Well over the last year of riding there has been more and more talk about what drive-train people are running, and the thoughts about going with a 1×10 or 1×11 setup. Over the last little bit, I’ve been doing some research into how to retrofit the Heckler, or a new bike to run a 1x gear set up. Below is a summary of what I’ve found out. (I have not run the gearing so there will be some playing yet to do!)
The advantages with converting to a 1x drive-train are:
– Less weight with the removal of the shifter as well as the front derailleur
– Less maintenance, with the lack of front derailleur, it gives you one less item to worry about fixing, or adjusting.
– Ground Clearance for the riding that we do will be increased (depending on what size of front chainring you choose).
The disadvantages are:
– Less gearing options for climbing and descending
– Chain dropping, I know this will be almost eliminated with the use of a good Narrow Wide front Chain Ring, and a derailleur with a clutch in it, but still can creep up for sure.
From my looking around and chatting with other folks (Jonathon / Derek) about the drive-train, ideally you purchase a larger granny gear. On a typical cassette your easiest gear is either 34 or 36 tooth. The tooth is how many pointy parts there are on the rear wheel gears, hopefully that explains that. With a 1x drive-train, you want to go with an easier gear than a 36 tooth. There are kits available, online, or at your local bike shop, where you can add in an extra easier gear behind the cassette. Click the link below for information.
To give the gearing a little smoother flow, they provide a 17 tooth sprocket to replace 2 of the other sprockets.
One point to bring up on this, if you are running a Shimano rear derailleur, you will need a longer B tension bolt to accommodate the larger gear. See the below photo for which bolt is the B-tension bolt. Apparently the SRAM derailleur’s are okay with the standard bolt. Most kits you buy will come with the longer Tension Bolt, so no worries. I know the OneUP unit in the link above does not come with the part though.
Now to the fun stuff. When pricing out and trying to determine whether to run a 1×10 or 1×11, I looked at a few options. To get rough numbers on pricing, I used JensonUSA.com to pull numbers together and try to compare apples to apples. I know if you price around you may be able to get the components cheaper, and always check out your local bike shop, or give Derek at Bike Right a call or email.
What I was planning on doing was utilizing my existing crankset to bring the cost down a little bit. To do this you will need to buy a Narrow Wide Front Chain Ring. This will prevent the chain from dropping. Also, it is recommended that you use a rear derailleur that has a clutch system in it. Personally I’m going to try to run mine without the clutch derailleur just to see what happens.
For 1×11 below is a brief breakdown:
Another option for Chainrings is Wolf Tooth Cycling, Jonathon uses their chainring, and has not dropped once.
Another point that you may need to add; If you are planning on removing your bash gaurd, you will need to purchase spacers for the chain ring bolts. This will be used to make up the space that the bash gaurd or third ring would have taken.
So the long and the short of it is, if you want to make the change from 2x or 3x to 1x, why not give it a try. It may not be right for everyone, but why not give it a try.
Once the parts come in, I’ll try and do a revised post to give an update and maybe a step by step on how to make the change.