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  1. #1
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    Going 1X10....questions about chainring choices, chain guide vs. bash guard

    So I have been riding more and getting stronger, and realizing that I rarely, with the exception of rides with stronger riders, drop into my granny. Most of the guys I ride with are down to 1-by setups and I am thinking that I can shave a bit of weight and go to a 1X10 setup on my XTC1.

    Currently, I am riding it as a 2X10 with a really heavy Raceface bashguard. I started out with the stock chainrings (44/32/22) and basically just dropped my big ring for the bash, which is what I have done in the past on other bikes. Now, though, contemplating going to a 1X10, I am thinking that simply getting rid of the smallest ring, leaving only the 32 is not going to give me the ideal gearing options, especially for those rare situations when I would have needed the granny to keep up or for longer climbs. A buddy of mine who went to 1X10 swapped his middle 32T ring for a 28T (widget ring in his case), which seems to make sense to me.

    I guess I am looking for recommendations as to what size chain ring would be appropriate for a 1X10 setup. I realize this may be a personal preference thing, but a little guidance for a relative newb would be awesome.

    As a follow-up question, I am wondering what type of chain guide and/or bash guard folks are using with their 1-by setups.

  2. #2
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    I'm running a Blackspire Single Speed chainring (33t) with a MRP 1.x guide. I think I'd get the Paul guide if I did it again. A SS ring is really nice - i've yet to drop a chain (except in a crash) and it is pretty quiet. I run an 11-36 rear, so it's pretty wide. I would still need a lower gear for a 100 miler or something similar, but I live in a pretty hilly area (Morgantown, WV) and I don't have problems on long rides or even racing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by playpunk View Post
    I'm running a Blackspire Single Speed chainring (33t) with a MRP 1.x guide. I think I'd get the Paul guide if I did it again. A SS ring is really nice - i've yet to drop a chain (except in a crash) and it is pretty quiet. I run an 11-36 rear, so it's pretty wide. I would still need a lower gear for a 100 miler or something similar, but I live in a pretty hilly area (Morgantown, WV) and I don't have problems on long rides or even racing.
    Ive built my last three bikes with a 1x set up. The first with a guide plate and jump stop the second with a Paul's chain keeper and the third with a MRP 1x guide. The first worked really well and was simple to set up. The Pauls is a bit to wide and I could not get it low enough around the chain and it would get jammed up under the guide and the edge of the ring. It seems like it is designed to work with 34 or 36 front and an 8 speed or wide BMX chain. It would contact the spider before the top of the chain. Now I have the MRP on a Fisher SuperFly and it works great with a 32 front and an 11x36 rear. It's my first 1x10 and the extra gear deffenitly helps versus the 34 rear I was using before.

  4. #4
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    I currently am running 1x10. I use the Paul chainkeeper on a 34t Raceface single chainring. My cassette is a 12-36. I like this setup a lot. The Paul works well with the 34. I had a 32 on the front when I ran 1x9 and the Paul sat high due to hitting the bolts on the spider. During a race last week I felt the chain pop up but a quick pedal and I was good to go. That was my first experience that I noticed an issue with the chain coming off. I ran 1x9 for months without a chain guide and did not have any issues. As for what size chainring, the 28 will not be enough. You will spin out quick. While I do have a 36 on the rear I have rarely used it even on tough steep stuff. In fact, I am thinking of going to a 36t chainring. On declines and fireroads I could it. Just my 2 sheckels.
    1.21 Gigawatts

  5. #5
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    Id say go through this kind of chainguide, works great and its very light, also you can graduate height.
    If you re going 1 x 10 setup is would be better a 36 x 11-36 setup, with 32 t ring youll probably stay short on long trails
    good luck!

  6. #6
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    I am also contemplating doing this on my Stumpy FSR, also looking for suggestions. I currently have a 3x9 typical setup, I am on the fence of 1x9-10 or a 2x10.

    Are there any issues with the chain having too much angle when doing a 1x10?

  7. #7
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    You need to decide if you want a bash or not. If you are going to leave the stumpy as your bike with a bash and to do more aggressive riding with, you can get along with the mrp or the e13 xcx.

