Just had a read up on the 40 and 42T rings from One up and Absoluteblack, hadn't seen them before. Not sure they'd be a great move for me as this would be a temporary solution for trips where there are bigger climbs. These are few and far between these days so the thought of stripping cassette, fettling rear mech, and fitting a new (longer) chain doesn't appeal. If I go with a smaller chainring I would hope the mech would take up the slack on the chain so I'd have minimal mucking about.
What 1x10 chainring for Snowdon?
If you manually change to a granny then the chain will have no problem taking up the slack because you'll be in the big sprockets at the back. I'm running 34t 11-36 and although it works great for 99% of my riding (everything local, trail centres and uplift days) if I was doing a big mountain ride I'd whip the cranks off and bolt the granny back on. Quick, cheap and simple.
I don't regularly need lower gears so the big aftermarket sprockets just add a lot of cost and far more fiddling to get them to shift well according to reviews, plus my shortcage mech can't take up that much slack and not having such low gears usually forces me to be a stronger pedaller.
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