PDA

View Full Version : Teach me about mountain bike geartrains


jeffwidman
12-19-2015, 05:13 AM
Been out of the mountain bike game for forever, but just got back into it courtesy of another forumite: http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=176361

I have no idea what I should be looking for as far as geartrain to build this thing up.

Back in the day it was fairly simple... LX if you wanted bang-for-your-buck, XT if you wanted to add a little bling, and XTR if you were massively rich.

Now it looks like there's these newfangled 1x setups? What are the pros/cons vs the traditional 3x9 (or is it it 3x10 now?)

Is there a consensus on SRAM vs Shimano?

For this particular build, my priorities are reliable, reasonably light, and cost-effective. I won't be riding the bike enough to justify paying for the top-of-the-line, plus I have no interest in bling. I really enjoy climbing so having low gears + light weight is nice. Most riding will be singletrack with plenty of log rides, rock gardens etc--I remember back in the day bending multiple chain rings doing this type of riding.

Any suggestions for what to look for in a groupset?

Is it worth paying the premium for the new 1x setups or should I just pickup a used 3x8 or 3x9 setup and replace the outer chainring with a chainguard?

weisan
12-19-2015, 05:58 AM
jeff pal, nice score, secretly wished I had seen that classified myself. :D

Anyway, I am in the same boat as you, out of the market for a long while, not as familiar as to the offerings these days.

I was looking at some builds sold on our classifieds section as reference and to get some ideas...

http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=179108
http://forums.thepaceline.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=1697912029&stc=1&d=1450496542
rame: Size medium black/ green w/ FOX Factory Kashima CTD shock
Fork: RockShox SID RCT3 - all black
Drivetrain: Full Shimano XTR M9000 2x11 spd with 36/26-11/40 (This can covert very quickly to 1x up front).
Brakes: Shimano M9000 with Freeza RT-99 rotors
Wheelset: Handbuilt XTR M9000 hubs laced with DT SuperComp spokes to Stan's Crest. Very sturdy and built to 1,450g
Tires: Maxxis Ardent Race front and Ikon rear
Cockpit: Thomson post, PRO XC stem, ENVE bars, ESI grips, PRO saddle
Other: Cane Creek 110 headset and Wheels angular contact conversion BB


http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=138450
http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb479/thepatrickschmidt/IMG_1153.jpg
Frame
Full high modulus carbon frame, Dyad XC Ultra lay-up, 100mm travel mp3 linkage design, SST tube diameters, tapered head tube, asymmetrical chainstays, Fox Float RP23 BV shock with 10mm hardware

Fork
RockShox SID World Cup, ais spring with Poploc remote lockout, external rebound damping, Motion Control, 32mm stanchions, tapered alloy steerer, 100mm travel

Wheels
American Classic Tubeless Disc with AC130 front and AC225 rear hubs, AC butted spokes and alloy nipples

Tires
Geax Mezcal 26x2.1 front and 1.9 TNT, folding

Front Derailleur
Shimano XTR M986

Rear Derailleur
Shimano XTR M980 10 speed

Shifters
Shimano XTR M980 Rapidfire Plus SL 10 speed

Crankset
Shimano XTR M985 Hollowtech II crankset, 28/40T

Brakes
Shimano XTR hydraulic disc brakes with XT 160mm 6 bolt rotors

Handlebar
Ritchey WCS Carbon Rizer bar

Stem
Ritchey WCS 4 Axis stem

Seatpost
Ritchey WCS 1B carbon

Saddle
WTB Silverado Team

Grips
Ritchey WCS Ergo locking foam grips

Cassette
Shimano XTR M980 11-36


http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=174821
http://forums.thepaceline.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=1697907454&stc=1&d=1442951603
This one you have to go read up on the orig. posting, very interesting...

http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=102689
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7028/6763652541_696f8824c7_b.jpg
oots YBB frame, titanium, 2cm travel, 18" size.
Magura Durin Marathon 120 fork, with adjustable travel from 80mm, 100mm, 120mm. The frame was built for a 100mm fork, but I've been running it at full boing with no issues. If you care to ride it closer to stock, you can lock the fork out at 100mm of travel.
Mix of generations of Shimano XTR shifty bits -- earlier cranks and shifters, more recent derailleurs. Everything works well together.
Mavic Crossmax SL UST wheelset with fresh Schwalbe UST tires -- Nobby Nic front, Rocket Ron rear. Only a few rides on the tires.
Formula K24 Oro discs with Twenty6 two finger lever. GREAT brakes.
FSA bars and stem, American Classic seatpost, Chris King headset (I will be swapping the pictured pink headset for silver.)

http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=122253
http://forums.thepaceline.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=1697853633&stc=1&d=1358363421

