I really appreciate Jeff’s answer. In Mongolia I have to ride a lot of trails that can be crazy steep, and I need pretty much every gear my Ibis Mojo HD has to ride up the slopes. Plus, I have relatively weak legs, so I’m not going to power up too many hills. I also often ride the road for some distance to go to and from the trail, so it is nice to have some power gears to speed along the black top. Would I love a 1×12? I think so, but we’ll have to wait until those get a little cheaper.
The last couple of months I have been riding here in the US on a 2012 Pivot Firebird. It is a HEAVY enduro bike with a 180 Fox fork on front, yet it stays planted on steep ups and climbs technically really well. It has a 3×10 setup. It is absolutely perfect for this bike due to its heavy weight and yet technical climbing ability. Having the really low granny gears, just make this bike … … at least for me. I climb technical portions of trails that I would never dream I could climb on 180mm of travel.