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  1. #1
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    30t on an HD -- real-world downside?

    My HD is set up 1x10 with a 32t in front. I want a lower gear range, and a smaller front is less hassle than a bigger back. But I know Ibis says the HD's suspension is not optimized for front rings smaller than 32t.

    Any actual-experience-based opinions on whether running a 30t impacts HD suspension performance enough to care?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    My HD is set up 1x10 with a 32t in front. I want a lower gear range, and a smaller front is less hassle than a bigger back. But I know Ibis says the HD's suspension is not optimized for front rings smaller than 32t.

    Any actual-experience-based opinions on whether running a 30t impacts HD suspension performance enough to care?
    I have been riding with both 30T and 32T single chainring. The difference is not big, but you might notice that 30T offers more antisquat. When you go over baby heads and pedal hard, the suspension will sit a bit higher. Square edges going up - a tough call, 30T will pull on your pedals more, but the lower gear ratios make them easier to climb with the same cassette. I am going to keep the 32T chainring and will go with a 40T sprocket when reliable 16T sprockets become available.

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    Good info, thanks StiHacka.

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    I rode my old hd and my new hdr with 30t, 32t with a 11-36 10 speed cassette, before I made the switch to 11 speed drive train. I prefer the 32t ring over the 30t. I would go with the biggest ring you can push. If you like to stay seated and spin up hills I think 30t or even 28t is not to bad. The 32t is more efficient, especially if you have to stand and sprint or power over and up steps and rocks. Really there is not a huge difference, but it was noticeable to me.

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    Bigger ring will make you stronger over time. I would go with the 32t and just keep cranking until you have to hike it. Eventually you won't have to hike anymore

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    Thanks for the feedback, I'm going to give 30t a try.

    Udyr, "just keep cranking until you have to hike it" is exactly what I've been doing, and it works fine. But I've started having knee issues for the first time, and I'm hoping some easier gearing will help.

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    If you are having knee issues then yes, I completely agree with the decision to go to the 30t.

    Better to be able to keep riding into old age than ruining your legs in the pursuit offhand climbing legs.

  8. #8
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    I have been running 28t front by 11-40t rear and it seems fine (OneUp 40t and 16t).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 30t on an HD -- real-world downside?-hd_drivetrain.jpg  


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    I just put the 30 tooth on my HD and like the easier climbing and noticed no difference in the ride. Money well spent.

  10. #10
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    I have both a 28 and 30t. I purchased the 28 for some of the local climb fests and to save my knees. The few times ive ridden the 28 I really didnt notice a difference in anti squat. I did however like having the extra climbing capacity. I just a thought...I guess one could probably run a offset bushing to decrease the anti-squat if it truly bothered them and had the ST clearence.

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    I rode the raceFace narrow/wide 30T (the smallest size on 104bcd, although my XO crankset have interchangeable spiders so I could go smaller) with standard 11-36 10 speed for 2 month while waiting for the new 42T from E*13 to come out. I was surprised how well that worked (before that my granny was 2x 24T/38T) but wanted one extra gear for the very steep or when tired... I find 30T perfect on my HD - only when going on road downhill do I spin out, which I don't care anyway... I just installed the E*13 SRAM 42T on the back (and took a 16T from a shimano DH cassette where I don't really care) and it's just what I needed. $100 total spent ($60 for rear, $40 front) for same useful range as the overpriced 11x speed setup. Stoked!

    the narrow/wide front and Type2 rear means no dropped chain whatsoever, quieter, and lost >1lbs loosing the front derailleur/cable/2Xring/bashGuard (carbon)

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    Just to follow up, I've had a 30t on the front for a couple weeks now and am very happy with the switch. I don't notice any suspension downside, and the lower gear range is a big plus. Don't know why I didn't try it a year ago.

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    This is great news because I just ordered a new drivetrain for my HD and will set it up as 1x10 (30t x 42t)

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    Just use a double! Best of both worlds. 24/36 perfect. Can't understand the obsession with 1x drivetrains, an answer to a problem that doesn't exist.

