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  1. #1
    Daniel the Dog
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    Any of you cling to a triple crankset?

    I know the move is to a 2 chainring and I raced a SLX 2 by 9 last race season; however, I found on the long gravel roads I spun out at times and a 32 middle would be nice on moderate climbs. I have a XTR 980 crankst and I'm considering running a 3 by 9 next race season.

    Anybody sticking to a triple?

    Thx,

    Jay

  2. #2
    AZ
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    Yep. Ran 2x9 for 2 years and was tired of spinning out a 36 so went back to 3x9 since I had the parts.

  3. #3
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    I haven't had any issue spinning out and I tend to push a pretty big gear. I thought is would be an issue, but haven't had an issue in the past 2+ yrs. what rings were you using?
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  4. #4
    Daniel the Dog
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    36/22

  5. #5
    I should be out riding
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    Yep. I used a 2 x for two races early this year, but went back to three after that. I was using 27/39 with an 11/34 9 speed cogset on a 650b bike. For me, its not quite as low as I'd like for climbing, and I'd like just a bit more for the really fast places. I like the smaller big ring in general but miss the 32 middle ring, and find that I end up shifting even more than with three rings. I'll try it again with a 36 tooth cog and see if it makes enough difference. Just got back from co where I had a rental 29er with an xt double, and definitely wasn't low enough for me to be climbing sustained Singletrack at 10k plus.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

    Worshiping at the Church of Singletrack since 1993.

  6. #6
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    I run a 2x10 and love it over my 3x9. However, while traing for a 24 solo I'm going to miss my 3x9 granny gears for spinning climbs. I did however switch from a 24/38 to a 22/36 and that seems to be the best choice. We'll see after the 24 if I'll really miss the 3x9.

  7. #7
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    triple

    Originally the lack of grip shift held me back - otherwise I probably would have switched. But being forced to sidelines gave me time to realize I really have zero complaints about 3 ring setup. Talking to friends that switched, they generally like 2x10, but always mention missing having a huge gear and a granny. But they never seem to tell me what they like more about their 2x10.

    So, for now, I'm sticking with it. Nice that the casettes are way cheaper too.

  8. #8
    zrm
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    I'v stuck with a triple for a couple reasons: 1, a whole new drivetrain, especially one of comparable quality to my XTR is freaking expensive. Hard to justify dropping a grand plus to replace something that works just fine. 2. Although I don't use my granny or top gear that much, I really like having them when I do. (I live in a place with lots of long steep climbs and some of our double track roads and even single track are really fast)

    I certainly understand the touted benefits of a double crankset, but I can think of a lot of things I'd rather spend my money on. When it comes time for a new bike I'll give a double more consideration. In fact with the builds most bikes come with these days, like 29" wheels, I might not have a choice.

  9. #9
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    I was reluctant to drop the 3x9, but went to a xtr 2x10 this summer and love it. Better use of the corset, in both rings and less of the dropped momentum when you shift from ring to ring. I live and race in CO, and have not noticed the lack of low gearing, but do spin out going down some of our paved, and dirt passes. But I'll take an occasional spin out on roads for the simplicity and smooth shifting I gained.

  10. #10
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    I generally do fine with 2 x 10 in 24/38. But it sort of defines the old saying of "An answer to a problem I didn't know I had".

    One thing that is seldom or never discussed is that the effective high end of a double is pretty limited, since pedaling in the 11t rear cog is very inefficient if you are putting any oomph into it.

    Where I live and ride, it is mostly either notably up or down, so it is very rare to need to pedal hard in higher gears. You are more likely to be feathering the brakes!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  11. #11
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    I run 39/24 on a 29'er so that might be it.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  12. #12
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    I can walk the same speed as i ride the 24/36, so if it gets too steep for my easiest gear I'm better off walking anyway. Less effort...and stretches my lower back and legs.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  13. #13
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    tried 42/28 on the x9s that came on my bike, but found it too high. put the 3x on this year and loved it. 22 x 36 for the really steep stuff. Awesome. i weigh 200 though so that may make me biased. now I am pissed cuz I can't figure out a use for the x9 double cranks. stupid bolt circle.

