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  1. #1
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Bike industry: don't take the 'mountain' out of our bikes (gearing + wheel size rant)

    Not sure if I'm going to put this nagging idea out there properly, and I'm sure there's gonna be 50+ people insisting I'm doing it wrong, but please have some patience and hear me out....

    I've been riding off an on since 1992, and the latest itch to scratch has been working my way into increasingly remote back country trails. The effort required is pretty intense so it's been a multi-year project even getting the skills and fitness to tear this stuff off... but oh man, the payback.... here's a picture of part of our local playground taken from a 6,400' peak I bagged Monday. We actually have bike legal ORV trails strung out on various valleys and basins to the ridge just in front of the biggest peak system in this pic.


    Stupidly steep pitches (GPS said my descent that day had a couple points w 49% grade) going on for many miles/multiple thousands of feet of vert with anything from great to abominable to apocalyptic tread surfaces are par for the course. Long stretches of gut-popping granny gear herf and HAB is guaranteed. But somewhere in the suffering is also extravagant bliss.

    So what's my beef? There's currently an unholy convergence of trends in the bike industry that aren't going to help with this sort of passion at all: gearing systems ratcheted up + larger wheel sizes.

    To be clear:
    I'm NOT saying that the newer drive trains don't work/aren't awesome (that new SRAM 1x11 sure looks tasty).
    I'm NOT saying that the bigger hoops can't do these sort of trails (they do).

    I'm simply saying that mathematically the combination is working together to wipe out multiple lowest end gears, which are the ones me and my peeps spend the most time in while riding in Real Mountains™.

    Here in the NW it's long been a tradition to convert a 3x9 into a 2x9, but the granny ring sure as heck isn't the one that's dropped! Even the stronger guys I've ridden with will typically be munching along ahead of me on the small ring/big cog for 1-3 hours of grinding up a ridge to get the goods, and as a woman I'm constantly trying to play those low gears to preserve every scrap of power I can so I don't blow up before I'm back to the truck. And then there's my old creaky knees again....

    Thankfully I'm still quite happy with my 2009 Ibis Mojo w/ 3x9 SLX drive train, but frankly I'm thinking I might quietly sit out the current fad until the scene circles back on itself and goes through a sudden re-discovery of 'low gears = good' before going bike shopping again. In the meantime I'm experiencing a certain degree of angst and sadness... although I guess I'm saving money, so I've got that going for me... *sigh*
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  2. #2
    undercover brother
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    Have you used a 36t rear cog? or a 42t? I can almost climb up a wall with a 32t up front and 36t out back. Let alone a 42t...

  3. #3
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    Haha....I am running 22 granny/36 (tallest rear)....can you just not find the right cranks or something?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  4. #4
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    I run my Alfine11 with a 24 x 23, which gives me a lowest gear equivalent to 22 x 40.

    If I knew gear inches this might even sound impressive...

  5. #5
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    So what's your lowest gear? If you are running either a 22/32 or 22/34 you can get pretty close to that by running a 28 tooth chainring with 1x11 with 42 tooth cog. That combo is equivalent to 22/33.

    While it's true that bigger wheels and 1x and 2x systems will usually sacrifice some of the lower gear ratios, the answer is quite simple: keep using a 3x system. Currently SRAM offers X9 and X0 in both 2x and 3x cranksets. So unless SRAM and Shimano completely drop the 3x crankset out of their lineup, then there is nothing for you to worry about.

    And if you are worried about the switch to 27.5, well, switching from 26 to 27.5 is like losing only 1 and 1/2 teeth of your rear big cog. Not that big of a deal and if you aren't already using a 36 in the back you can swap cassettes to get your granny gear back where it was.

  6. #6
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Have you used a 36t rear cog? or a 42t? I can almost climb up a wall with a 32t up front and 36t out back. Let alone a 42t...
    ^^ THIS ^^

    I have a singlespeed, 1x10, 2x10, 3x9, 26er, 299er, and a 650B (yeah, a lot of bikes). What doesn't kill you, will only make you stronger.

