Drivetrain choices for a heavy bike (Highline)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Drivetrain choices for a heavy bike (Highline)

    I went on an XC ride yesterday with some friends, and while I was pushing my DHR uphill I had some time to think about what kind of drivetrain I should put on the Highline. Originally I was thinking about running dual rings up front, so I can hang out with granny on the climbs, but then I started wondering if it is really worth it? Does it really save any energy spinning a 22/34 gear uphill with a 42 pound bike compared to walking? Or should I just go 9 speed with a single 32 or 34 up front and 11-34 cassette in the back? I really don't mind walking sometimes. After riding XC for a number of years, I eventually came to the realization that I didn't actually enjoy gnarly steep tech climbing at all. Since I can't afford a Sherpa, and I like to ride a lot of trails that are non-shuttle-able, I need to figure out the easiest and least painful way to get a bike like this to the top.

  2. #2
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    I prefer to granny up if I can over pushing if things are not too steep. Just seems faster and a bit more interesting.

    I think if you already have a DHR as your pure shuttle bike, then 2 rings on the Highline makes sence.

  3. #3
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    Two rings with a chainguide! Why walk if you don't have to. Besides, the Highline virtually pedals itself. 22/32 for me with and 11/34 on the back. 42 lbs never felt so light!
    Last edited by El Chingon; 08-04-2008 at 02:14 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Haven't built mine up yet, but I'll be running a single 34T w/ 11-32 cassette. My main reason is that I don't really anticipate doing the type of climbing on this bike a granny would require, and a single ring allows me to run a better chainguide (MRP system 3). Plus the bike will be leaner; one ring and no FD. This all said, am eyeing the new Truvativ gearbox for a possible future integration into the Highline (if I feel I need more gearing options).

    P.S. It's a good question to ask yourself - will I actually be climbing a lot with a 35 lb + bike? Personally I don't mind pushing a FR/DH bike in the steep sections and then pedaling the moderate inclines.

    P.P.S. I love pushing uphill and passing XC nerds who absolutely have to climb everything.

  5. #5
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    I'm running 22-32 front and 11-34 rear on my Highline.

    Honestly. I hardly ever drop to the 22 ring even when climbing. If it's steep enough to require 22, then I'm likely already doing wheelies up the hill.

    Although, it is kinda nice to jack the seat up and spin away in 22 when I'm tired and wanting one more DH run.


    Is anyone running a Highline with no giude? My frist run out I didn't have a derailleur or a chain giude and just ran it on the 32 ring. I was doing drops and jumps and didn't drop it.
    Since installing the chain guide, I find the increased friction and noise to not be worth it if it is not required to keep the chain on.

  6. #6
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    There's no way I'll do a dual ring setup on mine. I may go with a slightly different gear combo at first (because I have a cassette on hand), but eventually I'll do 34 ring in the front and 34 casette. I can climb almost anything with in 32-32 on my rfx, and for the "limited" climbing that the highline will see, that will be plenty. On all the other DH/FR I actually had harder gearing than what I'll have with the highline. Unless you're doing a lot of STEEP climbing, I'd say the 22 isn't really worth it, and if you go with a 26 or so then you'll have a lot of redundancy in the gearing as well.
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  7. #7
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    I like having that little front ring, when I run single I tend to blow up trying to pedal it. I run a 22-36 and an 11-34. Depends on your terrain I guess, but having the double is definatly less painful.

  8. #8
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck
    I run a 22-36 and an 11-34. Depends on your terrain I guess, but having the double is definatly less painful.
    Thats a great point, why not run a double and taller gears? I run a 22/36 up front, the 36 is great for whistler's jump lines, and anything taller than a 36 would be useless going uphill.

  9. #9
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    Maybe

    If you are testing out things then I would try the single ring version first, a 36 up front and an 11-34 at the rear.
    If you fit the other easier options you will get comfortable with them and be loathed to change, removing parts you have paid for.

    If you don't like the initial set up you can go for the 22-36 at the front later.
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  10. #10
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    I found that I can walk up the steep hills nearly as fast as crawl up them with a 22t granny so I took the extra security and lower weight and went to a 34t front single ring guide. Now I'm bumping that to a 36t since I have a true XC bike to ride when I want to climb. Coincidentally, I run a 26/36 double on my XC bike since the extra efficiency and lower weight make me a stronger climber.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog
    I found that I can walk up the steep hills nearly as fast as crawl up them with a 22t granny so I took the extra security and lower weight and went to a 34t front single ring guide. Now I'm bumping that to a 36t since I have a true XC bike to ride when I want to climb. Coincidentally, I run a 26/36 double on my XC bike since the extra efficiency and lower weight make me a stronger climber.
    x2, not to mention that you'll usually grow into harder gear combos and they won't be as bad as you think.
    "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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  12. #12
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    Me? I HATE pushing. Don't care how slow I'm going, so long as I'm sat in that saddle pedaling. If I wanted to walk somewhere I wouldn't bother bringing a bike. Its one of the reasons I very much doubt I'll own a bike much bigger than my RFX. However much I like shredding the DHs, I've still got to be able to pedal back up. Pushing to me simply equates to not being good enough to ride. (and yes I do have to push sometimes. I still don't like it )

    (22/36 and an 11->32)

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