    I have tried the following options.
    1) Ghetto blackspire inner ring chainkeeper. Made it out of lexan. Worked awesome, looked not as awesome. Lets you keep a bashgaurd. Would occasionally fail when I was riding very rocky trails at a high speed, but very rarely.

    2) Gamut true bash and chainguide. If you are going to do aggressive riding you need a true guide system or else you will get occasional drops. Also recommended for full suspension setups.

    3) JumpStop: Would be fine for a hardtail that wasn't seeing a large amount of rough terrain. This solution only lasted a few weeks with my riding style.

    4) Mrp 1x was on my last race bike. It broke, but was an easy fix. Worked well, never dropped a chain during a race.

    5) Currently running e13 xcx. Since the MRP broke I went with e13 on my current build. Works just like the MRP, may be a bit more durable but hard to tell.


    #4 and #5 do not let you run a bashguard, so if you need a bash you need to look at the other solutions.

    I have seen the widget in person and it is cool, however not very durable. It has a bash, but I wouldn't trust it to take any big impacts.
    Stop....Heckler time.

  8. #8
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    I'd go with a SS specific chainring (Homebrewed Components, Surly, etc.). But for now, just use your current 32T and see if it feels ok. Personally, I'm used to grinding out climbs at 32x20, so I'd go for something like 34-ish with 11-36 cassette. I'd imagine you'd also get stronger the more you ride 1x10 and would end up swapping out the 28 for 32+.

  9. #9
    West Chester, PA
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    IMO, the best chainline for 1x9/10 is with the ring in the middle position on a triple crank. On many frames you're going to have clearance issues if you go above 32t. You can certainly move the chainring to the outer position but then you may have some issues with smooth running when you're at the top of your cassette. At first i ran 1x9 with 32 up front and an 11-34 cassette. Wasn't a problem except on some long climbs I wished i had another gear. Now I have 1x10 with a 36 in the back and its perfect for me.

    I have the paul guide and its fine once you fiddle with the positioning for a while. I have trouble getting a wrench to the bolts because the flared downtube partially blocks them. I think the e13 with the higher clamp is a better idea. Also, with the paul you have to take the whole damn thing off to remove your crank without taking off the chainring first. Then you're back to square one with all the fiddling. With the e13 you can leave the clamp bolted to the frame and just remove the guide part.

    I ran a ramped ring for a while with no issues. I bought a gamut ring for looks and weight. the bronze color is the tits.

    Gold chain is gone. Running a sram 1070 now. The kmc chains DO shift smoother but I broke one on my other bike and I'm not running them any more.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    .... On many frames you're going to have clearance issues if you go above 32t....
    I've never had any problems running 33 or 34T on any of the frames I've had. If you do run into issues, a simple shim (for ext BB) or longer spindle would solve the problem.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    If you do run into issues, a simple shim (for ext BB) or longer spindle would solve the problem.
    It doesn't seem that you can add spacers to most of the external BB cranks without messing up your bearing preload and such. And most people doing this stuff aren't using square taper cranks, they're using 2 piece cranks most bikes come with now. But that is an option. White enos do look sweet.

    I'm thinking about trying a 34t for mine. I think I have enough room for it in the middle position. Been riding for a while with the 32 and I'm all muscled up now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    It doesn't seem that you can add spacers to most of the external BB cranks without messing up your bearing preload and such...
    The Shimano cranks I bought (XT and SLX) came with spacers, and I've yet to have any problems. I guess I'm a bit clueless as to why the 1mm spacers would cause havoc on the bearings...

  13. #13
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    I'm a bit confused. It seems that in my mind, it makes sense that if I change from a 32T chainring to something else, I would go to a smaller ring, not bigger, as I tend to spend most of the time in the middle of my cassette and almost always on my 32T ring.

    I don't understand the recommendations to go to a bigger ring (34T) rather than smaller - this seems like it would be harder, not easier in terms of gearing options. Is it just me or does this not make sense?

    What about the Widget chainring/guard combos?

