I've been running single front ring set ups on my all mountain bikes for a few years now. I love it, I've never wanted more gears and I ride in the PNW with lots of crazy ups and downs...I run a 34 tooth at the moment but started on a 32 tooth set up...
I'm running a lg-1 on my blur 4x and it see's plenty of all mountain use. It works great and the quide is much smoother than the gamut guide I used to run. I run a 34 tooth ring wit h 11-34 cassette and gearing hasn't been a problem for climbing anything yet.
I've been running a single ring set up for some time now and have found it to be quiet, simple, and maintenance free for the most part. It will also drop quite a bit of weight off your bike. Switching from a three ring set up with XO shifters and XT rings and XT front derailleur I dropped 280 grams. I recommend using the e13 guide ring because it is super light and works well with the LG1 chain guide. I usually run a 36 tooth ring but the LG1 will handle down to a 34 tooth. Once you get used to climbing with the 36 tooth it isn't that bad.
I have been running 1x9 for a few years and would never go back. At the moment I have a Gamut P30 on my El Ciclon. The P30 was designed for a 36 tooth but has anyone tried it with a 34??? Only problem I can see would be the top guide not coming low enough to box in the chain. Also, I find that with a 36 up front a 11-34 is a must.
I'm currently running an LG-1 with a 32t and while it works, it is not optimal. It gets hung up slightly during pedaling after a rougher descent where I believe if I were to use a 34 or 36, it would be perfect.
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