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AustinBike

What if the world moved back to 10-speed?

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For me there comes a point where the gearing gets too low and you just spin like crazy not really covering any distance. I'd prefer a slightly harder gear that helps me cover more distance faster. On road I always turned a bigger gear than most people. I very rarely came off the big ring even a stop light I'd start off in the big ring.

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FWIW, I've 46t largest cog on both my mtb, one is a 10spd using a Sunrace HG type cassette and 32t ring with 165mm cranks (hardtail) and the other is my main mtb that has 11spd e13 xD type cassette and 30t ring with 165mm cranks (RIP9); NC (east of the mountains) doesn't have the long climbs either and next spring i'll see how well it works for me in Pisgah but for the short steeps I do have it's fine. I also changed Maria's old Switchblade from 3x9 to 1x10 using the same SunRace+SRAM GX/X01 setup and it works fab for her.

I just can't see the value in spending the $ for 12 speed of any type at this point, I find the SRAM GX rear-d with X01 or X11 shifter work just peachy for me, i'm sure there's nicer in some ways but this stuff is durable and cost effective.

To me drivetrain tech has advanced a fair amount, of course the vendors are shipping it more on the newer styles, but using reasonable quality level components to build and not letting it get all crapped-out in muck is a better way to have a well running drivetrain than spending a kilobuck.

Not that it matters here, but my 10spd Campy Veloce drivetrain from 2006 that is on my road bike still runs perfect. At the rate I use that bike though it'll probably only get replaced when the whole bike is replaced. Still, good quality + maintenance does pay off.

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6 hours ago, bear said:

Not that it matters here, but my 10spd Campy Veloce drivetrain from 2006 that is on my road bike still runs perfect. At the rate I use that bike though it'll probably only get replaced when the whole bike is replaced. Still, good quality + maintenance does pay off.

My Ultegra 9spd from the same year as your campy is still going strong.  That bike has a total of 16k miles, now on dedicated trainer duty.   The frame was making me nervous but the drivetrain and the wheels David Hartley built me are the best.   The one thing I did is take apart the front shifter to grease it (don't recommend taking it apart).

Edited by AntonioGG
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zombie thread check in ... ran 30t ring with 46t large cassette 11 spd a few months ago in NC mountains (Pisgah!), with 165mm cranks, 29er wheels ... all good. long grinds are still long grinds but no problems. Going to try 32t ring next time I go (march or earlier) but take both 29 and smaller wheelset out a paranoia.

i switched to 165mm cranks this past year on both my mtb and I gotta say it's a good thing, don't miss 175 at all. yet.

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15 minutes ago, bear said:

i switched to 165mm cranks this past year on both my mtb and I gotta say it's a good thing, don't miss 175 at all. yet.

I went from 175->170 a few years ago and I think it was positive as far as rock strikes, but negative in that it feels like I'm always one gear higher.

I was just thinking about putting 175s on for the dragonslayer next month.

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personal experience: crank length is mostly optimized for your body proportions. too long, and the angle that your knee has to flex at the top of your pedal stroke is too acute. your knee will start to flare out at the top of your pedal stroke. run your cranks as long as your knees can stand if you want them longer, or as short as you want, within reason. (I confirmed with slow motion video and a digital goniometer that 170s work well for me and if I go longer, my knees flare out all over the place.)

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When they become available,  I'm going to try the box billet 9spd 11-50 wide ratio cassette and matching shifter. I have both 11spd and 12spd platforms I can experiment with cassette reduction.

12spd, particularly in flatlandia, is just dumb. 

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@mack_turtle.. IMO slight loss of flexibility from aging or other body changes play in. Long time ago when u was fitted closely for a road bike islander with 170 cranks, got the bug to test last year for the 165 on mtb and it just worked for me.

@ATXZJ.. agreed, don't need crazy range, dropping 9 & 10 cogs makes total sense for me too.

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3 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

personal experience: crank length is mostly optimized for your body proportions. too long, and the angle that your knee has to flex at the top of your pedal stroke is too acute. your knee will start to flare out at the top of your pedal stroke. run your cranks as long as your knees can stand if you want them longer, or as short as you want, within reason. (I confirmed with slow motion video and a digital goniometer that 170s work well for me and if I go longer, my knees flare out all over the place.)

Is there any kind of rule of thumb for crank length? I have been running 175 all my life. 5’ 11” with a 32” inseam. Wonder if 170 would bring any benefits? 
 

Also, is there a difference/advantage for a singlespeed?

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My take is that it's related to upper & lower leg & foot length.

