Who has experience with 1x10 speed for enduro/light dh?

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Vital MTB member Tuup_J
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Joined: 3/1/2011

Location: NLD

9/4/2011 3:31 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/4/2011 3:48 AM


at the moment I ride downhill. But I'm selling my bike to buy a enduro. I have such cool enduro singletracks here dat an enduro bike is more interesting to have and more fun then a overkill downhill bike.

But whe have some cool (light) downhill tracks here, I want to use the claymore for some jumping and downhill riding on those tracks. And next year I gonna ride some enduro compititions, like the mega avalanche.

I have a 10 speed 11/36 cassette and want to go ride with single ring in the front, but what size sprocket can I use the best? So I can also do some uphill, the uphill here are not so heavy, we have hills, no mountains.

So I need a sprocket in the front where I can do some uphill with and downhill. 34 tooth? 36 tooth?

Who can help me?

Best regards,



Vital MTB member bomacarthur
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Location: Aptos, CA USA

9/4/2011 11:28 AM

I have always used a 1X9 set-up on my trail bike and I love it. I use a 34t chainring that seems to work the best for me but if you say there are only hills not mountains where you live and you have powerful legs, you could get away with up to a 36t. I wouldn't go any bigger than a 36 though if you plan to do a lot of climbing.

Mountain Jerk

Vital MTB member Mountain Jerk
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Location: Redlands, CA USA

9/5/2011 7:48 PM

I have a Claymore as well, and run 1x10 with a 36 chainring. It climbs pretty well with the 36 and granny gear in the back. I'd recommend anywhere between a 34-36.


Vital MTB member DHmental
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9/6/2011 7:33 AM

34 will be easier to climb, but you wont be able to pedal at high speeds on the downhill.


Vital MTB member JimEG
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Location: Olympia, WA USA

9/6/2011 7:39 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/6/2011 7:41 AM

Running a SRAM XO 1X10 with a short cage rear deraillure and XTR cranks on my HD. Great for Super D and general trail riding that doesn't involve really steep climbs. Slightly more precise shifting than the 9 speed and the 36 cog offers a little more bail-out when it comes to the short climbs in any good Super D course. I run a 34 or 36 front ring for the Super D races in the NW.



Vital MTB member k.shiz
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9/6/2011 8:15 AM

I live in Colorado with plenty of big mountains to ride and despite sometimes (rarely) being in okay shape, I can't get away with more than a 32t ring up front. I'm running 1x9 with an 11-34 in the back and can climb just about everything that I would want to. There are a few trails where I would really enjoy a 1x10 that would let me run an 11-36 in the back for sort of a bail out gear. I have never found that I can't go fast enough back down the hill with my 32f-11r. If I'm wanting to go any faster than what that gear gives me, I'd rather be on a DH bike.

If you're hills aren't so burly, I'd say start out with a 34t ring. You can always run guide-rings if you feel you need more and go up a single tooth. I know it seems nit-picky but when I could finally run an odd toothed ring on my DH bike, it made what felt like a big difference between two kind of awkward choices in the even numbers. 35t might get you up the hills if a 36t is barely too burly.


Vital MTB member Aginato
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Location: BEL

9/6/2011 8:15 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/6/2011 8:16 AM

I have tried different size chainrings with a 1x10 setup and concluded that it was too much of a compromise for my physical ability... (with a 11-36 cassette)

I tried a 34t chainring, which gave me a sufficiently small ratio to do climbs (Belgian Ardennes), but it really isn't big enough to pedal through the nasty stuff once you're up to speed (mud notably). Same goes for the short pieces of flat fireroad where you could otherwise set yourself up with a good amount of speed to attack the next tech section.

I also tried a 37t chainring, which was big enough for the high speed sections but rather big for the climbs. I mean to say that I would get by at "race pace", but this isn't fun for a casual day out on the trail where I want to ride all day and not be knackered after 5 or 6 uphill sections.

So I sticked with 2x9 (22-36 front & 11-32 rear) for the versatility and I can't be arsed to change it for the few enduro events I ride (Enduro series in France mainly).

just as a side note; I'm no beer gulping, potbelly, couch potato either... I ride marathon xc tours in the ardennes in the winter and "real mountains" in the summer, but I'm no Remi Absolon :-).


Vital MTB member trevorpeckham
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Location: USA

9/6/2011 8:35 AM

I ride a 1x10 with an 11-36 and 36t in front for pretty much everything. I find that if I can't make it up a climb, it's usually because of traction or technique, not gearing or leg strength. I also barely use the bottom two gears on trails, I'm usually not pedaling if I'm moving that quick. From my experience, I would say a 34 would be more than enough on downhills, but get you up almost anything that you'd actually want to climb without getting off your bike.


