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  1. #1
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    Who's riding 1x9 or 1x10 in VT?

    I have been thinking about upgrading my current 2x9 setup to a 1x9 and adding a chain guide. My riding is almost exclusively in VT, with the downhills that make a chain guide seem like a good idea preceded by the climbs to get to the goods. I've been experimenting with attempting the climbs in only my "big" ring (32t) but can't seem to resist dropping into the granny. Anyone else made the leap? Anyone tried it then gone back to 2x9? Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I've been running 1x9 for two years now. 32T :11T-32T. I run a BBG sandwich and a Blackspire Stinger on my Kona Dawg. The bike is about 29 lbs and I ride up/down on all of the Fellowship trail networks without a problem. Early season is tough without the granny, but I honestly like the 1x9 setup better than 2x9 (which I ran for two years before making the leap to 1x9).

  3. #3
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    been running 1x9 for a couple of seasons and agree after any long time off the bike its hard to get going again but other than that its great--started with a 34 up front but now a 32 with 11-34

  4. #4
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    been on 1x9 for a while, just recently made the switch to 1x10... I have a 1x10 with 11-36 cassette right now and 32t front. You definitely can't just take it easy on the climbs, you have to push it... but I think it's made me a stronger rider for sure... I ordered a 31t front from homebrew for the spring when I'm weak, but haven't put it on yet, as I played basketball to keep in shape last winter... I definitely won't go back to a 2xanything...
    Full time rider part time racer...

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  5. #5
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    Ride a Santa Cruz Blur LT with a 1x9 for three years now. Would not go back. Most riding is in Stowe, Morrisville and Waterbury. The simplicity is great. iRide in Stowe can set you up with a nice chain guide setup.

  6. #6
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    This is great feedback, and good to hear others are not only doing it but are happy with the success. For those that have made the switch, what was the main motivating factor? Weight, simplicity, dropping chains, machismo, just something new?

    There isn't necessarily anything I actively dislike about my 2x9 setup, but I'm curious about what I might be missing. I like the idea of forcing myself to become stronger, but for the same reasons I don't see myself riding a singlespeed, strength/toughness in and of itself isn't enough of a motivation for me.

  7. #7
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    I found that I rarely used my "granny". Less to maintain. Less shifting means I can pay more attention to my riding and the trail.

  8. #8
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    I've been riding 1x9 for about 8 years in VT, first on an old blur, then and LT2. (Riding a single speed around for a while convinced me that 9 gears can get me anywhere.) I run a standard bash, 32/11-34, medium cage RD, and an N Gear Jump Stop chain guide. Despite the light weight, $10 price tag and lack of wrap-around chain retention, I VERY rarely drop a chain, maybe once every 10-15 rides. Given the fact that it never touches the chain, is lighter than anything-next to nothing, and is effective, I highly recommend it.
    1x9 is rad. You drop some weight and a fair amount of complexity, not to mention that the front derailleur shift is about the least elegant mechanical action on a mountain bike. Yeah, it can take some getting used to if you're used to a 2x, but you'll forget about it after a few rides.
    -Chris

  9. #9
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    1x8 better

    1x1 betterer

    rog

  10. #10
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    I built up an older Ibis HT this winter and have been riding 1x9 for most of the season and I just converted my Cannondale Rush to 2x9 (and my wife's). We run BBG guards and on my 1x9 I run an N-Stop in place of the front deraileur. Rarely have any chain issues. Shifts like a dream. 32T Front and 11-32 in the rear. That bike is mostly a KT bike and I've ridden it in more technical areas as well and love it.

    I do find myself still using the granny occasionally on the Rush at the end of a long day on some larger steep hills, but overall, I love the 1x9, I like the simplicity of it and the great shifting chainline.

  11. #11
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    I am also a 1x9 on a gen 2 AL Nomad. I am in CT but I ride VT a lot.

