• Gear Inches Chart for 29er Wheels – 1x11 v.s. 2x10

    I've had a lot of questions from mountain bikers about gearing. Riders wonder if they should go with a 1x11 or 2x10?

    There are many factors that go into this decision, not the least of which is the actual gearing. I'm going to use myself as an example. Right now I am running a 2x10 setup with a 22x38 on the front and 11x36 on the rear.

    On the gear inches chart below, you can see that my granny gear (22x36) provides 17.7 gear inches of travel. This is my low gear for climbing. My big gear for pushing speed on roads is 38x11, providing 100.2 gear inches of travel.

    If I decided I wanted to move to 1x11 gearing, if I choose a non-standard 30 front ring with a 10x42 rear cassette, my granny gear becomes 20.7. If you compare that to the 2x10 Gearing Chart, it means I lose two small gears. My new granny gear will be somewhere between pushing a 22x28 and a 22x32 combination.

    Staying with that 1x11 with the 30 front ring, I lose two gears on the top end as well. My big gear becomes 30x10, or 87 gear inches. That tall gear is somewhere between pushing a 38x14 and 38x12 on my 2x10 setup.

    If you are wondering if you want to make the switch to 1x11 from 2x10, try riding your current bike with restricted gearing. That is, look at the chart to find the gear inches for your new proposed set-up. Then, look at what gears you would lose compared to your current set-up. Try riding with the restrictions and see if it has a negative impact on your riding, or not.

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