  7. #7
    dru
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    Slowrider, I hear you and couldn't agree more. I rode up a 7000 ' mtn in 97 and it was a granny gear climb indeed, for about 2 hours straight.

    Just wait out the marketing cycle and keep riding what you like. I've been at the sport a long time too and the genuine equipment progress we've seen is often mixed with lots of ideas that are nothing more than flavours of the week.

    For instance how many different BCD patterns have there been over the years? I think XTR had four or five different ones in the space of 5 or 6 years.....

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  8. #8
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    The single ring fronts don't make sense if you ride all the mountain.
    and I agree keep the mountain in mountain biking.

  9. #9
    giddy up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    The single ring fronts don't make sense if you ride all the mountain.
    and I agree keep the mountain in mountain biking.
    For me....the exact opposite is true. 1x11 with a 26t ring in the front yields me the same exact climbing gear that I would have with a 22-36......without the weight/sh$tiness of a front derailleur. All that I lost was my high end gears....which are all but worthless in the mountains. Win-Win.

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  10. #10
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    Aloha, yes, I am in the same boat as you. People often say "I can walk faster than you riding up that hill in your granny" but that's not the point. I can say I rode it all.

    I've managed to put together my custom 9 speed set up by using old school stuff. 94/58mm 5 bolt stuff with 42/29/20 chain rings turning a 13-38 cassette stack. Most of my climbing and trail work is done with the middle ring (especially good here with all the mud we have). When needed, I can do most of my climbing with the 29 middle but I can in a pinch switch to the 20 which allows me to climb some pretty amazingly steep stuff. If I need to do some fire road or pavement miles to get me to trails, I spin the 42.

    Good luck with your set up. My only fear is some day not being able to get any more 29's in that bolt circle or bottom brackets.......So far so good. Action Tec, FSA spare 29's and other various parts will keep me going well into the future. Well, until the last of the frame manufactures do away with 73mm threaded BB's..........

  11. #11
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Aloha, yes, I am in the same boat as you. People often say "I can walk faster than you riding up that hill in your granny" but that's not the point. I can say I rode it all.
    It's not even bragging rights necessarily, it's preserving as much energy as you can when the ride slips into the 3rd/4th hour and beyond so you can just hang on and survive.

    ..I've managed to put together my custom 9 speed set up by using old school stuff. 94/58mm 5 bolt stuff with 42/29/20 chain rings turning a 13-38 cassette stack..
    Nice! I've run into a number of guys now who are quietly putting 20 tooth granny rings on for a number of reasons... our massive/steep hills, bad knees, bikepacking, etc.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    It's not even bragging rights necessarily, it's preserving as much energy as you can when the ride slips into the 3rd/4th hour and beyond so you can just hang on and survive.
    Or maybe not even the 4th, 5th or even 8th hour and beyond, it might be the 3rd, 4th straight day of insane riding. Just to be able to say we earned it with the climb.

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    We're surrounded by mountains in which the climbs involve 1hr+ in the granny ring and coming back down you really need the big ring. I can certainly ride everywhere using a single ring upfront but the efficiency is so greatly reduced that it would definitely make the all day rides so much harder.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    or maybe not even the 4th, 5th or even 8th hour and beyond, it might be the 3rd, 4th straight day of insane riding. Just to be able to say we earned it with the climb.
    ^ this. 'zackly.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    We're surrounded by mountains in which the climbs involve 1hr+ in the granny ring and coming back down you really need the big ring. I can certainly ride everywhere using a single ring upfront but the efficiency is so greatly reduced that it would definitely make the all day rides so much harder.
    Yeah, in this country the descents are so technical you're not going to go fast enough to use the big ring 90% of the time, which is why it's often just replaced with a bash guard. But middle is good... in fact that's almost always how I'm going down even if I'm not pedaling at all, just to take up some chain tension and prevent slap.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  16. #16
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    I feel your pain... and anyway you put it, you're right. Problem is, everyone likes to believe that what they ride is the best. And it is for them. And the problem with the bike industry is that it has to reinvent itself every few years to remain relevant and viable. This is not to say that bigger wheels and different gears don't work well for particular purposes. But IMHO, the industry is trying to get riders to own a quiver of bikes for specific terrain. It's at the point (seems to me at least) that getting a complete bike off the shelf to do exactly wht you want it to do is near impossible. The frame geomentry you want may not come with the wheel size you need or the suspension you like. And the gearing is never changed from the stock specs to accommodate larger wheel sizes (a 24 tooth little ring on a 26'r is noticeably lower than on a 29'r).

