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  1. #1
    Who took my gears?
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    Any one running 1x10 out here?

    Planning on going with 1x10 on my new build. Just wondering if anyone out here has used the Wolftooth or absoluteBlack chainrings? I am leaning toward Wolftooth because they are Made in USA and absoluteBlack are UK. Price seems to be about the same. From looking at the pictures they appear VERY similar, although the absoluteBlack ones do look like they have a little more machine work on them, but then again, I kind of like the looks of the minimalist wolftooth.

    Cranks are triple ring XT 104BCD (with all three rings removed and to be replaced with this ring on the middle).

    Anyway, just trying to make a decision, and was hoping someone could provide some feedback with them. From what I have read, with (or even without) a clutch rear der (I will be running XT shadow+ medium cage), and one of these rings up front, no chain guide is needed up front (Like XX1).

    Thanks for any feedback

  2. #2
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    Running it on 2 bikes and love it. I have a wolf tooth 30t on a SLX triple and never had a dropped chain using a Xtr shadow+ on my 29er fs and on my Fatbike running a RaceFace 30t using a RF turbine crank and Xt shadow+. The fatbike is rigid other than the big tires and no dropped chains either.Cassette is 11-36 on both. Sometimes I would like a little more range while climbing but I am 6ft 1in and 220lb, so not exactly the most fit on the trails, but I have rode singlespeed also for several years, so used to grunting it out when it gets steep. Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Just A Mountain Biker.
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    I did it for a while (few rides) and found I didn't have enough low-end for my liking. Riding up trails like VOAZ would toast my legs in the 30/36 combo.

    That said, I am a lightweight in most cases and I am sure if I just made myself stick with it and get stronger I would have been fine. In fact I may give it another shot this winter, I really like the simplicity but don't want to part with 1k to get X01 and a 42t cog.

    Also check out the RF Narrow Wide rings, they make a 30T and it may be easier to get one and not sure if they are cheaper than the Wolftooth.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Planning on going with 1x10 on my new build. Just wondering if anyone out here has used the Wolftooth or absoluteBlack chainrings? I am leaning toward Wolftooth because they are Made in USA and absoluteBlack are UK. Price seems to be about the same. From looking at the pictures they appear VERY similar, although the absoluteBlack ones do look like they have a little more machine work on them, but then again, I kind of like the looks of the minimalist wolftooth.

    Cranks are triple ring XT 104BCD (with all three rings removed and to be replaced with this ring on the middle).

    Anyway, just trying to make a decision, and was hoping someone could provide some feedback with them. From what I have read, with (or even without) a clutch rear der (I will be running XT shadow+ medium cage), and one of these rings up front, no chain guide is needed up front (Like XX1).

    Thanks for any feedback


    I've been running a Wolftooth 32T with XT shadow + and its been excellent. I have experienced a few drops (2-3 in approx 300 miles), but nothing that makes me want to put a guide on. I ride a hardtail 29er and any drops seem to happen on flatter, less bumpy sections with the chain falling off to the outside (ultimately catches on my pedal spindle). It almost seems like something (stick or twig or branch) bumps the chain off rather than it rattling loose. I have never had it fall off on steep, technical or fast gnarly descents.

    My friend runs a homebrewed 32T and he has experienced two drops with the same characteristics (to the outside in slower). Anyhow, great ring.....

  5. #5
    Who took my gears?
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    Thanks for the feedback guys! I still have not made my final decision, and now I need to consider the RF rings also.

  6. #6
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    Personally I have no desire to ditch my 22 chain ring. While I have been using my 34 rear a lot less lately use the 22 alot. Most all my sustained climbing is in my 22 and using 4-5 rear cogs to fine tune my cadence for the trail grade and rock conditions. Some of that range can be covered by my 32 chain ring, but not with the same fine adjustment.

    So
    32-26 = 32 Gear Inches
    32-30 = 28 GI
    32-34 = 25 GI

    But in my 22 chainring
    22-17 = 34 GI - Covered by 32-26
    22-20 = 29 GI - Covered by 32-28
    22-23 = 25 GI - Covered by 32 - 34
    22-25 = 22 GI
    22-30 = 19 GI
    22-34 = 17 GI

    So I get 3 new ratios, plus the ability to move from 19 GI to 34 GI with no big ring change. That allows me to fine tune and ride the bike like single chain ring on the climbs, but have the fine ratio split to maintain a good cadence, but also have good top end when I want it. I find that races are times I use the most of my gearing. Top end 44 chain ring for smooth road descents or pavement and the 22 for climbs to stay on boil hunting for the best gear to keep me right on my max effort and max speed.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
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    This is why dog invited siglespedes.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  8. #8
    Got a suspension fork
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Observer View Post
    This is why dog invited siglespedes.
    here here.

