I bought my Diamondback Overdrive 29er last Friday, and took it out every day since then (today was the 5th day of ownership, and thus the 4th ride), averaging probably an hour per trip through about 5 miles of somewhat technical trails. After the first day, I found myself not using the front derailleur just because it seems to shift rougher, and have begun to discover that I can do everything I need to on just the middle gear of the front set, and about the largest 4 gears on the rear cassette. I find that my best climbing so far has been done with the front deraileur on the middle sprocket and the rear on the lowest one, and I can climb to the limits of traction or balance (wheelie or lose traction). I generally seem to stay on 2nd gear on both ends, and only on the flat gravel roads between trails have I gone to 3rd or even 4th gear.
So, I was thinking I might be able to save some weight and gain some subjectively-romantic simplicity by going to perhaps a 1x5 setup? I would likely start with 1x9 just because it would be relative easiest, and because at least for a while I don't know if I'd ever be interested in riding street again (commuted on a cross-comfort for a few years).
I found this with some good info about it, but are there any other how-tos?
Also, what are you thoughts on this?