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  1. #1
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    New question here. Double chain ring v triple on "all mtn. bike"

    I'm not really in the market YET for an "all mountain bike". I've noticed that a majority of 'em come with a triple chainring while some of them only come with a double...44/32/22 v 36/24. When riding up in the hills, I usually only use the middle and small and really the only time I use the big chainring is on the flats. So what would be the advantages/disadvantages of buying a bike with only a double chainring?



  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Took my large chainring off years ago in favor of a bash ring to take it's place. If I raced I'd likely need the large ring, but since I'm no speed demon I hardly ever used it so the bashring was a good fit. That bash ring has been great.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    With the 36/24 cranks you would have more or less the same spread of gear ratios as with the 44/32/22, with the exception of the gearing at either end of the traditional spectrum. Assuming a 34 large cog on back, your lowest gear in the two ring setup would have a 1:0.7 ratio, whereas the traditional granny ring would give you a 1:0.64 ratio. On the fast end a 1:3 ratio as opposed to a 1:3.6.

    But few people use those extremes, right? The benefit would be a little less weight, less chance of dropping chain up front trying to shift into that granny gear in the super steep. Or worse yet, realizing mid climb that you need to granny it, try to make the shift, and get some serious chain suck. Having those ratios available using your rear derailleur could save some headaches. It's kind of like getting the gears you probably use with both your 32 and 22 all wrapped up in one 24 tooth ring that you may never shift out of. For an all mountain bike, the 36/24 cranks seem like a better, more hassle free setup.

  4. #4
    Chilling out
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Benefit of a bashring over the big ring is more bottom-bracket clearance over technical terrain; you can run a shorter chain; you can run a smaller-caged rear derailleur.

    Drawback is like you said, loss of high-end speed. Not much though, as you're only losing a couple gear choices, like maybe 2- or 3- probably.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    I agree - most mountain bikers really only need 2 rings (the exception being people who ride both on roads AND steep technical trails a lot ).
    Altough 24/36 would work fine, you can easily get an even larger range of gears with a 22/36 or 24/38 - such a 14 t jump should shift just fine. I even ran a 16t jump 20/36 setup for years without any problems.
    Bashguards are great for rocky technical riding - lets you clear bigger obstacles because you're not worried about your rings (and may save you money)

  6. #6
    formerly Giantxc
    Reputation: MrXC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I agree with everybody else here and would also mention that I haven't even missed my big ring while racing, including ultra endurance events. I even still out ran a buddy of mine running 24/34/44 on a long, downhill, dirt road!

    I've been running 24X34 but plan to try 24X38 this year (38 being the largest ring my rockring will allow).


  7. #7
    MK_ is offline
    carpe maņana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I am about to drop my big ring, as soon as I make myself a bashguard. This is my little project. My granny is a 20T and my middle is 32T. My cassette is ultegra with 12-27T range. I am wondering how big of a middle ring I can use without getting into shifting issues.


  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I haven't used a big ring in 10 years. They are only good for leaving nasty scars on your ankle and calf. If you're in your big ring, you'd be better off on a cyclocross bike or DH/FR bike, depending on terrain. An additional benefit of the bashring, is that it slides over obstacles whereas the big chainring will dig in like a throwing-star. Plus with a shorter chain, it doesn't fall off as often.

  9. #9
    Let's ride
    Reputation: rensho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I just put my big ring back on when i moved to my all mtn bike. I use it everytime i ride now. You go so much faster on the 5" bike, that my 32/12 was just not nearly enough. You can't push 35mph-40mph for any amount of time in a 36/12 can you? i may need to try that.
    I do agree going with only 2 rings is so much nicer, for clearance sake.

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