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  1. #1
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    30T chain ring or 40/42T extender?

    Hello,

    This is my first post on the forum

    I am presently riding with 32T and 11-36T cassette.
    I would like to make a small investment to my gearing to help with the steeper climbs.

    As the title states would a 30T be better than adding a 40T or 42T extender?
    I have an SLX 10-speed derailleur. Also to consider that I do not have the tools right now to remove the cassette (will eventually buy the tools).

    Budget: +/- 50$

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you can spare a little top end get the smaller chainring. With the extender you will probably need a goat link or OneUp cage as well. Move thread in 3,2,1.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  3. #3
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    indeed, I would worry that your derailleur will not make the jump to a 42t ring. what specific derailleur is that? it should be something like RD-M675. the model number can tell you what the maximum cog and chain wrap capacity will be.

  4. #4
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    Bigger gears are always better for longevity of drivetrain components, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's the most practical solution. You also tend to end up with more range (ability to have taller gearing for going faster on flats/downhill), since the bottom cog on the cassette generally never gets bigger when you do this (sometimes it gets smaller though, to a 10 or 9t depending).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lussier115 View Post
    I am presently riding with 32T and 11-36T cassette.
    I have an SLX 10-speed derailleur.
    since you have not been specific, is this a 670 series derailleur? if so, here are the specs:

    https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/produ...-M670-SGS.html
    max low sprocket 36t
    so you can't easily use a cog bigger than what you have, according to Shimano. it might work but it will not be ideal, to say the least.

    I would start with the 30t ring.

    not trying to brag, but I easily clean stuff on a singlespeed with 29er tires and a 32/20 gear ratio all the time that riders with a huge range of gears can't clear. it's more a state of mind and a technique in some cases. most people approach a hill by shifting to some ridiculously low granny gear and spin their brains out while sitting and burning up their legs while I stand and slowly mash my way up the hill. in the end, these riders are much faster and more skilled than me, but on the climbs, they rely to heavily on the technique of spinning a low gear. I have tried setting up my bike with a 11-36t cassette with a 32 front and I almost never have any use for the lowest gear because it burns up my legs to spin that fast except for a few exceedingly rare moments when a hill gets super, super steep.

  6. #6
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    30T won't make a very noticeable difference. Think 26 or 28T, assuming your're on a hardtail and it won't cause any issues.
    You might lose some efficiency in terms of gear inches(didn't check), but 28/36 requires about the same effort as 32/40.

  7. #7
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    Changing the front chainring won't affect shift performance like an extender cog will. Running tons of B screw adversely affects shifting.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  8. #8
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    Expanders suck, that's why the industry has moved on and 11-42t 10 speed cassettes are available. Also some new 10 speed derailleurs can suit out of the box, alternatively a goatlink. Save your pennies a little longer and do it right.

  9. #9
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    Well OP, given what you've stated it's a fairly obvious solution to your problem, get the smaller chainring since you don't have the tools and only have a $50 budget, you can later add a 40t expander cog if you so wish if the 30t is not enough. I personally think that if you just need that little extra, that the 30T will give you what you need - I did this switch for my little cousin on his bike, going from a 32t to 30t and it was just the little ease he needed to get up the hills that were giving him trouble.

    Little fact though, the tools you need to change a cassette aren't very expensive at all, if you have any sort of coordination and can use tools, have an old piece of chain hanging around about 10" long and a piece of flat metal, or pipe you can flatten and a few bolts or rivets, you can make your own chain whip - I made mine 10+ years ago like that and it's still working fine.

    Here's the links for the 2 tools you'll need to change the cassette, at those prices, not even worth making them yourself.
    X-Tools Chain Whip | Chain Reaction Cycles
    X-Tools Cassette Lockring Tool | Chain Reaction Cycles
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  10. #10
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    for a while I ran two chainrings on my trail bike when I had a 10speed 11-36 cassette. I had triple chainring crank set and put a 32t in the middle ring (104 BCD). Narrow wide and a second 26t narrow wide on my small ring 64 bcd location. I would manually move the chain ring from one to the other without a shifter. Not ideal for flow though trails, but works fine for step climbs and descents. Just stop at the top / bottom to move the chain ring. I was able to find a good priced 1x11 set-up and moved to that so now I run a 30t chainring and 10-42 cassette.

    So this is cheapest way if you have 2x or 3x crankset. Not sexy, but no shifting issues as the rear is unchanged.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    for a while I ran two chainrings on my trail bike when I had a 10speed 11-36 cassette. I had triple chainring crank set and put a 32t in the middle ring (104 BCD). Narrow wide and a second 26t narrow wide on my small ring 64 bcd location. I would manually move the chain ring from one to the other without a shifter. Not ideal for flow though trails, but works fine for step climbs and descents. Just stop at the top / bottom to move the chain ring. I was able to find a good priced 1x11 set-up and moved to that so now I run a 30t chainring and 10-42 cassette.