For me, 5' 9" with 32" inseam and 42.5 foot, 165 is great. My guess is SS or not doesn't really factor, you'd adjust me hanical leverage with gearing. But my knees don't like SS mashing with lots of hills so I haven't done that since '14 so don't take my opinion.

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2 hours ago, bear said:

My take is that it's related to upper & lower leg & foot length.

For me, 5' 9" with 32" inseam and 42.5 foot, 165 is great. My guess is SS or not doesn't really factor, you'd adjust me hanical leverage with gearing. But my knees don't like SS mashing with lots of hills so I haven't done that since '14 so don't take my opinion.

Well, after years of riding with you, I also learned to not take your advice at face value because you are a monster on the trail. I think there is a "bear factor" that we need to add in, some kind of multiplier to adjust for us normal folks.

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On 10/23/2021 at 9:48 AM, AustinBike said:

Is there any kind of rule of thumb for crank length? I have been running 175 all my life. 5’ 11” with a 32” inseam. Wonder if 170 would bring any benefits? 
 

Also, is there a difference/advantage for a singlespeed?

Singlespeed would not make a difference. One could predict a good crank length based on some static measurements and a database of thousands of bike fits (I have a book with this kind of data), but a careful analysis of spinning legs would be more useful. Inseam is only part of the story because there is no predictable geometric relationship between where the bottom of your pelvis is and where your hips joint (greater trochanter) are. That's why I resorted to slowmo video and a borrowed carpentry laser. 

Imagine putting 250mm cranks on your bike (and ignoring obvious pedal strike and toe overlap problems). You'd probably still set the saddle hieght the same height from the bottom of the pedal stroke, but think of the knee hinge required to turn it over at the top. Your knee will start to flare out and you'll feel that after some miles. If the ideal crank length for a rider's leg proportions is closer to 170 and they have 175s, it will be subtle and take a long time, but it might really start to bother the rider. Personal experience tells me it can make your riding miserable.

Whatever crank length you're using, if your knees and hips don't hurt, don't over-think it.

Edited by mack_turtle
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50 minutes ago, mack_turtle said:

 

Whatever crank length you're using, if your knees and hips don't hurt, don't over-think it.

Thats pretty much where i'm at. My trailbike has 175s and my park bike has 165s. Both bikes have very similar cockpit dimensions and I can't tell any difference in fatigue/pain from changing bikes. Wife has 170s on both of her bikes and shes 5'3 w 30" inseam. 

On the topic of drivetrains, got confirmation that the box 9sd does not have the same pull as 10spd and is like other traditional 9s. That and also the fact they will want $625 for the 1 prime 9 kit makes it a no-go for anything from box.

This does look kinda interesting though. Check out that cassette weight and 1to1 derailleur pull ratio😎

https://www.sram.com/en/sram/mountain/series/ex1?filters=&sort=Relevancy&page=1

Edited by ATXZJ
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So this topic has been of some interest to me and I usually stay out of the mm discussions of reach, HT lenth, etc. because the hours I get in a saddle hardly qualify me as an expert. That being said, by chance I ended up with 175mm on my FS and 170mm on my HT. I switched them because of excessive rock strikes on the FS. I was shocked at how much difference it made, probably a 95% reduction in rock strikes and no noticeable increase on the HT. I can't say I notice anything other than placebo in leg effort but If anything I feel like I have less leverage on my FS now. 

Then I saw this, and I want 165mm on both bikes now...

 

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Just went down to 8spd, the easy way. Bought the Sram e-bike 11-48 8spd cassette, and tossed it on the bike, set the stop for the derailleur and worked just like it did with the 11spd cassette. As a bonus, it was 150 grams lighter than the Box/Sunrace 11-50 it replaced. Seriously considering doing this with my 12spd XTR if it works well on the trail.

Box One 11spd Shifter

XT M8100 12spd Long cage derailleur 

Sram XG-899E 8spd Cassette

KMC 11spd chain

 

 

 

IMG_20211028_152221013.jpg

IMG_20211028_154106557.jpg

Edited by ATXZJ
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16 hours ago, ATXZJ said:

Just went down to 8spd, the easy way. Bought the Sram e-bike 11-48 8spd cassette, and tossed it on the bike, set the stop for the derailleur and worked just like it did with the 11spd cassette. As a bonus, it was 150 grams lighter than the Box/Sunrace 11-50 it replaced. Seriously considering doing this with my 12spd XTR if it works well on the trail.

Box One 11spd Shifter

XT M8100 12spd Long cage derailleur 

Sram XG-899E 8spd Cassette

KMC 11spd chain

 

I'm confused... Is the spacing on an 8 speed e-bike cassette the same as on an 11 speed cassette? Otherwise, the setup you described shouldn't work, right? And if the spacing is the same, that would mean the 8 speed cassette would have to be narrower, right? Meaning you'd have to add some kind of spacer on the freehub body to account for the narrower cassette.