    Now if you're a 20 or thirty-something in great shape, a 1x 11 prolly looks way cool. Or that 2x10 with a 24 tooth on a 29'r may never be noticed. But from where I stand looking back at 58 years and down at 4 knee surgeries and back issues, those gearing choices absolutely suck. So I have no choice but to swap out little rings and even consider upgrading to that 11 speed cog set and derailleur to get the lower gearing for monster climbs like what you describe. Not to mention that all the new bikes with the geometry I want (73+ degree seat tube and 67 degree head angle) and 5+ inches of suspension travel all come with 27.5 wheels now. Great for point and shoot, but for tight twisty rocky trails, nothing works like a 26'r. Not to mention the added weight of bigger hoops and tires.
    No doubt I'm labeled a retro-grouch by some; don't really care. But when I see some of the best 26" trail bikes being phased out to bring in the latest wheel craze it seems a little "backwards" to me as well.
    That being said, may i suggest you upgrade to a 10 speed drive train and swap out the 24 toofer for a 22 up front. Cheaper than a whole new bike...

  17. #17
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Wiping out the lowest gears? You realize the cassettes were 30t back in the day right? I get along fine with my ultegra cassettes...up MOUNTAINS. Not that everyone should do this, but even back on a 22-32-42 and 11-32 setup the 32 in the rear was just too low to use with the granny gear, but for some reason people went crazy about the 2t effective increase of 29ers and here we are trying to ride 36 and 42t rear cogs. It's insanity.

    At least 1x11 brings it back to the sane level by not having all crazy redundant gears and more things for my thumb to get arthritis on. It's probably better range than the non-microdrive rings and 11-30 cassettes we used to ride.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  18. #18
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    verslowrdr, I know what you mean. If I were you, I would start stock piling what works for you now. If you have a good supply of spare (new) parts, you can keep it right for your needs forever.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey View Post
    For me....the exact opposite is true. 1x11 with a 26t ring in the front yields me the same exact climbing gear that I would have with a 22-36......without the weight/sh$tiness of a front derailleur. All that I lost was my high end gears....which are all but worthless in the mountains. Win-Win.

    BB
    donkey this is the set up im thinking bout! what single ring set up you run up front???

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey View Post
    For me....the exact opposite is true. 1x11 with a 26t ring in the front yields me the same exact climbing gear that I would have with a 22-36......without the weight/sh$tiness of a front derailleur. All that I lost was my high end gears....which are all but worthless in the mountains. Win-Win.

    BB
    what goes up must come down, i agree on the climbing side, but not the descending side. I want to be able to have both worlds. the single up front is just to limiting. I need the granny to get up there, and i love the bigger ring to scare my self going backdown. I run a 2x10 on my main bike.

  21. #21
    251
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    FWIW, "back in the day" my '95 Stumpjumper M2 came with an 3x8 drivetrain consisting of an 11-28 cassette and a 24/32/42 chainrings. My current 1x9 hardtail is setup with an 11-34 and a 32t ring on the front. The bottom gear "back in the day" was 24/28 (.86) and the apparently unable to climb a "real" mountain 1x9 is 32/34 (.94); put an 11-36 on the back, and it's pretty much on par with the old 3x8 at .89. What's more, I do believe in the long-ago early '90s, 3x7 drivetrains with 26t granny rings were more common than my ultra-low mid-'90s 24t ring.