    So this is cheapest way if you have 2x or 3x crankset. Not sexy, but no shifting issues as the rear is unchanged.
    All the bad things about 2x combined with all the bad things about 1x.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  12. #12
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    the manual front shifting sounds like a good idea to me. If you happen to have a 2x or 3x crankset but you're only using one ring, and you only feel the need for a super-low gear every once in a while, it's a cheap, simple solution! keep the chain on the medium ring 99% of the time, and when you're pooped at the end of a ride or bit off more than you can chew on an ambitious epic ride, drop into the smaller chainring as an emergency bail-out gear. certainly cheaper than switching to a 1x11 drivetrain and probably even cheaper than a smaller single ring.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    the manual front shifting sounds like a good idea to me. If you happen to have a 2x or 3x crankset but you're only using one ring, and you only feel the need for a super-low gear every once in a while, it's a cheap, simple solution! keep the chain on the medium ring 99% of the time, and when you're pooped at the end of a ride or bit off more than you can chew on an ambitious epic ride, drop into the smaller chainring as an emergency bail-out gear. certainly cheaper than switching to a 1x11 drivetrain and probably even cheaper than a smaller single ring.
    And something not usually mentioned--more range than a 1x system.

    I've come to love my 1x bike, but my 2x10 has more range. Not a lot, but more, at both ends of the spectrum.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    All the bad things about 2x combined with all the bad things about 1x.
    No not really. I ran it as a dual 1x set-up.

    26t chainring with 11x36 rear Or 32t chainring with 11-36. I ran an enduro with that set-up and worked great. Transfers? Move to 26t and putz along. Timed DH stage? 32t chainring. The only time it was a pain was when I wanted to ride mixed terrain without stopping. Most of the time I like to just ride up and down all over when I am solo. When stop I can change rings in 15 seconds when I run out the gearing at higher or lower end. I do agree a large range 1x is cleaner, but for low cost if you already have a 11-36 cassette? It really works. Remember you still save weight of front shifter/derailer and clean up the handlebar. Both ring being narrow wide gains the same retention. The only penalty is weight of the extra chainring which is pretty minimal (and often a 42 cog is more weight than a 26t chainring) and the stopping.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    I'm with Joe on his idea, I have run that exact same sort of setup on a few bikes with great success and you don't even have to stop to drop to the smaller ring, just flick it over with your heal. When I first built up my new Unit, that's exactly how I set it up 24/32 with an 11-36 cassette, after running that for a while using 29x3" front and B+2.8" rear, I tried a 29x3" on the rear and found it fit an worked with decent clearance, but the 3" tyre limited my cassette use in the small ring, so was not really gaining anything because I couldn't go lower than 3rd largest cog, so then made the switch to an expander cog.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    No not really. I ran it as a dual 1x set-up.

    26t chainring with 11x36 rear Or 32t chainring with 11-36. I ran an enduro with that set-up and worked great. Transfers? Move to 26t and putz along. Timed DH stage? 32t chainring. The only time it was a pain was when I wanted to ride mixed terrain without stopping. Most of the time I like to just ride up and down all over when I am solo. When stop I can change rings in 15 seconds when I run out the gearing at higher or lower end. I do agree a large range 1x is cleaner, but for low cost if you already have a 11-36 cassette? It really works. Remember you still save weight of front shifter/derailer and clean up the handlebar. Both ring being narrow wide gains the same retention. The only penalty is weight of the extra chainring which is pretty minimal (and often a 42 cog is more weight than a 26t chainring) and the stopping.
    So... bad chainline climbing, the drag and easy clogging from a narrow-wide, have to stop and fuss with the chain multiple times per ride, inadequate gearing for rolling trails, lost ability to fix a dropped chain without stopping, and inferior chain retention compared to a top guide/fd that you can't run with this set up.


    All the disadvantages of both systems, none of the benefits of either. You identified most of it yourself. If you feel it's a good trade for fashion and marginal weight weenie-ing... that's reasonable. And goofy.




    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I'm with Joe on his idea, I have run that exact same sort of setup on a few bikes with great success and you don't even have to stop to drop to the smaller ring, just flick it over with your heal. When I first built up my new Unit, that's exactly how I set it up 24/32 with an 11-36 cassette, after running that for a while using 29x3" front and B+2.8" rear, I tried a 29x3" on the rear and found it fit an worked with decent clearance, but the 3" tyre limited my cassette use in the small ring, so was not really gaining anything because I couldn't go lower than 3rd largest cog, so then made the switch to an expander cog.
    Why on earth run a 2nd chainring if it wasn't usable where it was an advantage? This sounds like an instance where 2x is a poor choice, not where 'shit at everything' is a reasonable option.



