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Old 09-09-15, 05:20 PM
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williamskg6
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Sanity check

I'm new here, but wanted to see whether my plans are do-able or in need of adjustment.

I have a Jamis Allegro flat bar road bike that currently has a compact double drivetrain 50/34 front, 12-25 rear, 8 speed rear (16 total gears), Shimano components. I've tried to get used to the compact double, but just don't like it. It's constantly needing front derailleur trimming and I dislike the way the gear ratios are distributed which requires constant front and rear combo shifts to get to the next gear ratio up or down. Additionally, I'd like to get a slightly lower lowest gear and I don't need the highest gear I currently have.

Here's my thought: convert it to a 1x9 drivetrain (or 1x10 if my bike can accept it). My proposed list is:
11-34 9 speed cassette (Deore XT)
Convert a triple crank to single, 42t chainring in the middle position
Shimano Zee rear derailleur
Shimano Deore XT 9 speed shifter

This should keep me in a similar range of gear ratios and give me a slightly lower low gear at a penalty of slightly less aggressive top gear. What I don't know is if you can use a 9 speed chain on a 10 speed derailleur. Also, most people doing 1x10 in with cassettes in this range are using 32 or 34 teeth up front. Are there potential issues using a 42 tooth chainring in this setup?

Last, how can I tell if I can put a 9 speed cassette on my rear hub or if it has to stay 8 speed? If it will take 9, will it take 10 (making a 1x10 instead)? I'm pretty new to this swapping components thing. I'm open to using 10 speed as well, but don't know if my hub can accept it.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you all can provide.
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Old 09-10-15, 10:32 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by williamskg6 View Post
I'm new here, but wanted to see whether my plans are do-able or in need of adjustment.

I have a Jamis Allegro flat bar road bike that currently has a compact double drivetrain 50/34 front, 12-25 rear, 8 speed rear (16 total gears), Shimano components. I've tried to get used to the compact double, but just don't like it. It's constantly needing front derailleur trimming and I dislike the way the gear ratios are distributed which requires constant front and rear combo shifts to get to the next gear ratio up or down. Additionally, I'd like to get a slightly lower lowest gear and I don't need the highest gear I currently have.

Here's my thought: convert it to a 1x9 drivetrain (or 1x10 if my bike can accept it). My proposed list is:
11-34 9 speed cassette (Deore XT)
Convert a triple crank to single, 42t chainring in the middle position
Shimano Zee rear derailleur
Shimano Deore XT 9 speed shifter

This should keep me in a similar range of gear ratios and give me a slightly lower low gear at a penalty of slightly less aggressive top gear. What I don't know is if you can use a 9 speed chain on a 10 speed derailleur. Also, most people doing 1x10 in with cassettes in this range are using 32 or 34 teeth up front. Are there potential issues using a 42 tooth chainring in this setup?

Last, how can I tell if I can put a 9 speed cassette on my rear hub or if it has to stay 8 speed? If it will take 9, will it take 10 (making a 1x10 instead)? I'm pretty new to this swapping components thing. I'm open to using 10 speed as well, but don't know if my hub can accept it.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you all can provide.
Assuming 700x25c tires, your current setup gives you a low of 35.9 gear inches and a high of 109.9

Changing to a 42t and 11-34 cassette would give you a low of 32.6 and a high of 100.7.

A 32 up front would give a low of 24.8 and a high of 76.7, which is mountain bike low gearing range, and IMO that's why the 1x10 and 1x11 setups are popular for mountain bikes. 24.8 is considerably easier to climb with than 32.6 and almost low enough for light touring.

I'm not aware of any issues using the 42t other than that when people change gearing it's usually to gain either significantly lower or significantly higher gearing, and since your proposed change does neither, all it really does is eliminate the front derailleur and the weight of the other chainring. It seems like having your front derailleur troubleshot or even upgraded might be a better bang for the buck solution, but that's just me.

Whether your rear wheel can mount a 10 speed cassette is a function of the hub, do you know what hub you have? Hubs that can take 8/9/10 are common and I've seen some that can take 8/9/10/11, but far fewer.
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Old 09-11-15, 11:36 AM
  #3  
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Your proposed setup will not work, because the Zee rear derailleur is not compatible with the XT 9 speed shifter.

The Zee rear derailleur (RD-M640) is "dyna-sys", Shimano's newer indexed shift standard for 10 and 11 speed MTB.
The XT 9 speed shifter is SIS, Shimano's older indexed shift standard for 6-9 speed MTB and 6-10 speed Road.

If you want to run 10 speeds in the rear, use the ZEE RD with a 10 speed MTB shifter, or use any 8 or 9 speed MTB RD with a 10 speed Road shifter.
If you want to run 9 speeds in the rear, use any 8 or 9 speed RD with your XT 9 speed shifter.

If your hub fits 9 speeds then it will fit a 10 speed cassette just fine.
You can run a 10 speed chain on a 9 speed system, usually without problems. You shouldn't do the opposite (9 speed chain on 10 speed system) because the 9 speed chain is wider and may rub on the other cogs.

Also, changing your front crank to a triple seems unnecessary. You'd have to fit a different bottom bracket as well because the triple requires a longer spindle.
Instead, you could just find a 110 BCD ring in 40 or 42t for your current crank, and run it on the inside or outside position (whichever gives you the best chain line). If you fit the ring on the inside position, you could run a bashguard ring on the outside.

