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  1. #1
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    Best Drive Train Setup for Snowy Days

    So up till now I was happy with my 1x11 sram gx 10-42 cassette and 28 chainring setup. Then we had a big dump of snow and over along distance of riding single track, as I got more fatigued I was wishing for a lower gear. So question, for those with this experience cheapest options 26 tooth chainring or eagle drive train or just walk ? After reading MTBR drive train forum sounds like Sram Eagle is not reliable. Last question what is your setup for fat biking drive train in your backyard?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I've been running a Wolthtooth replacement 46t on my x01 11 speed cassette without any issues at all. I believe they make a 48t but I have no experience with that one. Prolly cheaper to get a 26t chainring but the 46t or 48t would give you a wider range without a lot of cost. I run a 30t oval with the 10-46

    edit: Sorry my bad they don't make a 48t

    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...1-x01-cassette

  3. #3
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    Sometimes walking is necessary. A larger cassette cog will have more effect than a smaller chainring. You can get the Wolftooth 49t which is probably your cheapest option. You'll likely need a longer chain. https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...am-and-sunrace

    Eagle works well for me, but my set up is still pretty new.
    Jason
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  4. #4
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    Down to 24t narrow-wide chainrings are available from race face, which, since you currently have a 28t, is the same as going from 42t to 49t on your cassette. Depends on if you want wider range or closer shifts.

  5. #5
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    I went with the 26T ring for winter as the cheapest option on my GX 1x11 setup, original was 30T so it made a difference when the going gets tough. I looked at the Wolftooth cassette upgrades but I believe that they don't fit the GX cassettes, just X0 and XX1 (expensive).
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  6. #6
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    This is the main reason I kept my 2x, to have high and low range. I know itís not an option but people ask me all the time why I donít switch.

    Here in Maine some of the local bike shops set up their winter rides with 26t as a standard chainring.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAGI410 View Post
    Sometimes walking is necessary. A larger cassette cog will have more effect than a smaller chainring. You can get the Wolftooth 49t which is probably your cheapest option. You'll likely need a longer chain. https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...am-and-sunrace

    Eagle works well for me, but my set up is still pretty new.
    Four things:

    1.) I am not sure what you mean by "a larger cassette cog will have more effect than a smaller chain ring". Gear ratio is gear ratio. Physics does not care if it comes from the front or the back. The larger cassette will allow a wider range of gears so that one can maintain top end speed...at the cost of bigger jumps between gears.

    2.) The Wolftooth large ring does not work with an XD driver or pinned cassettes. One needs a Shimano style free hub and a loose cog cassette. Once you buy the freehub you might as well just buy a SunRace cassette.

    3.)The GX Horizon derailleur says max cassette of 42T. Often one can stretch that to a 46t before having to add a goat link or change derailleurs. My 1x11 Shimano XT will handle a 50T.

    4.) I have found that going to an elliptical chainring smooths out the pedal stroke, reduces spin outs and makes the chainring feel one size smaller at slow speed efforts. One more thing to try.

  8. #8
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    Best drivetrain for snowy days ?
    Rohloff.

    -526% range (eagle is 500%)
    -14 speeds equal spaced (13,6% between each speeds )
    -‹ber reliable : one of mine has 16 year old , 100 000Km
    -Totaly immune to Snow or mud accumulations

    Not for everybody though : will add 2 pounds to bike , fits better on a SS designed frame.
    Expensive but it's not an issue as after 10 years , it's gonna be paid by itself because of all the cassettes/chains/derailleur you won't have changed....

    If you're the type to change bike every 2 years because of the new next big thing , it's not for you.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  9. #9
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    Put a 24t or 26t on in the winter and change it back to the 28t rest the years.
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  10. #10
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    Winter in Maryland is a joke. Couple dusting of snow and one big unrideable dump.
    To put up a good fight Iíve got 32x11-36 and an old 22T in the inner position on a 3x RF Turbine. No derailleur or shifter, I manually move it down when the need arises. Thatís more than enough gearing for snow conditions here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Four things:

    1.) I am not sure what you mean by "a larger cassette cog will have more effect than a smaller chain ring". Gear ratio is gear ratio. Physics does not care if it comes from the front or the back. The larger cassette will allow a wider range of gears so that one can maintain top end speed...at the cost of bigger jumps between gears.