  14. #14
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard View Post
    I can walk the same speed as i ride the 24/36, so if it gets too steep for my easiest gear I'm better off walking anyway. Less effort...and stretches my lower back and legs.
    I hate pushing my bike, especially in bike shoes. (but I have a bum leg/foot which makes that sort of thing awkward) One of the reasons I've never really wanted to make SS a priority is 1. All the walking, and 2. Spinning out just when it's time to go really fast.

    To each their own though. Variety makes the world go 'round

  15. #15
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    I have always run 3x9 and spent the last year contemplating 3x10 or 2x10 for my new Jet RDO. I am 48 yo, live in CO, and my knees are pretty shot so I opted for the 3x10 for the spin factor. I rode it on two hundos this year and it has been great for me based on my circumstances. Now I need to decide if I want to switch my HT 29er from 3x9...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    ..snip..I am pissed cuz I can't figure out a use for the x9 double cranks. stupid bolt circle.
    Can't you remove the spider, fit a custom chain ring and turn it into a nice single speed crank set?
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  17. #17
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    I stll like my 3x for the long races.

    32/33 middle up front is great for most of my ride/race. But then I have the 22 for long steep sections when I need to drop down from the middle ring. Then I still have the 44 for road sections.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post

    One thing that is seldom or never discussed is that the effective high end of a double is pretty limited, since pedaling in the 11t rear cog is very inefficient if you are putting any oomph into it.
    I think a triple makes a lot of sense if the gear ranges in the back were not so wide. Most
    "standard" gearing only really gives you 14 "different" gears out of a total of 27 or 30 possible.

    On an 11/34 cogset, having a 44 or 42 only gives you two gears higher than 32/11.

    I much prefer a 14-34 or 14-32 cogset with a triple up front, but you can't buy those off the shelf. And I'm not sure you can do it all with 10spd.

    I recently got a bike with a double/bash guard up front and I have to say with the standard 11/34 cogset, I prefer a double. Doubles do make the up front shifting more reliable and just seem more solid. Climb in the small ring, leave it on the big ring for everything else.

    Not sure the current gears on dedicated doubles would work for me though. I think 36/22 would be my prefered choice, currently running 32/22 and the jumps on the top 3 or 4 gears are more than I really like. ( The smaller the front ring, the bigger the jump between
    gears. )

  19. #19
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    I used to love my Microdrive 2x8 back in the mid 90's. 32/42 up front and 11/28 in the back. It worked great when I was strong enough to push it up climbs, hell during most races back then I rarely got out of the 42. I still spend plenty of time in the 44 on my triple now, I couldn't imagine only having a 38.

  20. #20
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    No trouble with Triples

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    ... Anybody sticking to a triple?
    ...
    Not only am I sticking with my triple, I'm not even shopping for a Fat Bike. Or a crabon fibre wheelset. And I've never even owned a fixie!

    I know, call me crazy. Got my head buried deep in the sand.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  21. #21
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    I Am sticking with my triple, that big ring comes in handy every now and again
    I'm Better known as Splat

  22. #22
    Daniel the Dog
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    I was thinking of going 24-32-42 on my XTR 9 speed with a 11-34 in back. I'm thinking I could use the 24 only in the steepest climbs, use the 32 for mellow climbs, and the 42 on dirt roads and mellow downhills. I know you have more of a chance for cross chaining and chain drop at times.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I was thinking of going 24-32-42 on my XTR 9 speed with a 11-34 in back. I'm thinking I could use the 24 only in the steepest climbs, use the 32 for mellow climbs, and the 42 on dirt roads and mellow downhills. I know you have more of a chance for cross chaining and chain drop at times.
    Oh yeah, but that approach will ONLY work for a 650B bike.

    Absolutely unworkable for either a 26er or 29er.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  24. #24
    Daniel the Dog
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    :)

    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Oh yeah, but that approach will ONLY work for a 650B bike.

    Absolutely unworkable for either a 26er or 29er.
    I'm interested in those crazy 650B bikes. Rocky iand Scott are making some very cool looking bikes. Off to Bend for the Fat Tire Tour. Hoping the Cascades do their job and hold out the rain!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Oh yeah, but that approach will ONLY work for a 650B bike.