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    1x does solve a couple of issues, one of which isn't really a problem today however: dropped chains for the "normal" kind of rider. With the clutch-type rear derailleurs, dropped chains rarely happen. I think I have had one or two since moving over to the Shimano Shadow+ system in the last two years. I still have a non clutch derailleur on my older bike which I ride occasionally, but it does drop the chain much more frequently.

    The second is weight. It drops weight.

    As for the utility of it, I ride in places where a 24x36 is already almost not low enough for me to keep climbing on stuff here in the PNW. I could probably swing a 28x42 1x11 from SRAM but worry that I would spin out too easily. Now, if I lived and rode in Bend, OR for most of my trail time, I would be using a 1x11 with a 30 or 32 front ring and would be happy with that. But for now, I am still 2x10 and happy with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRSpalding View Post
    1x does solve a couple of issues, one of which isn't really a problem today however: dropped chains for the "normal" kind of rider. With the clutch-type rear derailleurs, dropped chains rarely happen. I think I have had one or two since moving over to the Shimano Shadow+ system in the last two years. I still have a non clutch derailleur on my older bike which I ride occasionally, but it does drop the chain much more frequently.

    The second is weight. It drops weight.
    And as a third advantage the drive drain is near silent. You probably will underestimate that until you've tried it.
    Correct number of bikes: n+1 bikes
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    The 2x10 on the Ripley is very quiet. It is a lot quieter than the 2x10 on my SL-R. I think a lot of the quiet comes from using the 3x front derailleur on the Ripley rather than the 2x on the SL-R. Frankly, I have never had such a good shifting bike as the Ripley. Even when the derailleur is obviously whacked and not adjusted properly, it shifts well and quiet or can be tweaked enough with the shifter to be silent.

    That (all) said, I haven't been on a 1x system either, so I can only say what I said above--I'm happy with the quiet-tude of the 2x on my Ripley.

  18. #18
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    The real world disadvantage is coasting all the time and the fact that you're gonna be at the bottom of your cassette with a loosey chain pretty much all the time, except for climbing.
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  19. #19
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    Get a double if you can't hack the single ring. Everyone want to do single ring with 28-30T front rings, its crazy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Get a double if you can't hack the single ring. Everyone want to do single ring with 28-30T front rings, its crazy.
    It's funny. Yody's prior scolding here about <32t rings is one of the reasons I didn't make this switch over a year ago. Which I feel pretty stupid about in retrospect. The strong internet opinions of someone 3000 miles away, with different trails and a different body, are not always the best guide.

  21. #21
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    Get a 42tooth hack cassette and a 34tooth front
    friends don't let friends Fred

  22. #22
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    Ride whatever you want, like whatever you want. But a 30th single is not optimum. At that point a double would be better. Its not just about the top and bottom gears (on the cassette). The 30T is going to affect every gear, making every gear on your cassette weaker, giving you less momentum for every pedal stroke. You are in effect neutering your bike. I might be in Norcal but I have access to over 10 different All Mountain type riding locations with all kinds of different tech/terrain, not to mention all the places within a 5 hour or less drive. So its not like I'm making my generalizations and recommendations off of one type of experience.
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    and you asked what the real world downside is. And I'm telling you.

    These are the downsides, if you're okay with them that cool. But if you want to deny it and tell yourself the grass is green and choose to ignore these downsides, well....
    friends don't let friends Fred

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    The 30T is going to affect every gear, making every gear on your cassette weaker, giving you less momentum for every pedal stroke. You are in effect neutering your bike.
    Can I have some of the stuff that you are smoking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    I have been riding with both 30T and 32T single chainring. The difference is not big, but you might notice that 30T offers more antisquat. When you go over baby heads and pedal hard, the suspension will sit a bit higher. Square edges going up - a tough call, 30T will pull on your pedals more, but the lower gear ratios make them easier to climb with the same cassette.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Can I have some of the stuff that you are smoking?
    Just wait til Yody gets on about the "sin" of running lower tire pressure :-P

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    and you asked what the real world downside is.
    Okay, but actually I asked:

