Prototype 9 - 36 tooth Cassette Gearing - First Look

Jan 5, 2011 at 0:09
Jan 5, 2011
by Mike Levy  
 
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Specialized team rider Curtis Keene dropped by Pinkbike HQ to sample our local trails and to give us a closer look at his very special carbon S-Works Enduro trail slayer. Why so special, you ask? It was equipped with a single ring and a prototype 9 - 36T spread, 10 speed cassette. Have a look inside for more photos and info on his steed and its gearing.

Are single ring and large spread cassettes the future of mountain bike drivetrains? Let the discussion begin inside...



Prototype 9 - 36T, 10 speed cassette gearing


<span style='font-size:17px'>Curtis Keene dropped by the Pinkbike HQ with his Specialized Enduro S Works Carbon that was equipped with the prototype 9 - 36 tooth spread, 10 speed cassette.</span><br><br>The last few seasons have seen the mountain bike drivetrain make what can only be described as a meteoric jump on the evolutionary ladder, especially when comparing its latest progress against the previous decade's worth of advancements. People have long been playing around with gearing combinations that suit their terrain, take many riders from B.C.'s North Shore region who have been running modified double chain ring cranksets since mountain biking's early days, but manufacturers are now stepping up to the plate more so than ever with options for everyone from single speeders to those who want just the right gearing spread for their local terrain and style. Just take a look at the super trick 1 x 6 gearing using a 9 tooth cog that you saw on the Team Monster Energy - Specialized bikes ridden by Brendan Fairclough and Sam Hill. Similarly, companies are also working on a large spread cassette, shown here for the first time, for XC use that also uses a 9 tooth cog on the high end.
Curtis Keene dropped by the Pinkbike HQ with his Specialized Enduro S Works Carbon that was equipped with the prototype 9 - 36 tooth spread, 10 speed cassette.

The last few seasons have seen the mountain bike drivetrain make what can only be described as a meteoric jump on the evolutionary ladder, especially when comparing its latest progress against the previous decade's worth of advancements. People have long been playing around with gearing combinations that suit their terrain, take many riders from B.C.'s North Shore region who have been running modified double chain ring cranksets since mountain biking's early days, but manufacturers are now stepping up to the plate more so than ever with options for everyone from single speeders to those who want just the right gearing spread for their local terrain and style. Just take a look at the super trick 1 x 6 gearing using a 9 tooth cog that you saw on the Team Monster Energy - Specialized bikes ridden by Brendan Fairclough and Sam Hill. Similarly, companies are also working on a large spread cassette, shown here for the first time, for XC use that also uses a 9 tooth cog on the high end.
<span style='font-size:17px'>It's easy to spot the difference between the new large spread prototype cassette (shown above) and a standard version when looking from this angle.</span><br><br>The spread above uses a 36 tooth large cog on the low end and a tiny 9 tooth cog for the highest gear. This is where the ingenuity comes in, because as anyone who's had their cassette off may well know, the smallest cog that would previously fit would be an 11 tooth version due to the freehub's diameter. This is where DT Swiss steps in with a custom made freehub body that accepts a smaller cog. As of right now the actual design of the freehub remains unknown, but to get an idea of what it may look like, have a gander at Shimano's commuter intended Capreo group that also uses a 9 tooth small cog. I'm betting that the DT Swiss freehub is also stepped and that the bottom few cogs are a single unit. The very special freehub body has been manufactured by DT Swiss solely for the R & D that Specialized is doing for this project, you won't see it anywhere else anytime soon.
It's easy to spot the difference between the new large spread prototype cassette (shown above) and a standard version when looking from this angle.