    2.) The Wolftooth large ring does not work with an XD driver or pinned cassettes. One needs a Shimano style free hub and a loose cog cassette. Once you buy the freehub you might as well just buy a SunRace cassette.

    3.)The GX Horizon derailleur says max cassette of 42T. Often one can stretch that to a 46t before having to add a goat link or change derailleurs. My 1x11 Shimano XT will handle a 50T.

    4.) I have found that going to an elliptical chainring smooths out the pedal stroke, reduces spin outs and makes the chainring feel one size smaller at slow speed efforts. One more thing to try.
    In his case, he'll get more from a larger cassette cog, than he would be a 2t drop on the chainring. How he gets there though is a different question. I wasn't paying attention to the fact he has an XD driver, so the link I posted was wrong. The oval chainring is a good suggestion. I have Wolftooth ovals on 2 of my bikes and it seems to make a nice difference for my riding style.
    Jason
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  12. #12
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    Lots and lots of people running eagle around here and no complaints. 11spd is plenty of range for me, but all new bikes and all the people that buy the new stuff are on Eagle and doing fine. One thing about drivetrains in the winter is that they just work so damn good, they love snow and cold temps IME, vs. mud and other situations. Think real hard about whether lower gearing would really help, after a point it doesn't matter what gears you have, your tire is going to slip. For soft conditions, it may be a lot more about what tire vs. what gearing, although gearing can be important too.
    "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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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    I've been running a Wolthtooth replacement 46t on my x01 11 speed cassette without any issues at all. I believe they make a 48t but I have no experience with that one. Prolly cheaper to get a 26t chainring but the 46t or 48t would give you a wider range without a lot of cost. I run a 30t oval with the 10-46

    edit: Sorry my bad they don't make a 48t

    https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...1-x01-cassette
    I have the wolf tooth 49 replacement on a FS fatbike and it works really nice, but you do have to make sure to get the additional derailer modification. Not sure though I would want that setup in the snow since the gear is aluminum and it could wear pretty quickly and given the cost i agree just change out the cassette. But you might still need to buy the derailur modification to run a larger cassette.

    One my snow bike I have a 50 tooth steel cassette with a oval 26 in the front. Worked really nice in the 10+ inches of snow we got last night.

  14. #14
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    I've been using SRAM Eagle since my bike was new last year. It has been completely reliable and the 50 cog is great for deep snow.
    What isn't reliable about it?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best Drive Train Setup for Snowy Days-47c58371-baf3-4909-872e-43022f4e96eb.jpg  

    Best Drive Train Setup for Snowy Days-20171118_154408.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by headwind View Post
    I've been using SRAM Eagle since my bike was new last year. It has been completely reliable and the 50 cog is great for deep snow.
    What isn't reliable about it?
    I've been looking into Eagle for my Bucksaw, LBS said they had some issues with the GX derailleur at first. He said that the cage could bend slightly and cause the chain to ride up onto the top of the 50 cog, the newer models are supposed to have a more rigid cage like the X0 model. Not sure if this is accurate but that's what I was told. A review on Bikepacker.com seemed to back this up.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenPsz View Post
    I have the wolf tooth 49 replacement on a FS fatbike and it works really nice, but you do have to make sure to get the additional derailer modification. Not sure though I would want that setup in the snow since the gear is aluminum and it could wear pretty quickly and given the cost i agree just change out the cassette. But you might still need to buy the derailur modification to run a larger cassette.

