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  1. #1
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    Too many gears for trail riding?

    My full suspension trail bike has 24 speeds (3x8). Is a 24 (or 27) speed drivetrain really needed on a mountain bike? The only times I find myself going very fast are on downhills, and I'm not pedaling much (if at all) when I'm hitting these higher speeds. I know there is a single-speed movement, and I'm not about to remove all the gears from my bike, but I am tempted to remove the largest gear from the front. I spend the majority of my time on the 2nd front gear, and this would give me additional ground clearance for going over logs (I've already broken off my stock plastic bash guard). What do you think - is going from 24 to 16 gears a crazy idea, or will I not notice a difference?

  2. #2
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzymemory View Post
    My full suspension trail bike has 24 speeds (3x8). Is a 24 (or 27) speed drivetrain really needed on a mountain bike? The only times I find myself going very fast are on downhills, and I'm not pedaling much (if at all) when I'm hitting these higher speeds. I know there is a single-speed movement, and I'm not about to remove all the gears from my bike, but I am tempted to remove the largest gear from the front. I spend the majority of my time on the 2nd front gear, and this would give me additional ground clearance for going over logs (I've already broken off my stock plastic bash guard). What do you think - is going from 24 to 16 gears a crazy idea, or will I not notice a difference?
    That is not a crazy idea at all. There are many who run just two or one chain rings in the front with a bash guard.
    First Class Jerk

  3. #3
    Senior Member nodnerb's Avatar
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    Yep, it's fairly popular. Especially on freeride bikes. It's often referred to as a 2x9, or 2x8 setup. 2 being the number of chainrings up front and 7/8 or 9 being the number of cogs in your cassette.
    2008 Specialized Rockhopper Pro
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  4. #4
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    i have a hardtrail trek 4300 bike and i took off the smallest and the largest rings. i never used any of them anyways, so now my bike is only an 8 speed. i didn't use the smallest ring on the trail, and the largest ring kept getting damaged, even with a salsa ring on.

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Thats what I used to run on all my bikes (2x9)...now I run 2x9 on my fr bike, 1x1 for my djer and 3x9 for my xc bike (I really try to use the big ring every chance I get)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vicc View Post
    i have a hardtrail trek 4300 bike and i took off the smallest and the largest rings. i never used any of them anyways, so now my bike is only an 8 speed. i didn't use the smallest ring on the trail, and the largest ring kept getting damaged, even with a salsa ring on.
    Are you running any kind of chain guides? Do you have problems with loosing the chain?

  7. #7
    Senior Member BLIZZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zumba View Post
    I'd change it only if you feel that you need the bash guard. To me it sounds like a waste of effort. Note that you don't have to be on top gear to benefit from the large chainring.
    On some relatively slow rough downhills, I will go to the big ring, just to put more tension on the chain to make sure it doesn't come off.
    I like the 2x9 idea, but if you already have 3x9, I don't see an advantage to change.
    I'm not totally useless....I can be used as a BAD example.

  8. #8
    ong
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    The main reason to replace your big ring with a bashguard is for better clearance over logs/rocks, really. I did it, just for that reason, and because I never ever use the big ring (even road-riding a few miles to the trailhead).

    There's a woman on eBay who is selling very inexpensive bashguards -- she has most sizes and colors. I bought a few from her, and they work well! $12 shipped for one...

    No affiliation, just thought I'd pass it along if you hesitate to spend $40 on a round piece of metal with holes in it!

  9. #9
    I am an incurable. delay's Avatar
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    amongst cross country riders its often done, however its the small ring that is removed, not the big ring.

  10. #10
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I use 1 (32) x 8 with a bashguard and a jumpstop and it has worked out well so far.

  11. #11
    i can jump very high
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    i run a 2x9 with a race face bash ring. i love that setup for commuting and trails. as for XC, 95% of the time i never find a need to shift out of 2nd ring.
    Quote Originally Posted by kergin
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  12. #12
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    I was thinking about on running a 29/44 in the front.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfloyd View Post
    Are you running any kind of chain guides? Do you have problems with loosing the chain?
    sometimes rarely the chain drops when i jump.
    i had a chain guide but it was too noisy, so i put on my front derailleur and i widened the inside so that it wouldn't interfere with the chain when the rear is on different gears
    i did shorten my chain by two links so i cant use my highest ring in the rear perfectly, but i've never really used it before either. otherwise it still works.

  14. #14
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    Remove the largest and put on a good bash guard.

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