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  1. #1
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    seeking new drivetrain advice

    The time has come to replace the drivetrain on my Rockhopper. I'd like something lighter and better than stock, but not crazily expensive relative to the rest of the bike.

    Here are the stock components that I want to replace:

    Cassette: Shimano HG-50, 9-speed, 11x34t
    Chain: Shimano HG-53
    Chainrings: I have no idea what these are. Specialized's site says nothing more than "44t AL-7075 x 32t heat-treated Cr-Mo x 22t heat-treated Cr-Mo, replaceable". I don't know the brand.

    Should I stick with Shimano? What about SRAM, or even Race Face (for chainrings)?

    Is it desirable to have cog+chain+rings all from one manufacturer?

    I'm not on a very tight budget, but I do want to keep cost reasonable given the bike that I'm upgrading. Weight is really important. I want to decrease the weight of the bike, if even by a little bit. I don't want to put anything on that is heavier than stock. I'm not a weight-weenie. I've just come to see the benefits of lower weight. Since I'm upgrading anyway, I'd like to reduce the weight a bit.

    I like good, crisp shifting too.

  2. #2
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    Are you married to the 8 spd?

    It's difficult to upgrade 8spd drivetrains these days, as the high-end 8spd stuff is no longer in production.

    Depending on what rear derailleur you have, it may well be 9spd ready, change shifters and it will work just fine. You're already replacing the cassette, rings, and the chain, the shifters are probably the last piece of the puzzle to change over to 9spd.

    XT triggers are about $65, SRAM Attack triggers are ~$50.

    Assuming your derailleurs are Shimano, make sure to get 2:1 ratio shifters (Rocket, or Attack) if buying SRAM. Their X.x series are 1:1 actuation and only work with SRAM rear derailleurs.

    I like Race Face chain rings. Truvativ seemed very soft to me, and I had to replace them very quickly. No complaints about most Shimano rings.

    I like Shimano chains, as they wear well and Jenson has XTR chains for cheap. I'm also a fan of Wipperman chains, but I have had SRAM chains wear rather rapidly. YMMV though, as many love SRAM chains.

    There is no real down side to mixing and matching. I run SRAM shifters and rear der., XTR front der. XT cassette, XTR chain, and Race Face rings on a Truvativ crank.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VpointVick
    Are you married to the 8 spd?
    I have 9-speed now, actually. I should've been more specific. I have a Rockhopper Comp. It came with nine speeds.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    I have 9-speed now, actually. I should've been more specific. I have a Rockhopper Comp. It came with nine speeds.
    Sorry about that, I hadn't seen the HG-50 stuff in anything but 8 spd..

    A $65 M-760 will save you almost a half a pound, 264g vs.436g. An 11-32t, 240g XTR M-960 cassette can be found on clearance for ~$110, but to stay 11-34t you have to buy the latest M-970 at $240. That's why I run XT cassettes, the 24g weight savings is no worth the huge expense to me. SRAM cassettes apparently work well, but even the highest-end ones, PG-990, are heavier than the XTs.

    Like I said before, it's hard to beat a CN-7701 chain for $23.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VpointVick
    Sorry about that, I hadn't seen the HG-50 stuff in anything but 8 spd.
    Well, it wouldn't be the first time that Specialized had a spec wrong. I'm just working from the spec list on their website. I do htink it's correct, but I'll take a look at the actual bike again later on this afternoon.

    Thanks for the recommendations on the XTs cassettes. I'll take a look at those. Like you, I don't want to spend the money for XTR, not on this bike.

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