    One my snow bike I have a 50 tooth steel cassette with a oval 26 in the front. Worked really nice in the 10+ inches of snow we got last night.
    The 42t cog is aluminum on on stock xx1 and xo1 10-42 cassettes and been running them since 2011 in WI in the snow without issues. Actually I believe I've had less wear in the winter than summer but that strictly snow riding and not slop.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    The 42t cog is aluminum on on stock xx1 and xo1 10-42 cassettes and been running them since 2011 in WI in the snow without issues. Actually I believe I've had less wear in the winter than summer but that strictly snow riding and not slop.
    That is good to know since I was worried about that cog wearing faster than the steel ones.

  18. #18
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    I've done a handful of GX Eagle installs and they've all been fine. Key is making sure the derailleur hanger is straight and the b screw adjustment is critical. It's also easy with the tool.
    I like turtles

  19. #19
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    What size tires are you running? When I get much lower than 28/42 - It gets hard to balance because I am going too slow.

  20. #20
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    Cheapest easiest thing for the OP to do is install a smaller chain ring. 28 will help but a 26 is better for riding in soft or deep conditions. The downside is youíll top out quickly with a 26 on plowed, hard surface roads.

  21. #21
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    I worked my way down from a 28t to a 24t chainring (race face cinch crank) on a 10-speed set-up. Rear cassette has a wolf tooth 42 T conversion. Gear inches for my low gear on 26 inch and 4.5 tire is 17.79. Priceless on those long snow grindy climbs. We have a lot of those in Utah.
    ďNothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a \mountain or fat/ bike.Ē ~ John F. Kennedy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by letitsnow View Post
    What size tires are you running? When I get much lower than 28/42 - It gets hard to balance because I am going too slow.
    I donít find it too low but wouldnít want to go much lower. Itís not like Iím spinning out or anything, I just donít see a need to go slower. The 22/42 is nice when pulling the sled up Maine hills in the woods and the 32 ring is for level ground.

    Best Drive Train Setup for Snowy Days-77420e1e-0f70-4e7d-9f95-d730b1fd80ef.jpg
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    I donít find it too low but wouldnít want to go much lower. Itís not like Iím spinning out or anything, I just donít see a need to go slower. The 22/42 is nice when pulling the sled up Maine hills in the woods and the 32 ring is for level ground.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That looks like quite the set up!

  24. #24
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    My 26"x4.8" fatbike came with 30T chainring and 11-42 11-speed. In snow i got stuck, or slipped dpeneding on where in the stroke the crank was. i figured an oval chainring will help. i ended up with a 26T AB oval chainring. thsi improved the above slipping/stuck situation a lot.

    I still was lacking a bit low end and installed a 11-46 cassette. I never spin out, and have enough low end.

    there are situations where in deep snow and in deep grass and bushes i wish for more low end, but honestly, that is so slow and gets into tire traction issues anyway to not matter. I'm pretty happy now.

    On steep upclimbs with loose soil or snow I end up slipping when i get out of my saddle for extra torque, but again, we are more getting to tire than gearing limitations here. i bet losing 10 pounds and gaining some muscle is more effective at this point.
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  25. #25
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    Well the snow is a bit more compact now guess some of my issues are lack of experience and fitness but Iím no slouch either. Was out today and with the amount of snow we have until it gets more compact requires me to ride in the three easiest gears , current tires Gnarwhal 4.5s. Further getting another gear would be a nice luxury to get up a hill I havenít been able to, or ten more feet in winter conditions.

    Great comments about drivetrains for winter use.

    Cheers

  26. #26
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    I'm running Eagle X01 with a 30t ring. Plenty of low and high end. Works perfect for me here in Anchorage.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by letitsnow View Post
    That looks like quite the set up!
    It works well. Iíve had over 100lbs on it and it still moved Ok. The skis are easily removed for when/if I get to a road and need it to roll.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner.989 View Post
    Well the snow is a bit more compact now guess some of my issues are lack of experience and fitness but Iím no slouch either. Was out today and with the amount of snow we have until it gets more compact requires me to ride in the three easiest gears , current tires Gnarwhal 4.5s. Further getting another gear would be a nice luxury to get up a hill I havenít been able to, or ten more feet in winter conditions.

