Is a single chainring the way forward for general trail riding?
I have 1×9 on both of my bikes with 33T or 34T ring and an 11T-32T cassette. Lakes, Stanes (mostly GT and Inners) and local trails – don’t miss either of the other rings.
That said, it doesn’t matter one bit what the fashion is or what “everyone else” is riding. Try a 2×9 or 1×9 set-up (try just not using the big ring and/or granny for a while) and see how you get on.Posted 7 years agoslowriderMember
I’ve been running 1×9 for 3 years now, mostly 11-34×32 though did 11-34×34 for a bit. It’s fine for the peaks, got me up most of snowdon (bar the steepest bits) and everything In between and that’s always been on 32-38lb bikes too.
Just gone 1×10 11-36×33 and it’s just another click really. Its always suited me down to the ground.Posted 7 years agoTrailrider JimSubscriber
With 10-speed and 29’er-specific cassettes, you can get a decent range out back. Coupled with the right front ring, a single ring set-up gives you a pretty good ratio of gears nowadays. Is there anything to stop this becoming the next big craze for the generalist 5-6″ travel rider?Posted 7 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
I have 2×9 on my FS and have not missed the big ring. It’s tempting to try 1×9 as I reckon I could manage most of the climbs. But not all climbs and definitely not when I’m already tired. And a shock lockout would probably be desired too, to make honking feel effective.Posted 7 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
I ran 36x 11-36(ish I think)for a couple of years on my heckler. Was good until a big hill came up. Moving to the lakes pritty much sent me back to 2×9, then night rides round here got me back to 3×9 just to keep up on the tarmac sections.
Back to the original question 1×9 is fine you might need to carry more magic links thoughPosted 7 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
I’m just building up a 1×9 rigid but there’s no way I could ride what I do with a single ring, I’d have to gear it too low at the front. Fitness and route choice as ever, I’m sure some people could do the exact same riding that way or even singlespeed but not a chance for me.Posted 7 years ago
Northwind – you rode up puke hill at a fair old speed a couple of weeks ago. Not able to do that in the middle ring?
Myself I use 22 chainring with gears 1 to 6 on hills, 36 middle ring with all nine elsewhere. I use the granny gear like a low ratio box. Change down early and have loads of gears left. I do like to sit and spin my way up hills tho. Getting a bit out of puff -change down another gear!
I could climb more of the hills in a higher gear but I just don’t like the low cadence.Posted 7 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
TandemJeremy – Member
“Northwind – you rode up puke hill at a fair old speed a couple of weeks ago. Not able to do that in the middle ring?”
I was probably spinning semi-fast in a low gear. I can do steep climbs in the middle for a while but over distance- main climb on glentress black frinstance, or your average scottish mountain, or every single bloody “undulatition” while in France- I blow up, I need the lower gears to keep a sustainable rhythm. I’ll hopefully have the rigid built up soon so I’ll see how I get on with that on the wednesday rides. Badly I suspect!Posted 7 years agoPeteG55Subscriber
I’ve been running a 2×9 (11-32 cassette, 22/36 chainrings)for ages now, don’t miss the big ring one bit, can still do my bit at the front on the road back from the pub. Still considering a 1×10 setup though. I’ll be interested to see how recent developments work out, going down as far as 10t or 9t on the cassette could really be the solution.Posted 7 years agoThree_FishMember
im thinking of going down to 11-32 with a 32T front but HP sauce climb may be my only tricky bit.
The rooty path climb up to HP Sauce or actually riding up HP Sauce (great climb!)? No bother on the rooty path, but on HP I have to push up what would be the last rocky section just before the log drop at the end – everything else is rideable. I think I was on the SX Trail when we rode the rooty path in the summer, so it was a 33T front ring. I definitely used the 32T on the cassette, but it wasn’t too much effort. A little competition from Matt probably got me up quicker than I’d usually do it!
There is one technical climb, about 10m long, on the way up to the cairn from the end of the valley, that I just can’t do on any bike. I find myself wondering if I could do it on a granny ring, but I’m happy to just persevere. There’s a climbable line up it, I’m sure, and even if it means mixing some trials-type maneuvers in I’ll bloody well get it one day…Posted 7 years agojl.Member
If you’re a fit bugger then 1×10 would be great. Some of my mates have big heavy bikes with 1×9 and they do fine. I’ve got a 36/22 set up up front and that’s pretty much ideal for a fat old slow bloke like me.
I’d be happy pushing a 1×10 (say 34, 11-36) for an hour or 2 but if it was 3-6 hour ride I’d really be wanting my granny!
I’ll stick with what I’ve got thanks.Posted 7 years agohighclimberMember
I have a 3×9 on my P7 but I very very rarely use the big ring and only occasionally use the granny (unless its really steep and can be bothered to spin up it rahter than push). I am tempted (now my rear cassette has worn) to change to 1×10. Its a bit of an outlay but I think it might be a wise move.Posted 7 years ago_tom_Member
I’ve found that since riding a singlespeed road bike in a hard gear for “training” I can get up most hills in 1×9 now. This is yet to be tested somewhere with huge climbs, just stuff like Cannock and local roads (used to struggle up them in the granny ring), but I’m off to the Long Mynd next weekend, gonna try and stay in the 32t ring. I almost made it in 1×9 last time, just wasnt fit enough then. Tbh for trail centres like Cannock I think using the granny ring just makes more of a meal out of climbs as you can get up a lot quicker and easier in the normal ring.
The only annoying thing with 1×9 is that you need to get a decent chain guide if you ride anything remotely bumpy.Posted 7 years ago
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