Not sure if this should go in general or mechanical. It's more availability question.
Road bikes have 10 speed cassettes available. Mtn bikes only have 9 speed available. Is this the way they normally introduce high ring count cassettes and by next year, or 2006, we can expect to see a 10 speed cassette for mtn bike? Or is there a good reason not to have 10 speeds available for mtn bikes?
9 speed is already pushing it as far as being strong enough for mountain biking. Even those ******s over at Mountain Bike Action Magazine, who love every trend that comes along, have promoted going back to 8 speed. I don't think there is a very compelling reason to increase the number of gears on a mountain bike. On a road bike, where perfect cadence is more important, maybe 10 speed makes sense. For racers anyway. Heck, I've got mountain gearing on my cyclocross bike (11-32, 9 speed) and I still often find myself shifting 2 or more gears at a time. I have no use at all for one tooth increments between gears. If I had gears on my mountain bike (I took them off and went back to single speed) I'd rather have a narrower cassette with less dishing of the rear wheel. Maybe a 12-34 6 speed with 8-speed width chain.
Darn. I have a 12-27 with 28 low front and that's too high for some hills around here. I was hoping they would come out with a 10 speed 11-31ish cassette. I guess I'll just have to drop to a lower chainring to get low end and nice cadence.