Frame/Fork -
Jones Steel Space Frame -23" TT (all Jones frames are 1 size - see JJ's site for specifics - Jeff Jones Bicycles)
Jones Truss Fork w/Cane Creek 110 JJ headset - 135mm spacing

Wheels -
Front wheel #1 - Jones-built Fat - 50mm rim, Jones 135mm fhub, DT spokes/nips, Surly Nate 3.8 tire, Avid 203 rotor, XT QR
Front wheel # 2 - Jones-built - Velocity P35 rim, Jones 135 fhub, DT spokes/nips, Racing Ralph tire, Avid 203 rotor, XT QR
Rear wheel - Chris King 135 ISO Disc geared hub, Velocity P35 rim, DT spokes/nips, Racing Ralph tire, Avid 185 rotor, XT QR

Brakeset -
Jones custom Avid BB7 ( XTR levers, custom-routed rigid stainless brake tubing , gore cables, nokon aluminum gear housing, 203/185 rotors)
Using the stainless brake housing that is compressionless, these brakes work better than any hydros that I have used.

Drivetrain -
XTR 970 series crankset (170mm, 44-32-22), BB, FD, RD, shifters, cassette (11-34), chain

Other -
Custom JJ truss fork headlight mount
Thomson 27.2 layback post
Thomson X4 110 OS stem
On-One Mary bars
ODI Ruffian clamp on grips
The front fender - has mounting braze-ons on DT - nice bonus

peanutgallery
12-19-2015, 06:22 AM
Location is everything, stop by th good mtb shop and get the low down for your area. Wheel size and drivetrain make a difference

For record, I have several. Current love is a 650 plus hardtail with a 1x. Loads of fun

mtb_frk
12-19-2015, 06:24 AM
I am currently running xtr 9 speed on my main mountain bike and 2x10 SRAM on my full suspension. My 9 speed stuff will be turning 10 this year and I feel like it's time to start replacing it. I will probably go with a mix of XT and xtr 10 speed. One thing is a must as far as I am concerned, a clutch rear derailleur. I have one in my fat bike and it is so nice not having any chain slap. I do feel with 2x that I am never quite happy with the gear I am in. But I never use the granny gear on my current 3x9 drivetrain.
Also SRAM vs Shimano, I have no complaints with the SRAM stuff, I just like the shimano better.

Gummee
12-19-2015, 07:31 AM
I am currently running xtr 9 speed on my main mountain bike and 2x10 SRAM on my full suspension. My 9 speed stuff will be turning 10 this year and I feel like it's time to start replacing it. I will probably go with a mix of XT and xtr 10 speed. One thing is a must as far as I am concerned, a clutch rear derailleur. I have one in my fat bike and it is so nice not having any chain slap. I do feel with 2x that I am never quite happy with the gear I am in. But I never use the granny gear on my current 3x9 drivetrain.
Also SRAM vs Shimano, I have no complaints with the SRAM stuff, I just like the shimano better.

As you're planning your upgrade, remember that S9 mtn and S10 mtn aren't compatible. You gotta go whole-hog once you start.

BTDT

M

mtb_frk
12-19-2015, 07:38 AM
Yeah I know that's one of the reasons I have been delaying doing it. My setup is dual control shifters with a rapid rise rear. I wish they still made that setup. I picked up a set of XT brakes in the classifieds already.
The nice thing with sticking with 10 speed is now all my mountain wheels will work on all my cross bikes and dirt road bike.

cmbicycles
12-19-2015, 07:46 AM
I still ride 3x8 on my mtn bike. It is easy and inexpensive, plus very reliable. The gearing options aren't as wide of course, but I am fine with what's available. As always, ymmv.

Ronsonic
12-19-2015, 08:35 AM
I still ride 3x8 on my mtn bike. It is easy and inexpensive, plus very reliable. The gearing options aren't as wide of course, but I am fine with what's available. As always, ymmv.

That's how I've been running. Then, I'm in Florida and don't need a super wide range. Our hills are dictated by the poise angle of sand.

malcolm
12-19-2015, 08:53 AM
I didn't read all the replies but I think the most important things now in mtn biking are tubless tires. They have made the biggest difference to me across any gearing and I run almost all 1X now and across all wheel sizes. I ride mostly hard tail 650b, but I do have a 26 that I ride occasionally but I'm in the process of setting it up for my daughter.

Go tubless and experiment with pressures

I think 1X is the way to go for most people and with 10spd you can duplicate at least the low end of most 2X set ups and not lose too much on the top. Wolf tooth and I'm sure others have the stuff to make it work.

If you are looking to stay on the cheap keep whatever gearing you've got if it works for you and just get a decent tubless wheelset

Dirtdiggler
12-19-2015, 09:03 AM
Me - coming out of a singlespeed format (10years), I returned to a simple 1x9 setup..
On my 29-er I have it geared with a Raceface 34t NW single up front with an Ultegra road 11-25 cassette with an XT short cage rear derailleur and XT 9 speed shifter.

