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1x9 options

chrischris's picture

By chrischris - Posted on 25 September 2012

I'm definitely going to go 1x9, but what options do I have? The widget looks fantastic, but changing the ring size is costly.

Other options? Please note that I am running M970 XTR cranks. My current middle chainring needs replacing. The only option I can find is the genuine Shimano 32t at around $100.

Maybe some fellow members are keen to sell a 2nd hand 32t widget? Ultimately, I'd love to be able to swap out a 32t for a 28t on rare occasions.

Isildur's picture

I've just gone 1x10 on my 5.7C, but when I had my Mach 4 I looked into 1x9 too. I was using the same crankset as you've got now (M970). If it were me, I'd go with an E13 guide ring (XTR970 uses standard 104BCD from memory) and some sort of chain guide.

My favourite chainguide at the moment are the CSixx options. I've got one of their XC guides which works well, is nice and light, basically silent and looks awesome Smiling I've gone totally overboard with my chain retention strategy TBH - Csixx XC Guide, Bionicon C-Guide V2 and a SRAM Type 2, but I've done some seriously nasty things to try and derail the chain and it has stayed put!

Although the type of guide you'll use depends on your bike, you'll be fine with any 104BCD chainring. E13 are a good option, as are Middleburn. I've had a set of Middleburn rings on my commuter for over a year now, and they are barely showing any wear at all!

MrMez's picture

I changed my 3x10 to 1x10.

Used a 32t widgit with the 11-36.
For what i ride the short end is just short enough, and there is plenty on the long end.

I haven't dropped a chain yet, but a short cage RD would certainly tighten things up a bit.

Get a gear chart, work out what sort of gearing (in meters) you need on each end and there should be one size to cover the range you need.

chrischris's picture

32t is a definite. But if I have a crack at the Kona Paterson 24hr again, I'll be putting a 28t on the front. That's the only time I'll want it. Repeated BIG hills at Paterson are fun, & bloody hard work.

I'm still leaning towards a widget. Even cost wise it isn't too bad. The cost of buying a new middle chainring, bash guard, & chain retention device all adds up.

It just seems a slight waste to have to buy a whole new widget for a different size.

MrMez's picture

I was skeptical of the widgit so I got a chain guide too, which ended up not fitting quite right. Of course I had to go for a ride before I had time to engineer a fix, and its never dropped a chain, even with the long cage RD.
I'll get another 32t for my next build.

chrischris's picture

After checking the charts, I've ordered a 30t. This should go well for my possible attempt of the regular HuRT.

If I ever need to change for lower ratios (ie, Paterson), I'll keep my triple set, & order a new middle chainring.

herzog's picture

The simplicity of a 1x9 or 1x10 setup kind of appeals to me, but I have some questions.

Assuming you centre the chainline at the rear cassette so that the middle gear gives you a dead straight chain.

How does it go at the extreme ends (eg: 11 or 36 sprocket) - is the chain angle a problem?

Also - if you're running 32teeth at the front, how do you go at places like the Oaks down from the Helipad. I'm usually powering down there with 44/11.

chrischris's picture

I guess I'm about to find out.

But mentally, I am really shifting away from short sprints. I am really enjoying the simplicity of a long ride.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that there will be a time where I wished I had an extra gear, but for the simplicity & reduction in blasted chain suck - I can't imagine I'll be going back too quickly.

On the flip side, SS isn't for me! This 1x9 seems to be a great middle ground.

To answer your first question, I currently use the middle ring 99.9% of the time. All the cassette gears run great.

Discodan's picture

I run a 34t front & 11-34 rear (used to be 36t front but that was a bit too much at the end of a 100km race) and it's about right. I run out of traction before I'm running out of gears so I take that as a good sign that I don't need anything lower. I've had a 33t sitting in my spares box for ages but haven't bothered to fit it as it seems OK now, on a typical ride I will use all 9 gears but never feel that it's missing much. At the top end you do sometime run out of gears and are spinning like mad which is why I will look to go 1 x 10 in the future so I can get a 11-36 cassette and go back to 36t front

regarding the chainline, it is a little harsh and grinds in gear one but there's not much force going through it and it's not too often so I ignore it

Isildur's picture

On my 1x10 I've got an 11-36t out back, with an e-13 35t ring up the front. Gives me just a touch under 1 to 1 for the big hills, and a little bit more top end that a 32t or 34t ring up front.

If I ever get fit again, I'll probably go with a 36 or 37t Eye-wink

MrMez's picture

The short answer, Herzog, learn to be a better cyclist Smiling

As a very rough guide, for every meter travelled per pedal revolution, you should be able to hit 10km/hr.
11x44 gives you over 8m gearing, or a max of 80km/hr in that gear. Of course there are freaks that can add 25% to that, and of course, people who never really leant to pedal properly that can quite get there. Clipless pedals are not essentially essential. Just look at BMX riders. Cranking up to 250 rpm (short cranks help a ton)
To give you an idea, 250rpm on your gearing gets you close to 130km/hr.
An easily attainable 140rpm will get you 70km/hr. Are you going faster than that or do you just mash a big gear?
I don't know where you ride, but the trails in WA i ride, I'll be lucky if i can get close to 50km/hr.

As for the widgit, on a 1x10, the sprockets are quite close, and on extreme gearing the chain KIND OF catches on the adjacent sprocket. This will be better with more space between sprockets in a 1x9.
The biggest problem I had with the widgit was the chainline. The 32t sat way too far out. I had to remove a 2.5mm spacer from the BB, and add ~3-4mm worth of washers, but it works perfectly, and Id never go back.
A 30t that sits on the middle sprocket would probably solve a lot of that, and give me a little shorter gearing, especially since I like a high cadence. If possible you'd definitely want an 11-36 rear.

herzog's picture

Thats all good if you're a spinner. I'm the other style.

I couldn't fathom spinning at 140rpm for a 5km downhill stretch, such as the helipad to the gate.

MrMez's picture

The other style. Is that like 2nd place: the first loser Sticking out tongue

If you can't comfortably work a wide cadence or your trails have massive speed variations, you may be best suited to a 2x10, or the SRAM 1x11 if you have mega bucks.

herzog's picture

Ok, Oaks Helipad to the gate,

Rider with a double or triple with a top gear of 44x11

Same rider on a 1x10 with 36x11 spinning like a lunatic for 5kms Smiling

Who's going to be the first "loser" as you put it? My money's on the first guy.

Simon's picture

Rode this on my 2 by 9 + bash guard 34/22 chain ring and 11-34, so similar overall.

I end up running out of gears and sitting back waiting for the corner.

Depends on where you ride, Oaks isn't my regular. I'm in northern beaches and when my front DR broke it became a 1 by 9 without the granny and have never missed it, actually have no idea when I broke it.

muvro's picture

I run a 34t widgit on my do-it-all bike and love it! I run 11-32 out the back and have never had a prob riding anywhere on the beaches.

I have always kept my XC race bike 3x9, but am seriously considering on the next drivetrain change running 1x10 with a 32 on the front and a 11-36 on the rear, just incase I put myself too far into the box on a 7hr. I'll be getting one of the new Shadow plus rear mechs too. Those things are wicked quiet!

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