  12. #12
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    Reasons to switch:

    Less weight/complexity (marginal)
    Less thinking on the trail (surprisingly significant)
    Hate the way FD shifts
    Simplifies chainline stuff
    Robust
    Forces you to spend more time out of the saddle, using different muscles, ergo a stronger rider
    Can run a mid-cage rear, faster, crisper shifts
    Plus it looks the part.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8valvegrowl View Post
    Reasons to switch:

    Less weight/complexity (marginal)
    Less thinking on the trail (surprisingly significant)
    Hate the way FD shifts
    Simplifies chainline stuff
    Robust
    Forces you to spend more time out of the saddle, using different muscles, ergo a stronger rider
    Can run a mid-cage rear, faster, crisper shifts
    Plus it looks the part.
    pretty much the perfect explanation of the benefits only for me it's a short cage der. he's right about the less thinking thing. You don't realize how much you think about your front der. until you don't have one it's so nice not having to deal with a stupid front der. that never seems to work as good as it should...
    Full time rider part time racer...

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  14. #14
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    Yeah, I don't get it. Yesterday I was still riding while the 1 bys were walking. I'm not in better shape. I just hate to walk. To each his own, but I think it's nuts to force it on people because of the looks or because it is more core. My LBS just sold a custom build to a 250lb newbie in his 60's. He is walking up grades that my 9-year old can ride up. On the plus side though he doesn't have to worry about a stupid FD and his bike looks cooler when it's on his car.
    Last edited by epic; 08-09-2012 at 01:53 PM.

  15. #15
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    I don't walk any more than I did with a 2x setup, even in the early season.

    And nobody is forcing 1X's on people...shame on your LBS for pushing/selling it to a newbie though...I think it's more of a personal decision that comes with experience and learning your riding style.

  16. #16
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    I ride 1x9 36 chainring and 11/32 cassette on my old 26" wheeled DMR trailstar and even though it weighs about 14.5 kg i dont think it needs any more gears, its overdue for a new chain and cassette though so might give an 11/36 a try

    The only trouble i actualy do have with getting it up hill is when the back wheel wont grip on the uglier slopes when its damp and starts spinning (high roller 2.35s)

    Its cool when cashing in those gravity credits on the way back down though :thumbup:

    Chain drops were sorted out with a chain guide

    If it was me though i would just keep it 2x9 till i find im never using the granny ring
    Last edited by mandrax21; 08-08-2012 at 09:34 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8valvegrowl View Post
    And nobody is forcing 1X's on people...
    Not in this thread, but I get **** about my 3 chainrings virtually every time I go riding. Not that I care, but I do find it amusing.

    I probably could ride 1x10. I am in my 32t 99% of my rides, and have a 34 out back. With a 36, maybe I could roll that 99.5% of the time. But I don't find a downside to having a front D. I mean maybe I drop my chain on a downhill once or twice a year. So what? Half a pedal and it's back on. I don't see the benefit to ditching the granny. I could save a few grams, but I don't think you all are the gram counting types.

    Seriously though, run what you want.

  18. #18
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    ^ Yeah, just tell 'em to shut up and ride. I'd never give anyone crap about riding a triple. Or a double.

    1 x 10 would be sweet, I just can't justify buying new hubs, cassettes, shifters, RD, etc, but if my next bike is setup for ten, I will definitely go that route.

  19. #19
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    My 2x9 was born a 3x9 as well. I found that after the first couple hundred miles on the new bike, I had ridden in the big ring exactly 2 times, for short sections through fields at KT. Discovering BBG and seeing a few hideous pictures of mangled calves were all it took to drop my $18 and say goodbye to the big ring. I can't see going back to 3x unless I move to Kansas (which ain't gonna happen!)

  20. #20
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    I boke my granny ring and rode 1x9 on my Nomad for a while. I was amazed that I could pedal up some climbs that I would have thought impossible. That said, I eventually put a granny ring back on. We have some very long, very steep climbs that (for me) settling in & spinning is a better way to go. I really don't like to walk.

    Bash ring in place of the big ring on all my bikes, no question.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Yeah, I don't get it. Yesterday I was still walking while the 1 bys were walking...
    I'm thinking you mean you were still riding while the others were walking?

