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  1. #1
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    Those running a 1x __ drive train what size front sprocket do you run for xc racing?

    I have a SRAM x01 eagle and it has a 30t front sprocket which is great for climbing but I felt a little slow on the flat straight aways. What size front sprocket do you run for racing xc?

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  2. #2
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    I don't race but go on a few longer rides during the year (40-50 miles, 10k feet of climbing). On my bigger bike (30lb 27.5, 6" travel bike, i use a 32T front (with Eagle). If I was living East of the Rockies, I'd probably go with a 34t.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho View Post
    I don't race but go on a few longer rides during the year (40-50 miles, 10k feet of climbing). On my bigger bike (30lb 27.5, 6" travel bike, i use a 32T front (with Eagle). If I was living East of the Rockies, I'd probably go with a 34t.
    Thanks for the reply. I ride mainly in the east so that's a good tip.

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  4. #4
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    I ride around the Mid-Atlantic region and I use a 34t Oval ring on my Trek Top Fuel

  5. #5
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    Western VA/NC. 34t on a 29er.

    Don't change it when I live in CO for the summer. Climbs there are generally lower grade and smoother. Altitude serves as an equalizer.

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    Last edited by Le Duke; 03-06-2017 at 08:48 AM.
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  6. #6
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    XX1 Eagle, here, only been riding it since October-ish, east cost, 34T up front, which came stock and works great.

    IN the past I ran 1x11, 42T rear with 30T up front. The 34T with Eagle Cassette feels very similar climbing, but gives me more top end for the flats. I will be racing out west a few times this summer, and I don't anticipate making any changes.

  7. #7
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    pennsylvania rider, bare minimum a 32t with my shimano 11-42 xt cassette. If I were on eagle a 34 bare minimum

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll definitely be picking up a bigger sprocket.

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  9. #9
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    Honestly, to optimize a 1x drivetrain I think you need a couple different chainrings and swap them out according to length of race and terrian. I have a 28,30,32, and 34t front chainring and I've used them all. 1.5 hour XC race? 34t. A 80 mile race with 17k feet of vert on singletrack? 28t. I've very rarely wished for a bigger front chainring in a race, I've often wished for a smaller one though.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfishdesign View Post
    Honestly, to optimize a 1x drivetrain I think you need a couple different chainrings and swap them out according to length of race and terrian. I have a 28,30,32, and 34t front chainring and I've used them all. 1.5 hour XC race? 34t. A 80 mile race with 17k feet of vert on singletrack? 28t. I've very rarely wished for a bigger front chainring in a race, I've often wished for a smaller one though.

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    I don't really think that's necessary once you get the range of Eagle. Even on my XO1 running a 10-44 I haven't wished for less. I have a 34T oval on the hardtail and a 32T oval on my RipleyLS, as that's the biggest that will fit on the Rip.

    To the OP, if you're getting a new chainring anyway, I would look at getting an oval. The difference isn't huge, but better traction, and easier on your knees are some nice benefits.
    Wow, GJ, Fruita, and Moab trails are riding great. This is a killer spring for riding!

  11. #11
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    34 most of the time with xx1 (42T). 32 sometimes.

  12. #12
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    I'm in Golden CO and currently running XT 32T (42T) but may try and see how the 34T works out.


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  13. #13
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    32 in northern new mexico. Spend a bunch of time in telluride where i use a 30. With eagle i think i could run 34...on x01 11-42 now.


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  14. #14
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    36T w/ Eagle in Michigan. New bike won't accommodate 36T however, and I'm using a 34T. Feels unnecessary for around here, especially w/ the 50T bailout on the cassette.

    You know what I would love? A 12-speed 10-42 with smaller steps between gears. Doesn't seem to be much demand for it though.

  15. #15
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    Running Eagle with a 34T oval and would have gone to a 36T if my bike could handle a 36T oval. I ride in NW, CO and AZ mostly.

  16. #16
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    I run a 30T on my FS for XC, and a 32T front on my HT, both XX1 10-42 cassette. With an Eagle I'd probably run a 34 or 36t. Here is So-Cal we climb a lot of steep stuff.

  17. #17
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    32t up front with a 11-40 (10-speed) out back. If I went with Eagle or any of the much wider range cassettes I would move up to a 34..that is the whole point of Eagle etc....more top end without loosing the granny so you can up-size your front ring. I could even see a 36 working just fine for most areas....a 36/50 is still a plenty low gear!
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  18. #18
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    NH. VT. MA. ME. Running a 34T oval - MX 10sp 11/42 - Connex 10sB Black edition. Plenty of gear range since I ride the mostly flat coastal region here. Vermont and northern regions are the only place I am wishing for a 30-32T more often. Actually just picked up a 36T oval for more regular gravel/road rides during the brief mud season here...although its 5 degrees out now, so not yet! Not sure if its worth it to move up to 11 speed just yet, but it will happen eventually. Behind the curve as I just picked up my 1st 29er bike last season. Love it!
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  19. #19
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    AZ rider, so everything from flat to climbing. Running a 34t Oval up front, and an 11-45 One-Up conversion on an 11-42 cassette. When I go up north, I'll run a 32t oval front for the extra range.
    I need a cool saying to put here.

