conversion from 3×9 to 1×9

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    • #206683

      So I have a 2001 gary fisher marlin, with a 3x drivetrain, and I want to switch to a 1x. Because I am on a budget, I don’t want to buy a new derailer and shifter, so I want to go with a 1×9. Can anyone recommend what size of cassette to get and what chainring? I want to be able to race xc for fun, but also maybe some enduro and street as well. Thanks!

    • #206689

      What is the size of your middle ring right now? You can probably get away with using that, and replacing your big ring with a bash guard. Once you do, you can see if your cassette has the range you need.

    • #206692

      I believe it is a 32 tooth, do you think that I will have the range I need with that?

    • #206694

      If you’re a decently strong rider, and you’re not riding extreme terrain (that is, steep mountains or flat pavement), 32T should give you a good range.

      I ride 1×9 and my bike initially came with a 32T ring. A few years ago I moved up to a 34T.

      Not sure the exact gear range on the cassette but it’s pretty standard. No bail out ring or anything like that.

    • #206704

      You may be able to get away with using your stock ring, but you’ll probably have to add some sort of chain retention device. It may be cheaper to get a narrow wide chainring.

      I think you can get a 9 speed cassette with a 34T large cog. As Jeff said, with a 32T chainring and a 34T on your cassette, you should be able to ride just about everywhere.

    • #206751

      I did a 1×9 conversion on my 29er hardtail just last week. I have a 11-34 cassette and used a Raceface 30t nw chainring, it only cost $40 with shipping. I’m really pleased with it so far, no problems going up the steep hills or getting up to speed on the flats.

    • #206755

      Shimano makes a 9spd cassette with a 12-36 range. Its is the CS-HG400. You will loose lose some top end range but gain on the low end.

      It is a heavy cassette, but it shifts well and is durable. I used one for a season on a 29er with a 32t and 30t chainring, depending on the trail.

      I would recommend a new chain when you do the conversion. You could even use a 10 speed chain. It will shift fine and stay on the narrow wide ring better since it is narrower. Chain length is key since there are no 9spd derailluers with a clutch. Basically you want the chain as short as possible to keep enough tension on the derailluer cage spring in the smaller cogs, without ripping the derailluer apart if you bottom out in the large cog.

    • #206765

      I recently did a 3×9 to a 1×10 conversion on my hardtail.

      I bought a 32T raceface chainring on amazon for 25$ and bought a sun race 11-42 cassette also on amazon for 40$. I then bought a rear deraileur and shifter on jenson for around 60$ combined(Sram GX DR and X9 shifter). Swap was super easy and for the price I felt like I got a pretty good deal, especially because I did the work myself.

    • #206800

      I converted my 3×9, 22/30/40 with 11-34 cassette to a 1×9 32t oval with a 12-36 cassette. Oval doesn’t work for everybody, but for me I feel I can climb as well as with a 30t front.  I still have my old cassette and plan on taking the 11 and 13 from it and replace the 12 and 14 on the new cassette.   Also I added a bash ring in place of the 40t so the 32t is centered and I did not need any spacer to correct the chainline.

    • #206845

      Thanks for the help everyone! So does everyone think a 32 tooth raceface chainring with a cassette with a 11 or 12-36 will work well for general xc, light enduro, street etc. I only have the one mountain bike, and I want it to work well for just about everything

    • #206863
    • #206864

      I would go 1×10 and replace your shifter, derailleur, cassette, chain ring and chain. I did this on a 2×9 bike of mine last year and it cost me $180 all-in (SRAM GX shifter & derailleur). I am sure you can get it cheaper now. The NX range is even lower cost. I figure for $150 you should be able to get it done. More than worth the money.

      The 11-40 9-speed cassette in one of the links above alone are $139 before taxes/shipping. You can get a 10-speed Sunrace cassette with that spread for $65. And you can go as low as 30t on the chainring. A 30t chain ring with 40t low gear on the cassette gives you a pretty low ratio and you should be fine with that almost anywhere.

    • #206888

      Hey guys, I’m still new to this so as I’m reading all this, I find it fascinating but somewhat confusing.   Sorry for asking for more of an explanation.  I currently have on my 2016 Rockhopper Comp:

      Sunrace, 9 speed, 11-36T (I’m assuming the smalles cog is 11 teeth and largest is 36?)

      Crankset 2×9 square taper, 36/22T.

      I would like to go to 1×10 or 1×11, if possible.    I know square taper cranksets are old and outdated.

      What kind of upgrade/work would I need for this?

      Does a new crankset come with a new bottom bracket?

      would I need a new longer/bigger rear hub to accommodate the larger cassette?

      please go gentle on me as this is new to me.

      And please break it down for me in lamen terms.

      I know I could pay my LBS to do this, but I enjoy tinkering/upgrading my bike, so I would like to do as much myself as I can.


