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  1. #1
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    Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    I'm thinking about the new Sram XX1 group, but I haven't had a chance to test it, and I'm wondering how it would perform on the steeps of Utah. Most of the reviews say it works great, except for the steepest of climbs. Well, we obviously live in an area with steep climbs here in Utah. However, other reviewers say XX1 handled the steep climbs quite well, and it really depends on the size of chain ring. Many of the pros at Leadville are riding 36 tooth chainrings with XX1. However for us mortals, you can go all the way down to a 28 tooth chain ring. I would say I'm a fairly competitive sport class rider, although I don't race much I usually do the PCP2P and a few other races. I'm thinking I wouldn't go bigger than a 34 tooth front ring.

    Any experiences of your own and recommendations (especially on chain ring size) would be much appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    Check out this thread I started a few months ago.

    Any Salt Lake riders running XX1?

    As an update, I rode with a 30t chainring for a while and thought it worked well at Corner Canyon, Bonneville, and Solitude. I never spun out on singletrack, but looked for an easier gear just every once in a while if I wanted to be lazy. I was planning on sticking with that until I did a race at Dear Valley. The group got stacked up on the initial steep climb and I was really wishing I had an easier gear. I much prefer a higher cadence and was uncomfortable in the traffic jam with a low cadence and strain on my hamstring. I have subsequently moved to a 28t and am happier in race situations when encountering traffic on steep climbs. I had one small segment of fast singletrack on one ride where I wished I had the 30t because I was spinning out, but that has been rare compared to how often I have used the easier gear.
    If you sit and spin a high cadence like I do, seriously consider 28t. Otherwise 30t gives a great range for the area, IMHO. That said, there are people running 32t chainrings, so riding style will influence your choice.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    Btw - my response above is in relation to a 29er. If you are on a 26er, you would run a larger chainring to end up with the same effective gearing.

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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the response and link, that is very helpful. I am running a 2x10 with 26/39 up front and 11-36 in the back. I find that this is all the gears that I need, though I do use all of them. I was also that Deer Valley race and remember the crowds at the beginning. I also remember a straight, steep, downhill gravel road that where it was certainly useful to have the larger chainring.

    What size chainring would be the equivalent to my current setup? I don't think I could give up any of my lowest gears from what I currently have, I don't use my lowest gear to get up the steepest climbs, but I certainly use it right after to spin in a high cadence and recover from the toughest climbs. Thanks

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  6. #6
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    Yep, use the calculators above. I had a 24-38 up front before I converted and that was more difficult to replicate. I think a 30t ring with a XX1 10-42 cassette would be the way to go for you.

    A 30-42 granny is equivalent to your current 26-36 granny. At the high end, a 30-10 combo is equivalent to your 39-13 combo (2nd smallest cog in back, big changing). So a 30t XX1 gives you the same granny gear you currently have while sacrificing only the absolute highest gear at the other end. A 32t chainring essentially shifts you a half a gear harder so that is an option if you never truly use your granny gear....



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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the links. Yes, it looks like I would need a 30 tooth front chainring to get the same gear ratio (0.7) of my lowest gear, while I would be giving up the highest gear (actually giving my a gear and a half at the high end). I currently use my lowest gear quite a bit to spin at a high cadence and recover after a steep climb. I don't think I've ever used my current high gear in a race, and if I did it would have been on a short downhill and straight dirt-road stretch. That doesn't exist on anything like the PCP2P.

    This is certainly a good trade-off to get rid of the front derailleur and some weight. Actually the weight savings will be negligible for an average joe like me, I am most attracted to the simplicity of operation and less maintenance. Thanks guys!

  8. #8
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post

    This is certainly a good trade-off to get rid of the front derailleur and some weight. Actually the weight savings will be negligible for an average joe like me, I am most attracted to the simplicity of operation and less maintenance. Thanks guys!
    Yes, and I love never having to make the front derailleur shift with the compensatory double or triple rear shift!

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  9. #9
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    I've spent the last month in Park City riding XX1 with a 32t front ring on a 29er and have found it fine. I've done most of the well known 'epic' climbs - Puke Hill multiple ways, Armstrong->Pinecone, Covair->TG, Apex->Deadtree, did the mid-week MTB race at Silver Lake where we went up some of the downhill runs - and while my fitness, acclimation to the altitude and overall lack of experience with such climbs at times left me wishing I had lower gearing, I don't think there was anything that I faltered on that was driven by gearing. My experience has been that going much lower than the 32/42 combo, you end up with so much torque that it's hard to keep rear wheel traction, especially in the very steep, very loose stuff.

  10. #10
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    I would like to go with a 32 tooth front chain ring to preserve some of my top end gears. I'm new to figuring out this gear ratio stuff, but it seems odd to me that, according to this chart, a 38 tooth cog would have the same gear ratio as the much bigger 42 tooth cog. How could this be? I assume it is because they round off the next decimal point on this chart.

    Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?-screenshot2013-08-14at105744am.png

    As a point of reference, 0.7 is the gear ratio of my lowest gear with my current 2x10 setup (11-36 rear cog, 29/36 front chainring). I suppose that a 30 tooth chainring is really required to achieve this ratio, as evidenced by this chart showing a 30 tooth front chainring:

    Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?-screenshot2013-08-14at110648am.png

    If I'm wrong about any of this, please advise.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    I would like to go with a 32 tooth front chain ring to preserve some of my top end gears. I'm new to figuring out this gear ratio stuff, but it seems odd to me that, according to this chart, a 38 tooth cog would have the same gear ratio as the much bigger 42 tooth cog. How could this be? I assume it is because they round off the next decimal point on this chart.

    As a point of reference, 0.7 is the gear ratio of my lowest gear with my current 2x10 setup (11-36 rear cog, 29/36 front chainring). I suppose that a 30 tooth chainring is really required to achieve this ratio, as evidenced by this chart showing a 30 tooth front chainring:

    If I'm wrong about any of this, please advise.
    It's a rounding issue. The lowest ratio will be about .75 with the 32 front 42 rear.

    But notice that your current setup is actually .8 at the low end 29f-36r. So the 42 rear would be an improvement even with a 32 front.

    On the high end you will lose some no matter what.

  12. #12
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    Using a different website, I get different results, it shows the 32 tooth chain ring having a slightly more difficult gear ratio of 1.6 compared to the ratio of 1.5 in my easiest gear on my current 2x10 setup:

     photo ScreenShot2013-08-15at122119AM.png  photo ScreenShot2013-08-14at122538PM.png
    Last edited by The Boz; 08-27-2013 at 10:08 AM.

  13. #13
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    No discrepancy there.

  14. #14
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    I thought your current set up was a 26/39 up front, not a 29t small ring. Double check that you are using the right numbers! !

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertdc View Post
    I thought your current set up was a 26/39 up front, not a 29t small ring. Double check that you are using the right numbers!
    Doh. You're right. Okay here is the corrected set of charts, comparing my current 2x10 setup with a 30 tooth and 32 tooth XX1 setup:

    Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?-screenshot2013-08-15at122119am.png Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?-screenshot2013-08-15at122548am.pngAnyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?-screenshot2013-08-14at122538pm.png

    What I am starting to think about is the relatively big jump that exists between the 42 tooth and 36 tooth cogs on the XX1 casette. Why did they do such a big jump to 42 instead of doing just a 40? For example, with my current setup, I do the majority of my climbing in my second to lowest gear (32 tooth cog), with a 1.7 gear ratio. But the easist gear on my 2x10 setup, the 36 toother, is still crucial. To mimic my easiest gear ratio of 1.5, I have to go with a 30 tooth chainring on XX1. But that means when I shift up, I skip all the way to a 1.8 gear ratio. I just don't understand the rationale for the big jump, it creates problems. I guess I'm wishing that the cog was geared at 42-38-34-30, etc. Having a big jump between those two gears is problematic. Anyone have any personal experience on this? Does it really feel like a big jump between the 42 and 36 tooth cog?