    If you give it a try you'll discover you can still make most of this big hills and climbs like VOAZ on a SS just fine.

    And that rear derailleur is SO much easier to adjust. And the Chain Slap so much quieter. And the shifting so much smoother.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  9. #9
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    can a 9speed hub be changed to a 10 speed cassette, or was it only 8 & 9 that were interchangeable?
    my current drivetrain is is bad need of replacement. i saw pricepoint is having a ton of model year shimano on sale so i figure now is the best time to bite, but i haven't a fricking clue what is compatible

  10. #10
    How much further ???
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    Yes the standard drive shell of a hub will accept 9 speed or 10 speed cassettes no problem. At least for Shimano you will need new shifters as the indexing has obviously changed, and a new rear mech since they changed the leverage ratio or something. To my knowledge only the Sram 11 speed systems require a special drive shell, that is proprietary I'm sure.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike View Post
    can a 9speed hub be changed to a 10 speed cassette, or was it only 8 & 9 that were interchangeable?
    my current drivetrain is is bad need of replacement. i saw pricepoint is having a ton of model year shimano on sale so i figure now is the best time to bite, but i haven't a fricking clue what is compatible
    You can put a 10 spd cassette on a 9 speed hub. You cannot put an 11 speed on, though.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  12. #12
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    I was running tenspeed for the past 8 months with wolfooth 34t upfront. Raced the whiskey, AES in Flagstaff, Epic in Grand Junction. I ride Sonoran, Deems, PMP, McDowells (preserve and park), Cave Creek, P&D, Sedona and Flagg.
    NOT ONE DROP with XO with clutch RD, not even on the chunkiest stuff.

    Climbing is no issue. In fact climbing in granny on most of our loose stuff is counter-productive. You just end up spinning out. Can't pick up enough momentum to get over obstacle in granny as well. Granny does not allow you to progress as rider IMHO.

    Yes you have to stand up and climb 5% of the time I ride - it's really easy though in 34-28 or 34-32 (rarely in 36) unlike in singlespeed where they run 33-19 or something like that. Standing up also engages different muscle groups so in a way it rests the "sitting" spin muscles.

    My only gripe is that when racing, on asphalt or fireroads, especially going down, you will get smoked. I just moved up to 36 in front, hoping to close that gap. Climbing will get a bit trickier but that's how you get stronger.

  13. #13
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    Try it and I guarantee you will get stronger within few weeks.... if you stick with it.

  14. #14
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    Bart,
    I know you are fast so it clearly works for you, but for me I like the ability spin up hills. I was on my road bike last weekend and did some of my normal routine climbs. I focused on spinning up those climbs at bit more than before and found myself getting to the top just as fast and at times faster by spinning them at a higher cadence. Also when I got to the tops I felt less worn out than when I tried brute force my way up them in a bigger gear. The road bike is a good place to test spin vs force on climbs because traction is never an issue and neither are rocks. It just a pure state of how much power you can put out. For me standing on a road climb is almost always slower because of the slower cadence even when it a bigger gear. Plus I can blow up when standing alot sooner. Of course there are times when you need to stand to deal with really steep pitch up, but I find that if I can sit and spin the climb I am faster and fresher at the top.

    Of course mtn riding is difference since the terrain is such a large factor, but I just hate to give up that low granny because there are just so many times it can just save my bacon. Even my road bike is a triple. While I may not use my 30 tooth chain ring much (42/52 95% of time with a 9spd 12-25) I like to have it just in case. The times I have used it really saves me as the alternative is just walking. In fact on one long climbing ride my ability to drop into the 30 tooth ring on the road bike and spin away gave me ability to not just hang with other riders, but to sustain a speed they could not reach the top of the climb first. That was after about 1 hour of climbing.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Planning on going with 1x10 on my new build. Just wondering if anyone out here has used the Wolftooth or absoluteBlack chainrings? I am leaning toward Wolftooth because they are Made in USA and absoluteBlack are UK. Price seems to be about the same. From looking at the pictures they appear VERY similar, although the absoluteBlack ones do look like they have a little more machine work on them, but then again, I kind of like the looks of the minimalist wolftooth.

    Cranks are triple ring XT 104BCD (with all three rings removed and to be replaced with this ring on the middle).

    Anyway, just trying to make a decision, and was hoping someone could provide some feedback with them. From what I have read, with (or even without) a clutch rear der (I will be running XT shadow+ medium cage), and one of these rings up front, no chain guide is needed up front (Like XX1).

    Thanks for any feedback
    I run 1x10 on my All Mnt Nomad. Using 32t up front with a bbg bashwich setup (inner and outer bash guards) with a 11-36 in the back using Type 2 Sram X9 clutch derailleur. The bashwich setup works great and has never dropped a chain.

