Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All:

I'm sure this has been discussed a lot, but I did do a search, and there were, like 50 pages of results to wade through. LOL So I'm really hoping someone knowledgeable can just inject a bit of wisdom my way quickly and easily.

I have a 2009 Gary Fisher HiFi Pro full-suspension 29er. I'm totally DONE with the 3x9 drivetrain and want to convert it to a 1x11.

The bike currently has 100% Shimano Deore XT components (circa 2009). (Well, I'm not certain what the cassette is—I'll have to look...) It has Deore XT cranks too—the kind with a hollow tube through the middle you can see right through.

The cassette is a SRAM, but the model/part name/number have been worn off. If it makes any difference...
Front: 22, 32, 44
Cassette: 11, 13, 15, 17, 20, 23, 26, 30, 34

Why am I doing this? Because from what I'm seeing of the cost of cassettes and chainrings and clutch derailleurs, I can do it for a LOT less $$$ than buying even a used recent-model bike. (And I *like* my decade-old GF—it still rides great and has a good fork and a good frame and great Bontrager wheels and tubeless Maxxis Minions—no good reason for me to get a whole new bike!)

My question is, can I do this myself? I think I can...except I don't know all the possible "gotchas" in a 1x conversion. And I've never once broken a chain to remove links (though maybe that's easy with a master link?).

I'm willing to spend up to $400 on parts (what the hell, make it $500!)...which I think should be more than enough for a new narrow-wide tooth chainring, a new clutch rear derailleur, a new cassette, and (if needed) a new chain.

Is that all I'll need? (My understanding is I won't need a chain guard if I get a clutch derailleur with a narrow-wide-tooth ring.)

Can anyone point me to a good how-to online for doing this?

Thanks!
Scott in Oregon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
Check out bikediscount.de and bike24.de for groupsets if you end up replacing everything inc. Cranks.

Measure crank BCD to see if you can find NW chainring for those. Then you don't need new cranks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the tips sgltrak and HerrKaLeun! (Duh, right–forgot about the new shifter.)

HerKaLeun, can you expand those acronyms for me? LOL I have no clue what BCD or NW mean. :)

Thanks!
Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
You can get an 12 speed Eagle GX group set with an 11-50 NX or sun rear cassette on eBay or mail-order (check worldwidecyclery) for around $300. You can not use a GX, XX1 or XO1 10-50 cassette since they need the SRAM XD connector (driver) on the wheel hub while you most likely have the very common Shimano. SRAM NX and Sun fit that Shimano hub.

Likely you can get a narrow-wide chain ring that fits your current cranks. I got both a 32 teeth and 34 teeth cheap Chinese for $10 on eBay to test what's fits me best. The chain stayed on fine but shifting wasn't great and I eventually got an older GXP crank and SRAM chainring.

No chain guide required.

I did this on a 143mm and 135mm axle. At the 135 mm axle the smallest cog was hitting the frame but I added a washer between the axle and the frame and it worked.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Chris_PA and others. I ended up getting lazy and talking to my LBS about it. They took one look at the bike and said they could totally convert it—using exactly the group set Chris_PA mentioned above. :) And they said they could do it all for $350, so I'm stoked!

I would've liked to do it myself...but I have two kids, a motorcycle I wrench on myself, a car that needs brake work, etc...so once in a while I'm happy to just have someone else do it. LOL

I'm psyched to breathe new life into this decade-old bike! I've slowly been upgrading things over the years—including new Shimano hydraulic brakes and larger-than-stock 80mm rotors.

Though having a new bike would be great, I really believe in the environmental benefits of not just ditching a whole bike every few years to buy a new one. I'd rather keep my old one going as long as possible!

I'll try to remember to post a review of the conversion here when it's done—it'll be my first 1x drivetrain and first clutch derailleur.

Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
WHOA! 1x12 conversion completed, and man-nothing else I've ever done to a bike is anywhere close in terms of improving the riding experience! for my 2009 GF, the conversion using the Eagle NX groupset was effortless. Total cost was $369. BOOM. Like a whole new bike for a fraction of the cost!

Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim


I've only ridden it around my neighborhood so far-gonna take it out on the trail after work today.

My other observation is that shifting is SO much smoother and less clunky. Using the new shift levers are truly just a quiet, elegant little click/snick, instead of a ka-CHUNK/ka-CLACK! LOL

And the weight difference was actually noticeable when I lifted the bike up on to my roof rack. (It wasn't just my imagination-it was definitely lighter!)

Now I have to figure out how to remove that strip of velcro from the chainstay I put on there years ago to reduce the chainslap noise with my old drivetrain, LOL. (I think it's fused with the metal...)

Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I took the newly-converted bike to Alsea Falls the other day (Oregon) and took it for a spin. Not the best test as it wasn't XC riding (which for me is the ultimate derailleur test), but there is a 4-5 mile road climb to the top of the glow trails, and I felt I had plenty of low gearing for a comfortable climb (I never needed my 2-3 biggest cogs).

Riding down on the flow trails was mostly gravity, but there were plenty of opportunities to bang it up or down a few gears—shifting was smooth and flawless, gearing felt great, and the bike was OH SO QUIET!!!

Can't wait to ride it more! I can say with absolute certainty I will NOT be missing my old 3x9 drivetrain!

There seems to be some NX Eagle bashing here and there; For $370 if it lasts me a year or two I'm happy to replace it. Some gripe about the heavy cassette—well, my old GF is much lighter with the 1x12 setup, so I'm not complaining about weight! :)

Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Yeah NX gets beat up a lot here but you gotta compare apples to apples. NX gets flack compared to GX as it’s nowhere near as nice. But, coming from an older 3x9, it’s nice to see the success story! Keep that GF rollin!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Good to hear you having fun on your HiFi. I did something similar to a 2012 Epic and I love how it rides and works. Geometry has changed a lot in recent years but I compared to my longer reach bike the Epic is a fun ride and gives some variety since it rides very different. I love to switch from one to the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,644 Posts
Nice HiFi! Gotta love the Fisher bikes. I still have a '03 Sugar 3+ Disk that I bought new that occasionally sees the light of day. Even by today's standards, it's a decent full sus XC bike. Still sporting 3x9 though...

Not sure if you're aware of it, but should you need stuff like suspension pivot bushings, Trek (who bought Fisher years ago) actually still stock the parts! I did a refresh project on my '03 Sugar last year, and they had all of the parts readily available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,390 Posts
Nice job...congrats on keeping the old GF rollin!

After picking up my 2018 Kona 1.5 years ago I converted my 2012 SC Heckler from 3X9 to 1X9. I wanted a good backup bike and I was able to do it pretty cheap with XT components, Zee cranks, and a Race Face N/W chainring. Everything went together fine and it shifts great.

Only problem is that I have been unable to extract myself from the Kona and the Heckler has not gotten dirty ONCE in 1.5 years. I absolutely loved that Heckler so it shows how great the new bike is!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not sure if you're aware of it, but should you need stuff like suspension pivot bushings, Trek (who bought Fisher years ago) actually still stock the parts! I did a refresh project on my '03 Sugar last year, and they had all of the parts readily available.
Thanks fredcook! That's really good to know. I haven't noticed anything wrong with my pivot point bushings, but I wanna keep this bike rolling as a long as possible, so I may just call Trek and order a full set of replacements (in case they ever run out).

Congrats on the upgrade. Glad you are enjoying it. Curious about the actual weight advantage. How much lighter is it now with the 1x12 vs the 3x9?
I'm kicking myself because I never weighed the bike before and after to see the difference (or asked the shop to weigh all the old stuff they removed, LOL). But I'm 100% certain it's lighter, if only by the weight of 2 chainrings now gone (which was probably considerable).

