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Thinking of taking my current Shimano M785 2x10 26/38 to a single ring setup. Is it at easy as simply removing the little ring and ditching the front derailleur? What other steps will I need to take? Also looking to switch out the 38 to make the climbs a little more manageable. 34 or 32 the way to go (running 11/36 on the rear)?
 

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Thinking of taking my current Shimano M785 2x10 26/38 to a single ring setup. Is it at easy as simply removing the little ring and ditching the front derailleur? What other steps will I need to take? Also looking to switch out the 38 to make the climbs a little more manageable. 34 or 32 the way to go (running 11/36 on the rear)?
Yah its that easy. somewhat...

It depends on your wanted chainline, and if you want protection against chain dropping off the ring. I set my 1x upso that i have a much bigger ring outside in the biggest ring pos with all the teeth ground off so the chain doesnt jump off outwards, also if running 1x your rd is probably sized wrong. now you want the shortest cage (stiffest rd) with max leverage from the spring. If you intend to run 1x with a med or long rd i'd say keep the fd because you gonna drop a lot of chains, even on the street. especially if you run sram rd.

the fd and shifter weighs nothing and its really nice to just pick the chain up when it drops off towards the small ring side, which will definitely happen on long/med rd's.

You can purpose build a 1x system that will kick ass but you pretty much have to swap everything. everything.

I run a purpose built 1x6 (8sp spacing) and to make my system really good i resorted to a road tiagra shortest cage model (which is shorter than a shortest mtb model), with steel cage no alu or carbon crap. a 44t outer as chainguard and a dh non ramped blackspire dh main ring. even though i run a 2-3links or so too long chain i have 0, yes that is zero chain drops. On my sram long cage x9 circa 2009 model 1x9 with shortest possible chain and ramped chainring and ground outer as chainguard i dropped a chain at least once a week, mostly inwards, but sometimes outwards too. toolong cage imo, too weak **** spring/leverage in the rd. the ramped ring didn't help either thats for sure.
 

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get a short rd, thats my advice. then get an unramped chainring and don't shorten the chain until you found the ratio you like!! leave the outer ring as antidrop device. then shorten the chain, keepthe fd.

I always try to run at least 1-2 link longer than big-big since i want space to adjust the tension/distance screw and whatnot in case of whatever. If you run a full squish you have to chop for the longest position in the stroke too, don't forget that.

Also I have made the mistake before to chop the chain as short as possible and then afterwards find out i have to adjust the tension screw and now end up with a too short chain forcing me to lock out the biggest cog.

shortest rd, non ramped ring and chain length are pretty much equally important imo. and a chainguard too.
 

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yeah btw you need to check what rd's will work with your shifters, that has the same pull ratio, 9sp mtb and 10sp mtb is not the same they are not compatible with the same shifters at all even if you were to design a pulley that converts the pull, on 9sp all steps are equal out of the shifter, on 10sp mtb this is not the case, and the rd's are obviously made for this with a similar movement to compliment this.

7-8-9sp mtb rd's and shifters has equal pull (1click moves the cable the same distance whereever you are in the range) between gears as 8-9-10sp road thats the only reason i could put a 10sp road rd on my bike, since a 10sp road rd works just the same as 9sp mtb one (shimano). on a 10sp shimano mtb system the biggest cogs and steps are not the same the other ones below it. the shifter pulls more cable at some gears. as far as i know you cannot use a 10sp mtb shifter with a 10-9-8sp road rd.

just wanted to tell you that if you started to have plans doing anything unconventional.
 

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I would just stick with the long cage unless you have problems. Short has a slight advantage, but in reality people run longer cages than they need to all the time and it work just fine.
 

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Switching to a 1x drivetrain is one of the best things I've ever done to a bike. Just use whatever combination of gears you need to set the low ratio where you want it (1:1 1st gear works for me), and get the chain-line to middle of the cog is straight with the front ring. I did have some issues with throwing the chain early on, but switched to a crank that has a rock-ring and installed a third eye chain keeper in the inside, and it's been working well for years.
 

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I hope you don't live in an area where steep climbing is common place? If you use your 26 tooth ring commonly, then bumping up to a 32 or 34 tooth chain ring on an 11-36 cassette will just about kill you.