    Currently building a XC 29er and going to go with a 1x10 setup. Going with a 30t RF wide/narrow up front and 11-36 in back. But going to add a MRP 1x guide for added assurance.

  16. #16
    Ahhh the pain....
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    The great spinners and mashers debate. I think it really comes down to how you train. If you look at the pro roadies, most will sit and spin hills and generate tons of power. THere are exceptions, like weiner boy Contador who stands much more on climbs. If you take a guy who is a seated climber and ask him to stand an entire 2 hour climb, he'll die. But if you take an experienced and well trained singlespeeder, he(or she) can do that and if the grade/gear ratio is right, it's almost easier.
    Back in the day (mid 90's), I was a diehard seated climber... Now, the only way I can get up hills fast (road bike or mtb) is to stand...
    ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐
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  17. #17
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    Climbing is no issue. In fact climbing in granny on most of our loose stuff is counter-productive. You just end up spinning out. Can't pick up enough momentum to get over obstacle in granny as well. Granny does not allow you to progress as rider IMHO.

    Yes you have to stand up and climb 5% of the time I ride - it's really easy though in 34-28 or 34-32 (rarely in 36) unlike in singlespeed where they run 33-19 or something like that. Standing up also engages different muscle groups so in a way it rests the "sitting" spin muscles.
    This basically sums up my experience. I have found that as I have progressed over the past year I have needed the small chainring less and less (big one was replaced with a bash long ago, because my big ring had turned into a bash - and I did not miss it once it was gone). I went from needing the small ring to slowly spin up hills, to only using it for active recovery on climbs when I needed a break but did not want to stop, to now where I no longer need it, and if I do try to use it, I spin out like you mentioned.

    SS is intriguing, and most of the guys I have been riding with are on them, and encouraging me to go SS (you know who you are). I think I will probably be there soon, but I want to try 1x10 first and see how I like it. Seems to be the best of both worlds to me. Simpler, one shifter, one derailleur, minimized to no chain slap / quiet(er) drivetrain, lighter, yet still having a range of gears to choose from.

    So, going to give it a shot. If I totally hate it, I have the front shifter, and will just need to slap the rings back on my chainset, and buy a front der and chain. If I love it and find that I can stay in the middle of the cassette, then I may convert to SS (frame will have paragon dropouts, so that will be cake).

    Now just have to decide between the RaceFace, WT, and AB rings, and to go with 30T or 32T ring.

  18. #18
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by In2falling View Post
    Currently building a XC 29er and going to go with a 1x10 setup. Going with a 30t RF wide/narrow up front and 11-36 in back. But going to add a MRP 1x guide for added assurance.
    If you are using a clutch rear der (and even if you are not), all of my research has indicated this is totally unnecessary. Might want to give it a try for a few rides.

  19. #19
    Who took my gears?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    The great spinners and mashers debate. I think it really comes down to how you train. If you look at the pro roadies, most will sit and spin hills and generate tons of power. THere are exceptions, like weiner boy Contador who stands much more on climbs. If you take a guy who is a seated climber and ask him to stand an entire 2 hour climb, he'll die. But if you take an experienced and well trained singlespeeder, he(or she) can do that and if the grade/gear ratio is right, it's almost easier.
    Back in the day (mid 90's), I was a diehard seated climber... Now, the only way I can get up hills fast (road bike or mtb) is to stand...
    Yeah, me too... We are all different and have different styles, and it is great to have all these different options available to us!

  20. #20
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    Any one running 1x10 out here?-wolftooth.jpg

    Here is my set up with the old 34t. Clean. Simple. Effective.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Bart,
    I know you are fast so it clearly works for you, but for me I like the ability spin up hills. I was on my road bike last weekend and did some of my normal routine climbs. I focused on spinning up those climbs at bit more than before and found myself getting to the top just as fast and at times faster by spinning them at a higher cadence. Also when I got to the tops I felt less worn out than when I tried brute force my way up them in a bigger gear. The road bike is a good place to test spin vs force on climbs because traction is never an issue and neither are rocks. It just a pure state of how much power you can put out. For me standing on a road climb is almost always slower because of the slower cadence even when it a bigger gear. Plus I can blow up when standing alot sooner. Of course there are times when you need to stand to deal with really steep pitch up, but I find that if I can sit and spin the climb I am faster and fresher at the top.