    So, I think you're not properly remembering "the day", and it's really the soft, mushy midsection of time in between then and now when 22t granny rings and dinner plate 32t cogs were commonplace.
    Dave

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 251 View Post
    ...So, I think you're not properly remembering "the day", and it's really the soft, mushy midsection of time in between then and now when 22t granny rings and dinner plate 32t cogs were commonplace.
    HA! Yeah I MORE than remember it.... I still ride a ~1999 Cannondale with original drive train from time to time. It sucked then and it sucks now, which is why my old ~'94 GT was retrofitted with a 20 tooth cog in the 90s and I was freaking ecstatic to nab lower geared drive trains as they came out.

    Nobody around here misses that part. We don't miss cantilever and V brakes that made our hands cramp and ground down our rims on those long downhill shots either.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  23. #23
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    New for 2014 Shimano have released a crankset designed for ^^^^ I too was fed up with the trend to 1x and 2x

    It's a triple 10sp 22/30/40 so I'm happy to put that on my 29er bikepacking rig!! It's sitting in a box waiting

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Nobody around here misses that part. We don't miss cantilever and V brakes that made our hands cramp and ground down our rims on those long downhill shots either.
    Reading this makes my hands ache.

    In all seriousness, I think there are more gearing options out there now then there has ever been. While there are certainly trends in what drivetrain comes on most bikes from the manufacturers, there are more than enough options for those who want something different.
    Dave

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    If you look at the Sheldon Bown website and compare your 22/32 front 11/34 rear to the new 11 speed (10/42) with a 28t chain ring you'll find them surprizingly similar. I am a dedicated small ring climber and have been delighted with my SLX 22/36 crankset. If you can only get your 11 speed with a 30 or 34 chain ring it's going to be too hard for a lot of people to do long steep climbs. We often climb steep hills for an hour or more to get to the goods. My Garmin files show that the downhill speed rarely exceeds 15 mph so unless you're riding down fire roads you don't need big gears. We ride down tight single track

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey View Post
    All that I lost was my high end gears....which are all but worthless in the mountains.
    I guess we are different, but personally, I wouldn't want to be riding without my 42/11. Yes it's completely useless uphill and even on most of flat parts, but it's really nice when things are going a bit down... enough down that you need to pedal, but not enough down, that you could need to just cruise.
    I can see point in 1x11 for xc racing. And even that, only for top level racing, where you have full support and mechanics, who can change chainrings for different terrains and tracks. Personally, even if I would have chainrings on stock, I wouldn't want to bother changing them to match my ride of that day. Not to mention, my normal rides include everything from steep uphills, flat terrain, to (not really bad) downhills (afterall I have xc bike, not hill climbing bike and not dh bike). So for that, I actually prefer 3x10 like I'm currently riding over my wife's 2x10, and I'm scared to even think I would need to be riding with 1x10 or 1x11.
    So please keep 3x10 option alive. I believe there's at least few of us, who are happy using it
    Primoz

  27. #27
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    CT--would a Yeti 575 meet your criteria.
    I come from back in the day and this 2013 and all its differences seem only positive ones to me. A great general all around design with much more travel.
    Its all new to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by CanyunTrash View Post
    I feel your pain... and anyway you put it, you're right. Problem is, everyone likes to believe that what they ride is the best. And it is for them. And the problem with the bike industry is that it has to reinvent itself every few years to remain relevant and viable. This is not to say that bigger wheels and different gears don't work well for particular purposes. But IMHO, the industry is trying to get riders to own a quiver of bikes for specific terrain. It's at the point (seems to me at least) that getting a complete bike off the shelf to do exactly wht you want it to do is near impossible. The frame geomentry you want may not come with the wheel size you need or the suspension you like. And the gearing is never changed from the stock specs to accommodate larger wheel sizes (a 24 tooth little ring on a 26'r is noticeably lower than on a 29'r).

