Mountain Bikes

Why Do Mountain Bikes Have No Front Derailleur? Let’s Find Out!

It is becoming common in mountain bikes the derailleur needs to be installed, especially in modern mountain bikes, which is why people are curious to know why mountain bikes have no front derailleur. And they are wondering about the new system that is replacing derailleurs.

Short Answer

Well, for the past 5 to 6 years, the wide-range cassette has replaced the derailleur. As a result, modern mountain bikes have fewer gears, a less complicated system, and provide a comfortable ride. It. also makes the mountain ride enjoyable, so all these reasons ultimately justify our question; what do mountain bikes have no front derailleur?

Now, let’s check out the essential points of derailleur and its replacement in mountain bikes.

Why Mountain Bikes Have No Front Derailleur:

Bike lovers are eager and curious to know what changes come up in new and modern mountain bikes. People are asking about derailleur replacement means they have noticed the absence of a front derailleur in modern mountain bikes.

So let’s talk more about why mountain bikes have no front derailleur and get to know what kind of advancement people will get, which indeed makes their ride easy on mountain bikes.

First, we need to know the basic information regarding the front derailleur and its types, which will help us a better understanding of the components of mountain bike systems and how they work. So before going into detail, let’s know the basic.

What is Derailleur in Mountain Bikes?

What is Derailleur in Mountain Bikes

Derailleur is a device system that helps to change gears with the help of a chain from one sprocket to the other. Derailleur helps in moving the chain of mountain bikes.

Rear Derailleur:

The rear derailleur has two functions:

  1. It maintains tension in the chain to keep it tight.
  2. It helps in changing gears.

Front Derailleur:

The one simple task of the front derailleur is to move the chain between three sprockets at the front, which is in new modern mountain bikes.

Reasons for Replacement of Derailleur from Mountain Bikes:

Reasons for Replacement of Derailleur from Mountain Bikes

The following are the main reasons why mountain bikes have no front derailleur:

  • Conversion into Disk Brakes:

The front derailleur can’t have converted into disc brakes.

  • Difficult to Handle:

Due to its heaviness, it is hard for riders to climb up the mountains, but it is suitable for other kinds of bike rides, but not for mountain rides.

  • More Expensive, Less Efficient:

Compared to its effectiveness, it is much more expensive, prone to complications, delicate, and covers up more space.

Benefits of Mountain Bikes without Front Derailleur:

Old mountain bike still has a front derailleur, but it will eliminate it with time and looking at the popularity of wide range cassette. But it might take some time because we need to know the pros and cons of other modern technology.

Many types of research show a 1x drivetrain, which also subsides the front derailleur. Also, they are all the same at some point because they don’t have a front derailleur. It is also a drivetrain with many components and a cassette. The following description will help us understand why mountain bikes have no front derailleur.

  • Provide More Space:

One of the benefits is that the absence of a front derailleur gives more space to other levers like dropper posts and suspension lockouts.

  • Less Fall of Chains:

The front derailleur causes chain issues, so with a front derailleur, if the chains are appropriately aligned, the rider can avoid dropped chain issues. A better lineup of chains also makes the drivetrain smooth.

  • Easier for Beginner:

For the first timer, a less complicated mountain bike is easier to ride, so without a front derailleur, there is one lever rather than two.

  • Enjoyable Ride:

A better chain and fewer components provide a good sense of focusing power, and the rider can easily enjoy the ride by enjoying nature and its surroundings.

  • Better Design of Frame:

The main issue of the front derailleur is occupying more space, so without it, manufacturers are reconsidering the suspension and frame design. In other words, they plan to utilize the space once occupied by the front derailleur.

So there are the reasons and benefits of why mountain bikes have no front derailleur. Let’s see how it all happened.

When did the Front Derailleur Loose its Importance in Mountain Bikes:

When did the Front Derailleur Loose its Importance in Mountain Bikes

SRAM, the manufacturing company of front derailleurs, announced the manufacturing of 12-speed Eagle group sets and that they would not sell them. And before that, in 2015, they stopped the new production of the front derailleurs.

Do Mountain Bikes Need Front Derailleur?

Here are reasons why mountain bikes need front Derailleur;

  • Phasing Out:

You may find derailleur in some mountain bikes from the past few years, but they are phasing out, so it is rare to witness.