    Of course mtn riding is difference since the terrain is such a large factor, but I just hate to give up that low granny because there are just so many times it can just save my bacon. Even my road bike is a triple. While I may not use my 30 tooth chain ring much (42/52 95% of time with a 9spd 12-25) I like to have it just in case. The times I have used it really saves me as the alternative is just walking. In fact on one long climbing ride my ability to drop into the 30 tooth ring on the road bike and spin away gave me ability to not just hang with other riders, but to sustain a speed they could not reach the top of the climb first. That was after about 1 hour of climbing.
    Hey Joe, I don't mean to poo poo the 22. I think Dennis is clearly ready for more teeth. I think we run in to each other once, you looked like you couldn't weight more than 160 lbs. You would easily push a 24 or 26 in a 20 speed set up, although if you a running a triple there is no real reason to complicate things.

  22. #22
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    Dennis: Go with the full XX1 groupset. You will not regret it. Product of the year in the bike industry, IMHO! I have it on 2 bikes and it is efficient and quiet. I have NEVER dropped a chain or missed a shift. And, you can easily take the front ring off to exchange for a different size without taking the cranks apart. XX1 is all the simplicity and smoothness of riding a SS with 10 extra gears for those steeper climbs and asphalt sprints!
    -boom

  23. #23
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    Bart,
    I am 5'7" and 155lbs and I guess 160-165 fully geared up with full a 100oz camelback. I am reasonably fast, but not as fast as you, Raybum and some of really fast guys out there. I think what Raybum said is right thought that I am more of a spinner vs masher. I try climb with lungs rather than brute leg strength. I see that there are mixed messages among the bike community as many people talk about climbing with cadence, but try to use big gears a badge of honor. I see roadie guys always like to talk about climbing stuff in the big ring as sign of how strong they are. BS.. How strong of a rider you are is not the gear you use but the time up the climb. That is what I respect.

    Single speed obviously requires brute leg strength, but to me that is a known situation. There is no pretense that the one gear is best for all situations as it is not. Part of the challenge is making your body adapt. What you gain bike wise is a lighter and simpler bike. There is virtue in that.

    I guess where I am coming from is that 1x9, 10, 11 systems seem to be all the rage right now, but for most riders I am not really sure they are better than a good old fashioned triple. Each extra cog requires a thinner weaker chain. The weight savings from a 2x10 over a 3x9 is minimal. You still have the same number of gears (3+9 = 12) or (2+10 = 12) and derailleurs so the savings is down to weight of a gear vs chainring which really is not much. People complain about front derailleur action being slow, but don't shift under power and learn how to select the right chainring for the terrain to minimize chainring shifts.

    You can save weight with a 1x system since there is no front derailleur, but how much do you give up in versatility? Even SRAM know you give up something as they offer multiple chainring options. So do they expect you select which chain ring you run based on the trail? That is fine if you are pro racer maybe, but for general riding it seem far simpler to carry a few chain rings that give you top end and bottom end without needing to change a chain ring.

    Anyway the jury to me is out on if 1x systems are fads or real improvements. They say that no front derailleur allow for more flexibly rear suspension designs and maybe it does. I don't know however if there are any bikes that take full advantage of this yet.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post

    ...Anyway the jury to me is out on if 1x systems are fads or real improvements. They say that no front derailleur allow for more flexibly rear suspension designs and maybe it does. I don't know however if there are any bikes that take full advantage of this yet.
    Good post.

    I am an old fart living in Colorado, and there is no way in hell I am giving up anything on my lowest gear (and I would not have when I was a not so old fart either). Right now I am running 2x9 29er with 20/32T chainring with an 11-34 cassette giving me a 17 gear inch for my low low. 22/36 is 18 gear inches (29er) which I could live with.

    With a 42 T cog, you still need a 24 T chainring to get to a 17 low, or a 26 to get to a 18 low. Running 1X with a 24 or 26T ring would limit high gearing even more than my 2x9 does. But the new XX1 also has 10T small cog instead of 11, which helps.

    Could I live with even less high gears? Maybe. 1x with a giant cassette like that will probably be sufficient for a lot of riders. But I'm sure there will always be people who will still want more gearing range than 1x11 gives even with the 10-42 cassette.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    Dennis: Go with the full XX1 groupset. You will not regret it. Product of the year in the bike industry, IMHO! I have it on 2 bikes and it is efficient and quiet. I have NEVER dropped a chain or missed a shift. And, you can easily take the front ring off to exchange for a different size without taking the cranks apart. XX1 is all the simplicity and smoothness of riding a SS with 10 extra gears for those steeper climbs and asphalt sprints!
    I thought about it, but it was a bit too pricey for me. The XT1 (as I am calling it - Shimano pay attention) was around 1/3 the cost, and nearly the same gearing/performance is achievable. Another factor was having to get a new free hub on my (brand new) wheels. Part of the purpose of this build is to make if flexible enough to go back to 2x10 if I want, or to go full single speed (thanks to dog for that), and if I dropped the $$$ on XX1 I would feel financially tied to the solution. Perhaps if I fall in love with my 1x10 XT1 (and I think I will), I may eventually switch over to 1x11 once it gets down into the X9 component set / price range and it is a little more proven.

