Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

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Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:32 pm

I'm a late adopter to the 29er group.

Got a new bike a couple of weeks ago with 2x 10 Shimano (38/26) with 11-36 cassette.

Basically I have less lower gearing than I'm used to. The shifting with that 12-tooth jump is quite lazy, much slower than my old triple.

If I ride the big ring I end up at the wrong end of the cassette where the gear steps are huge. If I ride the little ring I either run out of top end or low end so I am constantly moving between the two.

I looked at running a 24 "granny" to resolve the lower gearing issue but that doesn't solve my issue of when I get to the top of the hill and want to bomb down I'm tapped out at around 50km/ph due to the smaller than I am used to "big" ring.

Solution, I'm going "back" to a 3x system. 24/32/42 - I'll be in the middle ring 90% of the time, decent climb or creek crossing and I'm into the granny, descent and its big ring time.

I know a lot of people seem to advocate the 1x and 2x systems and I guess you need gearing for where you ride. Where I ride varies vastly and I've got better things to do than to replace chain rings depending on the course.

I ride my bikes, walking climbs is not an option and in my lowest possible gear I'm still faster than the quickest walker despite what anyone without "low" gearing will have you believe. I love getting up those "unrideable" sections and passing walkers on the way.

Long live the triple.
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by BNA » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:29 pm

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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby rangersac » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:29 pm

So much of the new MTB kit seems like an excuse for marketing. I'm still thrashing around on my venerable 2006 Trek 8000 running 3X9 Deore LX/XT which just doesn't break, but when it finally does I'm at a bit of a loss as to what I'd replace it with. I've tried the new 29er breed and just don't like their lack of maneuverability on tight twisty single track, and the slower acceleration out of really big holes/ rapid incline changes. Sure on a swoopy fire trail they roll faster and carry over stuff better, but they just don't feel right to me when the going gets really tough. And as you say the 2X10 gearing seems all wrong for a proper XC course which ranges from one extreme to another. Stick with the 3X9 and enjoy the sound of that evil chain slap that only a triple can give you!
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby Calvin27 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:57 pm

I rode an alfine8 (about 300% ratio) and it seemed more than enough for most. Struggled up some bigger climbs but downhill was ok - no road speeds here all trails. Now I'm running a 38/24 front and 11-36 at the rear - the lowest gear is way overkill for me. I think double cranks are heaps better than triples but not a big fan of the massive overlaps in gears. They need to make gear ratios more appealing to the average joes (like me) - especially for hybrid bikes which are meant to do both rough and road riding. Average Joes don't want to do practically vertical climbs or blast at 80kph down a descent. A 28/44 with a 11-34 is probably a really cheap price-point whilst meeting this criteria. Isn't it about time they had customizable chain rings?

Edit - also the 10 speed in MTB is the biggest crock of marketing every. Cadence has little value in mtb but being able to change gears faster (less to shift) makes it heaps more effective. Just waiting for someone to make an affordable hub gear that doesn't piss out oil like the alfine 11!
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby Mugglechops » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:34 pm

I threw away 29 gears on my 29er and went with 1 :D

Far less thinking.....
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:29 pm

Mugglechops wrote:I threw away 29 gears on my 29er and went with 1 :D

Far less thinking.....


There was a few single speeds at my race last weekend, one hell fit guy came in nearly 1.5hrs in front of me. The other couple of guys were about 2hrs behind and did A LOT of walking :-)
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:55 pm

rangersac wrote:So much of the new MTB kit seems like an excuse for marketing.


+1, one of the reasons i'm not in any rush to get back into MTB, they carry on about how they are different from the "equipment is everything" roadies but from where i'm standing the MTB world is getting a lot worse in that regard.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:18 am

Tried it before I went over to a duallie, same experience as Deon. You'll find most of what you need in a 2x but getting to it can be a pain. Never was a fan of simultaneous F/R shifting
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:46 am

Calvin27 wrote: Just waiting for someone to make an affordable hub gear that doesn't piss out oil like the alfine 11!