    Absolutely unworkable for either a 26er or 29er.
    I dissagree , please explain why you say that
    I'm Better known as Splat

  26. #26
    Daniel the Dog
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    Circus,

    He is messing with me a bit...having fun. No worries.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I was thinking of going 24-32-42 on my XTR 9 speed with a 11-34 in back. I'm thinking I could use the 24 only in the steepest climbs, use the 32 for mellow climbs, and the 42 on dirt roads and mellow downhills. I know you have more of a chance for cross chaining and chain drop at times.
    Yes! Best performance here will be on a 650b bike.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  28. #28
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    I am looking at new bikes at the moment and I know that I will miss that Granny on the steep climbs if I go 2x10. But it seems to me that if I want a well spec'd bike, (my current HT is XT/XTR and my FSR X9/X0), maybe carbon, then I am stuck with 2x10. And if I go 29", the ratio's are worse/higher aren't they? If I look at road bikes, there is often a 3-ring option but that doesn't seem to be the case in MTB world. Am I missing something vital?

  29. #29
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    26/39 with an 11/36 cassette is ~2 gears higher than than a 22/32/44 with an 11/34 cassette so no big dramas there.
    I've ridden 2x10 with an 11/36 and it is a better system as you are not changing the rings halfway through climbs to get to a lower gear but my 22/32/44 11/34 XT 9 speed still has plenty of life in it and IMHO 2x10 is not worth dropping a grand on a new drive train for when my current 3x9 does the job perfectly well. It isn't that much better, I can'tsee myself improving my my overall distance by very much if any.
    BTW Stumpy UK - Shimano are still making high end MTB triples so should be no problem there - they have stopped making top end road triples - duraace is all double now.

    EDIT got my maths fouled up new something wasn't right - 26/36 is a gear ratio of 0.7222
    22/30 is 0.7333 - so you are effectively only loosing 1 gear
    Last edited by SimpleJon; 10-10-2012 at 03:07 AM.

  30. #30
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    I like the 3x because I generally ride on the road to the trailhead.
    I'm stilll running 3x8 on 3 of my bikes and a 3x9 on my new 2012 Salsa Fargo.
    It is hard to justify changing drivetrains just to have the latest and greatest.
    If I raced it might be different and I ride alone 98% of the time (hence, no peer group pressure).
    The truth will set you free... But first it will piss you off

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleJon View Post
    26/39 with an 11/36 cassette is ~2 gears higher than than a 22/32/44 with an 11/34 cassette so no big dramas there.
    I've ridden 2x10 with an 11/36 and it is a better system as you are not changing the rings halfway through climbs to get to a lower gear but my 22/32/44 11/34 XT 9 speed still has plenty of life in it and IMHO 2x10 is not worth dropping a grand on a new drive train for when my current 3x9 does the job perfectly well. It isn't that much better, I can'tsee myself improving my my overall distance by very much if any.
    BTW Stumpy UK - Shimano are still making high end MTB triples so should be no problem there - they have stopped making top end road triples - duraace is all double now.

    EDIT got my maths fouled up new something wasn't right - 26/36 is a gear ratio of 0.7222
    22/30 is 0.7333 - so you are effectively only loosing 1 gear
    How much is 0.0111 (gear) anywhey?

  32. #32
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    All my bikes will be converted to 1x10 over the winter months. 1x10 is life changing.
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  33. #33
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    Triple is the way to go for me. Where I ride/race, I spin-out the big ring, albeit not for very long. This = about 32 mph. I have passed many people going down that fast gnarly hill who have spun-out at much lower speeds - they are helpless as I (and anyone else w/ proper gears) get by them.

    Similarly, there are some long steep climbs at the end of long rides that get the granny. Nobody I ride with hits these w/ the middle ring - it would be a torture test of will.

    I need/enjoy all 3 rings - I think.
    '95 M2 StumpJumper FS
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  34. #34
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    My simple answer is I like both. the 2x10 is more efficient from a shifting standpoint as I feel I shift less & fewer gears overlap. With a 3x9 you can't beat the low granny gear at about hour 20 in a 24 solo when your legs are gone. For endurance races I like to have one of each. If I only had one bike at my disposal I'd opt for the 3x9 to cover all bases.