    I am already nearly 1/2 the way through purchasing components for my build, so it is too late to switch to XX1 anyway, but I did give it a good hard look. Going with it would have required a serious compromise on my frame (would have had to give up the Ti frame, ouch). Going Ti with XX1 would have pushed my build out of my price range.

    Planning on going with a 32T up front with 11x36 and based on my riding experience this is going to be a perfect range for the trails I ride and my fitness level. I also plan on picking up a 30T front that I may throw on (easy enough to do so) if I am going to be hitting some trails with some serious climbing.

    I also read something interesting somewhere, a dude had left the granny ring on, even though he was running 1x10 and if he had a long extended climb and wanted the low gear he would just stop (go figure) and move the chain down with his hands, then stop again and move it back up. Not ideal I know, but definitely an option if doing some longer rides. Not sure I would ever do that, but I found it pretty clever.

    Thanks for all the feedback guys. It is great to have so many options!

  26. #26
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    I did the same thing when I was running 1x10
    I left a 24t ring on my 2x10 XT cranks
    it was not ideal.. but a good interim before biting my wallet and going 1x11

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    I also read something interesting somewhere, a dude had left the granny ring on, even though he was running 1x10 and if he had a long extended climb and wanted the low gear he would just stop (go figure) and move the chain down with his hands, then stop again and move it back up. Not ideal I know, but definitely an option if doing some longer rides. Not sure I would ever do that, but I found it pretty clever
    Last edited by flyinmike; 10-16-2013 at 09:13 AM. Reason: delete

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    I thought about it, but it was a bit too pricey for me. The XT1 (as I am calling it - Shimano pay attention) was around 1/3 the cost...
    Thumbs up to this post.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Single speed obviously requires brute leg strength, but to me that is a known situation. There is no pretense that the one gear is best for all situations as it is not. Part of the challenge is making your body adapt. What you gain bike wise is a lighter and simpler bike. There is virtue in that.
    Joe, I in no way consider myself a masher, in fact I used to spin at a high cadence when I rode a 20 speed MTB. Don't think you have to be a guy who mashes on the gears to enjoy and be competent on a SS.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  29. #29
    Oh, I've GOT bike money
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    Wolftooth 30t, XT shadow plus for a few months now. Works great - very quiet and no drops.

    I've been able to increase my leg strength greatly in a short period of time. Endurance is a different story and I feel like I've been against the wall on that for a while. But in central Texas, there aren't any sustained climbs, so you just stand and attack the steep stuff.

    I ran a Gen Lee with 42t low gear for a while. However I found that I was accidently dropping to the 42t on climbs and losing all momentum and blowing the climb. And I had gotten stronger from the 1x10 and didn't need it. So I'll just save it for trips to the mountains.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Joe, I in no way consider myself a masher, in fact I used to spin at a high cadence when I rode a 20 speed MTB. Don't think you have to be a guy who mashes on the gears to enjoy and be competent on a SS.
    Randy, How you get up a climb on a SS without standing mashing away on a SS? Now I am not say this bad, but it you will have to mash. A 32/19 or 32/20 going 5 mph is going to be slow cadence and will require alot of brute force to climb.

    I was riding national last January and when rear derailleur cable housing started to fray I was locked out of my lowest 3 cogs. So I that forced me to do few short climbs in a much bigger gear than normal. I got brief taste of single speed when I approached a section with no way to climb it other than hit it with speed and power. Fun in some ways really as it put a different mental load on my riding. Still single speed is a different animal from a 1x? system.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  31. #31
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    The best part of climbing in a higher gear is that you spend less time climbing.

    I am no engineer or physicist but I can tell you that the inefficiency of climbing for a longer period in a smaller gear somehow tires me out more than climbing in a bigger gear, especially when you loose traction.
    Some of those forces than work against me during the climb work over time so when I shorten my climb by half the time by running a taller gear ratio I increase the efficiency.

    Here is my pseudo-scientific explanation of what works for me.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    You can save weight with a 1x system since there is no front derailleur, but how much do you give up in versatility? Even SRAM know you give up something as they offer multiple chainring options. So do they expect you select which chain ring you run based on the trail? That is fine if you are pro racer maybe, but for general riding it seem far simpler to carry a few chain rings that give you top end and bottom end without needing to change a chain ring.

    Anyway the jury to me is out on if 1x systems are fads or real improvements. They say that no front derailleur allow for more flexibly rear suspension designs and maybe it does. I don't know however if there are any bikes that take full advantage of this yet.
    there is no significant weight saving with 1x10, 200gm maybe - you can do with one tire.