    Now if you're a 20 or thirty-something in great shape, a 1x 11 prolly looks way cool. Or that 2x10 with a 24 tooth on a 29'r may never be noticed. But from where I stand looking back at 58 years and down at 4 knee surgeries and back issues, those gearing choices absolutely suck. So I have no choice but to swap out little rings and even consider upgrading to that 11 speed cog set and derailleur to get the lower gearing for monster climbs like what you describe. Not to mention that all the new bikes with the geometry I want (73+ degree seat tube and 67 degree head angle) and 5+ inches of suspension travel all come with 27.5 wheels now. Great for point and shoot, but for tight twisty rocky trails, nothing works like a 26'r. Not to mention the added weight of bigger hoops and tires.
    No doubt I'm labeled a retro-grouch by some; don't really care. But when I see some of the best 26" trail bikes being phased out to bring in the latest wheel craze it seems a little "backwards" to me as well.
    That being said, may i suggest you upgrade to a 10 speed drive train and swap out the 24 toofer for a 22 up front. Cheaper than a whole new bike...

  28. #28
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    Everyone has a perference. Mine is for low gearing. I agree that market trends are not about the low end of the range, but on faster shifting and fewer overlapping ratios. But there are still options to be had. My latest build, a Bandersnatch intended for dual duty on trail and gravel, has a Middleburn 20-30-40 crankset and a 10 speed 36T in back. Very nice. My RIP9 started life with a three ring with a 9 speed 36T casette, then lost the big ring, then had the little ring replaced by an ActionTec 20T, and finally the middle was replaced by a 30T. With these combos, you not only get granny back on your 29er, but get great granny too.

    There's always some strong climbers who feel the need to tell granny lovers to just tough it out, but so what. Nothing wrong with low gearing if that's what you need or just plain like.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  29. #29
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    what i want to see is a light weight and reliable rohloff like 8 spd type of system with a granny like climbing gears, trail gears, dh top end fit a 12mm axle...
    broadcasting from
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  30. #30
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    To the OP,
    It's worth mentioning that not everyone rides buffed out IMBA-style singletrack. I think a lot of people do forget that.

    I think that the old standard drivetrain ran something like a 26-36-46 x 13-30 7-speed. People got by with that, but I don't think multi-day bike packing trips were very common. When I had the chance I went "Microdrive": 20-32-42 x 11-28 8-speed; the triple got moved to my first 29er. Nowadays, my 29er has 22-32-44 x 11-32 9-speed. I need to stock up.
    Maybe I'll just go back to 7-speed.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  31. #31
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    It's not like you can't get 3x and 2x gear sets with at least 36t cassettes. Not sure what we're complaining about. You can probably put together something crazy with a 42 rear XX1.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I live @ 4700 feet (Wasatch Mts in UT) and ride between 5000' & 10,000'. I'm in my 40s. The granny is crucial for some of the big rides, but a 28 front on an XX1 would be perfect. It's usaully too techy to go too fast anyway. I'm thinking XX1 or XO1 on my next bike. I've ridden the XX1 locally and it was great

  33. #33
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    Bike industry: don't take the 'mountain' out of our bikes (gearing + wheel size rant)

    Quote Originally Posted by primoz View Post
    I can see point in 1x11 for xc racing. And even that, only for top level racing, where you have full support and mechanics, who can change chainrings for different terrains and tracks. Personally, even if I would have chainrings on stock, I wouldn't want to bother changing them to match my ride of that day.
    Why do you need mechanics to change a chainring? Takes me, what, couple minutes, on my 1x10.

    I thought I need all the gears, then I started riding single speed.

  34. #34
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    I love low gears. I have bird legs not tree trunks like
    some of you. I need all the help I can get. Plus for all
    the naysayers I can spin my ass off. I'm better off doing
    this than trying to grind a big gear.

