Upgrading parts

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    • #239518

      Hello everyone!

      I have decided that I will be upgrading my parts on my Cannondale Trail 7 hard tail instead of purchasing a new bike. My question is, I would like to convert my bike from a 3/8 to a 1/11 and I would like decent parts. Nothing too crazy high end, but spending around $400-500 for new cassettes, derailleurs, front drive train. Also I want to upgrade my wheels and eventually my front fork (this will not be part of that 400-500 price range, something down the road).

      I’m still new to this whole new world of mountain biking and the only site that I really know for decent prices for parts is Amazon so any help would be amazing. Thank you in advance.

    • #239519

      I’m going down this same rabbit hole as you are and recently upgraded to a 1x system with my 2016 10 speed full suspension bike. I was fortunate because I only had to buy a new chainring and could keep my rear cassette, shifter, and derailleur so it was a relatively cheap upgrade ($40). I now want to get new wheels, but will probably buy used to save some money. I say this because, given your situation and what you’re looking to buy, I’d suggest getting a new bike. If you’re replacing a 3×8, that means your hardtail is probably an older model. To go 1×11 with a good mix of Shimano SLX and XT you’re looking at $300-400 for parts, for a good new fork, that’s at least another $500+, and the same for wheels. You’ve then got nice new parts mixed in with an old hardtail frame. I think I would just take that ~ $1500 you’re going to eventually spend and save up for a new full suspension and keep the hardtail around as a backup (or buy a new hardtail if that’s what  you really like). This scenario makes more sense if you’re scouring Craigslist or Ebay and buying used parts.

      As for parts, I often buy from Amazon too as they get it to me quickly and have low prices. I always compare with some other go-to sites like Performance Bikes, Nashbar, SteepandCheap, Competitive Cyclist, Jensen, etc…  Good luck

      • #239520

        Thank you for that info. My current parts are just so worn down that I need new parts. My drivetrain is making some kind of weird clunking noise that I just don’t feel comfortable riding it anywhere. You make a very valid point though.

    • #239526

      You can get an entire 1×11 SLX drivetrain here for $225: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/shimano-slx-1×11-drivetrain-groupset/rp-prod148625

      Want to go XT? That’s still under budget at about $350: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/shimano-xt-1×11-drivetrain-groupset/rp-prod137311

      This doesn’t include a bottom bracket so you may need to buy a new one if yours isn’t compatible.

    • #239536


      You will run into problems with the cassette.  Your freehub body can fit an 8, 9, or 10 speed cassette, but NOT an 11 speed cassette.  If you are keeping your current wheels, and just want to get your bike back on the trail, your best option is a 1×10 setup.

      If you are considering new wheels or a new fork, then pump the brakes.  Time to save for a new bike.  Those big parts are really expensive retail.

      If you still want to get this bike back on the trail, consider converting this bike into a single speed.  Use the granny gear and one of the smaller cogs on the old cassette with a bunch of spacers, use the old rear derailleur with the limit screws locked out as a chain tensioner and voila.

      I always do the bare minimum to maintain my bikes – example my chainrings on my 2×11 setup were completely trashed from rock strikes, so when i replaced my drivetrain I paired it down to a 1x so it would be cheaper (but also more enjoyable).  If the fork is ever severely damaged it’ll get a rigid fork.  By then the bike will be ancient, maybe the frame will be cracked, time for a new one.


    • #239537

      Your freehub body can fit an 8, 9, or 10 speed cassette, but NOT an 11 speed cassette.

      Doesn’t that depend on the length of the freehub? Shimano 11spd cassettes don’t need an XD driver like SRAM 11spd does, so as long as the freehub is long enough, it should fit.

      • #239544


        Yes it does come down to the freehub body length.  Most older Shimano compatible hubs are 8/9/10 compatible, they need to be longer to be 11 speed compatible with a few exceptions.  Most Mavic hubs from the last 15 years (marked for 8/9/10) are sufficiently long enough to accommodate 11 speed cassettes, you just install the cassette without the Mavic spacer.  Mavic made their freehub bodies longer to make the design modular between Shimano and Campagnolo freehub bodies (the hub shell stays the same between the two).

        Its worth checking the freehub length before ordering.  Good luck!