One thing to remember is that some styles of MTB riding involve repeatedly large amounts of torque, and the components inside hubbed gears are very small ...
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:50 am

ldrcycles wrote: they carry on about how they are different from the "equipment is everything" roadies.


Was it ever that way, LDR? Way more choices and philosophies of frames, forks, brakes and drivetrains than the roadie, track or BMX worlds.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:27 am

Mulger bill wrote:Tried it before I went over to a duallie, same experience as Deon. You'll find most of what you need in a 2x but getting to it can be a pain. Never was a fan of simultaneous F/R shifting


Maybe I'm a control freak, don't know but I dislike running out of gears at either end :-)

Anyone have a solution to make the rear 10sp dyna-sys shifting quicker?

I've got an XT derailleur, slx chain, slx shifters. It works fine but its just not BANG-BANG-BANG through the gears.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby bychosis » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:46 pm

Have heard similar about the gaps in gears when you change the front ring in a 2x setup. Changing an extra gear or two on the back when changing the front wouldn't be cool. Haven't tried it personally though.

I was happy with 3x until I ordered a med cage rear mech by mistake and thought I try out 1x. I love the increased simplicity (not as much as SS though), but I have had to learn to put up with the loss of a couple of gears top and bottom. A little harden up on the ups and a little more coasting down the steep bits is easy enough to do. Won't be going back to the triple. I'm currently still on 9spd and going to 1x10 would increase the range of gears available if I had to.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby rkelsen » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:35 pm

I say follow your heart. You need to use gearing that makes you want to ride the bike.

My favourite bike has a simple 1x8 setup. It's nothing special, but makes me grin from ear to ear every time I ride it.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:46 pm

Anyone know if the dyna-sys chain is directional? How do I tell if its the right way around?

Wondering if its not installed backwards which would explain a few things.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby barefoot » Fri Aug 09, 2013 1:52 pm

jacks1071 wrote:Anyone have a solution to make the rear 10sp dyna-sys shifting quicker?

I've got an XT derailleur, slx chain, slx shifters. It works fine but its just not BANG-BANG-BANG through the gears.


My 10-speed XT drivetrain is plenty fast enough. But mine is 3x10, with 11-32 cassette. Maybe the bigger gaps on your wider cassette are playing a big part. Also, does such a wide ranging cassette require an extra long cage (or other oddball) derailer?

I only went 10-speed because it was becoming hard to find XT or better 8-speed cassettes (so, a worn-out chain escalated to worn-out cassette, worn-out chainrings... => entire new drivetrain => cheaper just to get a new bike with 3x10). I'm comparing new against old, of course, but 10-speed XT (chain, cassette, shifters, derailer) is certainly not slower or more clunky than my 8-speed (XTR 11-32 cassette, XT shifters and derailer, whatever chain).

In terms of going _back_ to triple... I had similar complaints to yours when I had a compact crank on my road bike. The gears I use most were the awkward cross-chained ones, and there was lots of (somewhat clunky with such a big tooth difference) front shifting required. So I got a triple crank. Depending on cassette, I have gears as low or lower than the compact, and/or tighter spacing, and more overlap in gear ranges between rings so I'm not front shifting as often.

I can see the attraction in a 1x drivetrain - eliminating the front shifter and derailer altogether - but I can't see much point in going 2x in preference to 3x.

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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby Duck! » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:10 pm

SRAM are the ones who started th 2x bandwagon with the XX groupset. When Shimano introduced their 10-sp. sets the following year, the default spec was still with 3x rings - their reasoning being that most riders do not have elite legs capable of riding the narrower gear range imposed by 2x. It was market pressure (SRAM sez we only need 2x rings, make some!) that resulted in the shift to 2x becoming more the default setting. Shimano's scarily believable original marketing for Dyna-Sys with 3x was that it was optimised around the middle ring position, where most riders spend most of the time, with the granny & big rings being "bail-out" gears. Hence the slogan, "ride everything". That setup works for me. In fact, my setup is 3x, with 11-34 cassette rather than the default 11-36. I lose a tiny bit at the extreme bottom end, but the mid-range is delightfully slick.