  22. #22
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    I rode my favorite loop last night at Carse Hills--Henry's Highlands to Preacher then back up the VAST and down Henry's. I made most of the first climb in the middle ring, but then broke down and dropped to the granny like a baby near the top. The psychic pull of the 22 is just...too...strong. Argh. Once I broke the seal, I spun in the granny most of the way back up the VAST. I'm a loser.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    I'm thinking you mean you were still riding while the others were walking?
    yeah, edit time...

  24. #24
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    My progression away from gears was mostly that I got tired by replacing parts. Get rid of your drive train and get rid of 99 percent of your "regular" bike maintainance and expenses. Rather have a low cost, less breakable rig and walk occasion.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by VtVolk View Post
    I rode my favorite loop last night at Carse Hills--Henry's Highlands to Preacher then back up the VAST and down Henry's. I made most of the first climb in the middle ring, but then broke down and dropped to the granny like a baby near the top. The psychic pull of the 22 is just...too...strong. Argh. Once I broke the seal, I spun in the granny most of the way back up the VAST. I'm a loser.
    that's a great ride, I like to go down crucible and ride pinner or (now) that new trail and take front door back up to Henry's. I don't think I could ever get up front door with just middle ring without walking, its hard enough with a granny in some spots. Always wanted to try an epic combining all carse trails with htf trails. Maybe I'll try that this year..

    I've thought about going 1x10, really would still be a minimal amount of walking I'm guessing.

  26. #26
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    ^^^^^^^^this, and we are adaptative animals. we push bigger gears we get stronger, we run out of options, or only have one, we figure out a way to get through. back when i went one speed bout 12 years ago, every ride back home was a new challenge, a new victory. hills i swear i'd never ride pushing my 32-16t became mere roll ups due to all of the momentum i learned i could build and carry.

    then singlespeeding became a pu$$Y sport. everyone started gearing for how steep stuff was instead of getting stronger and dealing. the benchmark 2-1 of old is now, what gear should i run for this or that? may as well just run gears.

    singlespeed, an unfair advantage in the right hands. mmmmwwwwwaaaaahhhhh!

    rog

  27. #27
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    so given the choice between winning and suffering and losing on my SS I normally choose winning and honestly that is almost never 32x18(2-1 on a 29er) around here. The guys winning Roots 66 races do better on spinnier gears.

    Id say show up on a 32-16 and prove them other wise if it truly is better.

    riding SS make YOU faster for sure, but overall to think that someone is faster than on a geared bike just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.

  28. #28
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    the real reason to ride or own a SS is because of the fun and simplicty anyways that why I Built my first SS anyways.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    so given the choice between winning and suffering and losing on my SS I normally choose winning and honestly that is almost never 32x18(2-1 on a 29er) around here. The guys winning Roots 66 races do better on spinnier gears.
    well, when i raced root 66, i did most my top 3's in one speed expert racing my 29er with 34-18t. nobody won with lighter gears that i can remember. jay challenge? makes the vt 50 look like kansas. raced jay to a top ss finish by 17 minutes over the 2nd place dood, who i was told was the guy to beat at the time. he was running a 46" gear, i ran my 29er with a 32-18 or a 52" gear. saw him at the start and never saw him again. he was from the mountains and i trained on cape cod. it's the engine my friend. $hit, skip brown would show with a 42-18 on his ss 26ers and demoralize everyone. troy the boy michaud won the whole vt 50 in 4:30 on his ss 26er pushing a 36-16! if yer strong enough to push bigger gears, bigger gears win.

    Id say show up on a 32-16 and prove them other wise if it truly is better.
    YOU SHOW UP! OH YA, YOU TALK, BUT NO SHOW

    riding SS make YOU faster for sure, but overall to think that someone is faster than on a geared bike just means they do not know how to ride a geared bike the right way.
    very true. or they run a 1x9 or 10. as soon as you take the 44t off you've slowed down already.

    rog

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post


    very true. or they run a 1x9 or 10. as soon as you take the 44t off you've slowed down already.

    rog
    that makes no sense.