The new set-up out there are ones with the ''clutch'' style rear derailleur and 12-42 rear cassette.. 1x10 and 1x11 formats.

d_douglas
12-19-2015, 09:39 AM
I bought an SLX 2x10 and converted to a 1x10z group. Simple , cost effective, reliable. I think that is best bang for your buck.

I have recentl rebuilt my hardtail with SRAM 1x10 and have been impressed. I don't like SRAM road stuff, but their MTB stuff feels very nice.

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 09:57 AM
been out of the mountain bike game for forever, but just got back into it courtesy of another forumite: http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=176361

i have no idea what i should be looking for as far as geartrain to build this thing up. i would consider starting with a 2x10 or a 1x11 set up. No need for a 3x set up. If you go 2x10, consider a 11-36t cassette and a 38x26 crankset, and you'll be set on that hardtail. If you go 1x11, consider a 11-42 shimano xt cassette and a 32t chainring up front. You might find it hard to get an off the shelf 26" wheel with a rear hub capable of fitting the sram 1x11 cassette, unless you have one built. Sram's 11 speed cassette uses a different free hub, called an XD driver. It's relatively new, but very common on 27.5 and 29" wheel sets. Likely hard to find on 26" wheel sets.


now it looks like there's these newfangled 1x setups? What are the pros/cons vs the traditional 3x9 (or is it it 3x10 now?) advantage is you do away with the front derailleur. No derailleur noise. It's simpler. Disadvantage is you only get about 95% of the range you would have with a 2x10 set up. You can get all the bottom end, but you'll miss out on top end. Or you get all the top end, but you'll miss out on the bottom end. Overall, i think it's worth it to go 1x11 (or even 1x10).

is there a consensus on sram vs shimano? either is really, really good these days. You can find shimano cheaper if you buy from the u.k. Sram controls its market tighter.

for this particular build, my priorities are reliable, reasonably light, and cost-effective. I won't be riding the bike enough to justify paying for the top-of-the-line, plus i have no interest in bling. I really enjoy climbing so having low gears + light weight is nice. Most riding will be singletrack with plenty of log rides, rock gardens etc--i remember back in the day bending multiple chain rings doing this type of riding.

Any suggestions for what to look for in a groupset? If you go shimano, xt is pretty cheap relative to how durable and light it is. I would recommend shimano xt.

is it worth paying the premium for the new 1x setups or should i just pickup a used 3x8 or 3x9 setup and replace the outer chainring with a chain guard? yes, it's worth it.

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 10:14 AM
Also, if you decide to go 1x10, this cassette works beautifully with Shimano and SRAM, and will give you all the range you need with a 32T front chainring.

http://www.praxiscycles.com/product/cassette/

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 10:17 AM
NOTES: Sram X9 and X0 2x10 and 3x10 speed cranksets are easy to covert to 1x10/1x11 direct mount chainring set ups. Shimano SLX and XT 2x10 speed cranksets can accept up to 30T single speed chainrings easy and cheaply.

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 10:22 AM
Here's my hardtail with a 1x11 set up.http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s81/ofcounsel/FullSizeRender-17_zpsxvcfu7fd.jpg

kingpin75s
12-19-2015, 11:26 AM
That frame and with this in mind:

"For this particular build, my priorities are reliable, reasonably light, and cost-effective"

I would go 2x9 for most options at best price point with a converted 3x or used dedicated 2x if you can find and have any need for a little taller setup.

If you like grip shift, the XO 9 speed stuff still can be found for a deal.

The SRAM 10 is nice if you like mixing road and mountain drivetrains due to full cross compatibility of 1:1.

I just run DA bar ends for everything road or mountain but am also a dedicated dirt dropper. DA's on thumbs are nice as well. To me there is nothing more reliable and reasonable in the long run. I also like the much cheaper 9 speed chain costs.

No interest in the 11 speed stuff so no opinion there as more likely to revet to 8 speed then take it to 11 :)

Good luck with build. Should be a nice ride!

whateveronfire
12-19-2015, 12:00 PM
Here's my hardtail with a 1x11 set up.http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s81/ofcounsel/FullSizeRender-17_zpsxvcfu7fd.jpg

Fantastic looking bike. What's the frame?

CampyorBust
12-19-2015, 01:38 PM
The fanciest stuff I have had on my mtbs is 2x10 SRAM X9, and I like it very much. I prefer it over shimano. I have ridden bikes with XT and its good stuff, I have SLX on my fat bike and it works yes but I don't like it. Try them both.

Campy for my road bikes, SRAM for my mtbs and Shimano for my fishing rods. (I don't fish :D)

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 06:52 PM
Fantastic looking bike. What's the frame?

Thanks! It's a Niner Air9 RDO!

Peter P.
12-19-2015, 07:37 PM
Good questions.

