Upgrade from 3×9 to 1×10 on the cheap

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  • Upgrade from 3×9 to 1×10 on the cheap
  • hardtail5
    Member

    So I’ve spent plenty of time and money getting my 3×9 setup working well, it’s obviously time to consider changing it all again.

    It’s on a 2010 Rockhopper, I believe it’s a SLX rear mech, 11-34 XT cassette and Deore 3/9 speed shifters. As far as I know the parts are original 2010 bar the consumables.

    So if I were to start collecting parts to do the conversion…

    Is the Sunrace 11-46 cassette the one to go for?
    What shifter is recommended to work with my current derailleur? Do I need to avoid the Dynasys ones to be backwards compatible?

    Do I need anything else to do it on the cheap other than a shifter, cassette, chain and narrow/wide front ring?

    Cheers!

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    You need to look up the definition of “upgrade”.

    Premier Icon dirkpitt74
    Subscriber

    If going 1×10 you’ll need a new rear mech too as the current 9spd won’t have the range.

    Premier Icon drewd
    Subscriber

    The Shimano 10 speed MTB shifters need a 10 speed rear mech. It won’t work with your 9 speed rear mech as the cable pull ratio is different.

    Based on that have you considered going 11 speed?

    richardthird
    Member

    Obviously I don’t know where you are, how fit and what sort of riding, but I converted my boy’s 3×9 to 1×9 by just swapping in a 30t NW ring. Works great – simplified gearing, less to get clagged up and go wrong, and lighter.

    30t’s have captive nuts so you can use the existing bolts.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    For shimano mtb bits, you need 10 speed mechs to work with 10 speed shifters. Unless you’re picking up 10 speed bits second hand silly cheap, I’d go 11 speed.

    hardtail5
    Member

    That answers that question then, I need a new derailleur too…

    Why wouldn’t it be an upgrade?

    I think I’d struggle with 1×9 at the moment although I could try it for the price of a chain ring I guess – not a bad idea.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Why wouldn’t it be an upgrade?

    Less gears/smaller range

    Just done 2x for my kids and not much weight difference given the massive cogs folk put on the back now to save weight

    The sunrace cassette is over 400g my XTR 9 speed is just over 200 g
    Yes 1 x is nicer but it depends on if you have the legs for it and my bike ha to big a jump from 2nd to 1st ration wise in 1 x set up

    andreasrhoen
    Member

    proposal, if you go a lot uphill, also VERY steep and LONG uphill:

    roughly 220 bucks:
    “new” Deore M6000 set.
    2 x 10
    Front 24 – 34
    rear 11-42
    (short version Deore Shadow+ (RD-M6000))
    The complete set is in “winter sale” right now.

    Your bike needs a Hollowtech II bearing. This is normally not included in the Shimano Deore M6000 “set”.

    Above: nothing fancy. Not sexy. But low cost and works well for good UPHILL focus.

    Isn’t 1×11 considerably more expensive than 1×10?

    Diminishing returns on a cost/ performance ratio.

    Just asking, cos I’ll be going 1×10 as an when I buy that e-bike kit!

    andreasrhoen
    Member

    roughly 220 bucks:
    “new” Deore M6000 set.
    2 x 10

    forgot, if above is an option at all:

    don’t order the version for I spec II (or similar) shifter mounting. You need shifters with their “own” clamps on the bar. Your old 2010 Rockhopper brakes levers won’t be made for “direct shifter” mount like “I spec II”. I spec II makes only sense if you buy new brakes as well… Then you get a very clean looking cockpit. But doesn’t make sense to spend money there.

    Bang for the buck: 2 x 10
    Very low cost spares. Excellent performance. Ideal for trail biking.

    you can get 10spd shifters quite cheap second hand. I got a saint shifter for under £10 including postage.

    richardthird
    Member

    Defo try the 1×9. 30/34 lowest gear on 26″ is proper twiddly & you’ll be wanting the chainring anyway.

    andreasrhoen
    Member

    and this is more in the 270 bucks range:

    Shimano SLX group 1 x 11 , 11-46
    crank Shimano SLX FC-7000-1 1 x 11 , 170mm/175mm
    front you can pick SLX 30, 32, 34 ?
    SLX CS-M7000 11-46
    Shimano SLX 11s medium RD-M7000GS
    chain Shimano HG601

    uphill you still have the smaller gear when going 2×10
    2×10: 24 / 42 = 0.57
    1×11: 30 / 46 = 0.65

    With your old 3×9 setup you might have also around 0.65 ?
    Means – if this SLX set fits (which I don’t know) you won’t loose the smalles gear when converting to 1×11.
    But with the 2×10 Deore M6000 you gain a smaller gear…- and it’s cheaper / less wear…

    joebristol
    Member

    I mean 1×11 works great in my experience, although I have Sram gX.

    I ran 1×10 before which was 10speed GX with a surface 11-42 cassette and 32t chainring.