    I can sprint to 34-36 mph with a 32-11 29er and only 26 mile per hour on my 32-19 ss, not to mention I can on the geared bike I can normally go faster using less effort on most uphills.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    that makes no sense.

    I can sprint to 34-36 mph with a 32-11 29er and only 26 mile per hour on my 32-19 ss, not to mention I can on the geared bike I can normally go faster using less effort on most uphills.
    wow man, you got this all figured out. you on strava?

    i wanna watch you go through all these experiments with a camera set up while i eat twinkies and LMAO.

    funneh stuff

    rog

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    wow man, you got this all figured out. you on strava?

    i wanna watch you go through all these experiments with a camera set up while i eat twinkies and LMAO.

    funneh stuff

    rog
    all you need a odometer to figure out top speed.

    I wish I had strava so I could own all the KOM around here.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    I wish I had strava so I could own all the KOM around here.
    meh, save yerself the trouble. seems to me that it's much more fun to just imagine owning all of the KOM's out there than to actually have to go through all of the pain and suffering that all of the poor b@stards are going through right now. and for what? it's all about the babes in the end, right?

    damn ben n jerry's washed down with pbr is still the best recovery fuel EVAR!!!

    rock on......

    rog

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    the real reason to ride or own a SS is because of the fun and simplicty anyways that why I Built my first SS anyways.
    Or, for the reliability....if you can only afford to keep one bike running. The reason I took my front d off was that the chainlines on modern bikes blows running bb spindles as long as we need to to clear fat tires and chainstays so that whenever I was coasting thru rubble and threw a back pedal to switch my lead foot, I dropped my chain. I'll run gears again when they give me an internal transmission that doesn't cost 1000 bucks. 3 speed internal with a big range...now that would change everything.

  35. #35
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    sprint to 34-36 mph on a singlespeed 29er? I just don't know what to say, I'm at a loss for words...
    Full time rider part time racer...

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  36. #36
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    You're at a loss for reading comprehension. He said he can make it to 34-36 mph in the 32-11 on his geared bike. That's around 140 rpm. Totally doable.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    it's all about the babes in the end, right?

    Right
    beaver hunt

  38. #38
    the train keeps rollin
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    Back when I used to ride a green machine, I was killing it on front wheel pedal drive!! Would of smoked Rog.. and Bushwack..
    beaver hunt

  39. #39
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    Not sure how every thread on this forum turns into a singlespeed and/or Strava pissing contest. You guys need to stop wearing your spandex bibs for interweb sessions, or something.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by VtVolk View Post
    Not sure how every thread on this forum turns into a singlespeed and/or Strava pissing contest. You guys need to stop wearing your spandex bibs for interweb sessions, or something.
    lighten up francis

    fun is where you find it. like right here on mtbr.

    now go back to connecticut and find some fun will ya?

    rog

  41. #41
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    Just gotta chime in and say that I love the pissing matches on the VT NH ME forum! How is it that you guys have all the surly bastards up there threatening to leave tire tracks on their rival's faces, whilst down on the MA forum, all the M*******s are singing Kumbaya? Gotta get up there and ride with you hillbillies more often! (Should I bring the 1x1 or 1x9???)

  42. #42
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    Dudes are in a dick measuring contest for no reason. Not sure when Rog became such an a$$hole. Has he always been this way? He aint fast enough to be one...and not slow enough to be one either.
    I am immune to your disdain.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfab25 View Post
    Dudes are in a dick measuring contest for no reason.
    is there ever really a reason for anything?

