Mountain Biking 10 Speed: here to stay
- by rc
- Published: 7 September 2010
AusBike confirmed without doubt that there is no stopping the 10-speed mountain bike groupset. All high end frames present were fitted with 10-speed drivelines and this trend is set to filter down through the model ranges.
Sram has expanded its 2×10 configuration to the X7, X9 and x0 line-ups for 2011, while Shimano has retained triple chainrings and added an extra cog to their Deore XT and SLX groups. XTR is set to receive a 10-speed cassette in 2011, but with the valuable option of double or triple chainrings.
Shimano’s Dyna-Sys 10-speed range has been optimistically suggested to have created a “whole new way of shifting”. On a practical level Shimano representatives at Ausbike claim that the 24-32-42T chainrings are far more usable, with smoother transitions to both granny and big rings with less recovery shifting required.
The Shimano 10 speed revolution now only extends to Deore XT and SLX, but will encompass XTR for 2011.
Sram’s initial claims for its new groups are more modest; “a full range of useable gears with less weight and smoother shifting”. This mantra was repeated by representatives of both Sram and a number of bike manufacturers who have been quick to adopt the existing XX 10 speed group.
The 10 speed XX setup was released in 2009 and quickly earned a solid reputation for durability, light weight and crisp shifting.
Initial overseas tests of the X7, X9 and X0 groupsets suggest that they will not disappoint, but our analysis will have to wait until they arrive and we have a chance to test them in Australian conditions.