The gearing options for mountain bikes seem complex and confusing. They vary from triple crankset, single ring, or a double.
For many years the basic mountain bike drive train contained a triple crankset conjoined with a freewheel or cassette that has evolved from 6 to as much as 11cogs. In recent times there are still the triple crankset options, but there are also the double cranksets with two chainrings as well as a single crankset which harbors just one chainring (1x)
How many gears are on a mountain bike?
Many pro bikers are starting to utilize a smaller 10-speed road chain consisting of a 9speed setup to minimize the weight of their bike.
The SRAM which was introduced in early 2012 called XX1 that didn’t make use of a front derailer so as to make it simpler and lighter consisted of a 1×11 gearing system. They also had gearing systems of 1×12 like the SRAM Eagle which was introduced in 2016.
The number of gears on a mountain bike depends on the crankset being used. The cranksets and the number of gears they contain include;
- The triple; mountain bikes in the early times used whatever parts were available at that period. Most triple crankset available today have to gear in the 22.32.42t, 23/32/44t, 24/32/42 range. A triple crankset provided the widest range of gears and based on your precise needs it may be an ideal option for you.
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- Manufacturers of components preferred the double; these, most riders removed one of the chainrings from their triple cranksets. Some people took out the large chainring so they could get a reasonable lead on clearance because they were not in need of the tall gear that offered that while others removed the small ring because their terrain wasn’t as hilly as to make their gear that low, or they had the needed strength to do without using it. With the introduction of 10-speed cassettes to mountain bike drivetrains, double crankset gearing was utilized, and the gear range was increased so it could compete with a triple drive train. The 2×10 speed drivetrain provides reduced weight.
- The single; just as riders were getting rid of chaining from their triple cranks, others went further by removing the inner and outer ring and just keeping the middle ring. This was done for a variety of reasons, it helped in the reduction of weight and minimizing some of the redundancy.
From the 19801s to the late 2000s, mountain bikes mostly had 21, 24 or 27speeds, with three gears in front alongside 7, 8 or 9 Gears behind as the case may be. Thirty-speed bikes were formally unworkable, as the mud-shedding capacity of a ten-speed cassette and the complexities of a ten-speed rear derailleur were never suitable.
The gearing systems of mountain bikes have since evolved with time; now there are various upgraded gearing systems as preferred by the rider.