    One advantage, no chain drops for me due of course of not upshifting in the right time. But the main advantage is that changing gears especially in 30 speed was such distraction for me.
    I would go downhill and then see a hill I have to climb and have to say to myself -Wait, what gear am in? This constant shifting up and down - really took away from me concentrating on paying attention to the trail and surroundings.
    I recently took my SS for first ride and it felt so freeing just to really focus on the trail, riding technique, appropriate braking, etc.
    It teaches you to be more efficient, not to scrub speed too much, pick up and retain momentum.
    I also like changing position from sitting to standing - it distributes the work on different muscle groups, load on ligaments...

    Anyway, I tried 30, 20, 10 and singlespeed. The more I ride the less I feel need to the gears.

    BTW, my new singlespeed is all rigid and has flat pedals. OH THE HUMANITY !
    Took it to North Sonoran Preserve- Most fun I had in years !

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    The best part of climbing in a higher gear is that you spend less time climbing.

    I am no engineer or physicist but I can tell you that the inefficiency of climbing for a longer period in a smaller gear somehow tires me out more than climbing in a bigger gear, especially when you loose traction....
    I am an engineer and unless you slipping tires climbing is about power. It taxes XXX of power to take a rider up a certain grade at a certain time. The faster you climb up the more power it takes. Slow climbing takes less power. The gear you use does not change the power it takes get up climb. The only things that change power are rider & bike weight and time.

    The fact that it takes you less time in bigger gear comes from your body's efficiency. Consider two car engines. One is a big 8.0L truck motor. Max revs are 4500 rpm and max power is 300 hp at 4500 rpm. Compare this to a 2.0L motor that revs to 9000 rpm with 300 hp. Guess what they need different gears. That same 300 hp will pull both cars up a grade at the same rate with same weight, but the little 2.0L motor will have to spin twice as fast to do it.

    People can be the same way where you might generate the most power at 70 rpm with each crank stroke putting out alot of force. If you crank 90 rpm your power level goes down because you can't keep that force going. However some guys can crank at 90 rpm while each pedal stroke may not be with as much force becuase you get 20 more pushes per minute you are able to climb faster. The human physiology is really interesting how it response to maximizing short duration and long duration power and different people respond in different ways.

    For me if I try to push to big of a gear up a climb I will slow down and it will take me longer. If I try to spin past my optimum I will to slow down since I can't put out good force at that high a cadence. This is the idea behind having multiple gears. To fine the your personal ideal cadence to maximize sustained power output and ride there at all times. This allows a max speed up a climb.

    So Bart you will be fastest up a climb when you find that sweet spot. One where you are not spinning to fast, but are not mashing too much either. That could be 2-3 gear ratios higher than the next guy and that means for you it feels so much better on bigger ratios.

    Now when you throw traction and other effects in to the mix like you get on mtn bike climbs it makes it more complex. Plus there a times when you can or need to got into the red zone and ride level you cannot sustain for long just to clear something. Situations like that complicate the issues, but don't change the basic physics either. I have not even raise the idea of changing muscle groups mid climb to rest some muscles and engage others.

    Clearly any loss of traction is bad and really low gears will require better traction to prevent slipping, but as any experienced rider knows traction management is a key to the sport and there are many techniques. Sitting, standing, balance, gear selection, momentum and line choice all impact traction.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    One advantage, no chain drops for me due of course of not upshifting in the right time. But the main advantage is that changing gears especially in 30 speed was such distraction for me.
    I would go downhill and then see a hill I have to climb and have to say to myself -Wait, what gear am in? This constant shifting up and down - really took away from me concentrating on paying attention to the trail and surroundings.
    Gear changing has never been a concern for me. There are time I need to think about the gear I am in or need to be in next, but I see this part of the riding not a distraction. I see it as skill to be honed. I had been racing cars for 10 years before I go back into biking and in car racing gear changes are critical. Hitting the proper heel and toe downshift to get in the perfect gear for the turn on the course is just part of it. Any new course always requires fidding around to pick right gear so you have right mix of torque and throttle controll as well as engine breaking stability. It really interesting how taking a turn 1 gear higher make the car feel so much different even if apex speeds pretty much the same. I treat mtn biking the same way where on key aspect is getting the right chainring and cog for the terrain. If the climb is short and sweet I will try to run the taller gear ratio and power through with brute force. If I know I have long stead climb I will settle in to my small 22 chain ring and run up and down my 9 speed to fine that perfect cadence vs pedal force point to max my speed and leave me room to drop few gear fast if the grade pitches up. For me on long climbs I want to stay out of red zone and just hover outside it. If go deep in to red and don't have rest spot after I will be slower overall on the climb. This why If the trail is mostly flat then I get short steep pitch I don't mind going into the red for that as I will have place to back off and rest but not have to stop right after it. On longer sustained climbs I am best approaching it with steady even power at high level. So this where the 22 chainring allows me to wide range of low gears to keep that steady cadence and power so I don't blow up.