I definitely don't know what I'm missing with modern bike geometry as I've never ridden a modern bike for more than 5 minutes around a parking lot (not enough to really evaluate the difference)-but I'm still completely happy with my born-again GF. I've been riding it for a decade so know it intimately (and how it responds on all sorts of terrain), and with the new drivetrain it still feels like the same bike-only WAY better! :-D
 

·
slow
Joined
·
7,678 Posts
I'm kicking myself because I never weighed the bike before and after to see the difference (or asked the shop to weigh all the old stuff they removed, LOL). But I'm 100% certain it's lighter, if only by the weight of 2 chainrings now gone (which was probably considerable).
Ok, thanks. When I researched doing the same thing, I found that my bike would actually gain a little over .25 lb (126g) based on the weights of the items that would come off the 3x9 bike vs. the weights of the new stuff.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE: So I've been riding my newly-converted 2009 GF HiFi Pro (with 1x12 NX Eagle drivetrain) and it's AWESOME. I'm loving it.

Last week I rented a 2018 Norco Optic FS 29er and rode it for a couple hours. It was my first time riding a "modern" full-suspension bike and I was curious to see how it compared to my ten-year-old bike. I posted my thoughts here (which became a long thread on the merits-or not-of newer bikes, some interesting stuff posted):

https://forums.mtbr.com/general-discussion/thoughts-riding-modern-29er-first-time-1105587.html

In short, I didn't notice much difference between the modern bike and my 10-year-old bike, and I think a big reason for that was the 1x12 drivetrain I now have on my 10-year-old bike.

Several people in the other thread said I couldn't fully appreciate the modern bike riding it for a couple hours. That may be true, but I think first impressions (simply FEELING the bike as you ride and noting it's handling characteristics for the first time) are worth a lot. And while I didn't notice anything bad about the Norco (it was fine) it by no means blew me away compared to my 2009 GF.

Again, my point here is that converting my old bike to a 1x drivetrain basically added what I believe to be the single biggest innovation in mountain biking in the last decade-and will undoubtedly give me at least a few years (if not more) of riding pleasure out of my 2009 bike. :thumbsup:

Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hey @SWriverstone , just came across this thread as I'm looking to dust off my old Gary Fisher. Mine is a much lower end model than yours, it's a 2009 GF Wahoo Disc and I've actually been looking to upgrade to the Eagle GX set. I don't do much riding anymore (kids/work/etc) but i love my GF and wanted to get back out on some light trails so it was great to find your post! Is there anything you've come across that I need to take into consideration with this upgrade? I assume our frames have a similar geometry so I'm hopeful the GX Eagle 1x12 would fit on mine.

Thanks again for the post and any thoughts you have!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
just came across this thread as I'm looking to dust off my old Gary Fisher. Mine is a much lower end model than yours, it's a 2009 GF Wahoo Disc and I've actually been looking to upgrade to the Eagle GX set. I don't do much riding anymore (kids/work/etc) but i love my GF and wanted to get back out on some light trails so it was great to find your post! Is there anything you've come across that I need to take into consideration with this upgrade? I assume our frames have a similar geometry so I'm hopeful the GX Eagle 1x12 would fit on mine.
In your situation I would seriously consider the one of the wide range 1x9 drive train from Box (Box 9 prime $200 all in) or Microshift (Advent $120 + chain) or the wide range 1x10 Microshift and Advent X ($160 + chain). Do some googling on those groupsets. Also budget in another $20-50 for a narrow wide chainring. Either of those 3 options will give you the wide range you need with a clutched derailleur at a great price point for a older bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
In your situation I would seriously consider the one of the wide range 1x9 drive train from Box (Box 9 prime $200 all in) or Microshift (Advent $120 + chain) or the wide range 1x10 Microshift and Advent X ($160 + chain). Do some googling on those groupsets. Also budget in another $20-50 for a narrow wide chainring. Either of those 3 options will give you the wide range you need with a clutched derailleur at a great price point for a older bike.
Thank you for the reply, DeoreDX! I hadn't looked at those brands... been out of it for a while so I mainly stuck to the ones I remembered (SRAM / Shimano). Those actually look pretty decent. I don't actually need a 1x12, but I saw and liked the GX Eagle and saw this post. Price-point will definitely play a factor. Those look like a pretty good price/quality balance. Thank you again!
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top