  16. #16
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    Assuming the 30t XX1 chainring up front, the easiest 5 gears are essentially the same as what you current have, aside from the second to easiest being a 1.8 ration instead of a 1.7 - that is a minimal difference, probably accentuated by rounding the numbers. You can make the Sheldon Brown calculator spit out a speed at a given RPM with a given wheel size - you will see that the differences are 0.1 MPH between then XX1 setup with 30t and your current setup over the easiest 4-5 cogs. That second easiest cog gives a difference of 0.2mph between the 2 setups. Each gear change gives a difference of 0.6 to 0.8 mph....
    Regardless of the numbers, I have to say that I have never looked for a gear between the 36 and 42 cog. The jump seems big on paper but works out well. With your current setup, I would bet that you won't notice a difference with the 30t chainring in your easy gearing, and you only lose out on the equivalent of the single 39-11 gear at the high end. Since you do indeed use your granny gear, the 30t chainring seems like a no-brainer in your situation.
    One more thing, besides the feel of the 36 to 42 cog seeming appropriate, I have been amazed at how well it physically makes the shift as well. No worries there either!

  17. #17
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    ^ That about sums it up. I do wish the biggest ring on the XX1 cassette was a 40 tooth instead of a 42, but its close enough. Now I just need to save some dough and take the plunge... I was toying with the idea of throwing it on in advance of PCP2P but I think I should stick to what I'm used to for now and experiment with XX1 afterward... Thanks everyone!

  18. #18
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    ^ That's probably the smart/safe thing to do....but, with the great similarity to your current gearing at the low end and only losing out on one gear on the high end, you will not have much to learn to adapt to. It took me all of one ride to stop grabbing for the non-existent front shifter. The P2P would be great to have the extra simplicity and small weight savings of XX1. If you have access to the stuff to put it on this weekend, you still have 2 weeks to test it out, right? Do it!
    (I'm not doing P2P...so I'm not trying to sabotage you. )

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  19. #19
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    Just pulled the trigger. It will be installed on Wednesday of next week!

  20. #20
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    Sweet!
    Hope you get a few rides on it before P2P.
    Considering the length of the race, I would make sure that you have the shop order in an extra SRAM 11spd quicklink in case of a broken chain. None of the shops that I called a few weeks ago had them in stock.

  21. #21
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    I'm glad you reminded me, at last year's PCP2P, I actually broke my chain (the race started after a huge storm and there was serious mud at the beginning) and a quick link saved my bacon.

  22. #22
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    Re: Anyone Riding XX1 Group in Utah?

    Did you get XX1 on your bike Wed? Have you ridden with it yet? Give an update when you do.

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  23. #23
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    The shop had some delay getting all the parts together (don't forget to order the freehub body to fit the cassette to your wheels like I did). But Mad Dog Cycles in Orem got it all together this morning and man does it look sweet:

     photo IMG_1592.jpg

     photo IMG_1593.jpg

    I dropped almost a half pound, going from 22.7 pounds to 22.2 pounds, which for a full suspension frame in an XL size, isn't too shabby.

     photo IMG_1596.jpg

    I took it out for a test ride today on the Orem bench trails. My first impression was wow, my bike looks naked. My left hand has only a brake to play with, and with no derailleur everything is very simple down there. The second thing I noticed is how quiet it is. I read reviews about this, but I didn't quite expect it to be so quiet. I could mostly hear the sound of my tires crunching on the singletrack, thats it. The gearing with the 30 tooth chainring up front felt very similar to my 2x10 setup in the lower gears (26-39 up front, 11-36 cassette). I'm very comfortable with the 30 tooth chainring on the steepest of climbs. I took it down a fast descent down a gravel road and didn't come close to using all the high gears.

    In short, I was somewhat nervous about switching over, but after riding it I'm totally hooked. Its so simple, quiet, and even lighter, right now it doesn't appear that I'll ever go back to front derailleurs.

  24. #24
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    Right on!
    22.2 pounds is crazy light - that is a Jet RDO, right? What fork do you have on it? I see the wheels are Easton EC90XC, what are the rest of you components that help you come in so light?

  25. #25
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    Yes, a Jet 9 RDO (2011 model) with Sid XX world cup fork, Easton EC90 post, crank brothers cobalt 11 bar, Ritchey WCS C260 stem, Racing Ralph tires, sella italia SLR saddle, crank brothers eggbeater 11 pedals. Unfortunately there are no excuses with this bike.

    I forgot to mention how smooth it was to shift gears with XX1. Even under load I was amazed at how smooth the shifting was, smoother than even Sram XX.

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