As for the problem with the 12T interval between the 2x rings, it's worth remembering that older 3x setups had the same gap between middle & big rings, so that's something of an invalid complaint.

The Shadow family of derailleurs (which started out as 9-sp. in the M970 XTR & M770 XT series) are inherently a little less sharp in their shifting than older designs. It's a tradeoff for the mechanism being vastly more stable than the older types. I find Teflon-coated gear cables help bring a lot of the snappiness back.

barefoot wrote: Also, does such a wide ranging cassette require an extra long cage (or other oddball) derailer?

No. The cage length only takes up the slack between the extremes of the range. Although the cassette is a tad wider at 11-36, the chainring range is actually narrower than older setups (24-32-42 vs 22-32-44) , so if anything the cage can actually be a whisker shorter.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby jacks1071 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:42 pm

Once I have the triple I think I'll be perfectly happy. I did think the rear shifting maybe because its 11-36 rather than 11-34 that I am used to - but since my 11-34 is 9sp and I have an extra gear now with 10sp we are only talking a 1t extra gap "somewhere" in the cassette. Even with the triple which will give me 24-36 on the 29er that still won't be quite as low as my lowest gear on the 26" bike - should be close enough but I can't see myself going to an 11-34 cassette.

I'll spend most the time in the middle ring and I'll be at the lower end of the cassette where the gaps are small.

I laugh when people say they went to 2x to get a better chain-line. The first two rings on a triple are EXACTLY the same spacing as a double... If I'm in the big ring its just for the really fast stuff, soon as I can see a hill I'll be back onto the middle ring.

Should be happy days, I'll let everyone know in a week or two :-)
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby mitzikatzi » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:02 pm

jacks1071 wrote:Anyone know if the dyna-sys chain is directional? How do I tell if its the right way around?

Wondering if its not installed backwards which would explain a few things.


Also you have to make sure to install the chain properly. Just like the new 10 speed road chains there is an inside and an outside. Make sure to install the chain so that the writing on the chain is facing out, or that while standing on the right side of the bike you can read the words on the chain
from Here Shimano XT Dynasys 10 Speed Installation and First Ride Impressions
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:43 pm

I've just gone 2x10 on my new Scalpel. 24/38 and 11-36. First thing I did before it even left the shop was to remove the cheap and nasty SRAM 1070 cassette and put on an XT. That was just to save the lightweight Sun Ringle hub from getting chewed to smithereens as the big cogs on the XT are all on spiders.

I have a few "infamous" steep climbs on my local trails such as "heartbreak Hill" at Manly Dam (not so bad as the name suggests) and Quarry Trail at Cascades (which is much more of a test) and some fast descents as well.

My findings: I have enough gears on the low end thanks to the 24. I'm a spinner not a grinder and trying to haul the mail up a steep climb in a big gear does my lower back in anyhoo. The 29er seems to climb faster so I don't seem to need a 22T despite the 12% bigger wheel size. The only time I've run out of gears on a descent so far is getting over 50km/hr riding the bike home from the bike shop (CBD in Kent St Sydney) down the approach to Spit Bridge on the road. I used to use the big ring on the 26er mainly to stop the chain from slapping on the chainstay. Now that I have the clutched rear derailleur, I haven't even had to fit a chainstay protector. No chainslap at all. :D

It has taken some getting used to the big gap on the front. Instead of going one-up-one-down (front/rear)with the triple I'm dumping 2 or three in the rear to get to the next numeric ratio when changing rings. The XT shifter seems to handle that - push it all the way thru the stroke and I can get 3 (or is it 4?) easier cogs in one swoop. Going the other way I can dump 2 ratios in one go. And the XT cassette seems to handle it well without skipping even under load.

On the test bikes, I hated the 2x as they were just awful - clackety-clackety-clackety-clackety-clackety oh wonderful, now it's finally decided to change gears. but I've gone past the gully, stalled, and need to change back again :evil: However, my own bike seems much better, probably because it's still new and hasn't been (and won't be) abused, and I'm anal about shifting responsiveness and maintenance. I was going to go 3x but the need for a new spider and front derailleur convinced me to defer, and I've since found I don't mind it.

