Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion

    Just wanted to share the results of my 1x11 conversion. (photos attached) I spoke earlier about wanting to try the Box Components 1x9 conversion but it was about $100 more than Shimano SLX 1x11 conversion and they're still not shipping (now they're saying February). The only real bike mechanic stuff I've done previously (on any bike) is cleaning/lubrication, troubleshooting squeaking brakes, replacing brake pads, installing a dropper post, and recently replaced front chainring on my full suspension bike. I wanted to do this not because I was having any problems with the 2x10 setup, but because I wanted to learn how to do it and I wanted easier dropper post actuation (I never could find a good way to have both front shifter & dropper lever on the left bar). I found the conversion to be extremely easy (with the right tools), definitely doable by anyone who can turn a wrench and keep things in order. Also I'm new at this so if I use the wrong terminology please forgive me; if you point it out I will update the post.



    BR Bashring 104bcd Size: 26-32T $51.00
    SH Round 104 / 64 bcd chainring Size: 30T (64bcd) $53.99


    Shimano SLX CS-M7000 Cassette Item #: CS200B02 $57.99
    Shimano SLX RD-M7000 11S Rear Derailleur Item #: RD199A00 $54.99
    Shimano SLX SL-M7000 11SP Shifter Item #: SL196A04 $28.99
    Shimano SLX/105 Cn-Hg601 Ql Chain Item #: CH183E00 $24.99


    Cassette removal tool & chain whip:

    Park tool makes a cassette removal tool with a thru-axle guide attached which I got for Christmas and used instead of the QR version included with the chain whip above:

    I already owned allen keys, torque wrenches, cable cutters, chain breaking tool, etc.

    First thing I did was remove rear wheel and replace the cassette. The splines on which the cassette resets had minor damage from the old cassette. I guess it's from putting power down it causes the cassette to dig in a bit. I didn't realize these were causing a problem until I had the new cassette placed and the lockring wouldn't engage. I put it on and off a few times before I realized that the cassette wasn't sitting down all the way. With a bit of pressure I was able to press it down all the way and the lockring engaged properly.

    I am new at this and I had previously thought that the cassette came in one or two pieces, but the old and new were basically just a bunch of loose cogs with some plastic spacers in between some of them. I was very careful to put everything in order, in the correct orientation, and not lose track of where the spacers go. Note that there was only one way each cog could be placed onto the freehub body; one of the splines is a different size than the rest so it's impossible to screw that part up.

    Next I moved on to the front derailleur and chainring. I broke the chain, removed the derailleur (one screw), removed the shifter, and removed the cable. Removing the crank was really easy, it's self-extracting so no special tool needed (I believe only 8mm allen). It's on there tight so you need to put some effort (learned this replacing chainring on my other bike). Once the non-drive-side crank arm was off I used a piece of wood and hammer to tap the drive side out. All this came out pretty gunky (grease mixed with dirt) so I cleaned everything up before proceeding.

    Removing the chainrings was easy, just some allen bolts. I installed the bashring in place of the big ring (104 bcd) and the 30T chainring in place of the small ring (64 bcd). NOTE NOTE NOTE! I think 30T is the biggest you can go here (using the small ring). Installed in one orientation the teeth would actually contact the chain stays. I thought I would have to order a different ring but I looked at it and there are cutouts on one side of the ring which, when installed the other direction, cause the chainring to sit outward just a couple of mm. This was enough to fit perfectly with about 1mm to spare between the teeth and the chain stay.

    I greased everything up, reinstalled the cranks, torqued to spec. There is a wavy washer, a spacer, and some rubber seals that you need to keep in order.

    Next I removed the rear derailleur, shifter, and cable. Installed new derailleur, new cable, new shifter. The shifter clamp on the SLX sucks, I had to remove my grips and brakes to get it on. Now that I think about it, I think I may have had to do that to get the old shifter off anyway. My other bike, and the brakes, and the dropper lever all have clamps that allow you to install/remove without messing with everything else. I removed the shifter position indicator from the SLX shifter. I would have kept it if it had numbers printed on it but it was just a clear plastic window with a red indicator that would sort of give you an idea of where you were on the cassette; seemed pointless.

    Installing the new cable was pretty easy. I had never done this before (multi-piece outer cable) and the cable that came with the shifter didn't have enough of the outer cable ends for all the breaks, but I just reused some of the old ends (little bits of plastic that seemed in decent shape).

    After torquing everything I just had to size and install the chain and adjust the rear derailleur (also something I haven't done before). I followed the park tool video on sizing mtb chain and it seems to have worked out ok. The derailleur seems a little stretched out in the largest gear but maybe it's supposed to be like that? If I ever do this again I will cut the chain a couple of rivets longer than recommended and see how it goes. I originally routed the chain a bit wrong (there's a metal piece between the two guide pulleys that I routed on the wrong side of). This caused loudness and inability to tune proper shifting at the lower end of the gears.

    I fixed that and had some other problems that I eventually figured out by watching some youtube videos. This is probably obvious to people that do this often but...

    1. set cable tension when shifted to highest gear (smallest cog)
    2. maybe set b-screw before installing the chain? it's hard to measure with chain in the way
    3. don't mix up h-limit and l-limit screws; high is for highest gear (smallest cog), l is for lowest gear (biggest cog)
    4. pay attention and don't skip any steps, for example, I missed the part where I was supposed to tighten the barrel adjuster all the way then back it off a few turns, then set cable tension; this caused me to not have enough adjustment at the barrel adjuster later so I had to start over

    The project was a success. The 1x11 system shifts flawlessly, and most notably pressing the shifter lever is so easy compared to the old stuff (even when it was new). I wish I knew what made some shifter/derailleur combos so much easier to shift than others. My son's bike has SRAM nx/gx stuff on it and it's really easy to shift. My FS bike has shimano xt stuff and it's difficult to shift (bought brand new 2019), like physically more difficult to press the levers.

    I'm unfortunately left with a 2x dropper lever but I'll replace that at some point; really no functional difference, it will just allow better cable routing.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-img_0208.jpg  

    Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-img_0209.jpg  

    Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-img_0210.jpg  

    Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-img_0211.jpg  

    Airborne Goblin Evo 29 2x10 to 1x11 conversion-img_0212.jpg  

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Nice work. I used a sunrace cassette to convert mine to a 1x10. Paid a local shop to install. Wish your thread started a little sooner so I could have tried to install myself. So far I really like the 1x drivetrain.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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