Long Termers: Ed’s Ibis Tranny

P1030454

Ed's last report on his cross country Tranny build...

In my last post I was building up this XC race bike build and ever since then I’ve been riding it. The weight conscious will be interested to know that the bike you see weighs 22.8lb or 10.3kg. This includes pedals and inner tubes. That’s light enough for me, but you could go tubeless or put carbon cranks on and so forth to get the figure even lower.

I’m more used to riding All Marketing bikes, which weigh around the 30lb mark, so the lightness of the Tranny, especially on climbs was marked. I actually wanted to ride this bike up the biggest hills rather than finding an easier way round and I enjoyed big ringing the bridleway tracks rather than just mooching along them in search of the next technical descent lines. Not that the Tranny is only good for ‘boring’ trails, it loves to be pumped through the bumps and dips and razzed round the banks and corners. It’s not a bike for the super steep or the radical rocks though, because of its geometry, and if you want to ride these places you would be better served elsewhere in the Ibis range with a Mojo HD. This won’t be news for those of you that ride specific XC bikes, but it is an important consideration if you are in the market for a Tranny. The Tranny is best put to use, going as fast as you can, pedalling hard everywhere, until your legs snap and your lungs pop. I made an effort not to turn this build into another Calderdale bike and the build reflects this. In this post I’m just going to look at the drivetrain.

I’ve been very impressed with the Shimano XT 10 speed drivetrain. Shifting is lighter at the lever than the 9 speed XT that I have on another bike. With 24, 32 and 42 tooth chainrings up front and 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 28, 32 and 36 tooth cassette sprockets at the back there is a gear for everything from ‘broken and far from home’ to ‘I am the king of speed’. The transitions between chain rings are very smooth and I did tend to change between front rings more often than usual which helps keep an even pedalling cadence. Did I really just say that? With the 36 tooth ring on the cassette you can climb anything in the 32 tooth middle ring, but that is missing the point, as you get very efficient ratios by not just using the granny ring as a last resort.

I’m a big fan of Shadow rear mechs. It makes such sense to have a vulnerable and expensive component as tucked away and out of danger as possible. Response at the mech has been great and this has included plenty of riding in the wet and muddy. By chance I read the instructions that comes with the 10 speed chain, not something I normally do! Turns out you have to run the chain a specific way round. No idea what difference it makes, but again the whole system has worked smoothly and efficiently for me, so make sure you read your instructions if you decide to invest. There is no sign of wear yet on any of the gear teeth.

So do you need to change to 10 speed? Not really because the 9 speed stuff is going to carry on being produced and it works just fine. Having tried it though, I am sold and I would want to have it fitted if I was buying a new bike, and I would spec it if I was building from scratch. It’s a small step, but it is definitely in the right direction.

10 speed chains will run on a single 9 speed chain ring, so even though it is not being marketed in this way, there is nothing to stop you buying the components you need to run a 1×10 speed drivetrain. To me and I’m sure many others, this is a pretty exciting idea. That 36 tooth cassette sprocket with a 34 tooth single chain ring and chain device is going to make the All Mountain flexible-but-simple-drivetrain-of-the-future dream come true.

Drivetrain prices:
M771 XT 10 speed 11-36 cassette £64.99
M770 XT 10 speed chainset £209.99
M771 XT 10 speed front derailleur £34.99
M773 XT 10 speed SGS Shadow rear derailleur £69.99
M770-10 XT 10 speed Rapisfire shifter pods £99.00 for the pair
HG94 10 speed HGX chain £39.99

That’s all for now. I’ll update again soon with a review and details of the wheels, tyres, pedals and the rest.

Ed Oxley

Categorised as:

Long Termers

Tagged with: