Is a single chainring the way forward for general trail riding?

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  • Is a single chainring the way forward for general trail riding?
  • TandemJeremy
    Member

    depends on the hills where you live.

    Depends how fit you are. For me- granny gear is essential 22/36 bash FTW.

    Spin away from 2.5 mph to 25 mph. that’ll do me

    cynic-al
    Member

    Wot TJ says.

    For many 1 x 10 will look awesome and be cool, but the IT middle managers & keyboard warriors will need a granny gear to puff up the trail centres, presuming they ride out of the car parks.

    Real riders will still be on single speeds.

    ziggy
    Member

    Triple for me still thanks (3×9), although tempted to go 2×10 soonish once may drivetrain wears out.

    Suits the flatish terrain that surrounds me. still don’t like the idea of losing the big ring though, I like to pedal down as well as up.

    RealMan
    Member

    What’s the biggest range cassette you can get now? 11-36? If you want to ride everything without compromise, I don’t think it offers you quite enough range.

    nacho
    Member

    Real riders will still be on single speeds. ❓
    Gears rule (specially the granny on steep climbs) From a IT keyboard warrior riding real trails darn sarf

    SpokesCycles
    Member

    I find 1×10 with a 36T cassette to be a wonderful thing, but it’s not for everyone. Most will still need the versatility of a triple.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    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.

    slowrider
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon Trailrider Jim
    Subscriber

    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?

    cann68
    Member

    “Real riders will still be on single speeds”
    Wow, i didn’t know that, i’ll have to let my daughters (7&9yrs) know. 🙄

    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.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    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 though

    geetee1972
    Member

    What I am not sure I get is why people running 1×9 or even now 1×10, use anything other than a 32t front ring. Seriously can’t imagine anyone being under geared on 11t back 32t front unless they’re on a road or fire road.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Best set up is a single front and rear 🙂

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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.

    tang
    Member

    well im 1×9 soon to be 1×10 on a 29er. seeing as ive a normal 3 ring crankset i have choice. 1x for local and drop a small ring on for long days out in the big hills, even got the big ring if needed.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’m gonna try 1×10 next season for racing, probably a 34 with 11-36, I reckon that’ll be low enough. We shall see!

    crotchrocket
    Member

    1×7 enough gears and flexibility & shit don’t wear out. End

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    7 speed shit do wear out yo, and you can’t get decent bits, and the ratios is whack, 10 speed is the shiz. Innit.

    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?

    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.

    CaptJon
    Member

    My knees would explode without being out to spin.

    Premier Icon R.lepecha
    Subscriber

    11-32-32 here 8 speed. can climb anything with it.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    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!

    foxyrider
    Member

    Oh dear – come and live in Devon – Double set-up at the very least I would say is vital!!

    carbon337
    Member

    Three_Fish – how do you find 1×9 at the place we cant talk about 😉

    im thinking of going down to 11-32 with a 32T front but HP sauce climb may be my only tricky bit.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Given what I can ride up on the singlespeed I’d have thought 1×9 was pretty sensible.

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    Oh dear – come and live in Devon – Double set-up at the very least I would say is vital!!

    nope, 1×8 ( alfine ) is fine, ta. probably not as quick as you though. 😉

    Premier Icon PeteG55
    Subscriber

    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.

    Three_Fish
    Member

    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…

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    R.lepecha – Member

    11-32-32 here 8 speed. can climb anything with it.

    Yeah right.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Anyone know if a the new 10spd 36t XT cassette will work with an older style 9spd rear mech ? Running a 34t 9spd at the moment & there’s not much clearance when the chain is on the 34t cog.

    ojom
    Member

    Yeah right.

    some people can do just fine up anything on anything TJ.

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    Indeed. I’ve seen sharki breeze up stuff in 32:16 that I’m huffing and puffing up in the granny.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    Often when you are in the granny ring you would be quicker getting of and pushing, it’s just stubborness that keeps you going. One of the good things about the ss is that when I do have to get off, it’s nice and light to push up.

    Mackem
    Member

    PeteG55 – Member
    going down as far as 10t or 9t on the cassette could really be the solution.

    that’ll be that new Hope cassette/hub thing then.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Anything tho?

    jl.
    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.

    highclimber
    Member

    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.

    _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.

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