36t, do we really need it?

I’ve been testing the KHS XCT 556 and so far everything is working well. One of the things I was excited about this bike was its 3×10 drive train. For the longest time people kept talking about the 10 speed nuances and how its going to change mountain biking and yada yada yada.
But I’m left wondering, do we really need a 36t? Wasn’t the 34t enough? Heck some bikes still have a 32t and somehow they manage just fine. Don’t get me wrong, the drive train on the XCT 556 is pretty smooth, but so was the drive train on the XCT 555 (9sp).

So for you guys to are smarter than me and are possibly engineers or just like working with gear ratios and etc, please explain to me why it would benefit the average mountain biker to get on the 10 speed wagon? Cuz’ so far, I’m not that convinced.

About the author

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).