Overanalyzing 1×10 Mountain Bike Drivetrains
I recently made the decision to convert my fun bike (2011 Trek Remedy 9.9) over to 1×10. While I really enjoy the bike as it is now, on our local trails with the standard 2×10 that came with it, I found I spent a lot of time in the “wrong gear” as I felt I was either too fast for the little ring or the short steep sections were too much for the big ring.
I have an X0 2X crank on the bike, so the 120/80 BCD spiders did not give me very many options, especially to keep a nice chain line, but thankfully MRP created the “Bling Ring” for my situation; a chain line offset single ring that replaces the spider on my crank. (disclaimer: I paid full retail for the MRP parts in this article) It was very easy to install and works great. It took me a while of messing with gear ratios/calculators to settle on the 30T ring. While the standard 1×10 front ring is a 32, with the longer rides that I do and steep terrain of our area, I thought the 32T would be too much. With the 30T, I give up only my previous shortest and 2 tallest gears. There are hardly any times when I was in the 11 or 12 tooth rear with the 39T front big ring, or in my granniest of granny’s (26T front/36T rear), so I figured this was a good compromise. The below chart shows the gearing on the 30T with the shortest (36T) and tallest (11T) gears, as compared to my 2×10 on the 2nd shortest (32T) and 3rd tallest (14T).
The front is a bit more complicated as I needed some chain retention. A few weeks ago I converted to the SRAM X9 Type 2 rear derailleur and it’s worked very well. It does a good job of eliminating chain slap and retention on the bottom, but I still need something for the top to keep the chain from bouncing off the top of the front ring. The Remedy has a direct mount FD and a press in BB, which eliminated most of the common simple chain retention devices out there. Again MRP came to the rescue with the MRP 1X Direct Mount guide. This is a simple guide that attaches where the front FD used to. Took a light bit of filing work to get the guide low enough for my 30T ring, as MRP recommends it only for a 32T or bigger, but it worked out.
MRP 1X Direct Mount guide
I have to say that I fell in love all over again with my Remedy. 1×10 is so simple and takes a lot of thinking out of riding. It almost gives me that single speed feel in a way. Super quiet, no chain slap, and not much to think about. Wanna go faster? couple of clicks, want to go slower? couple of clicks. No need to worry about cross chaining, chain slap, chain suck. I haven’t run out of gear yet on single track anywhere. Doing some gravel road descents I have spun out, but this is the “fun” bike after all. If I’m going > 20mph I’ll either let gravity take me faster or just relax on the pedals. I would highly recommend the 1×10 setup to anyone trying to take some weight off their trail bike or looking for something a little simpler.
What do you think?