Are we dealing with a "bees shouldn't be able to fly, but they can" type situation here?

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10 minutes ago, olddbrider said:

I'm confused... Is the spacing on an 8 speed e-bike cassette the same as on an 11 speed cassette? Otherwise, the setup you described shouldn't work, right? And if the spacing is the same, that would mean the 8 speed cassette would have to be narrower, right? Meaning you'd have to add some kind of spacer on the freehub body to account for the narrower cassette.

Are we dealing with a "bees shouldn't be able to fly, but they can" type situation here?

Cog spacing is the same as 11spd. There is a large spacer machined into the back of the cassette placing it more outboard. 11t is in exact same location as 11spd cassette. 

The EX1 derailleur and shifter are also 1to1 so an eagle derailleur would also work with the EX1 shifter 

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On 10/23/2021 at 8:01 AM, ATXZJ said:

When they become available,  I'm going to try the box billet 9spd 11-50 wide ratio cassette and matching shifter. I have both 11spd and 12spd platforms I can experiment with cassette reduction.

12spd, particularly in flatlandia, is just dumb. 

Not too long ago, I pushed a much bigger gear than I do now and I appreciate the range the 12spd provides. Mainly a GB rider and the smaller jumps between gears helps on the stuff I like to ride.  

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1 hour ago, Sluggo said:

Not too long ago, I pushed a much bigger gear than I do now and I appreciate the range the 12spd provides. Mainly a GB rider and the smaller jumps between gears helps on the stuff I like to ride.  

fair enough. What cogs do you find yourself in most often?

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I made fun of those 52+ cogs until I had to ride extended climbs above 4500ft elevation.  I'm sure I'll be using them tomorrow on Courtyard.  That's the other thing about those big cogs, I don't use them on shorter rides, but on long rides when I'm trying to save the legs, they are handy.  The thing that I find weird is that my bike came with a 38t chainring, which means the easiest cog puts me about the same as a 30t chainring and 42t cog.  I don't understand why put more un-sprung weight and lesser chainring clearance.

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11 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

I made fun of those 52+ cogs until I had to ride extended climbs above 4500ft elevation.  I'm sure I'll be using them tomorrow on Courtyard.  That's the other thing about those big cogs, I don't use them on shorter rides, but on long rides when I'm trying to save the legs, they are handy.  The thing that I find weird is that my bike came with a 38t chainring, which means the easiest cog puts me about the same as a 30t chainring and 42t cog.  I don't understand why put more un-sprung weight and lesser chainring clearance.

I did a ride from ~7,000 to ~10,000 on a 36T with a 36T on the front. It was not that hard. But I agree that courtyard and Jester would be better on a 50T. Haven't been training so I am passing on the EB this year, next year I plan to see how the Occam handles it. There is even a fairly good chance that I do a solo EB before the end of the year, depending on how I feel.

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16 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

I made fun of those 52+ cogs until I had to ride extended climbs above 4500ft elevation.  I'm sure I'll be using them tomorrow on Courtyard.  That's the other thing about those big cogs, I don't use them on shorter rides, but on long rides when I'm trying to save the legs, they are handy.  The thing that I find weird is that my bike came with a 38t chainring, which means the easiest cog puts me about the same as a 30t chainring and 42t cog.  I don't understand why put more un-sprung weight and lesser chainring clearance.

Totally agree on having a bailout gear when needed. Those things have helped me limp home more than once. My main issue with 12spd etc is what I consider all the unnecessary cogs/ratios mid-cassette. We are riding up and down punchy trails, and not a flat or -1 or+1 degree road for dozens of miles like a road bike. I can also see a need in XC racing for having a lot of gears to chose from, but not the 99% of the rest of us who just ride around for fun/exercise. I found that I spent most of my time in the first and last three cogs on my 180mm bike's 11spd cassette, and the wear confirmed this. The switch to an 8spd seem like a no brainer for that bike, but may not be completely practical for a trailbike. 

4 hours ago, AustinBike said:

I did a ride from ~7,000 to ~10,000 on a 36T with a 36T on the front. It was not that hard. But I agree that courtyard and Jester would be better on a 50T. Haven't been training so I am passing on the EB this year, next year I plan to see how the Occam handles it. There is even a fairly good chance that I do a solo EB before the end of the year, depending on how I feel.

I also find myself usually leaving the shifter in a 1 to 1 ratio on my geared bikes around the techy trails here in ctx.  Seems to just work for me.

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