    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Any actual-experience-based opinions on whether running a 30t impacts HD suspension performance enough to care?
    Have you ridden a 30t HD? If so, how much?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dacarbon View Post
    Just wait til Yody gets on about the "sin" of running lower tire pressure :-P
    lower tire pressure has its place in specific situations. But the internet online idea that "lower is always better" is incorrect.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Okay, but actually I asked:



    Have you ridden a 30t HD? If so, how much?
    The title of this thread is "30t on an HD -- real-world downside?"

    and don't think you're gonna "bust me out" like oh I've never ridden a 30T so I must not know what I'm talking about. 30T is not the end of the world, if it works more power to you. But there are downfalls, and the lower you get the more these downfalls become apparent. At the end of the day youre just riding our own bike in the woods, and all that matters is you're having fun, unless you're racing....but if you want your bike to work at its potential and optimally you will put a double on there if you're not strong enough to push a proper single ring gear. You don't like the facts, that's fine, but the truth is the truth. Asking about if the suspension is going to act much differently with a 2Tooth jump is silly in itself. I mean they come stock with triple cranks with 22T small rings....

    Single rings were meant for downhill bikes and strong racers. Now everyone thinks its so awesome to lose weight and clean up the handle bar. Thats fine and dandy but changing your bike for weight and vanity and losing a huge part of your gear selection is dumb. With clutch derailleurs, and double crankset guides, losing your chain is not as big of an issue anymore, with doubles.

    The whole point of a 42T rear sprocket is so you don't HAVE to run such a small front chainring. But instead you see all these riders who probably always relied on their 22T small ring thinking Oh boy even I can run a single now, and throw on a puny 28T up front LMAO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    and don't think you're gonna "bust me out" like oh I've never ridden a 30T so I must not know what I'm talking about. ...
    Hey, I didn't question your manliness, I just asked the basis for your opinion. Earlier you said 30T would "affect every gear, making every gear on your cassette weaker, giving you less momentum for every pedal stroke" and "You are in effect neutering your bike."

    Several regular Ibis forum posters who actually have run a 30T on an HD have posted about their experience. None of us thought it neutered the bike. Opinions ranged from preferring 32T, "really there is not a huge difference, but it was noticeable," to "no difference in the ride" and money well spent."

    You have a strong opinion that it's a bad idea. That opinion is very different from the experience of everyone here who has tried it. Maybe we're just all idiots or fooling ourselves or something; maybe you know better.

    It's all just information to help other people decide.

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    And just to say; I do like internet debates but really none of this is that serious. Like I said, unless you're racing who really cares, run whatever you like. Its not "that" serious. In my opinion, its just good to know what you have and what you're giving up. So no hard feelings and its all good what you got as long as you get out and ride your bike and are having fun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    So no hard feelings and its all good what you got as long as you get out and ride your bike and are having fun
    Agree. I've said here many times that I like your posts.

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    Nobody is an idiot for running a smaller chainring I know I come off super opinionated...

    I prefer 36T front chain rings. I used to run 36front with a 34T rear when I was stronger. Unfortunately I only get out about once a week to ride and many of my rides are 20+miles with lots of climbing, so that 36T (even with the 42T out back now) still wears me out. So like you I went down 2 Teeth to a 34T front ring. While the climbing gear (34x42) is improved, it was immediately noticable the difference through the entire cassette gear range. with the 36T as the terrain started flowing, flattish I would only have to shift down a few gears (from my climbing gear) to get a good pedaling gear and on real downhill I wouldn't always have to shift down to the 11T, (leaving my chain slack and my derailleur more vulnerable). As soon as I went to the 34T I would have to start giving it an extra downshift to get into a suitable gear for flowy terrain, and on DH I am almost always in my 11T. Each gear feels weaker. I don't like to spin super high cadence so I end up shifting down the cassette more to get a suitable resistance on the pedals.

