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1x9/1x10 setup

willy101's picture

By willy101 - Posted on 15 May 2011

Thinking of changing to a 1x9 or 10 setup as i spend most of my riding time in the middle ring (32) and would like to run a chain guide. Just would like some opinions on a good gear spread cassette and pricing for the chain guide, cassette and chain.

Cheers Will

Discodan's picture

Hi Will,

I've been running 1x9 for a year now and am loving it. I run a 36t at the front with a 11-32 XT cluster at the back which is pretty good. I recently went to a 11-34 for a 100km event in case I needed lower gearing for the tail end of the race when my legs were shot. It seems a lot of 1x9 riders have much smaller fronts (around 30t) but I think you'd lose too much top end speed, I can push about 40 kmph on my gearing without spinning myself into oblivion.

The loss of lower gears, in my opinion, is over-rated. I've never had a hill I cant get up and I'm not some elite freak, just a average fit rider. I noticed when I put the 34t cluster on I used the lower gearing even though I didn't need to and I think that applies for a lot of people. If you only have higher gearing you just peddle a bit harder. The upside is you get up hills faster and get fitter Smiling Maybe a 34t front with a 11-34 cluster would be a compromise choice.

On chain guides, I started with a MRP top guide only. Nice and light but I was losing the chain a bit on rough decents when you're not peddling. I recently went to a E-13 guide with a coaster gear on the bottom as well which is a bit heavier and makes an annoying noise but that chain aint going anywhere. The Widgit is another good alternative but a little more expensive

hope that helps

willy101's picture

great help although as im small will probs need the extra climbing gears. Just wondering-how much did the conversion cost all up?

Thanks again,

Discodan's picture

As you're taking things off rather than adding them it's pretty cheap. I paid about $70 for this chain guide and that's all you need to get going. Alteratively you can get a Widgit for $140 that does both functions very elegantly . The main downside there is you can't change the front ring size without buying a whole new setup but it is a stainless ring so will last forever. If you want to change your cluster to a 11-24 you can get a XT cluster new for $75 with a bit of canny shopping on ebay, I believe there's also a 11-36 available in the lower ranges of Shimano products but I wanted to stay with the lighter stuff.

nh's picture

Highly recommended, I put a MRP 1X chain guide and a new front ring on my bike and it is great. I kept the 11-34t 9 speed cassette that was already on the bike and took a few links out of the chain.

If your current chain and cassette are not too worn you can keep them. The mrp guides are about $75 on wiggle You can find the correct chain rings (with no shifting ramps and pins) under $40.

I think a 32t front ring is the smallest for this system, look at the widgets if you need smaller.

......'s picture

1 gear's enough

chrischris's picture

I have also been strongly considering this... Would it help to replace the rear derailleur with a short instead of a long cage? (please note that I really don't know what I'm talking about in regards to long & short derailleurs, I just know that the chain doesn't have to be as long, and there might be a little more chain slap than necessary...)

Also, any good suggestions as to where to find a good 36 front cog?

darkmuncan's picture

yes it would

I've got a Super-Short Saint on my 1x9 Downhill Bike with a 36 up front. (which is in essence the gearing here)

I bought my 36T ring and the rest of this from CRC. Its a race face ring I think.

Discodan's picture

The chain guide is DH oriented so might be heavier but for $60 for a guide and chainring it's good value

Noel's picture

I use a Wigit with a 11-34 (1x9). Check this diagram out. I'd suggest trying a 30 or 32 Widgit.


I only tend to run out of gears on downhill road, or long very fast fire trail.

Ultimate combo: 1x9 with an adjustable seatpost. I love it!!

inertia's picture

if you are not doing DH stuff, you might be happier with a cheaper and lighter option...

I put a N-gear jump stop and a bash ring on my townie/kiddie trailer/whatever bike, and a 34T Surly ring (straight chainring, no ramps or angled teeth), and it works a treat with my existing 11-32 cassette and long cage derailleur... actually, come to think of it, I haven't put my bash ring on yet, I still have the big ring on there for that purpose Smiling

I have found the 34x11-32 setup to be adequate gearing for everything so far, and that includes towing a double kiddie trailer with approx 20kg of child up and down fernleigh track. If I had a geared hardtail mtb, I would run this setup (and may end up putting bouncy forks on this bike as a spare/loaner)

look for one on ebay.


willy101's picture

thanks all for the advice. Will be looking round for some good deals to get all the stuff for the conversion. Thanks again.

......'s picture

i have a paul's chain keeper sitting in the spares bin. Havn't used it yet. I bought it because it looked like a simple way to keep the chain on.

chrischris's picture

I'm sure that I am missing something here... Why do I need a chain guide at all? I mean, my old BMX never had one, & used to thrash that thing. (See profile pic) Is it because of the rear derailleur & the slightly different angles that the chain runs on the cogs?

Noel's picture

You BMX had rear drop outs and no rear mech. It was a single speed with rear drop outs. The rear mech, makes slack = droped chains. Take your front mech off and see, but be careful. When the chain drops it can be dangerous.

chrischris's picture

I had zero mechanical knowledge as a teenager & paid no attention to the bike itself. That does make sense now that you've explained it. Thanks!

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