  35. #35
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    How Low do you need to Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbne1 View Post
    My simple answer is I like both. the 2x10 is more efficient from a shifting standpoint as I feel I shift less & fewer gears overlap. With a 3x9 you can't beat the low granny gear at about hour 20 in a 24 solo when your legs are gone. For endurance races I like to have one of each. If I only had one bike at my disposal I'd opt for the 3x9 to cover all bases.
    I think that really captures it.

    Do you never need a 22:34 or 22:36? Double or 1x is probably fine for you.

    The top end high gear needs of most mountain bikers can be covered by any 36+ tooth biggest ring. If you can live with a 26:36 as your lowest low gear, the overlaps between a typical two ring setup cover all the available gears in a three ring setup. So IMO if you don't need the low gear that you can get by having a 22T small ring, a double or 1x is probably totally adequate for you.

    I ride a 29. I weigh almost 200 lbs. I often ride with a heavy pack. My full suspension bike weighs ~30 lbs. My favorite ride starts with a half hour false flat and then goes to 3 full hours of climbing without a break. Starts at 7,000 feet tops out at 11,300 feet. I could do it with the lowest gear available on a 2x setup, but that last half hour would be less fun. If I rode a 26" wheeled bike the ratio would be that much milder and it might work. But I don't.

    If you're a 145 lb greyhound, or you're just a strong rider and you never use your low gears, go for it. I use my low gears here in CO. Lots. If I want to grunt I ride my SS. If I'm bothering to have a geared bike, I want one that has a full useful range of gears.

    I sometimes spend a couple hours on the small ring, and I shift between the lowest 4 or even 5 gears on the cluster. When running in the middle ring, I rarely use the lowest or highest sprocket, and preferably stay in the middle 5 (I run 9 speed). And I use the big ring not just for going super fast downhill on the road, but for technical downhill to keep the chain tension high so I don't have the chain jumping off the ring or swinging into the spokes. If you have one of those fancy new clutch rear derailleurs chain tension doesn't vary so that isn't a factor. But I don't have one of those and don't plan to for years. My SRAM x.9 9 speed stuff is bomber.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    How much is 0.0111 (gear) anywhey?
    It depends on your crank length, wheel size and tire diameter. Sheldon's Browns Gain Ratio Calculator gives you the complete mechanical advantage of any particular gear setup.

    I've got my own code that plots the speed vs rpms for any given gear and even if you pick a relatively narrow range ( 70 - 90 or whatever makes your knees happy ), gears have to be on the order of 5% different to make any noticable change at all.

  37. #37
    renaissance cyclist
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    I’m indifferent to the 2x10. I don’t often use the full range of gears on my 3x10; in fact for most rides I’m ok on my 1x8 bike (although that bike is fully rigid). On my 3x10 I live on my middle ring 95 percent of the time and only shift to the other rings for particularly long/steep climbs and descents. I question whether having fewer chain rings would result in less shifting between them as the transition between the big and small rings seems to be right in the middle of gear ratios I use most often. Either way, I don’t use the full range of available gears on a 3x10, so can understand the feasibility of running a 2x10 and probably will someday if/when the right bike selling for the right price happens to have one.

  38. #38
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    My Spec Epic 29er came with 2x10. I swapped it for 3x10 immediately. I live, ride, and race in Colorado -- mostly front range, race in Winter Park, have done the Leadville 100 twice (sub-9 once). I ride with people of varying abilities, so I sometimes use the granny/36t. We have some gradual downhills where big ring comes in very handy. On the steep sections of the LT100, I was doing 65rpm and watching 2x10ers grinding it out at 50rpm. Very happy to have the granny/36t.

    The 3x has a lower low and a higher high. I value both.
    '13 Spec Epic 29er, '09 Orbea CX, '12 Cannondale SuperSix, '08 Spec Transition, '06 Simtra Trials (sold), Yamaha YZ450 (sold)

  39. #39
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    Having 3 choices is better than 2 . Good on flat and always there for you on long grinding climb like Columbine.