    Not sure when Rog became such an a$$hole. Has he always been this way?
    always and moreso with time

    He aint fast enough to be one...and not slow enough to be one either.
    ah, the middle ground is the place to be cuz there's always gonna be someone faster and always gonna be someone slower. keeps disappointment to a minimum.

    try it sometime

    p.s. hey scotty o! stay in mass you friggin hippy!!!

    rog

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    well, when i raced root 66, i did most my top 3's in one speed expert racing my 29er with 34-18t. nobody won with lighter gears that i can remember. jay challenge? makes the vt 50 look like kansas. raced jay to a top ss finish by 17 minutes over the 2nd place dood, who i was told was the guy to beat at the time. he was running a 46" gear, i ran my 29er with a 32-18 or a 52" gear. saw him at the start and never saw him again. he was from the mountains and i trained on cape cod. it's the engine my friend. $hit, skip brown would show with a 42-18 on his ss 26ers and demoralize everyone. troy the boy michaud won the whole vt 50 in 4:30 on his ss 26er pushing a 36-16! if yer strong enough to push bigger gears, bigger gears win.


    rog
    When I won the Jay CHallenge, I was running 34-20 on the 29er. You are stronger than I .

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjabkrvt View Post
    When I won the Jay CHallenge, I was running 34-20 on the 29er. You are stronger than I .
    that was some course wasn't it? hard. even with free entry offered the next year for winning class, there was no way i was gonna put myself through that torture again. once was dumb enough.

    rog

  46. #46
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    I feel so out of touch running 3x10. All I do on rides is worry about how much it weighs, which gear to be in, is my chainline okay, what's that sound? Ahh, to have the mental clarity and moral superiority of a SS ...

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by atkinson View Post
    I feel so out of touch running 3x10. All I do on rides is worry about how much it weighs, which gear to be in, is my chainline okay, what's that sound? Ahh, to have the mental clarity and moral superiority of a SS ...
    I believe that is what you are saying.

    Rog and I were reminiscing.

    Others were looking for insight.

    People are sharing opinions.

  48. #48
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    So don't most of the route 66 races have a single speed class? I am not the greatest racer but like to do some now and then. I have found that I am much faster on my single speed. When I used to do the Catamount Wed night races I would be 3+/- faster then on my geared bike. I know we are all different in how we ride so results could very.

    I will say if I had one bike I would probably be a 1x9 (10). Was riding 1x9 till I picked up a full suspension bike...then I switched the hardtail to a single speed. I too unsed the n-stop. I had crank issues initially which caused me to drop the chain often. Once that was solved I never seemed to have much of an issue.
    Get out and Ride!!

  49. #49
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    Sorry for the snark ... I ride a 3x because my range of speed is everything from basically crawling uber-tech to full dh bombing. I try to climb in higher gears and stand more for better speed and traction, but when the going gets ridiculous, the granny gets me there.

    As for the other side, I grabbed the big ring on a ride in NY yesterday and loved hammering through those fields at 40mph, accelerating the whole time. From home, I have a 400 vert road descent to the closest trailhead, which I like to pedal into and that's not possible without a big pizza pie. Any road approaches or connectors are usually more efficiently ridden with a big ring.

    3x systems may be more complicated, but it's something that the industry has been producing successfully for many years. My maintenance is largely limited to lube, a new chain about once a year and maybe a new drivetrain every three seasons. If you ride a ton, you'll probably save some cash with less gears, but my maintenance costs are pretty reasonable.

    I have a 1x9 on the dh sled, but pedalling it is not usually an issue. I do love the way it rides though and have brought it on many rides in Waterbury, the Valley and even a huge xc loop in Burke last summer.

    Is it overkill? Maybe. Actually, yes it is, except for the fun factor on the downs. But not only do I have the challenge of less gears, there are several more pounds too. Is it wrong to assume the masochists like Rog would appreciate extra pain and gain?

    I actually think roadies should do training rides on dh bikes occasionally, if only to round out their pedal strokes. If you can pedal a floaty ride without bobbing, you're going be smooth as glass on a road bike.

    John

  50. #50
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    again, If you look at the gain ratios between a 32 1X10 and a traditional 22/32/44 your really only missing the easiest 2.5 gears and the hardest 2.5 gears everything in the middle is just more options with slight variations and repetition. I made charts and everything before I switched.. love it
    Full time rider part time racer...

    See my adventures here..

    https://www.instagram.com/projectnortheast/

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