The spread above uses a 36 tooth large cog on the low end and a tiny 9 tooth cog for the highest gear. This is where the ingenuity comes in, because as anyone who's had their cassette off may well know, the smallest cog that would previously fit would be an 11 tooth version due to the freehub's diameter. This is where DT Swiss steps in with a custom made freehub body that accepts a smaller cog. As of right now the actual design of the freehub remains unknown, but to get an idea of what it may look like, have a gander at Shimano's commuter intended Capreo group that also uses a 9 tooth small cog. I'm betting that the DT Swiss freehub is also stepped and that the bottom few cogs are a single unit. The very special freehub body has been manufactured by DT Swiss solely for the R & D that Specialized is doing for this project, you won't see it anywhere else anytime soon.
<span style='font-size:17px'>The 9 tooth cog is held on with a large lock ring on this prototype version.</span><br><br>The new gearing range made possible by these large spread cassettes may not get the press that a new bike would, but this is big news for a lot of riders who want to simplify their drive train by running a single chain ring, but still want a usable gear selection. So what does all this talk mean? Well, the real story here is the addition of the 9 tooth cog to the mix. The 9 tooth cog allows the rider to use a single smaller chainring (say a 28 or 30 tooth ring) as opposed to a double ring setup to eliminate all of those redundant gearing options, but also even broaden the gearing range. For example, a common 24 tooth ring and 36 tooth cog combo gives you a rollout of 1.52 meters, but a 28 tooth ring and 36 tooth cog would give you 1.67 meters... a pretty damn close easy gear. But on the other end a standard 32/11 combo gives you a max rollout of 6.26 meters compared to a 28/9's 6.7 meters. At this point in time Specialized is the only company that is pursuing this gearing concept, but it makes enough sense that we could possibly see that change in the future.
The 9 tooth cog is held on with a large lock ring on this prototype version.

The new gearing range made possible by these large spread cassettes may not get the press that a new bike would, but this is big news for a lot of riders who want to simplify their drive train by running a single chain ring, but still want a usable gear selection. So what does all this talk mean? Well, the real story here is the addition of the 9 tooth cog to the mix. The 9 tooth cog allows the rider to use a single smaller chainring (say a 28 or 30 tooth ring) as opposed to a double ring setup to eliminate all of those redundant gearing options, but also even broaden the gearing range. For example, a common 24 tooth ring and 36 tooth cog combo gives you a rollout of 1.52 meters, but a 28 tooth ring and 36 tooth cog would give you 1.67 meters... a pretty damn close easy gear. But on the other end a standard 32/11 combo gives you a max rollout of 6.26 meters compared to a 28/9's 6.7 meters. At this point in time Specialized is the only company that is pursuing this gearing concept, but it makes enough sense that we could possibly see that change in the future.

Gear development comparison*

• 32 tooth ring x 9 tooth cog = 7.662m
• 32 tooth ring x 36 tooth cog = 1.916m

• 32 tooth ring x 11 tooth cog = 6.269
• 22 tooth ring x 34 tooth cog = 1.394
*Gear development (also known as rollout) is the distance traveled by the bicycle per one revolution of the crank


Death to the front derailleur? Certainly not, although a lot of riders who currently run a double ring, traditional 22/32 combo can get very similar gearing by using the new 9 - 36T spread cassette with a single ring of their choice. Ditching the extra ring, front derailleur, shifter, and the associated cable and housing in exchange for the new cassette and a lightweight chain guide will not only be lighter overall, but also more reliable. The addition of the 9 tooth cog will allow you to reduce the size of your front chainring, thereby broadening your gearing range - something that going from 7 cogs to 9 cogs never achieved (more redundant gears were added). Not only is a wider range possible, but we could also see lower bottom bracket heights due to the extra ground clearance. The 9 - 36T spread is not yet available to the public, but I'm betting that it's only a matter of time until we see production versions released. Stay tuned!

Are we looking at the future of mountain bike drivetrains? Discuss below!
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161 Comments

  • + 13
 Possibly. I don't see reason why not.
  • + 18
 I maybe wrong but I think I saw Hope already making a 9-36 tooth freehub body to go on their Pro2 hubs. Eurobike anyone?
Until a desent 11speed hub comes out with off road back up.
  • - 2
 Thats dope.
  • - 2
 how much difference does that actually make?
  • + 17
 It makes it possible to have a larger range of gears if you still want to use a 2x10 setup AND it makes the 1x10 setup more attractive. That 9T ring will wear like hell though, I hope they use another material to build the last 3 tiny rings.
  • - 33
 looks gash - always did, always will do.
  • + 25
 dude its a cassette its not designed to look good...
  • - 15
 to be honest i cant see many uses for it other than long xc rides
  • + 7
 the new Hope cassette thats like this is bad ass
  • - 4
 i can ride most things on my 1x32-11, cant really see a point
  • + 13
 I have to say, running a single ring up front on my xc bike really helps when pushing hard. I used to drop sooo many chains on my triple ring setup. Who seriously uses all 27 gears? I'd quite happily cover the same range with just the 10.
  • + 9
 I think some people are missing the point.. yeah it's 10 speed, but with a 9 tooth cog, def. helps the range and can push bicycle design(if we only need a 30T chainring, designers can lower the BB height)
  • + 9
 I really like the look of this. I ride a 32 tooth front ring and an 11-34 out back, I would gladly run this if avail. I have a heavy bike that I ride everywhere. For any agressive rider who needs to pedal uphill this would be a godsend. I hate front derailleurs, I wont run them. For all bikes? No. But for all mountain/ free-ride applications this looks awesome. Death to the front Derailleur? No. Death to Hammerschmidt? Sounds more like it.
  • - 2
 The 2010 SRAM XX cassette and the 2011 Shimano XTR cassette already run the 36T cog.

