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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Should i change to 29/44 setup? Using XT crank, is it possible to make that setup in the first place?

What are the pros and cons of 29/44 setup?
With 29/44, should i be using 11-34 cassette? Currently using 11-32.
 

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Seems were just starting to emerge from the marketing hype stage of this evolution in MTB cranks. There have emerged two basic schools of MTB rider, those who pedal and those who struggle with, and do everything to avoid, pedalling. Time has widened the gap between the two schools.
Note the specialization of planetary gearing for obstacle clearance aimed at one school and a return towards simplicity and reduced weight and Qfactor for those of us who pedal.

FSA just released the 'special' low Q version of the 2x9 only available on the new Treks for instance.

Corporations tend to bleed consumers for alpha then beta then the real deal knowing the consumer will pay for some so called improvement at every stage of development. Like trained herd animals predictably approaching the trough at the preordained feeding time. . .

Anyway, the 2x9 I have used for the last 500 miles on my hardtail is a dream come true.
Simple, stiff and plenty of range for someone with a cycling background. Every time in the last 20 years I was faced with the purchase of a ridiculous three ring circus, I knew that as soon as enough people rode enough to get strong enough there would be a return to 2 rings. You will need an 11-34 cassette unless you are extremely strong and I would wait till the dust settles and a low Q 29/40 or 42 becomes available as your cycling experience has also taught you the value of spinning versus mashing in the large ring.

It depends what the BCD of your XT crank happens to be. Some are 104mm and some are 94mm allowing use of a 29t ring if you can find one with the right amount of bolt holes that is. . .

EVERYONE should see the film called "The corporation", bike parts are no different.

good luck
 

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ivantcs said:
Should i change to 29/44 setup? Using XT crank, is it possible to make that setup in the first place?

What are the pros and cons of 29/44 setup?
Overall, I think it'll be nice when there are more 2 x 9 (or 2 x 10) options out there for XC racers/enthusiasts. However, one of the benefits of having a granny ring is that if your chain misses the middle ring when you downshift from the 44, it has someplace to land. Even if you don't have any other use for the 22T, it can still serve that purpose for a very small weight penalty. No harm, no foul :thumbsup: I ride my XC bike as if it were a 32-44, but I left the 22T installed. Typical major climbs around here is switchbacking up stuff like this bluff: ~400-500ft vertical.

With 29/44, should i be using 11-34 cassette? Currently using 11-32.
If you often need your 22 x 28 combo, and/or your 22 x 32 combo, then even a 29 x 34 will not give you gears as low as those. Try going a month without getting lower than your 22 x 24, which is nearly the same ratio as a 29 x 32 would be, and see how it goes for you.

To calculate the comparative gear ratios, divide the number of chainring teeth by the number of teeth on the rear cog. Lower ratios mean an easier gear. For example, 29 divided by 32 equals 0.906, and 22 divided by 24 equals 0.917, so the 29x32 is just slightly lower than a 22x24.
 

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I, for one, favor just ditching the 44t ring and leaving the 22/32 in place. Then, out back, use a road 12-27 cassette. This gives a good range for twisty singletrack and only loses the two lowest gear ratios (which I typically only use when I'm seriously blown...). And I'm really not all that strong. In the 8 years I've had the current crankset on my bike, I don't think I've used the 44t more than three times. So, off it goes! I'll always have the scar on the back on my right calf to remember it by...

I like the idea of the low-Q 2 ring crankset. I hope they get more mainstream soon.
 

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ScarySlow said:
I, for one, favor just ditching the 44t ring and leaving the 22/32 in place. Then, out back, use a road 12-27 cassette. This gives a good range for twisty singletrack and only loses the two lowest gear ratios (which I typically only use when I'm seriously blown...). And I'm really not all that strong. In the 8 years I've had the current crankset on my bike, I don't think I've used the 44t more than three times. So, off it goes! I'll always have the scar on the back on my right calf to remember it by...

I like the idea of the low-Q 2 ring crankset. I hope they get more mainstream soon.
But don't you find a 32 x 12 a bit undergeared for XC racing? At 90rpm, you'd be doing only about 18mph. I'd have no trouble dropping someone whose gearing is holding them down like that :confused:
 

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No, 32/12 is just fine, but I'm comfortable spinning at 120 RPM, and can sprint up to 140 RPM or so for short periods, which is pretty quick for an XC race. The races I do don't have many flat sections anyway, and the downhills are short and technical enough that pedaling them is not usually a good idea (at least, for me). I do a lot of fixed gear road riding off and on all year around, which I think helps when I need a quick sprint in a race. And, as I said previously, I'm not very strong, so I make up for it with faster spins. So, the 22/32 up front works really well for me, but, of course, YMMV. If you can turn a larger gear ("mashing", as it were), the 29/44 might be better for you. Hell, even in a road TT, I ride a 53/15 gear (at 24-26 MPH, if I'm doing well). I just can't turn the bigger gears, but I can spin the lower ones.
 