  14. #14
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    Well, it's the same reason why you're wanting to go 1x. Granny ring wasn't getting used, because you got stronger.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    Well, it's the same reason why you're wanting to go 1x. Granny ring wasn't getting used, because you got stronger.
    Right, understood, I guess I was thinking by going to 28, that I would kind of get the best of both worlds - dropping a ring, front derailleur, etc to lighten up, but still have the possibility of some easier gearing options in case of longer rides, tougher climbs, etc. I'm getting stronger, but maybe not confident enough to go the a 34T just yet. Plus, and maybe more important, the thing that got me concerned is that one of my buddies, who is one of the strongest riders in our group went 1X10 and is using a 28T Widget ring. Grant it, he rides in the NC mountains a fair amount - so maybe that's the difference.

    I guess when it comes down to it, I guess the easiest thing to do is just keep my current ring, drop the FD and small ring, and see...if too hard or I find myself wishing I had a smaller chain ring, I can always go smaller.

    Now I guess I just need to decide about chainguides...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    The Shimano cranks I bought (XT and SLX) came with spacers, and I've yet to have any problems. I guess I'm a bit clueless as to why the 1mm spacers would cause havoc on the bearings...
    It depends.

    With shimano adding 1 or 2 1mm spacers will usually work because of how the non drive side arm attaches. The arm attachment is separate from the bearing preload.

    Sram cranks don't tolerate extra spacers. The drive side arm gets torqued to a spec and too many spacers will cause you to squeeze the bearings.

    I think fsa can take extra spacers because the non drive arm uses pinch bolts like shimano, but I'm not sure.

    Race face, no idea.

    (BTW - The spacers your shimano BB came with are 2.5mm and are supposed to take up the difference between a 68 and 73mm BB.)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trumpus View Post
    I guess when it comes down to it, I guess the easiest thing to do is just keep my current ring, drop the FD and small ring, and see...if too hard or I find myself wishing I had a smaller chain ring, I can always go smaller.

    Now I guess I just need to decide about chainguides...
    You say you hardly ever user your granny or big ring, so just by staying in the middle ring, you should know if you can push all of those gears in your terrain. Personally I am getting to the point where I think I could go up to the next ring size in the front as I am beginning to push larger gears even in my middle ring.

    Im still learning about cranks, how the work/install. Just wondering, is it possible to remove the granny ring, replace the outer ring with a bash to convert my current 3x9 into a working 1x9 right off the bat?

  18. #18
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    Check Scrublover's setup in this post: 28 tooth single speed/1x9 crank?
    You may not want to replicate it, but it'll give some ideas on how to implement 1x10. If I could find a 28t granny w/ a 58mm bcd, I'd do the same on my new Covert. Of course, the Blackspire GG only covers a 26t in 58mm bcd, and on that bike, I'll need the bash guard. Good luck!
    - Joe

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheTwanksta View Post
    You say you hardly ever user your granny or big ring, so just by staying in the middle ring, you should know if you can push all of those gears in your terrain. Personally I am getting to the point where I think I could go up to the next ring size in the front as I am beginning to push larger gears even in my middle ring.

    Im still learning about cranks, how the work/install. Just wondering, is it possible to remove the granny ring, replace the outer ring with a bash to convert my current 3x9 into a working 1x9 right off the bat?
    Yes. Bash or guide ring on the out side. Jump stop or dog fang on the inside. Cheap and effective. Just shorten your chain as much as possible.

  20. #20
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    i am running;
    34t rotor ring
    s-works 180mm cranks
    sram xx 36t cassette, xx rear shifter
    sram 10sp chain (the cheapest one)
    and a e13 xcx-st (dang expensive, but works)

    you gotta get that front ring close to a 49-50mm chainline. i found that i would drop my chain when i keep the chain as shorts as possible, so i added a link and that worked things out well.

    i ran paul comp guide, but swapped to the e13 xcx and i think the e13 works better.

    those widget rings look nice, but i love my rotor rings. i have also ran a bashring with a n-gear jumpstop up front and that worked well too. also, make sure those widget rings will work with 10sp chains.
    "forget kings...forget hadleys......they all have crap engagement. just run your bike fixed gear." - FoShizzle

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    It depends.

