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Old 05-31-09, 11:59 PM   #1
nauboone
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1x9 drivetrain for touring.

Does anyone use a 1x9 geared bike (or 1x8 or 1x7, whatever) for multi-day touring? Any issues you've encountered with this setup when touring? Thanks.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:26 AM   #2
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Does anyone use a 1x9 geared bike (or 1x8 or 1x7, whatever) for multi-day touring? Any issues you've encountered with this setup when touring? Thanks.
Wouldn't recommend it unless the terrain was relatively flat and you had something like 42x12x34 gearing and were traveling on the light side. I've got an 85 SR300 C'dale 1x8 conversion I use as a commuter on 'fast days' w/a seatpost rack/trunkbag combo. It's equipped w/old Shimano bar-end shifting and an 8 sp cassette 12x28t w/a 48t Rocket Ring chainring. 175mm Sugino Messenger cranks and a 103mm Sugino Track bb. Tektro dual-pivot calipers, levers, cables, housings from bikeisland.com and a Sora 27t derailleur. 700x25mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires...BARELY fit. 32h rear rim/hub and a 20h rim/hub for the front. It works really well as a 'fast' commuter, but I don't know that it would hold up under the demands of heavier loads...40-50 lbs for weeks/months of touring. My rt commute is 35 miles.

I've done a couple of overnighters w/my wife(100mi rt) and it's worked pretty well w/a rack/bags combo, but the bags were Jandd saddlebags...they don't hold much and aren't waterproof at all. That's my 2 cts, anyway. Your fitness level may be such that you can pull of a 1xwhatever, loaded excursion, but headwinds can grind one down to pencil shavings if your gearing isn't low enough. I'd say 44t 12x34 would be a pretty safe bet for anything you'll encounter. If the hills are too stiff there's no shame in switchbacks, just a little more time. Anyway, good luck, keep the rubber side down and have fun!

BTW, one can experience the mysterious malady known as ' chain drop'. Where your chain drops off your front chainring for no explicable reason. 'Paul' makes a nice product specifically designed to thwart this problem. They're 52.00US and from all reports are an excellent solution. Check the cyclo-cross sub-forum as that's where I saw it mentioned w/t website included.
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Old 06-01-09, 02:26 AM   #3
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I've done it a few times with folding bikes. It's fine for short, flat tours; you could also drop the gearing pretty low, but will lose the high end and may have issues with the descents.
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Old 06-01-09, 05:27 AM   #4
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i run a 1x9 (30t front and 12-34 cassette) on my mountain bike.....but wouldn't suggest it for loaded touring....unless you're really, really strong.
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Old 06-01-09, 06:15 AM   #5
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I did essentially that on my most recent tour. It was from Kansas City to Santa Fe. I had a triple, but never shifted from the middle ring, so effectively I was using a 36 on the front with an 11-32 on the back. I did at least 4200' of climbing in a day for one or more days, but it was all somewhat gradual.

Still, unless you will be sure of only gradual climbs, I recommend at least a double and figure if using a FD, why not have a triple.
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Old 06-01-09, 05:38 PM   #6
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I've done it a few times with folding bikes. It's fine for short, flat tours; you could also drop the gearing pretty low, but will lose the high end and may have issues with the descents.
So, spinning out/coasting is dangerous?
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Old 06-01-09, 07:10 PM   #7
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My CrossCheck was set up as a 1x9 with 34 t chain ring and 11-34 cassette. Did some shorter tours
with this set up and rear panniers - worked pretty well. I'm not a speed demon, rarely needed more
than 34/11. Once in a while I could have used something lower than 34/34. The 1x9 is a pragmatic and effective set up. A 70s touring bike did not have much of a different range than a current 1x9 with 11-34 cassette.
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Old 06-01-09, 07:14 PM   #8
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The only issue I'd have with 1x9 would be the cross chaining, apart from that it would be just fine if you did something like 40x(11x34) as that would give you a range of 98" to 31". I might even go smaller on the front ring. With a 34t ring you'd get 83" to 27". I don't think you have to be super strong to use a reduced number of gears, but you do have to pack sensibly. I just finished a tour using 2 gears 67" and 39", I had one long climb of about 5 miles at 6%, but I did push up some of the steeper hills after that. For me 67" is ample when touring as you can go along at 15 mph and if I get above 20mph on a down hill I just coast.

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Old 06-01-09, 07:43 PM   #9
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A 70s touring bike did not have much of a different range than a current 1x9 with 11-34 cassette.

You hit it. I honestly don't need anything higher than 93" or so. I toured last fall for a few days with a 20" wheel folder that had a 44/9-26Capreo cassette giving a 32"-92" range. If I"m pedalling 60-80rpm that's a 5.6mph-22mph range. I rode ten miles up a 5%-6% grade going between the second and lowest gear and didn't need anything lower. Going down that same grade I went nearly 30mph spinning and coasting.

