Alex picked up this full suspension mountain bike a few years ago and has been putting gobs of miles on it ever since. Around this time last year, he had worn out his drivetrain and was replacing his chain, cassette, and chainrings. At the time Kurt mentioned the prospect of updating his bike to a simplified and more functional single ring drivetrain with a wide range cassette next time he wore things out. One year on he was due for some work and yet again it was time for a new chain, cassette, and large chainring.
Since upgrades were discussed last year even more options for converting to “one-by” had become available at reasonable prices. After comparing a few options we all agreed that replacing his worn out Shimano 2x10 parts with 1x11 parts from Sram was the way to go.
We started with a GX 11-speed shifter and derailleur from Sram. We then selected cassette cogs from Sun Race. Sun Race has made a go of producing cassettes for a variety of drivetrains that open up new gearing options without forcing the owner of the bike to replace things like the freehub interface between their cassette and wheels. Not only that they offer gear ranges that Shimano and Sram typically don’t for 10 and 11 speed systems. After confirming that it would properly work we installed a cassette with a high gear of 11 and low of 46! For 11-speed drivetrains, Shimano only offers 11-46 in the fairly expensive XT level and Sram only goes up to a 42 tooth low gear. The more economical 11-46 option from Sun Race was going to save Alex some money and offer an incredibly wide range of useful gears for trail riding.
Lastly, we installed a “narrow-wide” ring from Race Face and a Sram X1 chain. Both of these parts are optimized for 1x drivetrains and in the case of the chainring are compatible with the existing crank on most mountain bikes so the customer is not forced to buy a whole to crank just to upgrade.
After a quick cleaning, install and tuning Alex’s bike is working great.
This type of upgrade doesn’t require a crazy budget and can make sense of not only mountain bikes but gravel/cross bikes and even hybrids. The simplified and easier to maintain system offers benefits to all kinds of riders off-road and on.
Stop by the shop anytime or drop us a line if you think this type of update would be good for your bike.