Help deciding on drivetrain 2005 Epic M4- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help deciding on drivetrain 2005 Epic M4

    Hi folks. I have a Specialized Epic (M4 frame), I think its the second generation of Epic. Anyhow I bought it new and rode the hell out of it for 4-5 years. Then I basically slowed down and had kids. I had done a few upgrades to it over the years like an XT crank / BB, juicy 7 brakes, , race face handlebar (flat no rise), lighter wheels / fatter tires, new beefier BB and cane creek headset as the prior ones managed to crack.

    Now I am getting back into riding after 8 years off. The bike is still riding pretty good after a tune but the front derailleur is shot, it wiggles a bunch to the touch and will only sometimes shift to the granny and never will shift to the biggest chainring.

    I thought about going 1x but that seems too expensive for a bike this old that I will likely retire in a couple years. I was wondering if I could go 2x fairly economically, maybe keeping the current 9 speed cassette. I never need the outer ring and very rarely go for the granny but its nice to have for super steep stuff. I considered just getting another 3x derailleur and calling it done, but that doesn't seem as fun, especially when I don't ever use the third ring.

    What would I need to go 2x? Shifter, 2x crank, and front derailleur? Could I reuse my current hollowtech XT triple crank somehow or is that just going to be to much of a hack compared to getting a proper 2x crank? If the front derailleur says its a 10 speed, surely it would be fine with a 9 speed in the back?

    Thanks for any advice!!

    Dave

  2. #2
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    After some more research I think I am likely going to keep the M770 (22/32/44) crank and get a couple chain rings. I think 26t on the granny and either 38 or 36 on the large ring. Will probably replace the busted 3x derailleur with a 2x as I see no reason to go back to 3x in the future. Will plan to keep the rear as is for now as well as the 3x front shifter.

    I will report back how this goes in case it would benefit any future readers.

    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    A 3x derailleur can be used for 2x setup. Just set the limit screws to limit travel to the 2nd ring and the second click.
    I don't know what the difference is for 2x, maybe the cage shape?

  4. #4
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    Just do it simple and cheap - Microsoft Advent 9 spd. Shifter, 11-42 cassette and clutch derailleur for around $125 and add a narrow wide chainring and new chain. For the price and extended gear range of the new cassette, you can't beat it especially if you're just refreshing an old bike.

    Then use all the spare parts for a N+1 project.
    Amolan

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice, I am actually leaning towards 1x now after more study. I was thinking of going with XT M8000 shifter / derailleur / 11-46 cassette with a 36T narrow wide up front. Jenson has those M8000 parts for about 30% off right now. While it's about $150 more ($250 total including chain) than 2 new rings and a front derailleur, it seems like a better choice when considering which gears I spend the most time in now. I'll also get my top end back since my current busted derailleur won't even shift to the outermost chainring.

    Going 46t in the back on a 26er seems a bit big though so going to sleep on it a bit more.

  6. #6
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    I ended up getting the M8000 1x11 (46T) setup and I love it. I put a oval oneup 34T ring up front directly on my M770 3x crank. It's given the bike some new life!

    Not sure I set the chainline up right, but it seems to be working fine. I put the spacers that came with the oneup on the frame side of the new ring, instead of sandwiching them inbetween the crank and the ring. This positions the ring a little more out towards the smaller COGS than it would be if I sandwiched the spacers.

    Maybe a dropper is next...

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