  40. #40
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    I Have a S-works Epic 29r. Came with the 2*10 (24/38) and 11/36 cassette. I'm 66 and not that strong. Found the 2*10 bloody awful for climbing. Modified the gearing to 20/36 front rings. The FD could just handle it. But found i ran out of revs on long downhills. So modified it to 3*10 with 20x30x40 front rings. The 20 front gives the same revs*speed as a 26r with a 22 front ring. This I found to perfect for me for long distance stuff. However for shorter (30 mile) rides a 2*10, 20/34 with 11/36was better. So now i switch between 2*10 (for my local trails) and 3*10 depending on the event, downhill speed and climbing grades. I only switch if doing an event that 'requires' it, otherwise I ride 20/34 front rings

    Esentially its that old saying - horses for courses - what suits me may not suit you. If 3*9/10 is better for you on your terrain then use it. If 2*10 suits you better, then use it

  41. #41
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    Considered trading my triple for a double but couldn't find 2x gearing that suited me.

    90% of my trail riding is done in the small ring of my triple (22t) and I find myself resorting to my 22t front ring and 34t rear cog on almost every ride that I do. Just can't give up the easy gears.

    Then there are the rides to get to the trail that I use to justify the big ring (44t).

    For the range of gearing that my triple gives me I couldn't find a double that I wouldn't have to give up something on one end or the other. That and my triple is fully functional. Had a hard time justifying the $ to replace something that just works.

  42. #42
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    Heck Yah!

    44/32/22 Shimano LX w/ 11-34 XT and White Industries 38/32/20 w/12-34 XTR 9-speed on my geared 29er's (running 32 - 16 on my SS 29er). Both setups have been bullet proof. I've ridden 2x10 like 5 times and found it to be too finicky - shifting strangeness, dropped chains and not a huge gearing advantage. Switching between chain rings isn't something I have trouble with or do very often but they sure come in handy ~5% of the time.

  43. #43
    Shut up and ride
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    Been riding and racing 1x9 for 5 years now.

    No interest in ever going back to a triple.

  44. #44
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    Any of you ever consider a 3 x 10?

  45. #45
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    I have a 1x9, 2x9, and a 3x9 setup on my bike. I can quickly switch between setups with just a press of my thumb or index finger. I really like my bash guard that doubles as a chain-ring too.

  46. #46
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    I used to ride a 3x9, but switched to singlespeed about 5 years ago...and never looked back! Until I moved to CO earlier this year and decided to build a full-suspension with 2x10. Honestly, I don't think I could ever go back to a triple. The 2x10 works fine for everything I've encountered so far. Granted, I've only ridden in/around Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Leadville, Salida, Monarch Crest, etc. So...I'm sure there's something out there that might make me think twice! Until then though, I'll stick with 2x10 (and my SS)...or if I demo it and like it...maybe even 1x11 (SRAM XX1).

  47. #47
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    Don't get me wrong, if I was buying a new bike that had 2x10 on it, I'd be happy too. For that matter, if I was building a new bike, I'd probably go 2x since there does seem to be more choices available now. I just don't see the point of spending time & money to make such a minor modification to an existing set up.

  48. #48
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    if you are spinning out with a 2x you might just want to replace the big ring with a larger size. i was skeptical of the benifits of 2x when i got my carbon flash 2 (i raced a 1x most of this year and loved the low maintenance care free shifting) but the small ring is great for most trail as well as tough climbs. and if you get on flat fast track parts, the larger ring lets me hammer down. i never really ran into a problem in the two last races i did with this set up.

  49. #49
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    I bought a new mountain bike last week (been out of the loop for a couple years). The bike was at a low price. I couldn't pass it up. It has a triple, I prefer a double.
    I was wondering if you could convert a triple to a double? Say a 40 -28 or something along those lines. A bigger middle and granny?
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
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    Oct 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgardner73 View Post
    ...or if I demo it and like it...maybe even 1x11 (SRAM XX1).
    I would love to hear anybody's real life experience with the 1x11. I switched from 3x9 on a FS 26'r to 2x10 on a carbon HT 29'r and have been very happy. A lot of that happiness is due to weight loss, but shifting reliability has been a very nice side benefit. Would 1x be nicer? When I did High Cascades this year I noticed a lot of 1x10 rigs and that got me thinking. Anybody out there using 11 speed on long distance rides yet?

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