Vital MTB member rusty
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9/6/2011 8:42 AM

For what it's worth, I've been doing some short XC loops on a DJ bike, running a 38 x 12 - 23. I have to stand up when I'm climbing (well, pretty much all the time actually, lol). I ride in south east England, so we've got a few little hills but nothing major, and I can climb the majority of stuff. Extended steep sections can be a problem but you just gotta grit your teeth and go for it until you run out of puff.

I reckon you'd have no problems running a 34T or a 36T with an 11-36 out back.


Vital MTB member thevish
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9/6/2011 10:04 AM

34 if you wanna climb more, 36 if you wanna bomb more.
good luck.


Vital MTB member isaacds
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Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

9/6/2011 11:00 AM

I agree with most of what's been said, I have my enduro set up as a 1x9, soon to be a 1x10 with xtr shifting. I think that it's paramount for me, to have less than a 1:1 ratio. I am rolling a 32t front to an 11-34 cassette, and I've had no issues. I have a 35 t that I throw on for faster areas, but if I know that I'll be climbing for miles, it's certainly nice to have less than a 1:1, as in my 32f-34r, I still move around 7.5-8.1 mph at my cadence...
hope this babble helps. If you want to see pictures, check isaacds under pinkbike, or ids under mtbr.

zach morris

Vital MTB member zach morris
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Location: Ketchum, ID USA

9/6/2011 11:16 AM

32 up front and a 9 sp 11-34 on my 6" bike.

gets me up burly climbs and gets me going as fast as i want to go.

I live in the mtns and ride a lot of pump track...

tyo tout terrain


Vital MTB member brian.pisani
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9/6/2011 11:48 AM

just another idea, why not run a dual ring setup with a chainguide? Pedal up in the small ring and then let gravity take over and never worry about dropping a chain in the big ring.


Vital MTB member iceman2058
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9/6/2011 2:18 PM

I've been very tempted to go this route, just seems like a much cleaner set-up, less stuff on the handlebars, less chance of dropped chains (even with a dual-ring chainguide and bash, sometimes the chain still manages to slip off...), and a bit less weight and one less cable etc...

But each time I get this urge, I go for a ride, and try to leave it in the big ring (36T) all the time. That shit gets old real quick on climbs (OK so I've only got a 11-34 in the rear, I'm sure a 34T up front and a 11-36 in the back would see me through most stuff...but like you, I worry about the gearing on the downhill side of the affair. Pretty sure I'd be spinning out the 34T).

So then I come to my senses and just try to forget they ever invented 1x10 wide cassettes... :-)


Vital MTB member digitalhippie
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9/7/2011 1:19 AM

Have been running 1x10 on my Mojo HD for 10 months or so now. Run a 33 chain ring, 11-36 cassette, MRP G2 SL guide. Suits where I ride, how I like to ride, love it!

A few posts on my blog about it at http://digitalhippie.net/1x10-mtb-drivetrain/


Vital MTB member iceman2058
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10/13/2011 11:54 AM

9 tooth sprockets to the rescue. Yay! This thread is a good example of why 9-36 is going to be so cool. 9-36 10-speed in the rear, 30T up front - climb anything, bomb anything!


Vital MTB member pro_fro
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Location: Ashland, OR USA

12/16/2011 2:43 PM

it's great,
I used to run an 11-32 rear with a 38t front in a really hilly part of oregon.
Found myself reaching for gears on SUPER fast downhills, and lighter gears on super steep climbs.
but now with 11-36 cass, you can't go wrong.

mrp 1x guide is awesome, just be prepared to lose the ability to back pedal in rough situations, you will lose your chain.

lower rollers/pulley wheels do add a lot of resistance for xc/all mtn use.

have fun!!!


Vital MTB member chamaedorea.elegans
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1/4/2013 10:54 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/21/2016 10:22 AM

Good knowledge in this thread..bump it to the top

I ride 32T for slopestyle..looks like I would start off with a 34T front ring for all mountain riding (with 10sp 11-36 cassette)

..if I find myself spinning out on certain DH sections, then I'll up it to 36T front ring (but possibly go with a 35T..who knows)


Vital MTB member astrizzle
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1/5/2013 5:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/21/2016 10:22 AM

I was running a 1x9 setup for a while in UT and since my cranks were made for 2x10 the smallest front ring I could ride was a 38T (Came stock with a 39T), unless I got a new spider which would allow me to run a 36T and lower. Since the bike shops I went to said that the new spider would be a problem I was going to have to consider getting a whole new crankset so i could run a 1x9 setup but INSTEAD I decided to keep the cranks I have and add a front mech so I now have a 2x10. I think I am going to add one of those little chainstay roller guides eventually to prevent any chain problems but I think if you are running a 9 speed rear cassette its hard to get all the gears you want with 1 chainring on the front no matter what size it is.

In short to answer the author's question: I'd say go with the 34T up front for your 10 speed rig, your legs will thank you on the climbs.