be worth living without. 2x10 can have the essentially the same range as most 3x systems while being much, much more reliable up front. I'd go with chainrings a few teeth smaller with what you propose, given the unknown and altitude, but I've never done such a challenging trip.

  3. #3
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    9 speed is cheaper, more forgiving to misadjustment or "neglect", more prevalent (easier for find spares), and will give you more range (3x). IMO the benefits of 10 speed are irrelevant in a touring situation.

    Also, if you do go 10 your gonna wanna use a 10 speed chain (it should shift fine on a nine speed cassette) and may want a cassette as the range of a 2x accounts for the larger z cog. And if we're me I would just leave the front derailer on because the benefits of taking it off will be minimal at best.

  4. #4
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    These guys tried that back in 1986, and really did it on minimal supplies and support, and rode all the way to the Gobi Desert.
    Kickass Trips | Unbelievable Travel Tales | Amazing Journeys | Epic Backpacking Stories Journey to the Centre of the Earth

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtour View Post
    ...a heavy duty tour over the himalayas...
    Stick with 3x9 if you want to save money. 22, 32, 44 front chainrings. If you move to 10 speed you will need new rear shifter and derailleur (in addition to a new rear 10spd cassette).

    If money's no object, switch to 3x10 with an 11-36 rear cluster. Once again, try to get 22,32,44 front chainrings. The newer 3x front setups with 24,32,42 limit your gearing range. A 22t front x 36t rear is a godsend when heavily laden climbing steep tracks at altitude. You will need a bailout gear in the himalayas. Any 9 speed crankset will work perfectly with a 10spd chain and rear cluster.

  6. #6
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    I wouldn't even think about doing without either a SS or Rolhoff speed hub....

  7. #7
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    I'm going SRAM 2x10 (38/24 or 39/26, and 11-36 cassette) on my new touring build. I have 29" wheels, and I wanted at least 20 chain inches for climbing, but haven't decided how low. The 26/36 gives me just under 20 gear inches, which for me I think will be OK for loaded touring. However, the 24/36 is just over 18 gear inches. I'm not as concerned about the high end over 25mph/40kph.

  8. #8
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    I'm off the low gear persuasion myself.
    My Rohloff hubbed Surly Ogre is at the minimum allowable gear range to stay in warranty.
    This is approx 17.3 gear inches.
    I'd be happier with 16 but will stick with the warranty spec.

    At the top end gears, its in the low 90's from memory but thats meaningless as I never get anywhere near the top gears, even when unladen.

    As a middle aged rider my advice to anyone is look after your knees and take your time and smell the roses.
    Spin and dont lug.

    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

  9. #9
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    I run a 22/36 with 11-36 cassette on my 2x10 El Mariachi and love it. I Will never go back to 3x. If you pedal past 30-35 you would want more on the top end.

  10. #10
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    Thanks all for replies, appreciated .

    I think despite my inclination toward the 2x10, I can't convince myself it's the right thing to do.

    I can see a real benefit of riding a 1x10 (perhaps having a granny for a manual swap) but if keeping a front derailleur it has to be a 3x10. I agree with big_papa_nut; chain is more durable, parts are cheaper, gear range is still huge.

    Much as I think I could survive on a limited gear range, that's probably based on living in a flat urban city. My intended trip will be both fast and super slow and despite my intentions to travel as light as possible I would still need the extra low gears. Would have to agree with rifraf, not killing my knees is of big importance.

    Would love to have a rohloff but the price is a put off. Maybe I should go the other way, 8 speed, square taper... viva la neo-Luddites!!

    Cheers All

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