  20. #20
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    NorCal lots of everything, 34T w/ 10~50 eagle, similar range to the old 10 speed 2x w/ 11~36. Love it.

  21. #21
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    I have a race this weekend, I'll see how the 30t does, I know more than likely I'll go up to at least a 32t. Thanks for the input everybody. The consensus seems to be to get a bigger chain ring

  22. #22
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by LizInTheSun View Post
    I have a race this weekend, I'll see how the 30t does, I know more than likely I'll go up to at least a 32t. Thanks for the input everybody. The consensus seems to be to get a bigger chain ring
    Well, only you know the courses around you, and how you do on them. If you find you're spinning out and not able to keep up with people on parts of the course, like a long fire-road downhill, then size up, if that's not an issue, but you find yourself struggling or having to walk on climbs, then size down. If neither of those are happening, just stick with the 30T, you've already nailed your optimum chainring size.
    Wow, GJ, Fruita, and Moab trails are riding great. This is a killer spring for riding!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Choro View Post
    36T w/ Eagle in Michigan. New bike won't accommodate 36T however, and I'm using a 34T. Feels unnecessary for around here, especially w/ the 50T bailout on the cassette.

    You know what I would love? A 12-speed 10-42 with smaller steps between gears. Doesn't seem to be much demand for it though.
    I was going to write nearly this exact response. Except my new bike does fit a 36, so that's what I'm going with.

  24. #24
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    OP: I run a 34T oval on my HT 11-40 and a 32T oval ( soon to be 34T oval) on my SS
    If the course has a lot of climbing Ill drop down on the Procal to a 32, SS it's a matter of pre-riding and fitness level at time of race. I ride in AZ

    Question for those with the big boy eagle's
    How much do you actually us the 50T in the back? and if you do use it what are the conditions causing you to use it?
    Too Many .

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent701 View Post

    Question for those with the big boy eagle's
    How much do you actually us the 50T in the back? and if you do use it what are the conditions causing you to use it?
    It's a regional thing. Hit a sustained 18%-20% climb and you're going to want either 34-50 or 30-42 combo. I don't care how fit you are.

    And by sustained, I mean in excess of 1000' vert.

  26. #26
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    ^^^Agree....if you have it you will use it on long sustained steep climbs. But...that being said...if you don't you can't and you deal with it. 32/40 was mind blowingly low to me after having a 32/36 for years as my granny. The Eagle looks like a great setup for wide-range but I agree that other 12 speed options such as 42, 46, and 48 would be nice but probably not worth it for many folks.
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  27. #27
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    Here, over the pond in Austria, our climbs are long and we eat too much Schnitzel. 26T with a 10-42 cassette on a 29er. With the soaring Eagle that would be 30T. And on the way back down it is the brakes that count, so no issue on the other end of the gearing range. That's also the reason why I could not yet convince myself that the shiny Eagle is worth the money.

  28. #28
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    The gear ratios and front cog selection are much more important on SS and narrow-range 1x systems (11-34/36). For the eagle with a 10-50 cassette, the range is so great that you should be able to hit both your high and low speed needs.

    Going from 30 to 36T cog looses you about 1 gear at the low end. I'm usually very happy with a 1.4 ratio at the low end for the long and steep endurance events (10k+ with steep sustained (non-road) climbs). However, biking beats walking, and there's times when a lower gear (1.2 ratio!) would get used. It's all about terrain and fitness levels. There's certain climbs that I've always walked, but become more ridable each year. Having a couple cogs (28/34 or 30/36) to pick from allows you to dial in the bike for every race/event. Pretty rad, it's like we're all pros now.

    Or you could just through a 32T on there and forget about it.
    Those running a 1x __ drive train what size front sprocket do you run for xc racing?-gear_ratio_eagle.jpg

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperSprite View Post
    NorCal lots of everything, 34T w/ 10~50 eagle, similar range to the old 10 speed 2x w/ 11~36. Love it.
    After spending more time on it, I love the 34T in NorCal (Henry Coe is still a beast, but no worse than before), but think if I go to Tahoe, Leadville, Boulder or some place where I don't have the same oxygen quantity I am used to here at sea level, a 32T might be just the thing to avoid my cadence getting sucked down into a hole I can't get out of.

  30. #30
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    For our local trails (not much elevation) I run a 32t chainring, with an 11-42 cassette. When I race where there is a bunch of elevation, I ran a 28t chainring last year, and I picked up a 26t to try this year.
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  31. #31
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    I am in CO
    I just put XO1 Eagle on two bikes.
    32 for my trail bike which will be ridden primarily in the mountains for 2-4 hour rides.
    32 for my CC bike with a 30 for endurance races of 5hrs - 12hrs+ depending on the course.
    I'm also 53 yo and a fit 200# so those issues factor into my choice as well.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by coyotegulch View Post
    I am in CO
    I just put XO1 Eagle on two bikes.
    32 for my trail bike which will be ridden primarily in the mountains for 2-4 hour rides.
    32 for my CC bike with a 30 for endurance races of 5hrs - 12hrs+ depending on the course.
    I'm also 53 yo and a fit 200# so those issues factor into my choice as well.
    New Eagle on both bikes did you have a winning lotto ticket? 👍
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  33. #33
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    No Lotto, but did get child number two graduated from college and gainfully employed in the professional world at the end of 2016. So on second thought, kinda Lotto!