    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    I recently took my SS for first ride and it felt so freeing just to really focus on the trail, riding technique, appropriate braking, etc.
    It teaches you to be more efficient, not to scrub speed too much, pick up and retain momentum.
    I also like changing position from sitting to standing - it distributes the work on different muscle groups, load on ligaments......
    I can appreciate the different challenges in single speed. Since I raced a low hp momentum car on the track I understand the value of not scrubbing speed and keeping your momentum up. When you are on race track with 150 hp vs guys with 300 hp the only way you can hope to not get run over is never slowdown because as soon as you do you are dead meat. SS is similar in that if you can keep the bike rolling at speed you don't need the same force as if you slow down too much. Personally me riding a single speed I would doubt I would be and faster, but I do think the extra challenges might be fun. I believe being and effective single speeder is one sign of real riding prowess. It proves to me you have strength and fitness and also excellent bike handling skills so you can maintain momentum in places everyone else slows down. I however don't think single speed bikes are fastest and most efficient bikes at covering ground, but there are virtues in them.

    BTW Sonoran north is perfect for a nice rigid bike. My HT almost feel like over kill there.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  35. #35
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    Good post Joe. I will add a couple of thoughts:
    I agree with the idea that sometimes its better to work harder to get a climb over with quickly, rather than to go easy and take longer. Physics wise, it takes the same energy either way, but as you said faster needs more power (for shorter time).

    With technical climbs, momentum helps to get over rocks. So, generating some momentum when you can pedal efficiently, and then using that momentum when you hit the rocks, seems to save energy compared to going slowly to approach a rock and then trying to generate the extra energy to get over it with an inefficient pedal stroke. Does that make sense?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Good post Joe. I will add a couple of thoughts:
    I agree with the idea that sometimes its better to work harder to get a climb over with quickly, rather than to go easy and take longer. Physics wise, it takes the same energy either way, but as you said faster needs more power (for shorter time).

    With technical climbs, momentum helps to get over rocks. So, generating some momentum when you can pedal efficiently, and then using that momentum when you hit the rocks, seems to save energy compared to going slowly to approach a rock and then trying to generate the extra energy to get over it with an inefficient pedal stroke. Does that make sense?
    Yes it does, but the key is momentum not the gear as much. I think some of you think that running low gear means you will go slow up the climb. Running a low only means going slow if you run the same cadence. I climb at 6 mph spinning 90 rpm or climb at 6 mph pushing 50 rpm. Clearly at 50 rpm the gear will be much higher and pedal force will be much higher. If that suits your riding style great, but climbing at 6 mph is still climbing at 6 mph. Now if you drop to lower gear to make the pedal force easier and keep pedaling at 50 rpm your speed will drop like rock and it will take you along longer to make the climb. So my point is when you use lower gears you have to spin faster to maintain speed. Some people are better suited to high rpm pedaling with less force. This tends to put more strain on the cardio system to keep the legs turning. Slower candence and more force requires more brute leg strength and every person is different. I find that if I try to climb on leg strength alone I will burn out much faster than if I try to climb with my lungs.

    Now in very technical spots things like traction and how balance on the bike is impacted by crank rotations play a big role and can over ride the bodies most efficient power point. In technical climbing balance tends to be the most critical and I find the ideal cadence to optimize balance is slower than that to optimize sustained power. The good thing about geared bikes is that if you understand that you can use the right gear for what you need.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Randy, How you get up a climb on a SS without standing mashing away on a SS? Now I am not say this bad, but it you will have to mash. A 32/19 or 32/20 going 5 mph is going to be slow cadence and will require alot of brute force to climb.

    I was riding national last January and when rear derailleur cable housing started to fray I was locked out of my lowest 3 cogs. So I that forced me to do few short climbs in a much bigger gear than normal. I got brief taste of single speed when I approached a section with no way to climb it other than hit it with speed and power. Fun in some ways really as it put a different mental load on my riding. Still single speed is a different animal from a 1x? system.
    What I mean is that when I rode a geared bike I was never a masher, but a spinner. Yet I adopted to riding the bigger gear on a SS up hills just fine.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    there is no significant weight saving with 1x10, 200gm maybe - you can do with one tire.

