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Long story short, I've got a 26er hardtail that I am in the process of upgrading to ride XC races with and I need advice about the drivetrain that I should purchase. I have already upgraded the front fork, wheel, tire, brakes, etc and, as you can see in this other thread of mine, I am working on upgrading my rear wheel, rear tire, and rear brake.

Currently, I have 3 chainrings in the front and an 8 speed cassette in the back with a really shitty Deore shifter system. I want a single chainring in the front (I only use the middle chainring as it is) and I was thinking about a 9 in the back. I was thinking about buying this chainring with 34t and maybe this cassette at 11-34. I don't know much about the relationships between these numbers, though, so that's why I'm here. I will also need a new chain, of course, and a new rear derailleur, so any advice on those is much appreciated. (Is it worth it to get a new BB or new cranks while I'm doing all this?)

As for the riding I do with this bike, it's solidly XC with no super extended climbs or descents. I tend to stand a lot and mash the pedals so I think the transition to 1 chainring won't be an issue.

Thanks for any pointers you guys can provide... There are so many damn options that I don't know what to think.
 

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Trail Tire TV on blogger
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you'll need shifters... get the best shifters you can afford.. rear derailleur, well get either SLX or go over to sram and get like an X7... (Sram convert will need sram shifter) anything above is a bit of weight savings, but honestly you can ave more weight with less $$$ doing a new stem, seat post, handle bar.. bla bla bla...

Rear Derailleur, you can get a mid or even a short cage rear derailleur,.. personally, I find the short cage derailleurs aren't any better, and are kinda clunky shifting.. but will save you a few grams.. A mid cage will be slightly faster shifting than a long, save weight, but still shift reasonably smoothly.

If you are currently using an 8 speed, and run the middle ring only the 34 Tooth ring with that cassette will be fine.. might spend a bit more and save weight here as higher end ones will save weight and that can be a decent amount per $$ spent.
 
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