    • #239624

      Jeff, so that second option, the XT. Length, Option and Teeth. The length is the length of the chain, correct? Also, wouldn’t it be better to have the smaller 170mm option? Then the Option, Bar Mount or I-Spec B. What’s the difference between those? I-Spec B is sold out currently. Then the teeth I take that is the teeth on the front 1x.. no?

      I like the price of $350 for all of that. If I’m right about everything so far, I would get the 170mm with the bar mount and 34 for teeth. Now, how would I find out if that would be compatible with my current bike? I have a 205 Cannondale Trail 7 hard tail. No upgrades at all to it. Is there any measurements that I could take on my bike currently to find out if these new parts would fit or would I have to go down to a 1×10? As far as wheels and front fork, I don’t expect to upgrade any of those for a while. I would like new wheels and also budgeted. Nothing too crazy. I don’t need any Santa Cruz carbon wheels that cost $600. haha Is there anything around the $100-150 price range that are better than the stock ones I currently I have on it?


      Thank you all again for all of this help and sorry for so many simple questions. I just don’t wanna go out and buy something just to find out it wont even fit on my bike.

      • #239625

        Regarding your wheel question, ” I would like new wheels and also budgeted…  …around the $100-150 price range”.  Not too long ago I replaced my worn out wheel set, and, as it just so happens, am also currently in the middle of updating  from 3×9 to 1×11.  I chose to try Mavic’s Crossrides for their price and straight through spokes.  So far (5 months of abuse), very happy.  The rear hub is, naturally, Shimano compatible, and they have an XD driver (~$60) available as well, should you wish to go the SRAM standard route.  On that note, have you considered gear range?  I like the range I get with the 3×9, specifically at the low end.  Shimano’s 1×11 does OK, but have to chose between what I have at the top end versus the lower end.  To get the same 3×9 range, I’d need a 1×12, with which I’d have compatibility issues with Shimano’s XT hardware.  I then came across e*thirteen’s TRS 11 speed cassette, which uses an XD driver.  It has a range of 511% versus SRAM’s 12 speed 500% range cassette.  Using the right chainring (30, 32, etc.) will place that range just where I want it, and very closely match the 3×9 range.  Shimano’s XT derailleur/shifter will work with the e*thirteen cassette.  The only downside to e*thirteen’s cassette is price.  Around $240. 🙁

      • #239636

        The length is the crank arm length. These days 175mm is pretty common for mountain bikes, so unless you have very short legs or tend to get a lot of pedal strikes, go for the 175s.

        The “tooth” count refers to the chainring up front. 32T is pretty standard for most folks running 11spd. If you’re a strong rider, you may prefer 34T. If you struggle on climbs, get the 30T.

        Unless you already have Shimano brakes, you don’t need the I-Spec B version. Bar mount is what you want. Even if you do have Shimano brakes and they are I-Spec B compatible, you can still run the bar mount, it just won’t be as “clean.”

        Again, the only thing to check is that your freehub body is compatible with the 11spd cassette. Pop off your existing cassette and measure the length of the freehub body (the part with the splines). If you find there is an extra spacer on the freehub body already, you may not even need to measure. That’s a good indication that your freehub is elongated.


    • #239629

      Here is a review of the wheels I have (not my review, but I agree they are great wheels)


    • #239648


      So what would the correct length be that I need in order to fit that XT? I was trying to find something on that link that you gave me but there was nothing. Is there just a certain overall length for all 11x’s or….?

      • #239679

        “So what would the correct length be that I need in order to fit that XT? I was trying to find something on that link that you gave me but there was nothing. Is there just a certain overall length for all 11x’s or….?”


        Are you referring to the rear hub?  If so, I would check with the wheelset manufacturer in question, or maybe the hub manufacturer if you can determine make/model.  They should be able to tell you what cassettes it’s compatible with.


        Also, to save some cash going to a 1×11, focus on the rear… new wheel if necessary for new cassette compatibility, and leave the 3x crankset in place, remove the front derailleur, and just use the center ring (shorten chain, if necessary).  As a bonus, that large outer chainring makes a handy bashgurd.

    • #239650

      That I don’t know. 🙂

    • #239683


      Re: 11 speed on a 10 speed compat. Free hub:

      Have you seen this:

      Can’t vouch for its accuracy and application to MTB freehubs but it does have some dimensions in there.

      Also Sheldon Brown usually has something sensible about most things?



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