    One advantage, no chain drops for me due of course of not upshifting in the right time. But the main advantage is that changing gears especially in 30 speed was such distraction for me.
    I would go downhill and then see a hill I have to climb and have to say to myself -Wait, what gear am in? This constant shifting up and down - really took away from me concentrating on paying attention to the trail and surroundings.
    I recently took my SS for first ride and it felt so freeing just to really focus on the trail, riding technique, appropriate braking, etc.
    It teaches you to be more efficient, not to scrub speed too much, pick up and retain momentum.
    I also like changing position from sitting to standing - it distributes the work on different muscle groups, load on ligaments...

    Anyway, I tried 30, 20, 10 and singlespeed. The more I ride the less I feel need to the gears.

    BTW, my new singlespeed is all rigid and has flat pedals. OH THE HUMANITY !
    Took it to North Sonoran Preserve- Most fun I had in years !
    I love this post Bart. I feel the same way, riding a SS is just so much fun. It reminds of when I was a kid riding a simple bike. Want to go faster, then pedal faster. No shifting just experiencing the ride. It's very freeing and quite enjoyable. I could care less if sometimes I have to walk the last 15 yards of some climb that I could have cleaned with gears.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    snipped to save space…
    The fact that it takes you less time in bigger gear comes from your body's efficiency. Consider two car engines. One is a big 8.0L truck motor. Max revs are 4500 rpm and max power is 300 hp at 4500 rpm. Compare this to a 2.0L motor that revs to 9000 rpm with 300 hp. Guess what they need different gears. That same 300 hp will pull both cars up a grade at the same rate with same weight, but the little 2.0L motor will have to spin twice as fast to do it.
    Joe, What you don't consider in here is that your riding habits and muscle conditioning change when you switch to a bike like a SS where you don't have the option of a granny gear. You adapt to the situation and become better at pushing that higher gear up a hill than you ever could have done before.

    You're looking at this situation in a static state which is not what happens in reality, the more you ride the taller gears, the more you adapt to it. Similarly you can train to spin at higher cadences, it feels unnatural at first, but with practice and time it become second nature.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  40. #40
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    Great info thread!

    Oh and Casual Observer "SSpelcheck!" heh heh.....
    Last edited by JMac47; 10-20-2013 at 09:21 AM. Reason: typo
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Joe, What you don't consider in here is that your riding habits and muscle conditioning change when you switch to a bike like a SS where you don't have the option of a granny gear. You adapt to the situation and become better at pushing that higher gear up a hill than you ever could have done before.

    You're looking at this situation in a static state which is not what happens in reality, the more you ride the taller gears, the more you adapt to it. Similarly you can train to spin at higher cadences, it feels unnatural at first, but with practice and time it become second nature.
    This is exactly true.

    Think about it, if it wasn't, we wouldn't be able to ride fatbikes. Even with normal gearing, holy ****!, these things roll like sludge, climbing is terrible and don't even get me started on steering, but we adapt. After a little bit of time, it feels normal. Human beings are amazingly adaptable.

    I actually did the opposite, I took my 32t XX1 chainring down to 30t. Guess what? It really didn't make anything "easier", despite that being the reason I got the 30. I still make all the same climbs, seems about the same speed, and so on.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  42. #42
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    you guys nailed it. I have been telling MTBDennis to just go SS, but he says he isn't ready (physically) yet. My reply? No one is "ready" for SS, you just make the switch and do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    This is exactly true.

    Think about it, if it wasn't, we wouldn't be able to ride fatbikes. Even with normal gearing, holy ****!, these things roll like sludge, climbing is terrible and don't even get me started on steering, but we adapt. After a little bit of time, it feels normal. Human beings are amazingly adaptable.

    I actually did the opposite, I took my 32t XX1 chainring down to 30t. Guess what? It really didn't make anything "easier", despite that being the reason I got the 30. I still make all the same climbs, seems about the same speed, and so on.
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    you guys nailed it. I have been telling MTBDennis to just go SS, but he says he isn't ready (physically) yet. My reply? No one is "ready" for SS, you just make the switch and do it.
    Well I waited, until I can climb in taller gears. Without some initial training I would start with low gearing something like 32x20 and keep spinning out on the flatties - which is frustrating as hell.
    Now I can start with 34x20 or 34x19 right off the bat.

    tenspeed is a nice progression to SS.

  44. #44
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    I saw a bike this weekend with a 1x11 setup and the big sprocket had 42 teeth, the size of common big chainrings. That would sure bring back the low end gears for climbing.

    Spesh S-Works Camber 29: Specialized Bicycle Components

  45. #45
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    Any one running 1x10 out here?

    Just recently switched to 1x10 on my 29er. I started with 36t 11-36 and it was a touch to tall for some of the climbs right now. Went to 34t and it feels just about right for now. Gets me up all the climbs and spins out around 22-23 mph. Once I build my legs up a little more I may give the 36t a try again.

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