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(Looking strictly at gear ratios)

Possible new 1st gear: 29/32 = .906
Current 3rd gear: 22/24 = 0.916
Pretty close there between the two.

So go ride all your trails with no gear easier than 22/24 (another words, never use 1st and 2nd), and see if you struggle.

If you never use your 1st and 2nd gear, then a 29/32 will suffice.

34 Cassette:
Possible new 1st gear: 29/34 = .852

Current 1st gear: 22/32 = .6875
Current 2nd gear: 22/28 = .7857
Current 3rd gear: 22/24 = .9166

Your new possible 1st gear, would be between your current 2nd and 3rd gear.

Really not much difference changing that rear cassette (.906 vs .852). Save your money and stay with the 32. When it finally wears out, get a 34.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I want a 29/44 chain ring setup to save weight.
However, i dont want to compromise anything.
If i got to use 11-34 cassette instead of 11-32 now, it would not save much too.
I had never use 11-34 before and dont know if the 34 is much lighter than 32
 

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Lots of threads on this subject out there.
How good are you at Excel?
Put all the gear ratios on a spreadsheet and find out exactly what you will be gaining and or missing by changing chainrings.
What I found is that by running a 36 tooth middle ring as my big I only lose the 44/11 ring/cog combo on an 11-34 cassette (36/11=a 44/*13.5 combo). I doubt that I ever used that while racing even with my 26" bikes. By using a 24 tooth granny I gain a little range with the 12 tooth chainring spread. I could really get by with a 22/34 combo but I doubted my manhood at that point:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :p :p :D :D I have also thought about using a 22/36 combo but I tend to ride in the 24 quite a bit in singletrack too, especially when coming up on people I plan on passing to save some energy. The 22 is a bit too low for me for that.

Pros:
Quite a bit lighter losing the 44 than the 22. 40-60 grams..or more?
Better trail clearance with a 36 "big ring".
Most riders/racers benefit from the lower end of gearing than the 44/11 top end I would guess Especially if you are a "spinner"
Better chainline in the "big ring" since it is in the middle position.

Cons:
Loss of the absolute high end 44/11 and 44/12 depending on the cassette (again, I would thing that even high level racers benefit more from a lower gear than the 44/11)

Anything else I am missing?

G
 

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ivantcs said:
I want a 29/44 chain ring setup to save weight.
However, i dont want to compromise anything.
If i got to use 11-34 cassette instead of 11-32 now, it would not save much too.
I had never use 11-34 before and dont know if the 34 is much lighter than 32
The 11-34 Deore XT CS-M770 is about 40 grams heavier than the 11-32 version of the same cassette. Further weight listings: http://weightweenies.starbike.com/listings.php

An alloy 22-tooth chainring and steel bolts probably weighs about 30-40 grams total. A 32-tooth alloy ring is only 42 grams (XT, RaceFace Team). So if your goal is to reduce weight by going 2 x 9, then there's really not that much to reduce in the first place. I have a Weight Weenie streak myself, but unless I were going to go get a Dura-Ace front derailleur to go with the 2 x 9, it doesn't seem like enough of a change to be worth pursuing.
 

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G-Live said:
Lots of threads on this subject out there.
How good are you at Excel?
Put all the gear ratios on a spreadsheet and find out exactly what you will be gaining and or missing by changing chainrings.
What I found is that by running a 36 tooth middle ring as my big I only lose the 44/11 ring/cog combo on an 11-34 cassette (36/11=a 44/*13.5 combo). I doubt that I ever used that while racing even with my 26" bikes. By using a 24 tooth granny I gain a little range with the 12 tooth chainring spread. I could really get by with a 22/34 combo but I doubted my manhood at that point:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :p :p :D :D I have also thought about using a 22/36 combo but I tend to ride in the 24 quite a bit in singletrack too, especially when coming up on people I plan on passing to save some energy. The 22 is a bit too low for me for that.

Pros:
Quite a bit lighter losing the 44 than the 22. 40-60 grams..or more?
Better trail clearance with a 36 "big ring".
Most riders/racers benefit from the lower end of gearing than the 44/11 top end I would guess Especially if you are a "spinner"
Better chainline in the "big ring" since it is in the middle position.

Cons:
Loss of the absolute high end 44/11 and 44/12 depending on the cassette (again, I would thing that even high level racers benefit more from a lower gear than the 44/11)

Anything else I am missing?

G
Well thought out response.

And, I agree with pretty much everything said.

I'm a pretty strong TTer on the road, and a very strong climber. And when I'm on my 29er, I've found that I've yet to use my 12t and 13t cog in conjunction with the 44t when doing an interval on flat ground, on my 12-27t DA cassette. In talking to the mechanic (who happens to be the road team mech as well) at my shop, we've agreed that a 26/28 and a 40t are the way to go, for me. I can still kill it on the flats (fireroads, transitions) while having more than enough gear to get me over any hill in the region.

