EDIT: More pictures a couple posts down
I just took one more LARGE step in a 2x10 conversion from a 3x9 setup. I thought I'd post up some details and a mini-review as I had originally had lots of questions and had to go searching to piece everything together. So lets start...
I have a Trek Fuel EX9 that was retro-fitted with the following relevant parts due to a frame swap:
Shimano Deore Crank 22/32/44
Sram 11-32 9 speed Cassette
Shimano XT Shadow 9 speed rear Derailleur
Shimano Deore front Derailleur
Shimano Deore 9 speed rear/front shifters
Shimano m525 Deore rear 8-9 HUB
My first step was to remove the large 44 ring and replace it with a bash guard. This was done about a year ago... no biggy.
Next, I was quite intrigued with Shimano's Shadow+ clutch technology and thought it would be a great time to do a 10 speed conversion. And, with the 2014 stuff coming out, all the gear needed was on sale. SWEET! Below are the parts and prices (as of Oct. 2013) that I used for the conversion:
Shimano XT CS-M771 10 Speed Cassette, 11-36T (Jensonusa.com: $60.99)
Shimano XT CN-HG94 MTB 10 Speed Chain (Jensonusa.com: 30.99)
Shimano XT RD-M786-SGS Shadow+ Rear Derailleur, Silver (Amazon: $70)
Shimano XT 10-Speed SL-M780 Right/Rear Shift Lever (Performancebikes: 59.33)
All of the above schwag is on sale right now hence why I pulled the trigger.
Cut to the chase, the Shimano m525 hub on my rear is advertised as a 8/9 speed hub. I assume this is because 10 speed cassettes hadn't really hit the market when the hub was first released. Long story short, the Shimano XT cassette fit perfectly on the m525 hub freewheel. Quick note: Use this tool:
Instead of this tool:
Even though they look very similar, the one on the bottom does not fit very well into the cassette lock ring. I had to tap it in lightly with a hammer. The above tool slid right in.
The next bit of confusion I had was in regards to the full rear dyna-sys system working with my front Deore cranks. Well, after a good ride, I can say that I had no issues with my front Deore setup working nicely with the Dynasys chain. Since I have only two gears up front, shifting back and forth was a non-issue. Everything worked well together!
To wrap up this short review, I have to give the XT shimano groupo I setup an A++++. I couldn't believe how smooth pedaling was after the conversion. I couldn't believe how snappy and smooth shifting was. I was perplexed that I was able to pedal the bike over some large baby-skulls and not skip a beat. It felt like I was pedaling on dry pavement. The Shimano clutch system is absolutely nuts! Also, I'm sticking with the 22/32 rings for now as I really liked the gear spread on my 32 ring with the 11-36 cassette. On the same trail with my 9-speed setup, I had to drop to the granny gear (22 ring) for one hill climb. With the new setup, I was on my 32 ring the entire ride. Flipping fantastic! I may move my 22 ring up a few teeth eventually. Need to find some steeper hills to drop down into the granny gear to test it out.
To anyone pondering doing the conversion, I'd highly recommend the XT setup as it really performs and makes your ride that much more fun.
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Thread: My 2x10 Shimano XT conversion