I'm a traditionalist and think the trend to 1x is a fad. Plus, I don't think it gives you high enough gearing for road riding to and from the trails or if you use it for other road purposes. I do a lot of road riding on my ATB and like that 44x12. Same with using my ATB on D2R2.

I'd stick with a triple and add a chainguard as I did.

I like Shimano but I use SRAM twist shifters because they're simpler mechanically and therefore more reliable. If I were willing to spend the money to retrofit the entire drivetrain, I'd love to try a SRAM drivetrain because their 1:1 (https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/technologies/1..1) actuation ratio sounds like it's more reliable as things age. My shifting tends to go south in the rear every 6 months or so and the only solution is to replace the rear shifter cable and the housing, and repeat, which seems like a waste of money.

I wouldn't buy high end Shimano or SRAM because bent derailleurs and chainrings (as you found out) can get expensive. LX grade parts are what I've always used and I've found them durable and reliable.

ofcounsel
12-19-2015, 07:51 PM
Good questions.

I'm a traditionalist and think the trend to 1x is a fad.

Me too. Much in the same way those darned 4 wheeled contraptions people use all around spewing out smoke and smog and clogging up roads..... Me, I'm sticking to my horse and buggy. :cool:

jmal
12-19-2015, 08:47 PM
Good questions.

I'm a traditionalist and think the trend to 1x is a fad. Plus, I don't think it gives you high enough gearing for road riding to and from the trails or if you use it for other road purposes. I do a lot of road riding on my ATB and like that 44x12. Same with using my ATB on D2R2.

I'd stick with a triple and add a chainguard as I did.

I like Shimano but I use SRAM twist shifters because they're simpler mechanically and therefore more reliable. If I were willing to spend the money to retrofit the entire drivetrain, I'd love to try a SRAM drivetrain because their 1:1 (https://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/technologies/1..1) actuation ratio sounds like it's more reliable as things age. My shifting tends to go south in the rear every 6 months or so and the only solution is to replace the rear shifter cable and the housing, and repeat, which seems like a waste of money.

I wouldn't buy high end Shimano or SRAM because bent derailleurs and chainrings (as you found out) can get expensive. LX grade parts are what I've always used and I've found them durable and reliable.

The traditionalist in me agrees with you. I think that 1x can be nice depending on where you live. Today I did 46 miles with 6,200 feet of climbing and a 1x would have been horrible. I would either have to gear for the low end with a 28 or 30 up front, or I would have to gear for the high and lose my climbing gears. People can make all the "on paper" arguments they want, but that extra granny gear can save you on a tough ride, and the big ring allows you to keep the pace up on fire roads, which are very common for linking trails in my region.

OP, I think 3x or 2x are very good options. 2x is much more common than 3x these days, but both are solid choices. I like Shimano, but I think Sram has improved their game recently. Though I don't care for 1x in my region, I have ridden their 1x lines and they seem to work very well. I was not impressed with X9 or below when I tried them in the past.

One last note. It's easy to get wrapped up in gear, but any of it will allow you to get out in the woods and have a great time. As long as the drivetrain functions properly, it really doesn't matter all that much.

Oh yeah, SLX or XT, or a mix is great stuff.

1X10
12-20-2015, 06:18 AM
I am presently running 1x with XTR across the board...34T in the front and 11-36 to propel...ENVE MTB fork...Steel HT 29...

Super simple and fun and fast...With that clutch rear der. and nw front ring I did not drop or lose one chain all season...

I do agree that trail/terrain pending 1x may not be the most logical nor is a rigid front end, but for my situation I enjoy!! Sand based single track with some roots...

BEST added value to my ride is a pair of Syncros carbon hoops a la tubeless with some fast rolling Maxxis treads...

Mindset pending I am planning to swap the whole thing out for 2016 to SS and 100mm front end(not sure I can do 120mm, due to geometry)...

I had built up rigid SS the season before and I enjoyed just as much, but that also is a choice of style...

With the amount of good product on the market you probably won't go wrong on your build...

Cheers Brian

malcolm
12-20-2015, 09:09 AM
For trail riding any of them are fine. I don't think I would want a 1X for the road.
Most of mtn biking is short hilly single track and my 1X10 duplicates my old 2X exactly on the bottom end to within 1 gear inch. I don't remember the numbers off the top of my head, but with a full season I don't think I've want more top end once. If I had lots of fire roads and smooth downhills maybe but I don't. Or maybe if I was just a better faster rider.

I think for most folks trail riding 1X is a good deal. If they are going to struggle it'll be climbing and you can still get the low end and most folks are not going to go fast enough on most trails to need more top.
But hey that's why they make more than one choice, go out there are try em and get what works for you.

Side note my spare mtn bike is 2X but the big ring has so many bent teeth you can't use it so it's effectively 1X and works fine unless you try and shift onto the big.