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  1. #1
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    2 x 10, or 3 x 10, SRAM or Shimano.....

    Trying to make some tough decisions on my wife's new bike. She is moving up to a 29er, and will be using the bike for both racing and general trail riding. She does not have great leg strength, so the ability to climb is probably more important than top speed. She would greatly prefer a 2 x 10 setup, but I'm starting to think 3 x 10 might be the better solution.

    My personal preference leans toward Shimano. I do not like the 1:1.5 ratio you are stuck with in the SRAM chainrings, and having demo'ed both systems I think the Shimano 10 speed rear shifts a little crisper than SRAM (ymmv).

    But, now I'm reading the Shimano 2 ring system limits you to a 12 tooth step up, which is even MORE narrow than SRAM's 1:1.5 ratio. I have read in a couple of magazines that you can set up the Shimano system wth 26.40 combo, but I have not seen any real world confirmation. 26.40 is not much different than SRAM's 26.39, anyway, and if you lose shifting reliability than its probably not worth it.

    And anyway, I am wondering if a 26x36 granny gear is small enough for my wife on a 29'er? Her current 26'er granny is 22x32, and she will use it on those long rides in the mountains, although I suspect she could learn to get by with a larger gear.

    Any thoughts?

    Is a SRAM front, Shimano rear a possiblity? (complete opposite of what I currently run)

    She has also mentioned that she might like grip shifters, particularly for her front shifter. I'm not even sure if 10 speed grip shifters are available for the rear.

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Vega
    Trying to make some tough decisions on my wife's new bike. She is moving up to a 29er, and will be using the bike for both racing and general trail riding. She does not have great leg strength, so the ability to climb is probably more important than top speed. She would greatly prefer a 2 x 10 setup, but I'm starting to think 3 x 10 might be the better solution.

    My personal preference leans toward Shimano. I do not like the 1:1.5 ratio you are stuck with in the SRAM chainrings, and having demo'ed both systems I think the Shimano 10 speed rear shifts a little crisper than SRAM (ymmv).

    But, now I'm reading the Shimano 2 ring system limits you to a 12 tooth step up, which is even MORE narrow than SRAM's 1:1.5 ratio. I have read in a couple of magazines that you can set up the Shimano system wth 26.40 combo, but I have not seen any real world confirmation. 26.40 is not much different than SRAM's 26.39, anyway, and if you lose shifting reliability than its probably not worth it.

    And anyway, I am wondering if a 26x36 granny gear is small enough for my wife on a 29'er? Her current 26'er granny is 22x32, and she will use it on those long rides in the mountains, although I suspect she could learn to get by with a larger gear.

    Any thoughts?

    Is a SRAM front, Shimano rear a possiblity? (complete opposite of what I currently run)

    She has also mentioned that she might like grip shifters, particularly for her front shifter. I'm not even sure if 10 speed grip shifters are available for the rear.
    Why not stay with 9-sp (Shimano 12-36 cassette), a triple with a 22t small ring, SRAM RD and Gripshifter?

    The cassette is not a lightweight one but it is minor compared having the gearing you need.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Why not stay with 9-sp (Shimano 12-36 cassette), a triple with a 22t small ring, SRAM RD and Gripshifter?

    The cassette is not a lightweight one but it is minor compared having the gearing you need.
    That is a great suggestion, and I had forgotten about Shimano's 36 tooth 9-speed cassette. If she really wants the rear grip shifter, this would probably do it. Given the choice between grip shifter and 10 speed rear, though, she seems to prefer 10 speed.

  4. #4
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Vega
    That is a great suggestion, and I had forgotten about Shimano's 36 tooth 9-speed cassette. If she really wants the rear grip shifter, this would probably do it. Given the choice between grip shifter and 10 speed rear, though, she seems to prefer 10 speed.
    The next question would be why?

    The steps between cogs on the 11-36 10-sp are only slightly tighter than the 12-36 9-sp.

    Will never miss a 42x11 top gear on a 29er.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  5. #5
    Former Bike Wrench
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    You might also consider a 5 bolt crankset with a 20t granny along with a 11/34 9 speed cassette. You get almost the same gear ratio with a 20-34 combo on a 29er as a 22-34 on a 26er.

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