It would never work in my area unless I also changed my cassette to something with lower gearing.

The other thing to consider is spinning out at higher speeds. The speeds you are accustomed to reaching with a 38 tooth ring up front will be gone.
 

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I hope you don't live in an area where steep climbing is common place? If you use your 26 tooth ring commonly, then bumping up to a 32 or 34 tooth chain ring on an 11-36 cassette will just about kill you.
I live at the base of Pikes Peak and all my rides involve extensive climbing....no problem with a 32 front and 11-32 rear (on a 26er), but I could see going 11-36 with a 32 front on a 29er.
 

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You must be in outstanding physical condition. This is not the norm for the average rider, though.
Not outstanding, just average. I know people who ride the same stuff on a single speed....1x drivetrains are kind of a tweener setup, not as many gears as a multi-ring setup, but better than a single speed. There's no point in trying to duplicate the gear spread of a multi-ring system, you just need to figure out where you're willing to live with the compromise. Gear it low and spin out, or gear it high and mash the pedals on the really steep stuff. For me, the simplicity and benefits of the 1x systems outweigh the compromises.
 

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Not outstanding, just average. I know people who ride the same stuff on a single speed....1x drivetrains are kind of a tweener setup, not as many gears as a multi-ring setup, but better than a single speed.
This is correct. My rides are 50-50 singlespeed rigid or 1x9 full squish. With my less than average conditioning, the speed i would granny gear up is slower than if i walked. Run what ya brung. 28x42 gearing is not a requirement to climb mountains. Most of my sustained climbs are with a 34x20 which is close to my SS gearing. At least now, i can mash an easier gear if i want and walk even less. After all, i've got 4 bailout gears if 34x20 is too tough.

I converted my 2x9 to 1x9 with an MRP 1x (probably not needed, but, it weighs next to nothing), Raceface NW 34t, Sram x9 9sp medium cage derailleur (no clutch), and 11-34t Sram cassette. I don't pedal backwards on the chatter, so, i don't know if i would drop a chain if i did. I do pedal power through chunk and chatter and not even a skip.

A long cage should be fine. If you like 1x setup, then, you can look into a shadow or type 2 shorter derailleur. That will allow you to lose all chain retention devices with very minimal likelyhood of every dropping a chain.
 

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Not outstanding, just average. I know people who ride the same stuff on a single speed....1x drivetrains are kind of a tweener setup, not as many gears as a multi-ring setup, but better than a single speed. There's no point in trying to duplicate the gear spread of a multi-ring system, you just need to figure out where you're willing to live with the compromise. Gear it low and spin out, or gear it high and mash the pedals on the really steep stuff. For me, the simplicity and benefits of the 1x systems outweigh the compromises.
What's the distance and elevation gain of an average uphill grunt in your area?
 

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What's the distance and elevation gain of an average uphill grunt in your area?
I'd say about 1500 feet of climbing for an average two hour ride with 3000+ being fairly common, especially on longer rides. If you're really hard-core, the Ring The Peak trail is about 63 miles with ~10,000 feet of climbing. Generally takes people 8-10 hours.
 

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I'd say about 1500 feet of climbing for an average two hour ride with 3000+ being fairly common, especially on longer rides. If you're really hard-core, the Ring The Peak trail is about 63 miles with ~10,000 feet of climbing. Generally takes people 8-10 hours.
You are in above average good shape if you can keep it going in your gearing (w/o getting off to push) with those elevation gains.

My climbs are average 1500'-3000' over the course of 3-8 miles. I'm in 26 up front and 30 or 34 in back and I'm passing many guys up but I think you'd blow right by me. :)
 

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But I'll bet you could push a taller gear if there weren't lower gears available.

;)
That's true because moving from a triple ring to a double (going from a low of 22 teeth to a low of 26 teeth) took some getting used to but I adapted in about one week. The thing is, I'm no spring chicken. I had a really bad cycling accident in 2011 which weakened my left leg (mostly the knee) and I'm getting arthritis in my knees and hips so I don't want to torture myself. I'm sticking with a double up front mostly because a single does not supply the top end speed I so much enjoy cranking into.
 
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