  34. #34
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    A 1x with a 11-42 in the back is much less range than a 2x or eagle (10-50). It's worth having a couple rings for a 11-42 setup, whereas I don't think it matters with the range of an eagle.

    1x 11-42 => 3.8 gear range
    1x 10-50 => 5.0 gear range
    2x 11-36 => 4.9 gear range

  35. #35
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    Running a 30T AB oval ring with a 9-46 TRSr cassette. Thinking I need a 32 or 34 but am gonna wait until after my first 100k race.
    Last edited by trickten; 05-19-2017 at 06:28 PM.

  36. #36
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    I rode Fool's Gold 60, north east GA, last year with a 32t w/ 11-40. Actually did that combo in both 2015 and 2016. I will most likely go down to a 30t for this year as I'd like a slightly higher cadence on the Nimblewill Gap and Bare Hare Trail climbs.

    Never needed a bigger ring for higher speeds in that type of race for two reasons. 1. I'll never win it and 2. If I am going faster than about 21 mph, I'm relying on gravity and not my legs.

    On a side note, I did just put on a WolfTooth Oval 32t but I havent ridden it yet...if that increases efficiency, I may stick with that.

  37. #37
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    For XC racing, on my 29er, I use a 32 and 10-42. No question, I do not need lower, even with the 8,600' of climbing in the race I did a few weeks ago. For a race, it'd be faster to get off and walk if you can't maintain that ratio up hills IME. It's plenty of bail-out for me. I find gearing too low on a race is detrimental, given all the max effort riding that you are doing, standing and pedaling, etc. You need big gears usually to stand and pedal, too small and it's not going to do much for you and you'll be spinning out all over the place.
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  38. #38
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    Highly personal choice, but I prefer a taller gear on a race bike to keep me pushing hard. 36t x 10-42 XX1, but with 180mm cranks. On the trail bike it's 32x11-42. I've taken the race bike through a couple of 100 milers and while the gearing could be lower, I wouldn't want to lose an advantage on the road downhills where it's easy to make time.

    Eagle looks great to me but I won't break the bank on it until I see the eTap MTB version

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    For XC racing, on my 29er, I use a 32 and 10-42. No question, I do not need lower, even with the 8,600' of climbing in the race I did a few weeks ago. For a race, it'd be faster to get off and walk if you can't maintain that ratio up hills IME.
    Mythbusters Does "Faster to Walk": I have a short, crazy steep hill on my local training loop. Almost unmakeable in 32x42. Switched to 30x42 this year on a whim. More reasonable chance of making that climb. Just for kicks, I timed it riding and pushing. No contest, plus, it's steep enough to make walking difficult, esp in race shoes.

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  40. #40
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    Those running a 1x __ drive train what size front sprocket do you run for xc racing?

    Quote Originally Posted by trickten View Post
    Running a 30T AB oval ring with a 9-46 TRSr cassette. Thinking I need a 32 or 34 but am gonna wait until after my first 100k race.
    Have same set up and i was seriously jealous of one dude who was happily spinning going uphill on some lower 2x or 3x during a fifty miler. I passed him in that uphill but I would have gladly gone up slower with a faster cadence and maintain a more steady pacing power-wise.


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    Last edited by Pegleg81; 05-21-2017 at 06:25 AM.
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  41. #41
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    I just put XX1 Eagle on my 17' Top Fuel 9.8SL and left the 32 oval the same even with more range. To me the reason I got eagle was more range and going to a 34t would still give me more range overall but shift it up. I would rather have a major bailout gear for long climbs for the VT50 and get to the top a little fresher than the guy with the 32f and 11-46/42

  42. #42
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    I'm running Eagle X01 34T here in CO. Prior when I was on XX1, I was mostly on a 32T and 30T....depending on course. I feel that the Eagle X01 34T gives all the positives of running that XX1 30T and 32T. Most guys I am riding or racing with also on 34T Eagle rings here in CO.

  43. #43
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    I'm running a 34t oval with 11-42 cassette on a 29er.

    I'm looking to upgrade soon to a 36t oval. But, it's already super tight between the chainring and frame on my trek superfly, so I'll be getting a boost chainring to hopefully sort that out.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by trees4me View Post
    A 1x with a 11-42 in the back is much less range than a 2x or eagle (10-50). It's worth having a couple rings for a 11-42 setup, whereas I don't think it matters with the range of an eagle.

    1x 11-42 => 3.8 gear range
    1x 10-50 => 5.0 gear range
    2x 11-36 => 4.9 gear range
    What would it be with 2x 38/28 with 10-42? Thanks

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