Who is making the move to 2×10?

The big boys are making their pitch: 3×9 is dead. It’s all about the 2×10. But are you buying it? Switching over from 3×9 to 2×10 can be an expensive proposition. You are basically at the point of having to change out your whole drivetrain:
– Derailleurs
– Shifters
– Crank
– Cassette
– Chain

Only recently have we even begun to see cranks and cassette offerings that are in the budget of the normal man. Before that, SRAM only had the XX with the 10 speed cassette and as lightweight and appealing as it may be I am not dropping $300+ on a cassette. SRAM did show off the X.0, X.9 & X.7 groupo’s with 2×10 at Sea Otter but a quick google search shows me that much of the X.7 stuff is selling for about 50% more than their 3×9 counterparts. Ouch.


Beautiful XX cassette goes for over $300

Shimano has the 10 speed stuff down through their SLX line up available to purchase right now you are still looking at a 50% price increase. It would be like purchasing SLX stuff at the price of XT. Shimano did keep the triple crankset up front but my understanding is that if you go 10 speed in the rear, you will need to go with their Dyna-Sys lineup.

But beyond price, how many of us mortals can actually push a 2×10 through our rides? I occasionally ride my SS and I can tell you that I am very careful which rides I bring that bike on. If it has too many climbs, I’m bringing my geared bike. A few years ago I had a 1×9 as my main bike and even though I got a stronger I was still killing myself on the climbs and of course the 2+ hour rides were out of question as I would be walking more than riding.


Shimano is going 10 speed but with a special triple crankset

Even one of my good friends who competes in 12 hour rides prefers to keep his 3×9 for that extra gear when he hits the climbs late in his race.

I have to admit, the bling factor is definitely there especially for those high end builds and the weight savings would probably be nice. But I would rather spend XT money and get XT stuff rather than spend XT money to get an SLX 3×10 drivetrain.

Are you making the move to 10 speeds in the rear? If you are, what are your reasons for it?

3 Replies to “Who is making the move to 2×10?”

  1. I’m running 2×9 with a 26 tooth granny and a 11-32 cassette. This combo seems to work pretty well for me unless the ride has seriously steep and pro-longed hills. I see no reason to switch to 2×10 especially since you can build a 2×9 system with the exact gearing you want and it will cost less and weigh less!

  2. for hardcore XC/Xterra type stuff, maybe i can see the usefulness. but overall, i don’t like the fact that it’s so much non-standard stuff. at least as far as the SRAM 2×10 stuff goes, the derailleurs are non-standard (i’ve seen them called “mid-long cage” for the rear.) and my biggest concern is the ultra-narrow chain and how much stress it’ll be able to take before breaking. i mean, i see more broken 9sp chains than 8sp, and i wonder if going even narrower is going to increase the chances of a chain exploding on a tough climb.

    i think most people can get away with a 2×9 just fine. i mean, i only use three or four gears 98% of the time anyway so i don’t see a justification for the insane prices for 2×10 stuff. hell, i’m still rocking 3×8 and doing just fine!

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