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Old 08-13-07, 10:24 AM   #1
fuzzymemory
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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?
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Old 08-13-07, 10:29 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-13-07, 10:31 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-13-07, 11:32 AM   #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.
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Old 08-13-07, 11:52 AM   #5
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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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Old 08-13-07, 01:32 PM   #6
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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.
Are you running any kind of chain guides? Do you have problems with loosing the chain?
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Old 08-13-07, 01:37 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-13-07, 02:44 PM   #8
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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!
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Old 08-13-07, 10:17 PM   #9
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amongst cross country riders its often done, however its the small ring that is removed, not the big ring.
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Old 08-13-07, 10:30 PM   #10
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I use 1 (32) x 8 with a bashguard and a jumpstop and it has worked out well so far.
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Old 08-13-07, 11:31 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 08-13-07, 11:50 PM   #12
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I was thinking about on running a 29/44 in the front.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:32 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:54 PM   #14
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Remove the largest and put on a good bash guard.
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