1 x 9 Conversion - Trying to avoid a chain guide- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    1 x 9 Conversion - Trying to avoid a chain guide

    I have a 3 x 9 setup with a 9 speed SRAM X0 shifters and 9 speed mid-cage rear derailleur (not a clutch type).

    I've done some research, and it seems like most people have great luck with a narrow wide chain ring. Assuming I get my chain tension properly, would a narrow wide chain be enough?

    If a clutch type derailleur is required, I see a lot of people had good luck with Shimano 10 speed derailleurs. Since most people like the Zee Shadow derailleur, I'm wondering if a XT or XTR derailleur will work as well. If they do, would a XTR M986 or M985 work?

    Thanks,

    Ming
    Last edited by macming; 10-20-2014 at 08:54 PM.

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  3. #3
    NedwannaB
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    Couple things going on here

    Type of bike will determine the correct components.
    The Bionicon will help with chain slap on non clutch derailleur depending on chain stay configuration but if going 1x you'll still need front guide of some sorts unless you get a narrow/wide dropstop chainring.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Type of bike will determine the correct components.
    The Bionicon will help with chain slap on non clutch derailleur depending on chain stay configuration but if going 1x you'll still need front guide of some sorts unless you get a narrow/wide dropstop chainring.
    The setup is for a Santa Cruz TRC, maybe a Nomad C as well.

    About the narrow/wide chain rings, do they work 95% of the time assuming I keep a very tight chain tension?

  5. #5
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    I think it depends on the type of terrain you ride. I have several bikes setup with the NW chain rings and some have clutched derailleurs and some don't. I even have one bike just with a single speed chain ring.
    I have never dropped a chain on any of them. I tried running a normal 32 chainring and dropped chains all the time - any fast bumpy downhill dropped the chain.
    If you ride a lot of long rocky downhills with lots of drops then you are likely going to need a clutch. Otherwise, give it a try.

  6. #6
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    When you ask about using a XT or XTR derailleur, are you intending to do the SRAM 9 speed shifter to Shimano 10 speed derailleur trick? Normally manufacturers and speeds have to match.

  7. #7
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    Try the narrow-wide with your current 9sp drive train and ride the bumpy stuff that you like to ride. Then you'll know. Not a lot of $ to find out.

    A non-clutch and narrow-wide has worked for me recently but still needs more testing so I am comfortable (or not) with the drop frequency.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    I think it depends on the type of terrain you ride. I have several bikes setup with the NW chain rings and some have clutched derailleurs and some don't. I even have one bike just with a single speed chain ring.
    I have never dropped a chain on any of them. I tried running a normal 32 chainring and dropped chains all the time - any fast bumpy downhill dropped the chain.
    If you ride a lot of long rocky downhills with lots of drops then you are likely going to need a clutch. Otherwise, give it a try.
    Thanks! I think I will try my current setup without buying a new derailleur first. It's good to hear from other people's real world experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
    When you ask about using a XT or XTR derailleur, are you intending to do the SRAM 9 speed shifter to Shimano 10 speed derailleur trick? Normally manufacturers and speeds have to match.
    That is the plan! SRAM 9 speed shifters and Shimano 10 speed derailleur both use pretty much 1:1 cable pull ratio. They are supposed to work well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glide the Clyde View Post
    Try the narrow-wide with your current 9sp drive train and ride the bumpy stuff that you like to ride. Then you'll know. Not a lot of $ to find out.

    A non-clutch and narrow-wide has worked for me recently but still needs more testing so I am comfortable (or not) with the drop frequency.
    Thanks for your input! I'm going to order a Raceface narrow wide when the time is right

  9. #9
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    The n/w chain rings work really well. I've ridden 1x9 without a clutch or chain guide for about a year now and haven't dropped a chain yet. Hold off on a new clutch dérailleur unless you know you're dropping chains. If your derailleur is a long cage however it may not keep the chain as well in the rough. 10 spd chain works better than 9 spd (shifts good on 9 spd cassette). Make sure to properly size the chain. Look at Wolftooth for the ring. US made, good company, great product. Blackspire is also nice. Chromag also has n/w. I think theirs is licensed from SRAM.

  10. #10
    Short-Change-Hero
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    ^^^ Good information. My current setup is a 2x9 that I am planning on dropping to 1x9 and will be turning the bike into a monstercross bike. I am currently running a long cage derailleur on a horizontal sliding dropout frame so I may be better off going with a NW and a chainguide. Really wish I wouldn't have to but this will mainly be a commuter bike and gravel grinder with the occasional singletrack thrown in there.

  11. #11
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    If it's only occasionally seeing single track, try without the chain guide first. You have nothing to lose. Just make sure to correctly size the chain. If this bike was seeing a lot of rocky, rooty single track I'd be more hesitant with a long cage derailleur. For your use just try the n/w ring with a 10 spd chain. You can always add a chain guide and/or a clutch derailleur if you're not satisfied.

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