    So going down to a 28-30T would just be unimaginable for me and totally unnecessary for a a bike equipped with a 42T rear cog. If you need a 28x42T to climb hills then you shouldn't be running a single ring on a ALL MOUNTAIN bike. You should have a double. To me the single ring setups with the small front ring is a bandaid setup just to drop the front derailleur.
    Last edited by Yody; 07-28-2014 at 08:54 PM.
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    One caveat I've ran into (and another rider I met also had this issue) was with the 42T from E13 my chain would skip every once in a while (2-3 tuns) when under a lot of load. I thought it was because I had a 2 month old SRAM 1070 chain with 2 new links (I had to lengthen more than I expected when went from 24/38 x 11/36 to a single 30T x 11-36 then finally 11-42 rear) but I bought a new 1070 chain and now it skips a LOT more often...

    he and I have issue with new SRAM chain with E13 42T (his was a wolf 42T) and he was able to fix it by using an (older) KMC chain which I may need to try next...

    FYI, I was still dropping the front chain on 2x10 using an MRP chain guide even with Type2 X9 RD on my HD. Using an X0 2x spider with a (carbon) bash guard (my original x0 crank didn't take a bash ring) solved the problem. But 1x with narrow/wide ring is much quieter and doesn't drop at all.

    Yodi,
    30T climbing is much more efficient for DW suspension than 24/22 granny anyway... remember when HammerSchmidt (act like 22t) came out and Ibis said it wasn't compatible with the Mojo and David W mentioned the suspension was optimized for anti-squad 32T middle ring anyway ?
    for those of us that can't use 32 or 34T front single, 30T which is still a 104 BCD works pretty well. To each it's own.

    and yes I like lower pressure too... apparently Ibis does to or they wouldn't have come up with 41mm wide rims.
    Last edited by adumesny; 07-29-2014 at 02:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adumesny View Post

    and yes I like lower pressure too... apparently Ibis does to or they wouldn't have come up with 41mm wide rims.
    like you said, to each his own. Different speeds and styles dictate different pressures.
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    Lol....I'm running Triples on both my MTB's.....and I can climb most trails with 32-36.......but when I'm cracking the 24 has saved me from stopping.

    A double would work fine for me.....single...just can't do it.

    Looking forward to running a Shimano 11 speed with a double crank when it becomes available in XT.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody
    So going down to a 28-30T would just be unimaginable for me and totally unnecessary for a a bike equipped with a 42T rear cog. If you need a 28x42T to climb hills then you shouldn't be running a single ring on a ALL MOUNTAIN bike. You should have a double. To me the single ring setups with the small front ring is a bandaid setup just to drop the front derailleur.
    I wonder what you'll think of your comment if you read it again 10 or 20 years from now.

    I just got my first setup with a 22x36. I'm pretty happy about it. I'm super curious what it would be like to ride the new Shimano setup with a 22x40.

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    I used to run my HD with a 28t 11x36 and it was ok. But honestly that's before I really started working on my fitness. I've since switched from the HD to a carbine, and I also have a ripley for XC but I ride anything with it. I normally ride 32 with 11/36 rear now on both bikes. I recently switched the ripley to a 30t front, and while I like it for really long rides 25+ with 4000+ vert I don't like the way it acts on the suspension.. I don't really notice it a bunch but a little. Basically I think if you can't spin a 32 with 11/42 rear.. like Yody said, you should probably be on a 2x set up. I personally can't stand a 2x setup just because my optimal gear for my local trails seems to be right inbetween gears so I'm cycling the front der way too much. That's just my experience.. sorry if it's not too helpful
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    Quote Originally Posted by manchvegas View Post
    That's just my experience.. sorry if it's not too helpful
    Seems helpful to me. Another vote for 30t having a small but noticeable impact on suspension performance. Not my own experience, but it's all good info for someone trying to decide whether to try it.

    You and Yody both mention going with a 40 or 42 in the back instead. Smaller front or bigger back, either way is a compromise. Adding a 40 or 42 to your cassette is more expensive, more hassle, and some find it hurts shifting performance. (The no-compromises solution is 1x11, but that's a $1000+ mod instead of a $40 mod for 30t.) Bigger back is the right choice for some, but my opinion is that smaller front is the right choice for some, too.