In fact I rode my 3x9 dually today and the gear shifts felt a little foreign :lol:

My 29er setup is XT shifters, XTR Shadow+ RD, X7 direct mount FD, SRAM BB30 non-series carbon cranks with 24/38 Truvativ rings, XT 11-36 cassette, and KMC X10 bargain basement chain (to go shortly, in favour of longer-lived X10SL).

A triple would give me more range, but for riding off-road I will rarely need it except when riding from home to trailhead and back. The only reason to go back to triple would be to get closer ratio spacing.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby trailgumby » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:02 pm

jacks1071 wrote:Anyone know if the dyna-sys chain is directional? How do I tell if its the right way around?

Wondering if its not installed backwards which would explain a few things.

Yes it's directional. However, review reports on the web suggest the KMC X10SL series chains are better. Stronger, longer lasting, better shifting, and apparently they make the high end Shimano chains anyway.

On SLX chains the HG-X symbol should face outwards.

http://www.shimano.com.au/media/techdoc ... 750298.pdf
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:13 pm

clackers wrote:
ldrcycles wrote: they carry on about how they are different from the "equipment is everything" roadies.


Was it ever that way, LDR? Way more choices and philosophies of frames, forks, brakes and drivetrains than the roadie, track or BMX worlds.


True, but I reckon in the last 4-5 years the marketers have gone insane, 101 different non interchangeable 'standards' for everything, 1x and 2x drivetrains that give you less choice in gearing, moving to 10 speed for no reason etc. Obviously the same criticism can be directed at road bikes (and i'm happy to do so) but it really jars me when it's happening to mountain bikes with their previously unpretentious inclusive culture.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby ozdavo » Sat Aug 10, 2013 11:40 pm

jacks1071 wrote:I laugh when people say they went to 2x to get a better chain-line. The first two rings on a triple are EXACTLY the same spacing as a double...

SRAM dedicated 2x spiders use different chainlines to their 3x spiders (note 2x with bash guard ARE 3x spiders and therefore do use the same chainlines).
Not saying which is better or worse, each to their own IMO.


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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:59 am

I skipped 2x10 and went straight to 1x10 from 3x10...can't see myself going back. In the end it is terrain and capacity dependent...my terrain is 'flat' and my capacity is 'indifferent'.

In the 3x10 setup on the 29er, I never needed the 22 granny and was unable to exploit the 42 big ring except in the rare really open sections and even then the chain was crossed into the middle of the 11-36 cassette. The 32 mid ring talking to the bottom 5 ratios on the cassette is where I lived. Then I smashed the front shifter.

So I thought "oh well" and jumped for a narrow wide 30 tooth chain ring from Wolf Components and a Zee Shadow+ RD. The change-over immediately dropped 520 grams of gear off the bike. And now have a far quieter driveline. Performance wise I've found that I'm more durable when it comes to maintaining consistent fast laps around our 10k course and I'm still getting the top speeds out of the bike whilst also accelerating out of the corners easier, lap after lap. Still haven't found myself spinning out.

To my mind it is a perfect set up for our terrain and my ability. And I have five spare ratios to help me tackle the hills if I ever get to Bendigo, Melrose or Broken Hill.

The 3x10 on the 29er hardtail is going to get the same treatment but with a 34T chainring instead because it gets more road & path work and I need to be pushed/challenged somewhere!
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby Jean » Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:35 am

I went from 3x9 to 2x10 (and 26" to 29" at the same time) and have been happy with it. When I did the gearing calculations I figured the 3x9 gave me gear ranges at either end that I never actually used on the trails I ride. I've yet to run out of gears on 2x10 and haven't been bothered by the shifting. I've found my XT 2x10 much better than my SLX 3x9 ever was - love it actually.
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby clackers » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:11 pm

Of course, IIRC SRAM have released a 1 x 11 with gigantic last sprocket.

Edit:
http://www.bicycling.com/mountainbikeco ... in-details
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Re: Whats with 2x 10? Anyone gone "back" to a triple?

Postby rkelsen » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:28 pm

There's a photo of a bike with this set on it in the fatbike thread.
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