Most triples provide a ridiculously high of gears that the average tourist will never utilize, who actually needs a 100"-117" gear on a loaded bike? My take on it is that if I need a lower gear than a 1:1 ratio I'm carrying too much gear or I"m in the dirt.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:23 AM   #10
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Today I came up with a brilliant solution for cross chaining AND rear wheel dish for such a bike: A 1x8 using 8 9-speed cogs on a 7-speed freehub. But it has a few bugs I haven't worked out yet.

Cross Chaining:
A custom cassette built with 8 9-speed cogs should be 4.34 mm (according to www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html) narrower than a normal 9-speed cassette. This reduces cross chaining, but not total gear range. Just buy an "XT as" cassette, take out the 30T cog, and you have 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-34. Or get really fancy and build a 11-13-15-17-20-24-28-34.

Rear Wheel Dish:
An cassette made with 8 9-speed cogs will fit on a 7-speed freehub, which is 4.4 mm narrower than a 9-speed freehub. I assume that 7-speed hubs have the flanges spaced farther from each other since the dropout spacing has always been 130 mm. So there should be less rear wheel dish with a 7-speed hub than with a 9-speed hub.

To get even less rear wheel dish, one could use a 7-speed moutain hub (135 mm dropout spacing). I assume this would separate the hub flanges even farther.


Here are the problems I see with this brilliant idea:
1. Is it really necessary in the first place? I read a lot of forum posts where someone writes they have absolutely zero problems with cross chaining on their 1x9. And rear wheels can be made strong in a variety of ways, including double-butted spokes, asymmetric rims, and a quality wheel build.

2. Are there 9-speed hubs designed with as much flange separation as possible in order to reduce rear wheel dish? I suppose some manufacturer could probably eek an extra 5 mm out of it if they really tried.

3. Where do I buy a quality 7-speed hub? These went out of style a while ago. Which are better - currently available road (130 mm dropouts) or mountain (135 mm dropouts) 7-speed hubs ?

4. If I want to be really extreme, and demand a 7-speed mountain hub for minimum rear wheel dish, where do I find a road bike with 135 mm dropout spacing? Anyone heard of one that will accept both 700C wheels and caliper brakes?

Thanks.
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Old 06-02-09, 05:43 AM   #11
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i run a 1x9 (30t front and 12-34 cassette) on my mountain bike.....but wouldn't suggest it for loaded touring....unless you're really, really strong.
That's _almost_ doable if you have 26" wheels. All you are really missing is the 26x34.

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So, spinning out/coasting is dangerous?
Heh...
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Old 06-02-09, 09:13 AM   #12
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Does anyone use a 1x9 geared bike (or 1x8 or 1x7, whatever) for multi-day touring? Any issues you've encountered with this setup when touring? Thanks.


I just built up a 1 x 8 touring bike using a Bike Friday New World Tourist. I ride in the Canadian Rockies so climbing mountains fully loaded is something I'll be doing regularly. It took me a few tries with the gearing to get a range that works for day to day city riding and will work for loaded touring - 46T ring with 23T cog on a Nexus 8. I haven't been on tour yet, but I have been riding around with loaded panniers climbing hills to confirm my gearing choices. So far so good.

On my LHT I use the middle ring [38T] and a 11-34 cassette 95-98% of the time so I figured getting away with 8/9 gears should be workable.

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Old 06-02-09, 11:43 AM   #13
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mine is a 29er (vassago bandersnatch).

i run a bashguard and an n-lite jumpstop to keep the chain from jumping off and a med cage der. in the back. works like a champ when i need quick shifting and no mucking about with fd adjustments. that said....it's a fairly light bike. i know i wouldn't be too happy with a loaded bike and no smaller front ring.

i need to work on strength, obviously....
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Old 06-02-09, 11:43 AM   #14
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sorry, i was replying to kuan...
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Old 06-02-09, 12:37 PM   #15
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Awesome bike vik. I'm always amazed to see people doing long distance riding on small wheels. Is your front derailleur there just to keep the chain from jumping off or do you run a double sometimes?
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Old 06-02-09, 04:44 PM   #16
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Awesome bike vik. I'm always amazed to see people doing long distance riding on small wheels. Is your front derailleur there just to keep the chain from jumping off or do you run a double sometimes?
The bike was built with a double as I was unsure if the 1 x 8 would work. I haven't bothered removing it yet just cause I'm lazy.

The small wheels [once you adjust the gearing accordingly] have no significant impact on the riding experience. If you ride 120kms/day on 700c wheels you can ride 120kms/day with 26" wheels, 24" wheels, 20" wheels like mine, etc... This of course only applies to paved roads or smooth gravel roads/paths...going off paved roads larger wheels do have an advantage when things get rough.

As a bonus small wheels are incredibly strong which is a bonus for touring.
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Old 06-02-09, 08:41 PM   #17
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sorry, i was replying to kuan...
Sorry man once Vik posted his bike you're kinda chopped liver.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:40 PM   #18
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story of my life.......;-)
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