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    Wow thats a nice pic! Does the Pointer ride with you? GSP or EP cant tell from the pic?

    You are truly blessed to be able to ride in those conditions. I have wet dreams about riding trails like that.

    With those types of climbs I would not go 1x11. 2x9 or 2x10 is just fine. If you want to uprgade just to have some thing new then its all good. Try X9 2x10, I swear by my sram stuff. No need to go 650b untill you need a new bike.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Thankfully I'm still quite happy with my 2009 Ibis Mojo w/ 3x9 SLX drive train, but frankly I'm thinking I might quietly sit out the current fad until the scene circles back on itself and goes through a sudden re-discovery of 'low gears = good' before going bike shopping again. In the meantime I'm experiencing a certain degree of angst and sadness... although I guess I'm saving money, so I've got that going for me... *sigh*
    Speaking of winching up stupid steep stuff - tried recently a very light carbon fatbike. Holy smokes, you can ride up a wall on that thing.

    Now if they can figure out better thorn protection (setting fat tires tubeless is reportedly a pain), that would be the bike I would build for back country excursions.

    On regular tires I run out of traction before I run out of gears..

  37. #37
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    This thread talks about serious climbing for long periods of time. The SS bravado is laughable.
    I don't rattle.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This thread talks about serious climbing for long periods of time. The SS bravado is laughable.
    SS is not laughable. Really helps to train. For serious climbing with gears.

    I thought here we were talking about the granny ring. ...

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This thread talks about serious climbing for long periods of time. The SS bravado is laughable.
    Hey Mike, long time no see 'round here! And no worries on that, it was so predictable I actually emailed a few local buds with a link to this thread when I started it and said I'd be waiting for the HTFU posts to roll on in so we could chuckle among ourselves. Just watched some vid footage one excellent gent got of us doing a loop through gorgeous country that finished with a 2,000' descent. Worth all the hike-a-bike and sweat and cussing it took to pull it off.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  40. #40
    The White Jeff W
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    I jumped on the 1x9 bandwagon for awhile, then I put my granny ring back on and Im happy again
    No moss...

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    I just went to the Universal Cycles website and found over 50 different triple ring cranksets. So what the heck is everybody bellyaching about? If you don't like 1x or 2x setups, get a triple.

    Yes, the trend is towards bigger wheels and fewer front chainrings. But we are nowhere near the day when triple chainring cranksets and 26 inch wheels are auctioned off on Ebay for big money because they are no longer sold new. When that day comes, feel free to come back and start a new post.

  42. #42
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    Thor29, we are nearer than "nowhere near". In five years (which is a blink of an eye), I doubt any of the big manufacturers will still be producing them. I say stock up now for those who need them, and I do understand the need for them in the higher, steeper, sustained climbing regions.

  43. #43
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Relax kids....it's all going to be internal gearing by then.
    Derailleurs?
    We will look back at them and be amazed that we used such ridiculous, fragile, exposed CRAP.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  44. #44
    Demon Cleaner
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    Agree with the sentiment. Went 29er and 2x10 which was only offered with 26, 38 in front. Found that was too much gear for most of my riding. Put a 24 on the front. Solved my gear issues, but botchy front shifting now.

    Not like riders can't make do. That's always been part of the hobby. But I do think manufactures are not really spec'ing bikes for part of the market.
    Bicycling is politics by other means.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Relax kids....it's all going to be internal gearing by then.
    Derailleurs?
    We will look back at them and be amazed that we used such ridiculous, fragile, exposed CRAP.
    mountain bike transmissions?!

  46. #46
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    mountain bike transmissions?!
    Yeah...like a 1 pound Rohloff, or Hammerschmidt. That actually WORKED.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Yeah...like a 1 pound Rohloff, or Hammerschmidt. That actually WORKED.
    Aside from working perfectly it will have to weigh less than 1 pound, I'm a weight weenie...

