Giving 1x9 a go and I just wondered what other peoples experiences have been of running 1x9 or 1x10 on their trail bikes.
1x9 and 1x10 on your trail bike
I'm interested to know how well the chain stays on without a jump-stop or some alterantive.
This is one of those recurring themes!
I've been running 1x9 for about three years now and it worked fine for me but my riding is always 'winch your way to the top, blast down as fast as you can'.
I now run 1x10 - the gearing has always been 32t front 11-34t back and now 11-36t back. The extra gear in 32x36 means that you can pretty much ride up anything where it is faster to ride, but you're still limited on very technical climbs.
If you really enjoy the challenge of long technical climbs then I don't think a single front ring is for you.
But if you want to lose a chunk of weight (about 1lb), simplify the bike and your riding, then it's a great choice.
You will absolutely need some sort of chain retention device, other than a front mech. Front mechs are useless as chain devices.
The single top guides work very well, some better than others though.
The MRP 1.9 is OK, but the back plate is quite flexy so if the chain is derailed on the bottom of the ring and you back pedal, the tourque causes the backplate to move and the chain falls between it and the chain ring and is then a pain to remove.
If you don't back pedal then there's no problem; the chain will just hook back onto the ring.
The e13 single guide is much stiffer and doesn't have this problem. A lot of people use Paul's Components type retainers (also the DMR one) and they seem to work also, but I can't see them being as good as the e13 one.
Anyone who says you don't need a retainer is obviously not riding anything remotely rough off road.
I love it; it works for me and my riding and I think a lot more people will be finding it works for them also.
I'll be running an e.thirteen LG1+ so there should be no problems with loosing the chain. I did consider fitting the cheaper XCX but I wasnt 100% convinced as it lacks the lower roller.
Well interestingly I also ran an e13 LG1+ and just recently I actually removed the lower guide and bash ring to see what difference it makes.
First off it saves a weight weenie 100g, which isn't much but I was doing this as part of a '100g here, 100g there' programme and managed to knock 1lb off the bike, which took it below that magical 30lbs psychological barrier.
It actually works very well. My local riding is woodsy, technical with no rocks but lots of roots so I don't need the bash guard for the majority of riding.
The chain does come off the lower part, but always comes straight back on when I pedal forwards and the back plate is stiff enough to resist the issue I described above.
The best part is that it's really easy to refit the lower part; you don't even have to take the chainset off, it just slots back in. The bolts go from the back of the device, so I aim to refit it for rides where I will need it but save a bit of weight where I don't. It's really very versatile.
EDIT - pardon the repetition, I was typing at the same time as other posters.
You can try 1x9 for as long as you like by just not changing your front gears. You'll need to learn how to adjust your approach to shifting and your riding technique, then reconsider, depending on the trails you typically ride, what size front ring you use. I tried 32, 33, 34 and 26 before settling on a 34T on my HT and a 33T on my FS.
In my experience, chain retention of some sort is mandatory. Use nothing, and you will, with some regularity, lose you chain at some point, especially if you ride anything other than groomed trails. Use a top-only guide, and derailment will be much less - usually limited to the odd occasion when you back-pedal on rough ground (like when you adjust foot position going into a corner, for example). A (properly fitted))full chain device will guarantee that your chain remains in place.
cheers geetee. I was thinking a 32t front ring with an 11-36 cassette will be spot on, but as its a pricey experiment i thought i would try 1x9 first.
I am firmly in the 'get off and push if i cant pedal any faster' camp so it may suit me.
Yep - makes sense to try before you spend a whole chunk of cash. Shimano make a 12 or 11 to 36 9-speed cassette you can try to get a real sense of whether the gearing works or not. It's heavy, but cheap.
i had considered swapping the LG1 for an XCX before fitting it but your thoughts on removing the lower roller as and when required will give the best of both worlds. Lower rollers usually add quite a bit of resistance to pedalling so for longer rides i may remove it as you suggest.
yes that's a really good point; I notice the lack of resistance now versus with the lower guide.
The other thing you will find if you do go 10-speed, is that the narrower chain gives you just a little more clearance on the front guide, which will elliminate any annoying rubbing you may end up with on a 9-speed chain.
This has been one of those very much appreciated but unexpected benefits of going 10-speed for me as suddenly the bike is so much quieter and the transmission is freer and smoother.
I've got 1x9 on a rigid XC bike but I'm thinking about it for one of the big bikes. The only thing I would say is that the only time I miss the low gears is always a time when I really miss the low gears And running a 32T means I sometimes miss the high gears too. So even on a very light, not especially fast bike I'm hitting drawbacks. 11-36 cassette would reduce that I'm sure.
But most of the time it's great. Using a Superstar XC chain device on mine and it works perfectly on the move even though it's just a regular Shimano shifting chainring, the chain does jump off the bottom often while moving the bike around though.
I run 1x9, 36 on the back and 11/34 out back
I find its great for me as i've got enough big gears on the downs and the ups i just stand up and go for it.
I do find i miss it on long all day epics when it feels like its uphill for several miles.
For past few months i've been running a front mech and bash as a chain device while waiting on an actual chaindevice.
Its been ok you do need to make sure that the mech is adjusted perfectly though and when it does manage to come off its a ball aches trying to get it back.
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