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North Umpqua Trail, great camping, multiple trail options so you can stay put for a day (or 3) and ride different sections at whatever pace suits you. Great trails, nearby hotsprings, the river. Hard to beat….buuutttt: +1 for Bend and Oakridge great riding in both places. Also look into Ashland and the McKenzie River areas. Ashland (Ashland Mountain Adventures), Bend (Cog Wild), and Oakridge (Oregon Adventures, Cog Wild) offer local shuttle services (and guiding, if you’re so inclined). Bring a growler for 180 Brewers Union in Oakridge (personally one of my favorite OR breweries), or Growler Guy fill ups in all the best mtb towns.
March 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm in reply to: Does anyone bother trying to buy USA-made mountain bikes anymore? #259135
My 2013 Tracer-275 alu was among the final years of frames Intense Made in the USA and is a fun, reliable, maintainable bike that will live long bring me many more smiles.
My 2018 Ibis HD4 is a “Designed in USA” bike from a great local company but the frames are made in Asia (China/Taiwan) along side some of the other highest quality bikes made today.
In terms of quality the Intense isn’t better or worse than the Ibis. (They’re both awesome, fwiw.) In terms of service both companies have been supportive and responsive when I needed parts or info to service/repair my bikes. Where a bike is manufactured and by whom is a judgement call of people who know more than (most of) you or I about the quality, quanity, yield, cost, and other implications of building a bike, and how to make the best trade offs. I’d say we’re better off to focus on finding a reliable and responsive bike maker whose decisions demonstrate their commitment to us customers and our safety/satisfaction/stoke and reputation of competence/quality/service to deliver on that commitment. I was stoked to have that American flag on my frame when I was riding the Intense, but I’m sure as hell not less stoked to ride the Ibis. I know in both cases skillful and dependable people who care about mountain biking built something they’re proud to see their name on and I’m having a blast riding the results of their hard work.
Bunch of questions, but I’ll take them in order:
1) 1×11 would be nice, but i understand some older wheels only support 1×10. How do I determine what I will work?
Your 9speed freehub is a Shimano/SRAM type, not the “XD” type, so you’ll be looking at Shimano 10/11 or SRAM NX cassettes, if they’ll fit. Usually there’s a spacer on the freehub that you’ll need for switching from 9=>10 speed cassettes, if that’s a removable spacer, you can usually change to 10 (or Shimano 11) speed. If not…9speed it is.
2) i hear clutch deraileurs are the best, but how do i tell if the one i just put on 2 years ago is clutch style or not?
I’m not aware of any clutch 9speed derailleurs. Its unlikely yours has a clutch.
3) also, if my deraileur is a clutch style could it handle a cassette with 10 or 11 cogs?
You’ll need to change your shifter and derailleur to change from 9=>10 or 11 speeds in addition to your cassette.
4) does a clutch style deraileur require a matching shifter?
Not as such, but since all derailleur’s with a clutch are likely to be 10 or 11 speed, you’ll need a new shifter.
5) if i go 1×9 and just leave the old cassette/deraileur on, will a 9-speed chain be sloppy on a new narrow/wide chainring?
I’ve run 10speed chains on 9speed systems without issue. You couldn’t get away going the other direction with a 10speed cassette (using a 9speed chain) because of clearance issues, but if you use a 1x ring up front, it should be fine with a 9speed chain (since there’s no crowding of higher or lower chainrings to interfere with the chain’s outer dimension).
That said, one of the draw’s of a 1x drivetrain is the wider range rear cassette (with cogs as big as 46 or more teeth) giving you back some of your low end gearing. Lots of people do run 1×9, but you’ll likely want to go much smaller on your front chainring, which may interfere with your suspension performance (anything smaller than a 30-32 front ring can be problematic), or even have clearance issues with the frame itself in some configurations. Also, smaller than a 30t front ring won’t often fit on 3x cranks in the middle position which will support your best chainline.
If you can put a 10/11 speed cassette on your wheel, and you’re set on killing the front derailleur, I’d suggest looking into the 4pc (derailleur, shifter, chain, cassette) Shimano drivetrain kits you’ll see on ebay/chainreaction/etc and picking a narrow/wide ring that will fit your crank BCD (if it’s Shimano, the middle ring is probably 104mm, but best to measure it to be sure). This will get you a nice 11-42 or 11-46 rear gear range and let you stick with a 32(ish) tooth chainring on the front which will put you right in the “sweet spot” for a 1×11 setup for typical riding areas.
Your other 1x option is to stick with the 1×9, figure out the right front ring (30t as the smallest I’d suggest) size and work those legs.
bar-plug, grip, brake, dropper, bell | shifter, brake, grip, bar-plug