  48. #48
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Aside from working perfectly it will have to weigh less than 1 pound, I'm a weight weenie...
    That's what I said...a system that weighs a pound, which is less than the sum of whatever we are running now.
    Ditch your derailleurs, cogs, 30 links of chain, etc...that stuff adds up!
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  49. #49
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Yeah...like a 1 pound Rohloff, or Hammerschmidt. That actually WORKED.
    Pinion, that you can get on Nicolai, but I will take 8 gears or so, instead of 18, with about 600% range.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    That's what I said...a system that weighs a pound, which is less than the sum of whatever we are running now.
    Ditch your derailleurs, cogs, 30 links of chain, etc...that stuff adds up!
    I hope you're right, but internal hubs have been around a long time and we're still on derailleurs. You have me wondering who is pushing the tech and what is the latest and greatest internal gearing.

  51. #51
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by derekbob View Post
    You have me wondering who is pushing the tech and what is the latest and greatest internal gearing.
    Pinion, they say. NICOLAI Maschinenbau GmbH


  52. #52
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    THIS is clearly the solution.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    THIS is clearly the solution.
    You mean the Vyro.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Why do you need mechanics to change a chainring? Takes me, what, couple minutes, on my 1x10.
    I thought I need all the gears, then I started riding single speed.
    As I wrote, I have no wish changing chainrings before every ride. And I'm not sure if I mentioned this last time, most of my rides are on terrain where I actually need lightest and heaviest gears, so for me personally, even if I would bother with changing chainrings before every ride, 1x10 or 1x11 is out of question.
    In this case (and many others) what is good for racers is not necessarily good for normal riders. Afterall, how many riders use 1x11 on XC Marathon races, where track is more "normal"? I would say not many if there's any at all. XCO is very very specific thing, on tracks which normal people don't ride all that often.
    It's like with skiing, when normal people (and even top World cup racers) don't use downhill skis for their normal every day skiing on open public hills, even though DH skis are best option for downhill races.
    Primoz

  55. #55
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    Some people are badasses because they ride such rough terrain they actually need all three rings and a full cassette in back. Others are badasses because with the new cassettes, they only need a single ring up front. And still others are badasses because they only need a single, solitary gear. Good to know. I've maintained continual badass status for the last 20 something years then.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. 68 Hundred View Post
    Some people are badasses because they ride such rough terrain they actually need all three rings and a full cassette in back. Others are badasses because with the new cassettes, they only need a single ring up front. And still others are badasses because they only need a single, solitary gear. Good to know. I've maintained continual badass status for the last 20 something years then.
    And majority of people are not badasses, and for them dealing with the front derailleur and gearing is one of the frustrating aspects of our sport.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    And majority of people are not badasses, and for them dealing with the front derailleur and gearing is one of the frustrating aspects of our sport.
    Hah I would suggest that the most frustrating thing is having to climb several thousand vertical feet.....regardless of front derailleur or not.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by primoz View Post
    Afterall, how many riders use 1x11 on XC Marathon races, where track is more "normal"? I would say not many if there's any at all.
    It costs and arm and a leg so far. There will be a lot. Not for all of them, obviously, but a lot.

  59. #59
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Hah I would suggest that the most frustrating thing is having to climb several thousand vertical feet.....regardless of front derailleur or not.
    And how many people do that on a regular basis? Even then - I am a slow guy, usually "competing" for last place - last long ride about a week ago at Fort Ord - 52 miles, 6900ft (it was a bike orienteering race, which inspired me to finally start tracking rides on ridewithgps) - switched to granny maybe once, would not be needed if it was 11-36, not 11-32 cassette (36t middle front). Obviously, that is not a slog in the high mountains, but rather average terrain. I would not dare to go to a long ride in Sierra's without a low gear..
    In any case, I doubt wide range drivetrains will disappear anywhere. Maybe it will take an effort to source and install it. Oh, well.. bummer I guess.