For the best results with a 1x setup, look for a "wide-narrow" ring, which has better chain retention than a stock ring made with shifting ramps and pins. Or, use a chain keeper in place of your front derailleur.
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Old 09-12-15, 09:32 PM
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williamskg6
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
If you want to run 10 speeds in the rear, use the ZEE RD with a 10 speed MTB shifter
I guess it comes down to whether I can use 10 speeds on my hub or not. I have Alex AClass AKX R1.0 wheels, for which I can find no specifications. The cassette is a SRAM PowerGlide 850 8-speed at current (stock). The only clue I can find is that I've seen other bikes that use AKX R1.0 wheels that come with a 9 speed cassette, which would imply that I could go with at least a 9. Based on your information, it sounds safe to assume I can go with 10 speeds if I want to.

So, it sounds like if I want to use a Zee derailleur I need Dynasys compatible shifters. That is good to know. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Also, changing your front crank to a triple seems unnecessary. You'd have to fit a different bottom bracket as well because the triple requires a longer spindle. Instead, you could just find a 110 BCD ring in 40 or 42t for your current crank, and run it on the inside or outside position (whichever gives you the best chain line).
The reason I had thought of going with a triple crank is to use the middle chainring for a "better" chain line. I suppose the least expensive route would be to try switching out the chainring like you suggest and just try both locations out to see which seems better. I guess you just look for which location gives you the best shifting results. Am I right? How is "proper" chainline determined?

Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
For the best results with a 1x setup, look for a "wide-narrow" ring, which has better chain retention than a stock ring made with shifting ramps and pins. Or, use a chain keeper in place of your front derailleur.
Again, great information for the uninformed (me). Thanks!

I guess I have three options:
1. Shimano Zee 1x10 (with dynasys compatible shifters)
2. 1x9 or 1x10 with some other Shimano rear derailleur & shifter that can handle the cassette
3. SRAM 1x10

At current I lean toward the Zee setup because I like the idea of the shorter cage, but it looks like I have some research to do.

Last edited by williamskg6; 09-12-15 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 09-13-15, 07:39 AM
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I'm about to do a similar conversion, I rarely ever use the small chainring except for the very lowest gear, so I feel it's kind of a waste and I'd rather all my gears be in order and sequentially shifted like a 1x setup would be. I'm probably going to use the 44t Wolf Tooth Dropstop chainring (narrow-wide, meaning each teeth alternates to fit perfectly in the narrow and wider spots in every link of the chain). XT 11-36 cassette, and either a road derailleur with a dropped bracket or the XT derailleur. I have no experience with flat bars and what shifters you could use, I'm planning on brifters (possibly Campy 10 spd Ergos with a Jtek cable adapter). Probably a winter build for me. Good luck with your build!
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Old 09-13-15, 09:40 AM
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If it was my bike, I'd do two things:

1. I'd replace my cassette with an 8-speed 11/34 cassette. that'll give you the slightly lower hill climb gear that you want. You'll also need a new, longer chain and a mountain bike rear derailleur to make it work. It'll still be a whole lot cheaper than replacing your shifters and crankset.

2. Try to retrain your mind. Think of your compact double as two 1 X 8 drivetrains, one for riding on the flat and one just for climbing hills.
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Old 09-13-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
1. I'd replace my cassette with an 8-speed 11/34 cassette. that'll give you the slightly lower hill climb gear that you want. You'll also need a new, longer chain and a mountain bike rear derailleur to make it work. It'll still be a whole lot cheaper than replacing your shifters and crankset.
Yeah, that would work if I had a derailleur that could handle it. I have a Sora short cage, which can't handle more than 25 teeth maximum, so a derailleur replacement (Deore XT) would have to be included.

Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
2. Try to retrain your mind. Think of your compact double as two 1 X 8 drivetrains, one for riding on the flat and one just for climbing hills.
That brings me back to one of my biggest gripes about the compact double - front derailleur trimming. I have a front shifter that has trim clicks, but on the low chainring I can only get to fourth gear before needing to trim. Then, if I keep going up on the back, I can only get to 6th gear before needing a trim again, which the shifter doesn't have (one trim stop for low ring, one sort-of trim stop for high ring but you have to go to your high ring to get the option to drop down to that other stop, which is difficult to get to since you have to lightly click or you miss it). So, I have to move up to the big chainring, which requires a shift on the front, a trim on the front, and a shift down on the back, all just to go up ONE gear ratio. There's just too much shift, shift, trim with a compact double.

I understand the theory of a compact double, but in practice I find it frustrating, hence the plans to go 1x9 or 1x10.
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Old 09-13-15, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by T Stew View Post
I'm about to do a similar conversion, I rarely ever use the small chainring except for the very lowest gear, so I feel it's kind of a waste and I'd rather all my gears be in order and sequentially shifted like a 1x setup would be. I'm probably going to use the 44t Wolf Tooth Dropstop chainring (narrow-wide, meaning each teeth alternates to fit perfectly in the narrow and wider spots in every link of the chain). XT 11-36 cassette, and either a road derailleur with a dropped bracket or the XT derailleur. I have no experience with flat bars and what shifters you could use, I'm planning on brifters (possibly Campy 10 spd Ergos with a Jtek cable adapter). Probably a winter build for me. Good luck with your build!
I've thought about putting a regular road handlebar on my bike and switching to a brifter too. I'm not sure how doing that would affect my bike's handling, and brifters are pretty expensive (not to mention not compatible with the v brakes I have), so I abandoned that path. I think it'd be fun to get an old-ish steel lugged frame and make a 1x10 out of it, similar to the Fairdale Weekender Drop. I'm not quite ready for an adventure like that, so I figured I'd mess with my existing bike first.

As for the chainring, I've been looking at those Wolf Tooth chainrings too, but I might go with the Race Face narrow-wide. Still haven't decided upon anything!
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