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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had a 3x9 and went 1x11. I have a raceface 30t narrow wide and a shimano slx 11-42 cassette. Installing an XT chain.

When I wrap the chain for initial sizing, the bottom part of the chain won't mesh with with chainring teeth if I am pulling tension. I have to back off a link and a half to get the chain to mesh with with chainring.

Do I just measure from where it meshes or the closest tooth to pulling tight even though it's off?
 

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I guess when you say 'pulling tension' you mean you are going through the derailleur to get correct chain length?

For initial chain sizing after watching a few different vids I opted for the method on the tutorial below. Wrap around the chainring, big cog and bypass the derailleur then overlap/add 3 or 4 links (hardtail) depending on female to female end with missing link.

Around 6 mins 30sec in:-

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not going through derailleur. I'm doing chainring to big cog then add 4 links method from Shimano manual. Basically the same thing you're doing.

Like on that park video at 4:07 you can see both ends of the chain meshed properly on the chainring with no slack in the chain. I have to put slack in the chain to get it to mesh on the chainring.
 

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When you're wrapping your chain around the narrow/wide chainring have you checked that a wide chain link is sitting around a wide tooth and vice versa?

Anyhow don't worry about it as it's not necessary or vital that the two ends of the chain need to meet and mesh on the chainring itself just for measurements sake.

For example I did my chain meeting point/reference rivet (then counted the extra links) inbetween the chainring and cassette, around the mid way point under the chainstay.

To make sure I didn't cut my chain too short I made the blue thing out of an old coat hanger and put the chain back through the derailleur and double checked the final cage positions on the big cog and small cog before I went ahead and cut my chain:-

Tire Automotive tire Bicycle tire Bicycle part Line
 

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A chain that's too long would be slack and sag at the bottom as the derailleur cage would be fully back and not able to put tension on the chain. No tension on the bottom of the chain could cause phantom shifting to the next gear up or the chain jumping off the end of the cassette but problems are usually on the smallest cog/highest gear.

Sluggish shifting while shifting through the cassette in one direction but not the other could just be down to bad fine tuning.

Sluggish shifting going from the big cog to smaller cog but not the other way is usually excess friction on the shift cable caused by grime getting inside, fraying or kinked inner and/or kinked outer cables as examples.

Slightly Sluggish shifting in general could be down to a b-tension gap being too large.

Just a little overview of common issues but with drivetrains there are lots of other factors, components, etc. that could cause issues and not always as straightforward as the usual suspects above. 🪙🪙
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Took it out on the inaugural 10 mile ride in the woods yesterday. I can't believe I waited so long to upgrade my drivetrain. Shifting is quick and smooth. I like the XT shifter that i can grab two gears at a time either direction, as well as shift both ways with my thumb. I went with the 11-42 cassette, gives me a much lower granny gear than my old cassette with at 34 tooth.
 

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Nice one! 😎 Once you go 1x I reckon you'll never go back to multi speed set up ever again! 🤟

If you have the older model XT M8000 derailleur similar to my SLX, down the line when you need to replace the worn out drivetrain you could stick an 11-46 cassette straight on there with minimum fuss if you wanted or feel the need to. Happy trails! 🚵‍♀️👊
 

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Great combo Dude, the derailleur difference is negligible but the shifter is where you get the nicer feel and that extra function. 🤙 Happy with my basic SLX but have been thinking about getting an XT shifter at some point.

My bike came stock with 30t chainring and 11-42 Sunrace cassette, basic Sram chain and it's been flawless for two years, pretty worn but still performing well.

Swapped out the cassette for an 11-46 Sunrace again (as reckon they're better than Shimano) and a bit cheaper also.

Had to change out the crankset so got an SLX and a 32t chainring. Bought another Sram chain and even put some new jockey wheels on.

Got a tiny bit more top speed with the 32t CR and that 46t cog is appreciated just near the top of winching up those long steep climbs as a bail out gear but can't say it's that noticable over the previous ratio really.

Everything worked great on my set up, (I'm sure yours will too and you'll be impressed with every aspect) so why pick different components? I'm actually now in the process of sourcing the exact same parts in advance for next time round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am a diehard shimano guy so i went with all shimano. I wanted an XT rear derailleur but really for the cost difference the benefit wasn't there. Same on the cassette, SLX vs XT with identical cogs wasnt worth the little bit of weight for about a $40 premium for XT. I got the XT shifter since it was I-spec II that went with my brake lever. I am super stoked that the whole thing is running perfectly and I was able to install and adjust it all myself. The Park derailleur hanger adjustment tool was a lifesaver, mine looked straight but the gauge showed it was a half inch off front to back!

I really think I will end up with a 32 chainring soon, I am riding some trails next week that have some long grinding climbs. If I can get up them without getting into the upper cogs I will swap that ring for a bigger one for top speed.
 

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Yep, die hard Shimano fan too. 😎 Reckon I'd have got another 6 months out of the old drivetrain except for the sh#t Race Face X-type bb fitted on mine. Grinding after 12 months so put up with it for a while then decided to replace it with a Hollowtech II bb.

Liked the Race Face cranks that were on there also until I had to cut them off with an angle grinder coz it was totally stuck/welded onto the spindle.😥

Font Gas Office equipment Gun accessory Auto part


Yeah had to be a new Shimano crankset (and SLX too) so it matched the SLX i-spec II brakes and everything else on there now.

Do like the XT stuff and wouldn't hesitate if I find a good deal but exactly as you say, it's more expensive and I'm after durability over saving a few grams here and there.

Sure you won't need to rush into the 32t chainring yet but it may just help tweak for your own personalised set up that suits where and how you ride. 🤟

Enjoy the trails with the all new 1x drivetrain @Milesvdustin. 👊

Shimano 1x11 for life.....? or until we can't get the parts anymore! 😬😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have some OLD raceface next alumimun ISIS BB cranks on there now. Damn things started creaking on the left side last ride. Going to pull it all apart and make sure everything is tight and greased.

Yes 1x11 until I can't buy the parts anymore. I am still on a 26er too LOL
 

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I assume my issue with the Race Face cranks was rare, I've replaced a few bb's in my time and never had problems, even did one for a friend which was exactly the same as mine, 4 years old and that was done easily in 30 minutes!🙄

Lol, 😆 Yeah I'm on a 27.5" and am sticking with it, except it seems that is 'old school' now with everything being about 29er's.
 
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