    Great comments about drivetrains for winter use.

    Cheers
    Of course, and fatbikes are one place where real low gears can be helpful, for things like pedaling slow up ice, as any jerky movement or too high of a gear will make you slip, or pedaling through a bunch of new snow, or fighting winds and drag and so on. The only caveat to that is that I've noticed over the years that an "easier gear" doesn't always let me ride stuff I couldn't ride before, as in my body has a max output and it can adjust to gearing changes in a few weeks, but that doesn't increase my max output. I've done both, gear up and gear down, it didn't really let me climb anything I couldn't climb before or hold me back. The one reason I geared up on one bike was that I never used the easiest gear, so I wanted to use the full range.

    IMO, fatbikes are a great use for Eagle, while I fail to see the necessity in summer conditions, I am perfectly happy on 11, but there are situations on fatbikes were you need and want very low gearing, lower than I'd ever want in the summer time for sure. Still, think hard about whether this will really make the difference you think it will. IME, gearing up (making it harder) in 2 weeks you'll be riding 98% of the same stuff as before and in 2 additional weeks, you won't even notice a difference.

    Eagle is a no-brainer though, 32-50 is great and 30-50 is marginally better for some people.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner.989 View Post
    After reading MTBR drive train forum sounds like Sram Eagle is not reliable.
    Do not read that shit - just install the Eagle GX and enjoy/get your own experience and opinion!
    It's awesome. Since/after Eagle appearance - there is no use to look on something else.

  30. #30
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    I have no Eagle experience, but the low-hanging RD may be an issue in deep snow and grass etc.
    the OP already has 11-speed, so staying with 11 speed is cheapest for now
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  31. #31
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    Nice website for calculating gear inches and other ratios. BikeCalc.com - Fixed Gear Calculator
    ďNothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a \mountain or fat/ bike.Ē ~ John F. Kennedy

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
    I have no Eagle experience, but the low-hanging RD may be an issue in deep snow and grass etc.
    the OP already has 11-speed, so staying with 11 speed is cheapest for now
    Nope. I have been running Eagle on my fat bike in deep snow for two years and never had a problem with the rear derailleur. It has been excellent.

    Keep in mind that running lower gearing also helps when airing down the tires for better traction and/or float in softer snow or tough climbs. It was why I swapped the 32t ring for the 30t. Sometimes the conditions may put you right on the margin with respect to the lower tire pressures required and having that low end is the difference between being able to "ride it" or "push it".

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner.989 View Post
    After reading MTBR drive train forum sounds like Sram Eagle is not reliable.
    Yeah...not sure what that's about. I have Eagle 1 x 12 on my fat bike going on my second year with it. 30t chainring and 10-50 cassette. Zero issues. Never touched it last year when I rode the bike and just last week for the first time I did some fine tune adjustments on it. Only cuz it was shiftting a little clunky. Cable stretch I would suspect. Some small adjustments to the Hi/Low screw and B-screw...good to go. Shifts/works just fine.
    Last edited by prj71; 2 Days Ago at 12:03 PM.

  34. #34
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    From various forums/reviews it seems that Eagle is very particular about its setup, especially the hanger alignment and b-screw setting. If those two are right then it appears to be fine.

    32T chainring to 50T cog is almost the same ratio as 26T to 46T and 24T to 42T, all are in the 17" gear-inch range, much lower and you'd be spending lots of energy in keeping upright. I currently run 26T oval chainring with 10spd 11-42 cassette, so 18 GI bottom end, and that's actually plenty range (for me) as I rarely use the 11T and the 12T doesn't get that much use either. I'd sooner have a 10spd 15-46 cassette with closer ratios than a 12spd 10-50 cassette with big gaps.

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