    • #644116

      Hey all, I’ve been in here before but I can’t find a conversation I participated in for this subject and instead of starting a new topic for it, I’ll try this.

      It’s confusing to me because some sites prefer starting a new thread over commenting on an old one and some the other way around and I’m trying to get my bike back on the road now so I don’t have time to read the rules so I apologize either way.

      I have been having all sorts of issues with this old Irom Horse FS 3×9. I know, it’s an old piece of junk but it’s what I have and I can’t afford a new bike that is decent. The cheapest I can find for what I want is at least $2400 and I just don’t have anywhere near that kind of money to drop on a pedal bike at this time but I need the one I have working, like now!

      So originally my big issue was finding an FD that would even fit this frame set because the available space for one is highly limited due to how they have the pivot for the rear triangle welded to the seat post tube. I finally found one that fits without any clearance or chain line issues but it’s a Shimano Tourney series. I have tried several different ones from the guys I have been talking to at 3 different local shops and a co-op. The only other one that was close was also a bottom line micro shift and in order to get it to work, I had to grind some material from the rear triangle pivot mount and I didn’t like the idea but it got the bike running. The original FD was a Shimano but it didn’t have a model number, only a single 3 digit code on it which referred me to a site for cross reference and indicated that it wasn’t a part from any of their normal series but parts they make for specific manufacturers on their lower end bikes to keep costs low and I was only able to find a couple of used ones on eBay that were basically in the same condition as mine, JUNK. This is when I appealed to the local shops who also directed me to the co-op but still no go besides the Micro Shift and my now customized rear triangle mount.

      So the next big issue was when it came time to adjust the FD I wasn’t able to get a screw driver onto the low stop adjustment screw. I used needle nosed pliers to get about a 32nd of a turn on it all the while scraping the heck out of the paint and aluminum on the bike and messing up both high and low stop screws but I got it to where it needed to be to ride it and have it shift ok.

      A few days ago I spit my chain on the way to work. I have chain tools and spare parts in my tool kit that I keep in my backpack so I repaired it and was back on the road albeit late to work. The chain wasnt that old but I figured with the 3×9, although I do my best to not cross chain, I know they still take a lot of abuse back and forth through the gears as I am at the base of the foothills on the eastern slope of the Rockies a bit west of Denver proper so I do a lot of hilly riding. So i went to the bike shop and got a new Shimano HG93 9 speed chain.

      Yesterday, I spit a 3 day old chain that I know I installed right. The incident landed me in the stream on my way home from work with my work clothes, boots, and gear as well as my 9mm and my phone. Not to mention being pissed off, even hough I did a good job of hiding that from a couple of onlookers, I have had it with this 3×9. I want a 1x drivetrain to eliminate the FD issues altogether and for the simplicity of it. At first I wasn’t on the 1x train but now that I have had so many issues with this 3x and after yesterday’s fiasco, I’m on board 100 %.

      I was looking at options and I have a few in mind but I am having other struggles at the moment so I can’t afford any of the upper end options that I’d like not to mention this old beast isn’t really worth sinking $400 to $500 into one for it. My cassette is an 11 to 36 Hyperdrive and my crank set is also Hyperdrive, 22,32,42. I’m usually in the middle range on the front but I do use the lowest and highest combos a lot for climbing and speed on the few long downgrades I like to ride a lot. I think the 32 front is OK but it looks like I’ll need more range in the rear. However with my financial struggles of late, I was hoping to be able to get by with the 9 speed for a while.

      From reading through this it looks like that if I try to go the cheapest route and just remove the FD and the lowest and highest chain ring, which I can do because they are removable and it’s not a riveted set, that I’ll need a device to keep the chain from coming off?

      Or a different type of chain ring such as a narrow wide? I’m not clear on what I need to do to the front as I don’t want to struggle with a chain that’s going to be coming off. If I do need a narrow wide, do I also need a new crank set and or BB?

      The current front is a Shimano M-361 set that came with everything, BB UN300 73×113, 175mm arms, and the 3 rings. the rear is CS-HG201 9 11-36t cassette, Acera RD-T3000 9. Any advice and or recommendations for a broke a$$ mofo are greatly appreciated!

    • #644605

      RAYD8R There are a lot of good deals out there on new bikes.  You can get a decent hardtail for less than 1000 (Yes a $2400 bike will be more nice but don’t let perfect be the obstacle of progress). I have High School kids on my mountain bike team absolutely crushing it on Giant Talons and Trek Marlins,  including some podium finishes.  Generally speaking, a new bike is a more cost effective way to upgrade when your bike needs a lot new components (the big manufacturers buy parts for almost nothing compared to retail).    Also, no component upgrades will give you the benefit of a modern frame geometry. The head tube angles on the old 3×8 bikes are very steep,  the chain stays are comparatively long and the new bikes will feel awesome for you.

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