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  1. #1
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    2x10 or 3x10 for Front Range?

    I was wondering what your opinion is on 2x10 vs 3x10 for the Front Range. I've always had a 3x9 (22/36/44) but I just sold my bike and am trying to figure out what to get on my next bike (SB66). I typically ride Apex and Walker Ranch so I do a lot of uphill.

    I ride with a guy who has the SRAM 2x10 drive train and he loves it (claims it's quieter and lighter) but I typically climb and descend faster than he does so I naturally want to go with what I know works for me. But just because I haven't ridden the 2x10 doesn't mean that it won't work for me -- at this point, it's just an unknown and I'm hesitant to spend a large amount of money on a 2x10 kit only to find it not what I like. I love to go down fast so I spend a lot of time in the large chainring but I also love to blast uphills as quickly as I can.

    Anyway, just wondering what riders in this area think.

  2. #2
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    Check out a gear calculator and try and match the gearing to your 3x9. See what happens. Personally, I ride 2x9. I can go plenty fast enough without a 44t chainring.

  3. #3
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    I bought a 66 a few weeks back and wrestled with the same question. Ended up going 3 x10 XT. I do just enough riding on fire roads in the Vail area that I would spin out the 36. Not often, but often enough...

  4. #4
    zrm
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    I don't use my smallest granny or my tallest gear on my 3X9 that often, but I'm glad I have them when I want/need them. Double cranksets have their advantages, it's just a matter of deciding where you are on the trade off scale.

  5. #5
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    I've been on 2x9 since the early 2000's; live in Golden, and don't miss the 44t. If you like fire roads a lot, a 44t is good to have.

    For the front range, you don't need a 44t.... like, at all. If you had it, you may use it every now and then, but you won't miss it. Its granny going up, and no gears on the DH (brakes usually). The only time I used a big ring was in 24hours of Moab, to saw a log, and to use it as a ninja star.

    I'm running 2x10 on my bikes now. Even better!
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies, guys. spaightlabs, I think I'd be in the exact same position as you so I think I'll also go for the 3x10.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    slow
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    Here is a link to a gear calculator, so you can compare the range of your old bike to the range of the drive train at which you are looking.

    Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Gear Calculator

    I have been running 2 x 8 for several years and haven't missed the small chain ring at all. 32 x 46 in front and 11-32 on the rear gets me up everything I have tried on the front range and I like having the big ring for riding to and from the trails. I do find I bash the 46 on some rocks and logs, though.

  8. #8
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    If you can try a 2 x 10 out before you commit. I've ridden Waterton the last 3 days and I don't think I would have spun out on a 38 tooth big ring. Coming down from Red Sandstone Rd or Cottonwood Pass in Vail, definitely would spin out, but I only ride this a couple times a year with the wife cuz she prefers fire roads to trails.


    My XT has a switch to set it up as a 2x on the front der so I might might pull the 44 and put on a bash guard and get a 38 ring to try it.

  9. #9
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    I want to go 2x10 as well but I am worried about my granny gear. I am on a 29er with 3x9 now and my granny ratio is .65 (Drive over driven, 22/34=.65). A 2x10 would be a 28/36=.77, so a higher ratio (harder to pedal) right??? I dont get into my granny to often but when I do I really need it, cant find a smaller sprocket for a 2x10, what to do???

  10. #10
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    just swap your big ring for bash. your granny ratio will remain same

  11. #11
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    I was able to clear the steepest stuff at pueblo today on my 2x10. The secret is the 36 toothed ring in the back. I have plenty of gears.
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  12. #12
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    1x10

  13. #13
    Living the High Life
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    I've been running a 2x9 for several years. I hardly notice the lack of the big ring. I sometimes consider a 1x9...until I ride up Deer Creek and remember I love my granny gear.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  14. #14
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    I switched to a 1x9 and had the same worries as you. After riding for awhile I dont miss the extra gears sometimes I have to pedal a few more rpms than my buddy to keep up,but it is rare and only on roads or fireroads. The Front Range is typically uphill then downhill so either you are in the granny or you are in the big ring but I dont miss the big ring at all.