    With shimano adding 1 or 2 1mm spacers will usually work because of how the non drive side arm attaches. The arm attachment is separate from the bearing preload.

    Sram cranks don't tolerate extra spacers. The drive side arm gets torqued to a spec and too many spacers will cause you to squeeze the bearings.

    I think fsa can take extra spacers because the non drive arm uses pinch bolts like shimano, but I'm not sure.

    Race face, no idea.

    (BTW - The spacers your shimano BB came with are 2.5mm and are supposed to take up the difference between a 68 and 73mm BB.)
    Good to know. Your reputation just shot up by ocho.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    It depends.

    With shimano adding 1 or 2 1mm spacers will usually work because of how the non drive side arm attaches. The arm attachment is separate from the bearing preload.

    Sram cranks don't tolerate extra spacers. The drive side arm gets torqued to a spec and too many spacers will cause you to squeeze the bearings.

    I think fsa can take extra spacers because the non drive arm uses pinch bolts like shimano, but I'm not sure.

    Race face, no idea.

    (BTW - The spacers your shimano BB came with are 2.5mm and are supposed to take up the difference between a 68 and 73mm BB.)
    You're correct that too many spacers would interfere with preload on SRAM cranks but there are some quirks to the whole system. The non-drive bearing is the only one that get's preloaded. When you install and torque down the non-drive arm it captures the NDS bearing between the arm and a shoulder on spindle that sits against the inside face of that bearing. The drive-side bearing actually floats without preload. This means the non-drive side sets the chainline. Install or remove spacers on the NDS and it moves the DS chainline. Install or remove spacers on the DS and it won't change the chainline unless you too many at which point it will prevent the NDS spindle shoulder from reaching the bearing and preloading correctly.

  23. #23
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    I have had no problems with my 1x10 setup and zero drops. It is worth the weight drop if you are a stronger rider. I live in FL and run 38 with 11-36, but I can get away with it here. I would say that the sweetspot is 32-36 for most other places. If you were looking towards a 28T, Blackspire makes one that fits into the little ring position (64BCD), and I guess there are a couple 30T's out there.

    As for a brand, my preference would be Blackspire SuperPro
    http://www.blackspire.com/qs/product/83/5948/263225/0/0
    The Blackspire SuperPro will have shift gates which is good because if you want to convert to 2x10/2x9, that ring will work beautifully! They are very well built, strong and last forever!
    The Hive Guide ring is what I use for my SS/1x10 hardtail. It is offered in different colors if you want to add that touch.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=The+H...w=1114&bih=620

    If you are looking for a superlight, super cheap bashguard...BBG is going to be your ticket...they cost like $12... They aren't the most durable, but they make different thicknesses for uses.
    http://www.bbgbashguard.com/index.html

    As for chainguides, I have no experience with anything but MRP. What everyone is saying about 68mm or 73mm BB is spot on, but there are solutions to it.

    MRP makes the 1x600 which takes the place of a BB spacer for a 68mm BB.
    http://www.mountainracingproducts.com/mrp/1x/

    Also the MRP 1xST-k500...on the same page (middle one) and it connects to the seattube. This is the only solution for no ISCG mount and 73mm BB. This is the one I have on my bike, and it works great. Very easy to adjust, and quiet...actually no noise that I can isolate to being the guide.
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  24. #24
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    I guess if you were to go with 32t on the front, would one then go with a 30t on front with a 29er? Larger wheel would mean a different ratio than 26".

    I'm going 1x10, white eno cranks (180mm) and 30t ring - 11-36 rear for trail and mountain riding (marin county) on Retrotec 29er. Also adding the new XTR Shadow Plus RD - I suspect and hope that will also be a big help. Add paul chain keeper and dropping the bash guard.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    Gold chain is gone. Running a sram 1070 now. The kmc chains DO shift smoother but I broke one on my other bike and I'm not running them any more.

    Where do you get the gold chain from? Also, are they not as reliable as the reg type chains? Ive been thinking about running a gold chain, but i cant find much information on them(i also dont know anything about chains yet).

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