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Thread: 9 Speed vs 10

  1. #1
    Junior Member DJMcRoad's Avatar
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    9 Speed vs 10

    Hello,

    Hello,

    I posted this in the road bike section, but since I'm over 50, I hoped maybe some of you other old folks might have an opinion for newby.

    I'm getting back into road bikes after riding mountain bikes for 20 years.

    I just left my LBS, ready to buy a new Specialized Roubaix Comp Triple, but I noticed the rear cog set is 9 speed. After the salesperson made his speech regarding the intelligence of buying the 10 speed, trickle down technology and other rationalizations for favoring the 10 speed, I'm now wondering if buying the 9 speed would be a mistake ...

    Can you offer an opinion? I'd sure be greatful. I love the bike, but don't want to find out after I own it that I bought outdated technology...

    Thanks in advance,

    DJ

  2. #2
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've been riding 9 speeds for several years and am as happy as I can be. I don't think the 10 speeds increase the range of gears (high or low) but rather improves gaps in gears in the cogset. In my opinion it would be "nice" to have but would put more emphasis on how much more it costs to get 10 speed. It's just not worth that much to me but you might be different. If your experience is like mine you'll be investing in a new bike with upgraded technology in a few years anyway and by that time the marginal cost will be much less for 10 speed......

  3. #3
    Junior Member DJMcRoad's Avatar
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    jppe,

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I suppose your right, plus the Comp triple gives me an extra gear, whether I will use it or not, and costs $400.00 less than the 10 speed would.

    If I really take to road riding like I hope I will, I'll most likely trade up like you said. That's just the kinda guy I am ...

    Thanks,

    DJ

  4. #4
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    GO WITH THE 9! It is more trouble free (judging from the feedback from my LBS) AND the manufacturers recommend more frequent replacements of rotating gear for the 10 speed drivetrain. I've got an 8 and a 10. I like my 8 much better.

  5. #5
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    My favorite bike has six gears in the back and two up front. Back in the day, the gearing was relatively aggressive. Over the years, I've set it up to have a range that is wider than most modern 10 speed triples. It's true that I don't have tiny steps between ratios, but I've been riding it for 21 years, and it works for me just fine.

    My point is that an extra cog will not make that much difference. I'm betting you'll be plenty happy with your setup.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  6. #6
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    I went through the exact same thing last month when I bought my first new bike in many years. I started out looking at the Roubaix Elite but was soon seduced by the Comp Double's beautiful black Carbon Fiber, Dura-Ace shifters & 10 speed. I actually put a deposit down on the Double but a bicycling friend kept reminding me that I was just getting back into riding & with the hills here in New England there would be times I wished I'd gotten the Triple for the bail out gears. In the end I was offered a killer deal on an 05 Comp Triple that I couldn't refuse & for me it turned out to be the right decision. Which ever one you buy shop around because there are some great end of season deals on 05 models right now.

  7. #7
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Just because there are more gears, it doesn't mean you have more usable gears. Unless you're into road racing or perfomance training, go with the 9x3=27 instead of the 10x3=20. My LBS says the chains on the 10 don't last as long.
    Hi 'o Silver away

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    Junior Member DJMcRoad's Avatar
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    Thanks again all, great feedback!

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    Senior Member cchandler's Avatar
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    The 10 speed gets you a 16T gear on the cassette. Not much more.

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    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    I believe that the wheel has to be more dished to get the 10th gear in. I look for maximum range not the number of gears. You might not need those super low granny gears every day but when you do they are very nice - even if your not peddaling much faster than you can walk you don't waste time getting off anf on

    Joe

  11. #11
    crusty jbrians's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, on most modern bikes you have a high gear and a low gear. As long as the high gear lets you go as fast as you reasonably can and the low one gets you up your favourite hill, the difference in the number sprokets on the cassette is only dollars, not really performance! Go with the 9, especially if it saves you a few bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeprim
    I believe that the wheel has to be more dished to get the 10th gear in.
    Hi Joe - I believe you're mistaken on this. I've put 7 (with a spacer), 8, 9, and 10 speed cassettes on the same wheel with no problem. I don't claim to be an authority - some manufacturers may, indeed, dish the 10's more, but in my experience (admittedly modest), no.

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    You can't go wrong either way. The advantage of 9-speed is that it's cheaper. The disadvantage is that it's being phased out and the parts will gradually become less common. The good news is that it is easy to upgrade from 9 to 10, shifters, cassette, and chain. The wheel dish is the same

    As others have pointed out, the advantage with 10-speed is an extra cog in the middle, right where you do most of your riding. The noticeable difference is being able to maintain an ideal cadence under various conditions. This is more important when you are riding in a pack and trying to match speeds with other cyclists. Otherwise you would probably would not miss the extra cog.

    Campagnolo has had 10-speed several years now and it has become just as reliable as 8 or 9-speed. And I'm sure Shimano has done their homework.

    Al

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    $2,800 list for a bike with a 9sp drive train does sound expensive. I would expect that you will be able to easily get 9sp parts for the next 3 to 5 years before 9sp is phased out in the Ultergra line, where as with 10sp parts it may be 5 to 10 years availability (before 11sp etc...).

    If the frames are the same on the Comp Triple & Elite Triple, I would consider the Elite Triple. It will be interesting to see if the 2006 model of the Comp Triple moves up to 10sp for the same cost.

    I use 9sp componets to reduce costs. If you go with 9sp, you might consider picking up some exta 9sp Ultergra components down the road when Shimano moves to 10sp only in that component line.

    Have fun with your new bike.

  15. #15
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Component datedness happens fast in cycling these days, but the world of cycling is full of commercial nooks and crannies. I still regularly ride a Shimano Uniglide set up. 6spd cassettes, hubs are still "out there" but take a little looking and cost something more than they should. My main squeeze bike is more "up to date"...a 9 speed. I do think it is fun hunting down spare parts for an older bike, but wouldn't think so if that was my only ride.

    While having more gears is more convenient--especially for fast tempo riding with others--legs can be wonderfully flexible and adapt to demands made on them. On my own, I wouldn't want to always ride at the same speed/same force spin despite the efficiency of always being optimal.

  16. #16
    TREK 2300 owner rickkko's Avatar
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    This was a simple decision for me. I was out of bicycling for over 20 years too! I am 59.

    My logic was to go with the triple-9 because I knew in the beginning I'd need all the help I could get going up hills.

    As I've progressed I hardly every use the 'mountain' chainring anymore unless its late in the ride and the hill is overwhelming.

    But I looked at it as a long term investment; if I stop cycling for a long period then want to get back to it again, two things will have happened: 1) I've gotten older & probably weaker and 2) I've still got that 3rd chainring to help me out till I get back in shape again.

    I'd say go for the triple/9.

    I've got the 52/42/30, 12-25 cassette setup. I find it perfect for me. I'm in the center ring most of the time and use the rear for fine tuning the minor up and downhills I encounter. When its steep going down, I've got the 52 to use and when its steep going up, I've always got the granny gear ready to bring into action.

    Oh, I've had absolutely no problems with the full Ultegra derailliers and triple + Shimano CS-6500 9 speed cassette.

    Before you close the deal on that Specialized compare it to a TREK 2300. It'll make your choice a little tougher.

    Good luck with your choice!
    ..rickko..
    Last edited by rickkko; 08-19-05 at 08:04 PM.

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