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The year of the upgrades!

Updating My 1x10 Setup 

So I've been thinking about my current bike set up. The trouble is thinking is dangerous and expensive and the more time you have to think the more theoretical money you can spend "upgrading".  I do try to stick with a bike for around 4 to 5 years to ensure I get the most value for money out of it before  I buy the next latest thing on the market. Now the thing is my bike is coming around to its 2nd birthday and I'm getting the itch to tinker with the set-up a little. 

 2012 Rocky Mountain element 50

2012 Rocky Mountain element 50

Within the first week of bringing my Rocky Mountain Element 50 home I converted it to 1x10 speed, using a hope 34T chainring and e-thirteen chain guide. For me this has been the perfect all round trail setup. Simple and effective with no dropped chains, especially since fitting the latest Shimano shadow plus rear derailleur. The only issue that comes up from time to time is the lack of gear range when the trails go up. Like the 25% climbs at the Long Mynd in Shropshire. 

So after my recent visit to the "Mynd" it became apparent that I'll either need legs like wiggo or adjust my gear ratios to help me conquer these climbs whilst still sticking to a 1x10 set up. 

Previously you would have done this by switching over to a smaller 30T chainring the day before your visit to the steeper trails. But now we have seen more solutions on the market that allow you to tinker with your rear cassette ratios instead. The idea is a simple one, switch out some sprockets on the rear cassette and add a larger one giving you a wider range. For me this makes sense, you can keep your current chainring that's more suited to you local trails and add a big climbing gear to the rear cassette to help you over the top.

Leonardi offer the General Lee cassette adapter for a whopping 123euros seen here on pinkbike 

OneUp components have their 42t sprocket for $100

2014-01-20 12.27.34.jpg

I've chosen to give the more modest looking 38t sprocket ago from mtbtools on ebay. Also available in 41T size. My reason behind choosing the 38T is that its only a few teeth larger than Shimanos largest 11/36 cassette giving me a slightly larger range without risking any compatability issues with the derailer. Well thats the theory anyway. It's relatively cheap to costing just over £30 delivered. With the only foreseeable draw backing being its weight coming in at 175g. 

Full setup and review coming soon

RaceFace Narrow Wide Chainring 

Once you start tinkering though it's hard to stop, so to go with the larger rear sprocket I'm fitting Racefaces latest narrow wide chainring. Designed to help chain security allowing the rider to bin the chain guide.

To Quote RaceFace's website "Race Face Single Rings - Now with performance enhancing chain retention technology. Burly enough for DH Racers and Dirt Jumpers, yet light enough for XC/singlespeed. Single Rings are machined from 7075 aluminum and tested in some of the most punishing riding terrain. Built to last"

  • Narrow Wide tooth profiling ensures ultimate chain retention
  • Stiff 4mm plate thickness and I-beam construction transfer loads without flexing
  • 7075-T6 aluminum, aerospace grade strength
  • Reversible laser etched graphics.
  • Compatible for 9, 10 and 11 speed.

Again a full review will follow shortly 

What's Next?

Well what's next on the upgrade list for 2014? Certainly a dropper post and suspension upgrade if the funds allow and possibly some RaceFace atlas pedals to match the chainring. lets wait and see what 2014 brings

How to: Shorten your Shimano hydraulic brake hoses

How to: Shorten your Shimano hydraulic brake hoses

Lezyne Zecto Drive front & rear commuter lights