I'm not sure how well the X.9 FD will like the 14t jump, but if it doesn't work well, I can always convert a Red or DA front mech to top pull.
 

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duke of kent said:
Well thought out response.

And, I agree with pretty much everything said.

I'm a pretty strong TTer on the road, and a very strong climber. And when I'm on my 29er, I've found that I've yet to use my 12t and 13t cog in conjunction with the 44t when doing an interval on flat ground, on my 12-27t DA cassette. In talking to the mechanic (who happens to be the road team mech as well) at my shop, we've agreed that a 26/28 and a 40t are the way to go, for me. I can still kill it on the flats (fireroads, transitions) while having more than enough gear to get me over any hill in the region.

I'm not sure how well the X.9 FD will like the 14t jump, but if it doesn't work well, I can always convert a Red or DA front mech to top pull.
I came to the 24/36 set up due to JHK running a 26/38 on his Superfly. I figure I am probably not quite as strong of a racer as him so I could get away with a little easier gearing:cool: . My "race" bikes are also my normal mtb bikes and there are a few places I need a fairly small granny.:madman: I am using Force and Rival front der's with gripshift.:thumbsup:

G
 

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I'm riding a new bike with XTR cranks and rings, the standard 44/32/22, and it has an 11-32 cassette that we removed the 11 from so that it is now a 12-32 with only 8 gears in back. In experimenting with riding the big ring versus the middle, and one trip to the mountains riding in the middle ring versus the granny, I seriously think I could get away with a 1 x 8 setup only. I'm virtually positive I could get away with a 1 x 9 if I threw an 11-34 cassette on there with the 32 middle ring.

I'm going to see how I do using the middle ring only for a while and then probably ditch the big ring. I'll probably keep the granny just in case I get to go do some climbing at altitude or if I run out of steam in a 100 miler.

As for top end speed with a 32-12, I did a little time trial tonight on a fairly techy course and hit 18 mph on a short section of limerock road heading from one area of singletrack to another. I know I had at least one more gear left and I think two, and it didn't feel like I was spinning too fast, so the 32-12 combo is plenty fast for me unless I decided to start riding my mountain bike on the road a lot (which isn't going to happen).
 

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It is certainly interesting to see the variety in this thread. I couldn't conceive of giving up the big chainring or the 11T cog, not to mention both. In fact, I wore out my XT 44T before my 32T. I guess I'm way off the norm :p

So anyway ivantcs, are you going to try out a 2 x 9? If you want to kill two birds with one stone, the Weight Weenies section of the forum would be a good place to ask about light crank/BB setups that'll take a 29-44 combo, if that's what you want to do. And there's plenty of other good advice on weight reduction there too :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
mechBgon said:
It is certainly interesting to see the variety in this thread. I couldn't conceive of giving up the big chainring or the 11T cog, not to mention both. In fact, I wore out my XT 44T before my 32T. I guess I'm way off the norm :p

So anyway ivantcs, are you going to try out a 2 x 9? If you want to kill two birds with one stone, the Weight Weenies section of the forum would be a good place to ask about light crank/BB setups that'll take a 29-44 combo, if that's what you want to do. And there's plenty of other good advice on weight reduction there too :)
Actually i'm still not sure if i should try it out.
My current middle chain ring is abit worn. So its time for a new one be it 29t or 32t
Now, i'm still not sure if my crank can fit a 29t and also not sure if the 29t and 44t have a gap too big for fd.
Anyway, what 29t chain ring i can get? Shimano dont make them right?
 

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Well, how about just plain and simple 1x9 setup?

Get a strong chainring (Saint, for example) and place it where the middle ring is now. Front derraileur, shifter, cables - all these are not needed any more. You'll get simple and quiet setup. If you select proper (for your riding style and terrain) size of the chainring, you'll make good use of the whole cassette (better mileage too), not just the middle of it (my case).
Just a simple example -
(1) if big ring is 44T, and granny is 22T, then your lowest gearing with 1x9 setup will be twice as high as in 3x9 setup
(2) lowest gearing on 1x9 setup will be similar to riding with chain on granny ring and about the middle of the cassette (say 4th or 5th cog).

Put 38T or 40T chainring and get lower gearing, if needed

Anyway, just a thought.
regards,
nampla
 

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ivantcs said:
Actually i'm still not sure if i should try it out.
My current middle chain ring is abit worn. So its time for a new one be it 29t or 32t
Now, i'm still not sure if my crank can fit a 29t and also not sure if the 29t and 44t have a gap too big for fd.
Anyway, what 29t chain ring i can get? Shimano dont make them right?
What model of XT crank is it? Look on the inboard side at the pedal hole and it should say the model, which begins with FC-.
 
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