    Prior to that it was 2×10 just with a Sram non series double chainset and x9 front derailleur.

    Previous bike was a triple Shimano with shimano shifters and derailleurs (xt and 9 speed I think). It worked ok but when in the biggest rear cassette / granny at the front it just used to catch the back tyre.

    I’ve not had any massive issues with range since leaving the triple. The 1×10 basically had the same easiest gear as the 2×10 as I worked out the ratios before swapping to the nw chainring at the front.

    The 1×11 is perfect for what I do (mostly trail centres) as it has a 30t chainring / 42t largest cog st be back which is plenty for steep hills. The 30t / 10t is rarely used as by the one I’m going that fast it’s usually a bit hairy on the terrain I ride.

    For your swap I’d say either do it very cheap and try 1×9 and see how that goes. If there’s not enough range then you’re going to need a new shifter / cassette / derailleur.

    Unless the 10 speed components are massively cheaper than 11 speed I’d go with 11 speed. The derailleurs are designed better to hit the biggest cogs on the cassette in 11 speed – 10 speed with anything over about a 40t biggest cog is a bodge. You usually need a longer b screw – or with some Shimano rear derailleurs you need a goat link / radr cage.

    If you go 11 speed you could put on an 11-46 and reliably shift through the cassette with either Shimano or Sram. Might be worth looking at Sunrace for a cassette as they can be cheaper.

    If you are willing to go with either brand it might be worth checking the price for Sram nx vs shimano Slx for 11 speed kit.

    PJM1974
    Member

    I didn’t find it too much of a leap to go 1×10 with an XT drivetrain and a Sunrace cassette.

    I’ve not tried the 11-46 cassette, but I have successfully used 11-42. Shift quality wasn’t on a par with dedicated 1×11 XT, but it was good enough. Clearance was an issue, I had to replace the B screw in the mech with something longer to clear the largest sprocket. If you’re going 11-46 then you may need to consider this, or a modified link from mech hanger to mech itself.

    If you’re going 1×10 with a wide range cassette then use SRAM – the rear mechs don’t need all the mucking about with Goatlinks, RAD cages, etc, that Shimano does.

    montgomery
    Member

    I’ve just been through this, having worn out my last 3×9 drivetrain. Looked at prices and ended up going 1×11 XT conversion in the Black Friday sales – shifter, mech, 11-42 cassette, single ring bolts (on existing triple cranks), chain and Hope 32T chainring – for a lot less than the £270/220 mentioned above. The individual bits were as cheap/cheaper than any of the 9/10 speed stuff at the same level.

    Took it for its first proper ride today.

    No problems clearing climbs I cleaned with a standard 3×9 setup, but I’m concerned about spinning out based on a recent 3 day trip (I couldn’t use the 42T chainring because it’d worn out). A 24/34 chainring setup on the front doesn’t make much sense to me.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    go straight to 11 speed if your thinking of 1x
    If 2x then 10 speed is good.

    Premier Icon crashrash
    Subscriber

    11 spd 1x if you can find the kit for the right money – SLX should fit your freehub – SRAM stuff will need a new one, or Shimano 2×10 – and there should be plenty of deals. The range is as good as 2x11spd and the deore stuff is very good – a decent upgrade on any 2010 gear.

    guglielmo
    Member

    Listen to scotroutes.

    If I had 1 x 10 I’d upgrade to 3 x 9

    smiffy
    Member

    So I’ve spent plenty of time and money getting my 3×9 setup working well

    so just ride it then. what are you trying to achieve?

    andreasrhoen
    Member

    Listen to scotroutes.

    If I had 1 x 10 I’d upgrade to 3 x 9

    🙄

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    The Shimano 10 speed MTB shifters need a 10 speed rear mech. It won’t work with your 9 speed rear mech as the cable pull ratio is different.

    Based on that have you considered going 11 speed?

    This.

    However, and as a confirmed 1×11 user, I’d seriously consider putting together a cheap 2×10 with your existing crank and new rings using carefully ebayed castoffs if I wanted to this for cheap. Unless you’re touring, 2×10 still has serious performance advantages over 3×9 IMO and fair enough for some people and use cases over 1×11 too.

    If you’re seriously considering putting an expanded 1×10 together from scratch (crank is your only transferrable component) – don’t. Even when it’s working well, proper OE 1×11 is better in every way – and if doing it from scratch – cheaper too.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb
    Subscriber

    My 1*10 set up works a treat. But if was upgrading from 9spd I’d go 1*11.

    I ride in the lakes so plenty of hills. 29″ wheels with 32:42/11. Rare I’m walking up anything.

    ocrider
    Member

    I recently converted my 29er from 3×9 to 1×11. Got a m8000 mech and sunrace 11-42 cassette from the local classifieds, had a 32t narrow wide in the garage, so all I needed was a chain and shifter. It works fine; although not quite as slick as the GX setup on my other bike, the range is good (I could have gone 34 on the chainring, but there isn’t one in the parts bin)

    raincloud
    Member

    You coukd do what i did on my cheap hardtail. Buy one of these in 12-36

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mobile/shimano-alivio-hg400-9-speed-mtb-cassette/rp-prod119945

    And a cheap 30T narrow wide.