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    I need/want 28x42T to climb my trails in Colorado. I love it and since Im not aware of the downsides, I don't need to be aware of them. The only time I run out of high gears is on the road to the trail. I don't feel "neutered" at all. I think you can assume that people who need 28x42T are not racers, thus not concerned with or even aware of the downsides for a stronger rider like Yody. The silence of the 1x11 alone makes it worth it to me. It is definitely not true that you should be on a double instead of 28x42T. IMHO. I would fix that argument to say that if you need a 28x42T, you are not a strong enough rider to even notice the downsides. So go for it.

  41. #41
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    Lol I'm not that strong. I just like to keep momentum going.
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    Running 30x36 for a year. No downside whatsoever. Keep in mind I do not race. Beauty of this is complete stock set-up. Technical climbing is not affected. I did feel difference while pedaling with 22t granny, but 30t vs. 32t, can't feel any negatives.

    I can push this gearing to Kennedy walls, so I don't need any bigger cassettes
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  43. #43
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    To be honest, I'm not sure what the controversy is about. We know that the HD/HDR is optimized for 32t. So it seems perfectly sensible to stick close to that (30 or 34) rather than 22 or 39. On a 1x10 drivetrain (30 or 32t) I only spin out on fire roads. On more technical descents I'm not pedaling, so no harm done. For the vast majority of riding I much prefer the ability to stay in the middle of the cassette in order to maintain speed and maximize suspension performance: it's just faster all around. So I'd disagree with the notion that 30t is for slowpokes or the sensitivity-challenged.
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    So what exactly is everyone feeling in the suspension that feels so different with different front chain ring tooth counts. And I don't mean on paper, I mean in the saddle. I can't see how someone would be so sensitive to the suspension feeling, but not notice any difference from running a small front cog.
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    running 1x10 on my mojo hd 650b with a 30t up front and a 42t one-up in the rear....no problems here, works awesome.
    only time a harder gear is needed is riding on the road.

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    Very simple. In 22t granny HDR (same as Mojo classic) are more suspect to bobbing while in 30/32t shock barely moves.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

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    The only downside I've seen are Yody's negative 30T posts. Hey Yody, I'm curious, how much do you weigh? Some of us are over 200lbs and I see no reason to have sore knees and stay with a 32t only because you say it's fundamentally wrong and we should instead be on a 2x. I have zero regrets going to a 30T.
    Last edited by mbikerguy; 08-03-2014 at 03:23 PM.

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    I'm 180 and 6'2". You can justify all you want, but your making sacrifices. Ignore if you choose but I don't think it should be universally accepted, praised, and recommended. Have fun I'm done
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    I'm 180 and 6'2". You can justify all you want, but your making sacrifices. Ignore if you choose but I don't think it should be universally accepted, praised, and recommended. Have fun I'm done
    you say that but you keep hammering it down, while ignoring the fact that DW himself said the Mojo/HD were optimized for anti-squat climbing for 32T, so a 30T is going to be a much better 1x gear than a 22T granny (forget climbing in 38-40T typical on 2x systems). So you have 2 extra link, a bit of chain and spin on pavement going down when 30x11 - who cares.... there is a reason 11x is popular and this is a great cheap way to get very close to it (could care less about 10T).

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    Quick someone call Nico and tell him that everyone on mtbr says to just run a 28T ring and dump that double, its fine they say, works great! lol

    friends don't let friends Fred

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation: PhoS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    64
    I thought I posted in here but since I cant find it... Here it is again just to throw a wrench in the gears...

    I bought a 30t for my 9spd hardtail and have run it on my HD once for giggles as well as having ridden a friends HD extensively which upon he uses a 30t on a 9spd drivetrain 24/7. (I personally run a 34t single with a 10spd 36t rear)

    30/34 or 30/36 both were less than optimal for me descending and I would spin out. As far as climbing is concerned I couldn't tell any difference in efficiency, suspension movement, or any other noticeable foul attributes. I doubt anyone whom wanted/needed to run that gearing would notice anything.

    I think ya'll just need to get on Yopi's level.

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