How many gears - 18 or 27?!!

antfly Posts: 3,276
edited February 2010 in Road beginners
You should get a compact 10 speed, it should be all the gears you need.
Smarter than the average bear.


  • A 9 speed double isn't really 18 gears, and a 9 speed triple isn't really 27 gears. That's why i refer to a 9 speed double not 18 gears. Adding a second or third chainring simple gives a number of extra gears, it doesn't give you two or three times as many.

    For example, if your cassette is 13-23 (13,14,15,16,17,18,19,21,23) and you run a 49/36 double you might use the following gears: 36/23, 36/21, 36/19, 36/18, 36/17, 36/16, 36/15, 49/19, 49/18, 49/17, 49/16, 49/15, 49/14, 49/13. That's 14 gears not 18 gears!
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    A compact 9 or 10 speed (18/20 gears) should cover the needs of most riders in all but the most extreme situations.

    A 9-speed triple (27 gears) is aimed at very unfit riders, tourers or if you are surrounded by (very) steep hills.

    You'll be fine with the 18 speed compact (with the above exceptions). :D
    Cycling weakly
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    A triple using the same cassette will give one lower gear and, depending on the size of the big ring, one higher gear than a 50/34 compact. It will have a more convenient gear range on the middle ring and have a lot more duplicated gears. You pays your money and takes your choice. If you are struggling up a hill on 34/25 you will not find it much easier on 30/25. The talk of grinding up on a compact and spinning up on a triple is somewhat of an exaggeration.