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  1. #1
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    2x9 Gearing for a 26" Hardtail

    Currently I have 44-32-22 chainrings up front with an 11-34 XT cassette out back. On my training ride I am almost always in the middle ring, even on the longer climbs. Since I never use my big ring I figured I would convert to 2x9 to save some weight and simplify my drivetrain.

    I was thinking of going with 36-24 up front and keeping the 11-34 cassette out back. This setup would allow me to stay in my big ring for much longer and still give me a granny gear to fall back on, because I know some of the race courses do require me to shift down up front.

    With this setup I will lose my 2 highest gears up top, am I really going to notice this? I hardly ever use my big ring now and I figure with a 36 up front I should have all the top end I need.

    Opinions? What is your 2x9 setup?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
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    Im considering going to 2x9 as well........How many links are you gonna remove from your chain?

  3. #3
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    Opinions? What is your 2x9 setup?
    My 2 x 9 is an 11-32 with 32-44 chainrings, so a 1:1 low gear. Our local courses include some pedalling at ~35mph leading into the home stretch, so I'd freak without my 44-11.

    In your case, if it weren't a 9-speed rear, I'd suggest an 11-36 with a 30-44 crankset. That would achieve almost the same low gear as your proposed setup, while having more useable gears from the 30-tooth ring. But the 9-speed 11-36 cassettes are heavy enough that it seriously messes with the weight-reduction goal.

    Anyway, if you want to see whether you'd miss your highest gears, try locking out your 11-tooth cog so you can't get any higher than your 44x13, and try that for a while. 44x13 is still a little higher than 36x11 but it's in the ballpark.

  4. #4
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    Woah 32-32 as your low? I couldn't ride that where I live. I definately never use the 22t chainring with 34t cog in the back, but I do drop down to the 22t on occassion if the going gets really tough.

    I also definately don't need the 44t chainring with the 11t cog out back. Maybe if I was commuting with this bike. The biggest gear I find myself in on my training ride is 44t in the front and 20t, sometimes the 17t in back.

    36-24 up front keeps sounding better and better. I guess I should just try it out. I was just looking for some reassurance on here I suppose.

    Thanks for the responses guys and happy trails!

  5. #5
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    I ran 2x9 quite a bit on my Sworks HT before recently switching to 2x10.

    I was running an XTR 11-34 in the back with a XX setup on the front (28, 42).

    That gearing worked okay but wouldn't work well on some of the steeper XC courses IMO.

    Same bike is now running 2x10 with a 11-32 Cassette and 26, 39 XX rings.
    Try to be good.

  6. #6
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    I was originally going to go with 38-26 rings, but 36-24 seems much more easily available and cheaper. I can get some lightweight truvativ trushift rings for less than $40 in 36-24. The only lightweight 38-26 rings I can think of are the TA Chinook rings which I can get from starbike. These would be around $100 shipped. Major price difference.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboyj17
    Woah 32-32 as your low?
    Our area is semi-desert, and that does help because the surface is generally dry and firm, so rolling resistance is a lot lower than if I were on soft, momentum-sucking mud/clay stuff. But the steepest sustained climbs on my training rides are around 30% grade, so it's not like it's flat here, either.

  8. #8
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    When I ran 2x9, I used 40t/28t and it seemed perfect for pretty much anything from steep climbs (although, there really aren't to many of those in Texas ) to sprints.

    Now I run 1x10 with 36x11-36t and don't see a need for anything lower than 1:1 or anything higher than 36x11.

  9. #9
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    I run Blackspire 26-38 rings with an 11-34 cassette. Perfect setup on my 26er. I'd drop to 24 small ring if I had a 29er on 2x9. During shorter races, I feel that I could probably even go with a 28 small ring, but the 26 gives me a good gear for long steep climbs on long races or training rides. I feel with the 26 ring, I'd be faster walking than riding if it gets too steep for it, but other than the sand pit climbs at 24 hrs of Moab I've only found one climb that got me off the bike and that was early on in a 32 mile race and I got off to save some matches (generally only the top tier Cat 1 guys ride that section).
    Oh, and I am just a 195 lb sport rider. If you are faster or lighter, I think you probably can run taller gears than me.
    But if cost is a factor, I'd say the 24-36 is probably just fine. You'll just want to upshift up front a little more.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for posting Whambot, I have got the exact same rings but with a 11-32 cassette. Haven't installed it yet though, I'm moving from a 22-32-44 with 11-34 though. Moving up from sport to expert this year so I am glad to hear its a setup that works.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBrownCow
    Thanks for posting Whambot, I have got the exact same rings but with a 11-32 cassette. Haven't installed it yet though, I'm moving from a 22-32-44 with 11-34 though. Moving up from sport to expert this year so I am glad to hear its a setup that works.
    Yeah. You'll have no problem with that setup. I was worried about giving up some on the high end, but I'm into the 31-32 mph range before I spin out.

  12. #12
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    After hearing these suggestions I think I'm going to go for 38/26 up front with an 11-34 cassette in the back (at least until my current one wears out).

    Thanks for all the help guys and good luck at the races this year!

  13. #13
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    I've been running 24-36- 42 with 11-32. I've kept the 42 for those wide open flat out efforts,(one more ring doesn't make that much of a weight difference compared to having that extra "big ring" edge when you need it) 36 works great 90% of the time; 24 comes into play during steep/extended climbing. Who cares about gear overlap ?blah, blah, blah!! 42-18 has similar rollout to 36-11/12 but with a different range of torque from the crank ; as does 36-32 compared with 24-19/20 and so on, hope this makes since. I'm not the best when it comes to explanations

  14. #14
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    I run a 36T up front and a 11-32T in the back. I've never needed anything higher than 36x11, even on the Fort Mountain GSC race course. I also didn't need anything lower than 36x32 because the really steep stuff is really short and the really long stuff is fairly tame.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for starting this thread.

    I've committed to a bike (for 2011) with 26/39 crankset and 12-36 10-speed cassette (on a 29er bike), so good to see some other takes on this. I currently ride a 29er with 22/32/44 and an 11-34 cassette.

    Here's my take, just looking at gear ratios.
    On the climbing end it's pretty close to what I have:
    26/36 = .72

    X = 22/.72 = 30.55 Therefore I'll be getting a new low gear between a 22/30 and 22/31 (I believe 22/30 is my 2nd gear).


    On the descending end though:
    39/12 = 3.25

    X = 44/3.25 = 13.53 So a gear between a 44/13 and 44/14.

    That's a bit far from a 44/11, but 29ers have great top end anyway, due to the big wheel. But I think I'll love the simplicity of shifting and most importantly, the lower Q-factor of the cranks (#1 reason I want to change).
    Last edited by Poncharelli; 02-08-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Ponch-
    Your comparison is little off as you used a 39/12 instead of 39/11 which = 3.55
    and 44/3.55= 12.39. Which, unless you got a ton of road dh on your courses, will be plenty big.

    But if you want to do a fair comparison between 26er and 29er check out sheldon brown's gear calculator it will allow you to adjust for wheel size as well as any gear combination, get your geek on here:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/

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