10 speed crankset decisions

Hi all,

In the coming months I’m planing on swapping out much of my drive train for an SLX 10 speed, as my of my old 9 speed parts are worn out. However I am not sure which crankset to go with. I run 2x9 (22-32, 11-32) right now with a bash guard and have little problems, however the new SLX comes with these fancy new 2 ring specific versions, as well as the traditional triple ring. Here lies my conundrum, do I go with a 2x10 with the 2 ring specific crankset, or get the triple and swap the big ring out for a bash guard? I do bash my cranks every now and again, but not chronically.

My concerns with the double specific cranks are that you don’t seem to be able to run a bash guard resulting in potential damage to the big ring, and chain drop. I found that without the bash guard the chain would drop off on the outside occasionally, that was with a converted 3x9 --> 2x9 setup though, has Shimano dealt with this on the new systems? Does the Shadow+ derailleur help prevent chain drop much?

Any recommendations? What do you guys run?

I run a 2x10 Sram/Raceface setup. I didn’t do a lot of granite riding, but what I did do, there were never any hard bumps on the big ring. I am thinking that 29 in. wheels may help that situation a little. I have never, ever dropped a chain either. I also run a long cage derailleur.

11-36 rear, and 26/38 front

I run both bikes with shadow plus derailleurs and never have chain-drop issues…even racing enduro events. My Reign has a 3x10 with a bash guard that meets rock every now and then. I run a short cage shadow plus derailleur and have shortened the chain so I couldn’t put the big ring back on if I wanted to. My Anthem 29er has a 2x10 with a mid cage shadow plus derailleur out back. The big 39-tooth front ring hits in a couple of places in Wrandees so I’m always a little careful.

My Trance 27.5 came with a 2x10 setup with a shadow plus derailleur and a chainguide. I have never had the chain drop once, and the chain isn’t bouncing around all over the place.

After bashing my chain ring (38T) and chain off of a few rocks at whopper and once on Skull trail I decided to buy a chainguide with a skid plate. I haven’t hit my chain/chain ring off anything since, but there are quite a few marks on the skid plate, although it does sit a bit lower too.

With the skid plate it pretty much eliminates the need for a bash guard, but if I was buying a new crankset I would probably buy a 3x10 setup and swap the big ring for a bash.

Also, at least for the 2x10 XT cranks, although I am sure all 2x10 cranksets are the same, you cannot run a bashguard on them.

If you are dropping chains outside, there is a good chance the front derailleur is not adjusted correctly. You say it dropped with the 3x9 converted to 2x9 without a bash? Did you reset the front limits? Make sure the height and rotation was correct? Anyways, just some thoughts…

A dedicated 2x10 crank has more efficient and usable gears. Not quite as low, but you will be surprised how you can actually climb a bit faster/easier in the smaller ring. Also, the bigger ring is still smaller than the big ring on a triple. This means there is a good chance that if/when you do hit it, it will be wrapped in chain. Also, a 2x10 crank will have a wee bit better chainline for crossing up, meaning you can really use all the gear combinations you like if you have/want to. Small ring and small cogs together are not a super awesome idea, but if you find yourself stuck there for a bit, don’t worry about it. As well, you will actually have the potential to gain some top speed in the right conditions as well.

If you want or need to beef things up with a skidplate, that’s never a bad idea around here either. Chain drop should be mitigated with proper drivetrain setup and adjustments. Keep those front limits tight, have just enough chain to not explode the rear derailleur in the big and big combo at full stuff, and if you got it, run a clutch type rear derailleur. If that fails, don’t forget bent/damaged teeth/rings/chain can do that as well.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone.

I do have the front derailleur set up correctly, it’s even a double specific derailleur. What I found happens sans-bashguard is that the chain falls off starting on the bottom in rough conditions. I must back-pedal a bit in those situations or something, and then the rough bouncing causes the chain to come the rest of the way off and fetch up on the front derailleur. With the bashguard on there is nowhere for the chain to go in that direction so it stays put. I even have a SLX Shadow (non-plus) medium cage rear derailleur and very short tight chain. The chain never came off when I was pedaling.

I like the idea of a better chainline with the 2x10’s though and less redundancy, plus they seem to be “the way things are going”. The tripple with bashguard feels “safer” though.

How does the 38 big ring feel? Is it that useable in the terrain we have around here like whopper and fight trail?


How does the 38 big ring feel? Is it that useable in the terrain we have around here like whopper and fight trail?[/quote]

As long as you run the right ratio in the rear it is. :wink:



How does the 38 big ring feel? Is it that useable in the terrain we have around here like whopper and fight trail?[/quote]

As long as you run the right ratio in the rear it is. ;)[/quote]

Good point, if going with the 2 ring up front (26,38) I’d definitely go with the 11-36 out back.

I have a set of Sram x9 shifters still in box if you want a good deal. 2x10 and a 3x10 also.

Thanks for the offer, I think I’m sticking with Shimano gear for now, but I’m not doing the switch till almost March so who knows. I hate putting new parts on a bike in Winter, the urge to go ride sweet trails and test new stuff is too much. :stuck_out_tongue: (I know I know, winter riding, but it’s just not the same. Plus with how this winter is going…)

I’ve decided as well to forgo a front derailleur all together, I’ll just get a 2 ring front crankset and stick a single 34t narrow-wide ring on it, with a 11-36 cassette out back that should cover all the range I’d ever need. Seems people are really having good luck with the narrow-wide rings and clutch derailleurs.