    (im not really invested in this, i just find it hilarious that anyone would defend it. It's crazy-stupid, which is entertaining.)
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  17. #17
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    As I said, when I initially set it up, I was running a B+ 2.8" Rekon and I could use both rings fully, did not know what to expect and it worked great, hardly ever needed the small granny ring, but it was there in case I did, 32-36 and then later 32-40 are plenty for nearly all but the steepest, wet climbs I do.

    I've since now removed the 24 granny as I started to run the 3.0" tyre and found the problem mentioned and now actually added a 38t in the big ring position so I have a higher road gear or for when I run B+. I run a NW 32t and the 38t is an older DH ring

    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Why on earth run a 2nd chainring if it wasn't usable where it was an advantage? This sounds like an instance where 2x is a poor choice, not where 'shit at everything' is a reasonable option.
    (im not really invested in this, i just find it hilarious that anyone would defend it. It's crazy-stupid, which is entertaining.)
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Why on earth run a 2nd chainring if it wasn't usable where it was an advantage? This sounds like an instance where 2x is a poor choice, not where 'shit at everything' is a reasonable option.
    OP had a budget of $50. how much does the cheapest 1x11 drivetrain cost, including installation tools? this is a simple solution that works, and it's cheap. not everyone can just pull wads of cash out of their butt to throw at their bike every day.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    No not really. I ran it as a dual 1x set-up.

    26t chainring with 11x36 rear Or 32t chainring with 11-36. I ran an enduro with that set-up and worked great. Transfers? Move to 26t and putz along. Timed DH stage? 32t chainring. The only time it was a pain was when I wanted to ride mixed terrain without stopping. Most of the time I like to just ride up and down all over when I am solo. When stop I can change rings in 15 seconds when I run out the gearing at higher or lower end. I do agree a large range 1x is cleaner, but for low cost if you already have a 11-36 cassette? It really works. Remember you still save weight of front shifter/derailer and clean up the handlebar. Both ring being narrow wide gains the same retention. The only penalty is weight of the extra chainring which is pretty minimal (and often a 42 cog is more weight than a 26t chainring) and the stopping.
    I started something similar last year. Crankset is SLX triple. Bash on outer, Drop-Stop 30t middle. 30/36, or 30/42 still too steep for me at roughly greater than 18% grades. Put the inner 24t back on primarily for mountain rides in GWNF. Made some 22% grades with 24/42, but it was all out heart attack effort for me.

    I use it at my regular trail for black section. Speed on that section is more flow design not wide open, so I don't spin out. Great for short very steep tech. Climbs.

    I set the chain before entering black. Never thought to try heel as in Lynx post, going to give it a go.

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
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    op is gone
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    op is gone
    I don't blame him.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  22. #22
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    Too wet to ride here now. Maybe moving to desert in December. If so, more riding time=less mtbr for me.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    So... bad chainline climbing, the drag and easy clogging from a narrow-wide, have to stop and fuss with the chain multiple times per ride, inadequate gearing for rolling trails, lost ability to fix a dropped chain without stopping, and inferior chain retention compared to a top guide/fd that you can't run with this set up.

    (im not really invested in this, i just find it hilarious that anyone would defend it. It's crazy-stupid, which is entertaining.)
    Nothing wrong with the chainline. Easy clogging? From what? Yes you have to stop and fuss. Dropped chains? That rarely happens with narrow wides I have never needed to run a top guide. In the past 20 years the only time I have dropped chains is during a shift on the front or when my chainring was worn out.

    It works well on budget. Sure a proper wide range 1x11 is better, but if you have an 11-36 and 2x or 3x crankset this a reasonable solution. I found zero driveability or usage issues when I had mine. The only issue was needing to stop and mess with it. That was only an issue on some terrain and some riding styles.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    OP had a budget of $50. how much does the cheapest 1x11 drivetrain cost, including installation tools? this is a simple solution that works, and it's cheap. not everyone can just pull wads of cash out of their butt to throw at their bike every day.
    For what it's worth, I've been looking at an SLX setup, both to keep my wife from constantly screwing up her front shifting on her townie, and for my tandem. $135 shipped from CRC for SLX RD, cassette, shifter, and a KMC chain.

    Some of the Zee parts are cheaper. Reading up here, people had trouble with the chain wrap. At minimum length it screwed up the shifting, add an inch and it doesn't have enough tension. And the SLX cassette is such a bargain it kills the savings on the RD and shifter.

    You can't do it with SRAM. All the pre-Eagle parts have evaporated from retail and they don't ship from the overseas discounters. It's annoying, I think 11-speed NX is the cat's pajamas and 12 speed a bit excessive for anything I'm doing, but that's how it goes.

    Some people have been able to get 40t cogs to work with good old Shimano long cage SIS derailleurs and no B-screw or anything. The chain tension and the non-concentric jockey take care of it. You can get an 8-speed 11-40 Sunrace cassette for <$30 shipped. I haven't yet, just because I'm worried that "some people" won't include me, and I really want my wife's bike to work right. She's not that tolerant of anything gimmicky.

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