  60. #60
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    The TRUE BADASSES are the guys who have one ring in front and one gear in back and ride ANYTHING that the guys with 3 rings up front can ride. I am NOT one of those TRUE BADASSES (well, almost, maybe).

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    Quick weird question...does anyone currently offer a wider ratio 8 or 9 speed cassette? I don't race, so I don't mind the wider gaps in gear ratios. IMHO, and in my world, a rear 11/40(ish...) rear matched with a single 28(ish...) would be nearly bulletproof. I ride a lot of Midwest/eastcoast stuff that is steep, rocky, and beats the hell out of derailleurs (Chubb, Greensfelder, Tsali stype stuff). For the same reliability and maintenance reasons, I've also found 8-speed cog spacings to be a bit more forgiving than 9 and 10 speed stuff-especially after bouncing off boulders and trees for 2 hours at a time. I guess I could custom order, but that's a lot of $$ for a short lifespan product...generally lasting 1 season for chains and cassettes.

  62. #62
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    One of the best arguments for multiple front chainrings isn't increased gear range but straighter chainlines, (IMO). Short climbs- whatever, but it sucks grinding up a long climb in a 32x32 on a single chainring bike when I could have been in a smaller ring with a straighter chain. I can feel the friction when the chain is bending that much, and friction is power loss and increased wear.

    Also- sometimes it's actually simpler to drop to a smaller front ring and then back again on small rollers rather than shifting through a bunch of gears on the back.

  63. #63
    Merendon Junkie
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    I agree with this thread. Even though 3 speed chainrings are plenty available aftermarket, I was not thrilled to spend 200 bucks on a new crankset (36/24) right of the bat because my El Mar was specked with a 39/27 3 bolt fsa comet crankset for which it is imposible to find smaller chainrings. A 27 granny just would not cut it for some if the rides we do here where we climb from 80 meters above sea level to 1600 meters in 14 kilometers. And I do pedal faster than someone walking when im spinning uphill on 1-1(24-36) or 1-2 for 2 hours non stop on a mostly sustained climb all the way to the good part of the mountain. I would like to see 40/22 cranksets. Now go on and make it happen bike industry.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryang View Post
    Quick weird question...does anyone currently offer a wider ratio 8 or 9 speed cassette? I don't race, so I don't mind the wider gaps in gear ratios. IMHO, and in my world, a rear 11/40(ish...) rear matched with a single 28(ish...) would be nearly bulletproof. I ride a lot of Midwest/eastcoast stuff that is steep, rocky, and beats the hell out of derailleurs (Chubb, Greensfelder, Tsali stype stuff). For the same reliability and maintenance reasons, I've also found 8-speed cog spacings to be a bit more forgiving than 9 and 10 speed stuff-especially after bouncing off boulders and trees for 2 hours at a time. I guess I could custom order, but that's a lot of $$ for a short lifespan product...generally lasting 1 season for chains and cassettes.
    I'm pretty sure I have seen high end titanium cassettes on eBay that are either 11-38 or 12-38 but I cannot recall whether or not they are 9 or 10 speed.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This thread talks about serious climbing for long periods of time. The SS bravado is laughable.
    I've completed the CTR on a singlespeed.

    I may have cried a few times, but it isn't laughable at all.
    Supply Side Jesusnomisist

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I'm pretty sure I have seen high end titanium cassettes on eBay that are either 11-38 or 12-38 but I cannot recall whether or not they are 9 or 10 speed.
    Guess I could have simply looked at Ebay first. Shimano has 12/36 9speed cassettes now. Paired with a single 26 granny, it should climb anything I need to climb and still get me up to 10ish mph on the flats. Usable gear ratios wouldn't be that different from my current 22/32x 34/12. Basically would be a super-budget relative (Cousin Eddy?) of an XX1 setup.

    Another option would be upgrading to a 10 speed cassette, chain, and shifter, but my old XT rd would probably have to be swapped too. Not so budget conscious that way, though.
    Last edited by bryang; 08-15-2013 at 07:29 AM. Reason: typo

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