Modern mountain bikes are changing, and changing fast. In just a couple years, they have changed from having 21 speeds or even 28 speeds, to switching over to only having 7 to about 11 gears. While this may seem counter productive to the flexibility of a mountain bike, it is for good reason.

So why do mountain bikes have less gears ? Mountain bikes have less gears for quite a few reasons, however the primary reasons being less maintenance, lighter weight, and the need for only the quickest shifts when running into such a varied terrain.

Less maintenance

Mountain bikes tend to be one of the highest bicycle types out there due to their complicated design. This means that there are a lot more moving parts on your bike.

The less gears you have, the lower amount of maintenance it will need in order to function properly and be safe for riding down trails or over rocks.

The fewer gears that a bike has, the lower amount of maintenance it will need. T

his is because less moving parts and pieces are involved in making your mountain bicycle work properly for whatever type you’re riding on at any given time so there’s not as much to worry about when maintaining or servicing them regularly before each ride (or race!).

Mountain bikes don’t need to go extremely quick

Having more gears, generally means you can reach a higher speed, of which mountain bikes just don’t need. They need to be able to have a wide range of lower speed gears, rather than the higher speed gears you find on road bikes , and gravel bikes.

Some people may be thinking “But I want to go fast!” and that’s OK. Some mountain bikers enjoy the feeling of going faster on their bike, but if you’re more into having a wide range available for different situations it is possible with less gears!

Lighter weight

When it comes to mountain biking, weight is the name of the game . This is a sport that takes riders out into some of the most rugged terrain and harshest conditions on earth.

A lighter bike means less strain for them when it comes time take off again . It also means that it is easier to maneuver during narrow trails, or get over roots and obstacles.

This lack of weight can make the difference between victory lane at a race-finish line in times when time counts for every second!

Losing a front derailleur, the gears that go along with it and other components in the front means the bike is that much lighter.

Less components to get caught on

Having less gears, specifically not having gears in the front also makes it better not getting caught on branches, roots, and more. Mountain bikes are complicated machines, and the less moving components, the better.

The lack also leads into another major pro: simplicity! With fewer numbers needed when looking up what gear is best suited specifically according to terrain type (i would say this applies mostly if people ride bikes with old school shifting), riders can spend time focusing their attention elsewhere other than being overwhelmed by trying find which one’s right without having too many options available just because they’re not used to using mountain biking shifters yet.

Quick, and effortless shifting is a must

Mountain bikes need to shift a lot . Whether they are going uphill or downhill, the rider needs to be able shift quickly and without much effort. If you have a ton of gears in your bike then this can take up too long with no guarantee that it will make riding easier on any particular terrain type

This is why modern mountain bikes only come equipped for about 11 speeds which allows them to only have one derailleur in the back, making each shift more reliable.


Modern mountain bikes may be different from their past selves when it comes to gears , but they are better.

Expect to find only about 11 gears on a mountain bike, with the rear derailleur being reliable and quick-shifting which is perfect for riding across trails filled of twists turns at high speeds or up steep inclines while putting pressure in one gear than another .

And if you’re someone who rides your bikes roughly (as many dirt bikers do), then these less number levels will also help when it comes time replace chain rings since wear should be minimized after years as well!

These days there’s no need worry that having fewer gearing options means taking more risks because modern technology has made every little detail count without sacrificing anything else ! You’ll get all types needs from an outdoor ride – just not ones