    Should cost you about 60 quid in total.

    exapno
    Member

    I changed from 3×9 to 1×10, not as cheaply as I’d have liked though. Kept the same crank and had to get a new chain, front chainring (30t Works Components), SLX shifter, SLX rear derailleur, XT 11-36 cassette, 40t expander ring (Works Components again) and 16t cog (Shimano, from Bird). I could have saved money with an SLX cassette but you have to get a bit McGyver on that one as the first five or so cogs are one piece. The XT are separate so it’s easier. The 16t replaced the 15t and 17t and the 40t slotted on the end. It might actually have been cheaper to get the 11-40 Sunrace but at the time I couldn’t find much information about their quality and longevity so I went with Shimano. The Works Components stuff is excellent value for money and works really well.

    I’d probably have more range if I had a 2×10 but I usually run out of leg power and energy before I run out of gears. If I’m walking up stuff (as I did an embarrassing amount on a ride in the Peaks this year) I’d still be walking it with a 3×9 or a 1×11. Perhaps not with an eBike though…

    All said and done, it was worth it. I prefer the simplicity of a single front NW ring. More tyre clearance, better chain retention etc. I reserve the right to go 2×10 at some point though. As has been mentioned, try 1×9 and see how you like it.

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    As with all gearing mods, it’s well worth spending a while gaming the ratios with a gear calc and some personal honesty about what *you* actually use. You’re the only one that’s going to be pedalling it, so there’s little point taking someone else’s ratios and discovering that you’re much fitter than them and spin out all over or they’re much fitter than you and you keep running out of climbing gears. 1X is all about simplicity, sure – but getting it right for you involves deciding the compromise that fits your riding habits. You really need to get to 1×12 Eagle before you realistically have the bottom and top end available to a 2×10 setup, so for any 1×8, 1×9, 1×10 conversions or 1×11 outright purchases, spend a bit of time making sure you’ll have the best compromise of bottom and top for you.

    I like gear-calculator.com It’s simple and makes comparisons easy.

    submarined
    Member

    Meh, I can live with having a little less range/greater step been ratios purely for the massive increase in chain retention over any multi ring setup.
    I’m so over dropping chains. I’ve lost a total of one in the past year and a half of owning multiple single ring bikes. Previously I wouldn’t have been surprised at one per ride.

    Horses for courses, if most of your riding is done on milder terrain then chances are multi ring setup will be perfect. If you’re into riding rough, rocky, rooty stuff then chances are 1x will suit your riding more. It doesn’t mean either side needs to tell the other they’re completely wrong.

    Anyways, following with interest as I’ve got an old non clutch, non NW 1×9 setup I’m keen to replace but on a bike that’s not used much, so don’t want to spend leads.

    whitestone
    Member

    I’ve found that I don’t need the 400% range of a typical 27 or 30 speed drivetrain, even with the 270% range of my 1×10 I’m rarely using either the 11T or the 40T. Just about all of my riding is long distance cross country but even with the steep hills around us 32:32 or 32:36 will get me up them (on a 29er) – the 40T tends to be reserved for very long easy angled fire road type climbs when I’ve got the bike loaded with bikepacking kit, better to be in a slightly higher gear to have some “oomph” if the terrain is tricky or steeper.

    As vincienup says, spend time working out what gear ratios you currently use and particularly what you don’t or what you use very rarely. For your top ratio something like the ratio you can push for ten or fifteen minutes along a flat surface like a canal towpath seems about right. Most of your riding (close to 90%) should be in the middle of the block with a little on the next to outside cogs and a small amount on the very smallest and largest cogs.

    It takes a while to get used to the limits of 1x, you have to be prepared to put more effort in, It took me about 3 months before it clicked. At the same time I began to get stronger and by the time the chainring had worn out after about a year I was able to fit a chainring 2T bigger. If I’m heading somewhere very hilly then I can fit a 30T again or i I’m going somewhere fast and flat I’ve a 34T. 2x/3x proponents would just say fit a front mech but it’s not often I have to do this and it lets me keep the simplicity and reliability of the single chainring.

    Three years ago when I went 1x there weren’t really any wide range cassettes available (or at least at a sensible price) so I went the XT cassette plus expander cog. Now I’d just get something like the Sunrace 11-40 or 11-42.

    chilled76
    Member

    What back wheel are you running?

    I would go SRAM GX 1×12 if it were me. Groupset is £300 a lot of the time now and if you’ve got bc discount then £270. If you can change your freehub then do it and if not get a cheap 26 second hand rear wheel with a SRAM freehub body.

    That way you get the 1x upgrade but don’t really lose out on ratios

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