  • Front Derailleur Manufacturer:

In 2017, other manufacturers also stopped bikes that carry front derailleurs. As discussed earlier, the cost of the front derailleur was high, so by eliminating it, other manufacturers came up with different designs with low prices; that is why most of the companies after SRAM got on board.

  • Mountain Bike Riders:

Before adopting and implying the idea of mountain bikes without front derailleurs, riders already considered it and agreed to make it the norm.

There is no requirement for a front derailleur in mountain bikes since the rear cassette performs the same task with insufficient space occupied, even on high-end roads planning to eliminate the front derailleur. So this argument is invalid now.

Wide Range Cassette Replaces Front Derailleur from Mountain Bike:

The cassette is a cog on the back of the bike, and it has no front derailleur with a variation between a large cog and a small cog. The cassette has fewer gears, making the mountain ride easy for riders.

As is mentioned in many places with a front derailleur, a rider has to take care of many features at once, so a wide range of cassettes makes it a little less stressful ride. Instead, it makes the ride beautiful and enjoyable because the thumb controls all the gears without fear of anything else.

A few points make the audience believe that a wide-range cassette is a better option than a front derailleur; the following are the few more convincing points that provide a clear understanding of why mountain bikes have no front derailleur.

  • Easy to Handle:

One of the ways the rear cassette replaces the front derailleur is by switching into a one-by structure, which is simple and very easy to handle. It is one of the latest designs.

For a suitable battery beca for beginner use, instead of taking care of many components at a time, you have to take control of the rear shifter through your thumb, eliminating the shifter, cable, and front derailleur.

  • Less Weight:

Less weight of the rear cassette provides more space which helps the designers come up with new and innovative designs for mountain bikes. Constant research also suggested cassettes without creating any screeching noise.

  • Lower Accident Rates:

Most importantly, less chain setting, unlike in the presence of a front derailleur, wide range cassette replaces longer shift chains which cause many accidents due to falls on multiple occasions.

  • Modern alternatives:

Though in some mountain bikes, the front derailleur is still present, it will vanish in the future as modern techniques substitute it. Though it is the original design of the mountain bike, even due to its originality, it is an essential component. Still, the manufacturer has no shame in replacing it with a new modern design to make providing mountain rides more accessible and more enjoyable.


Is a Mountain Bike Ridable without Front Derailleur?

Yes, it is ridable, but don’t exto shift gears at the front immediately front. It won’t work that way, but yes, you don’t have a front derailleur in your bike, so don’t worry; you can still ride the bike.

Is Wide Range Cassette Worth it?

The ride of a wide-range cassette is very smooth, and if you have ridden Shimano 12 speed and SRAM Eagle, only then would you understand how soft a single chain makes the ride easy and smooth. You can enjoy the ride and the surrounding without fearing a drop chain or anything.

Why Are Bikes with Fewer Gears More Expensive?

Wide-range cassette reduces the number of gears, which means you will have a good or smoother ride. The reason behind the expensive bike is that it gives you a smooth ride!
For a good ride and a nice bike, you don’t need to have a lot of gears; fewer gears make the system simpler and provide a comfortable ride. Whereas mountain bikes with front derailleurs contain more gears, which is much more expensive than its efficiency, you won’t be able to enjoy your ride.


Well, it is very much clear why mountain bikes have no front derailleur. Wide range cassette replaces it, giving similar speed with a more straightforward system and comfortable ride, fewer components, and less weight. It is also a perfect opportunity for the beginner. 

In this evolutionary era, things evolve so do bikes. Front derailleur did make the mountain bike system, but it is no longer part of mountain bikes in the future. There are going to be zero bikes with zero front derailleurs.

So keep the wide range cassette mountain ride, enjoy your ride, and get comfort knowing you are safe while riding a bike without a front derailleur.

Yousaf Khan

Yousaf Khan is an experienced biker with over 10 years of riding experience. He has a passion for motorcycles and has traveled extensively on his bike, covering thousands of miles across various terrains. Yousaf is well-versed in different types of biking, including adventure riding, touring, and off-roading. He is an active member of several local and national motorcycle clubs, promoting safety and responsible riding. Yousaf's dedication to the biker community extends beyond his own riding, as he regularly shares his insights and experiences with fellow bikers around the world. When he's not on the road, Yousaf enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his knowledge through this blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button