  15. #15
    I dream on two wheels
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    My bikes (Nomad Carbon & 29er XC bike) are 2x9, and 2x10. Haven't had a big ring in about 7 years. Haven't missed it and the bash guard that replaced it gets a lot of use.
    Whiskey

  16. #16
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    After looking at chain guides, this is the next thing I'm going to try:


  17. #17
    Chairman of the Beard
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    Quote Originally Posted by toHELLuRIDE View Post
    1x10
    +1

    Well, 1x9, but same diff.
    The correct number of bikes one should own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.

  18. #18
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    When I moved here I had a 2x9 (29 x 34) on my XC rig, and I found it too difficult to get up the Betasso Link trail, so I bought a 3 chainring crank, and now I can make it up all of the trail, except for the last 25% of the rock garden. So yeah, I would strongly recommend a 3 chainring setup...

  19. #19
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    I love my 2x10's. I've been on them for 2 years now. I have found that if you need a smaller gear than the 2x10 can provide you can move faster walking anyway.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  20. #20
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    Question for those that went from a 9 speed to a 10 speed casssette...
    Any increase in maintenance? Decrease in durability? Trouble shifting? More finiky chainline?
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  21. #21
    Abby Normal
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Question for those that went from a 9 speed to a 10 speed casssette...
    Any increase in maintenance? Decrease in durability? Trouble shifting? More finiky chainline?
    I switched from an LX 3x9 drivetrain (w/ Shimano HG61 12-36 cassette) to a SRAM x.7 2x10 drivetrain (w/ SLX 11-36 cassette) last November. Haven't gotten a ton of miles on it yet but have ridden through plenty of mucky conditions over the winter - zero issues. I like it a lot so far.

  22. #22
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard View Post
    I love my 2x10's. I've been on them for 2 years now. I have found that if you need a smaller gear than the 2x10 can provide you can move faster walking anyway.
    If I wanted to hike instead of ride I'd get a single speed.

  23. #23
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    I got rid of my 3 ring setup a few years ago and I love it. I run 2x9 (27-39 front, 11-34 rear) and I noticed that I've gotten faster over all. I spend a lot more time in the big ring (39t) and just shift up and down across the cassette until I get to a prolonged hill or super techy area. And I know I haven't been riding enough when the 27t ring isn't low enough to get up certain hills, But I sure don't miss the 3-ring. I just tell myself to get off my lazy ass and ride more.And the next step is definitely a 2-10 setup. 2 rings is smoother shifting, less shifting, less weight, less cross-chaining, and more awesome. Its a no brainer

  24. #24
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    1x10
    Somebody better get me a stamp...I'm gonna send it

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    I want to go 2x10 as well but I am worried about my granny gear. I am on a 29er with 3x9 now and my granny ratio is .65 (Drive over driven, 22/34=.65). A 2x10 would be a 28/36=.77, so a higher ratio (harder to pedal) right??? I dont get into my granny to often but when I do I really need it, cant find a smaller sprocket for a 2x10, what to do???
    The smallest chainring combo offered by SRAM for 2 x 10 is 22t/36t (22/36t cog = .611). The next step up would be 24t / 38t (22/36t cog = .667).

    Shimano's smallest front chainring for 2x10 would be 26t (26/36T cog = .722)

    SRAM It !!!!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    If I wanted to hike instead of ride I'd get a single speed.
    bwaa haa haa haa
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  27. #27
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    I run a 24/36 up front and an 11-36 out back on my Yeti 7. You lose a little to the 22-34 combo granny, but it also keeps the front end down on steeps better. With the 11-36 combo, only a few of the gears with a 44 are lost. Plus the 36-36 combo really works well when pedaling in very rough stuff...at least on the 7. High enough to not spin out, but low enough to finesse through.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

  28. #28
    BLKSS29RGD
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    The 3 of us went 2x10 hardtail 29er from 3x9 26 full susp. Best move we could have made. All of our riding ability and enjoyment improved. M&D + a 16 YO.

    I rode Palmer Tuesday for 2.5 hours, all in the big ring, and never used my biggest cog on the rear. 40+ moderate shape rider not hauling around a spare tire BTW.

    If you have ever ridden the Monarch Crest to Rainbow route, you know the slog on the Colorado before the Silver Creek descent. That is the only place my SO was wishing for more gear - BUT, she also wished for more gear on her 3x9 26er on the same trail, and with neither did she dismount...

    2x10 SRAM FTW!!!

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