You don't need a very heavy bike that you can ride everywhere? AM wheels are used for DH, XC groupsets are used for AM/FR, XC wheels are used for AM. I am saving money for a AM bike that I am to weigh about 13kg (28.66lbs). With it I will be able to climb, go downhill and take some gaps. I know I won't be able to go extreme when it comes to FR, but if i wanted that I'd buy 2 different bikes. I am in a pickle about the crank setup, because most shiftable chainguides are not adapted to the new 2x10 chainlines and require some modifications.

The idea of a Hammerschmidt system is not a bad idea at all, although the weight is not very attractive. It's like those dropper seatposts, they come in very handy, but at a sacrifice of +/- 0.5kg (which is a lot).

I like what 2010 brought us, and I am convinced that 2011 will bring us even more nice and good stuff.
  • + 3
 Yes, if I had the loot, 3 or 4 different bikes would be great. And I could tailor each to the specific need. But.........with a reasonable budget Im stuck with two bikes. I use one for most riding and its no featherweight. But regardless, 28 lbs or 40 if you ride hard and like using a guide, but you dont want the weight penalty of something like Hammerschmidt........this is looking pretty nice. I dont like dual rings, I like the security of a single ring with guide on any bike I ride.
  • + 1
 Me Too..single up front and a 36 down to at least 11 out back would be nice but at the moment the only option is X10 which means a whole new rear drive and shifting (cant seem to get the new 9spd. SRAM 11-36 anywhere...strange huh?). Also to keep said system at a reasonable weight you gotta spend a grand for XTR or XX. What to do, what to do...
  • - 8
 dont see the point. if you want easier gearing for climbing. just chuck a smaller ring up front.
  • + 19
 You're right. Prob shouldnt even post news bits untill they check with you. Wink
  • + 6
 Plumstick13, the point is you don't need a smaller ring up front, so less weight, less maintenance a more secure and quieter chain. there are so many benefits of running a single ring up front. Disagreeing with you oliscale. I've been waiting 2 years for gearing like this. Cannot wait for a 9-36T cassette to come out. especially with the Hope one which will slide straight into their Pro II hubs.
  • - 4
 fair enough, im a downhiller, what do i know.
  • + 6
 well then you should care about the cassettes that the specialized monster team were using in 2010 with the 9T small cog allowing them to run smaller chainrings giving them way more ground clearence. by the look of the bash guards on most downhill bikes this is a very good thing for downhill. bring on micro drive!
  • + 1
 but the whole write up is about a 36 tooth one? yea, i will use that all the time dude...
  • + 4
 There's obviously different applications, we had it in the DH iteration in the summer w/the Monster-Specialized article, now it's time for the XC iteration Wink
  • + 1
 Linky to the Monster-Specialized 1 x 6 article: www.pinkbike.com/news/1x6-specialized-gearing-2010.html
  • + 4
 If the final product doesn't cost a crapload of $$$, I'd be super stoked to run a smaller ring up front without messing up my gearing too much. This could be rad.
  • + 3
 when will they stop wasting time and make a bomb proof 4 gear version. this 9/10 speed stuff is useless for me.
  • + 2
 I cant see myself bothering with this, I run out of gears upwards on a 36/11 on my xc bike
  • + 6
 4 gears?????!! we, my friend, are on the same wave length Smile
  • + 2
 @DanB25

A 29 tooth ring and 9 tooth cog would give you roughly the same ratio (6.94m vs. 7.05m for your current setup), but more ground clearance and you'd be able to ditch the granny ring while also keeping roughly the same low ratio.
  • + 1
 anybody thought about the chain length ? and where to let it.. when shifting from 36 to 9 ? lol
  • + 3
 The chain slack varies a lot more with a triple ring setup and a 32-11 cassette than it does with this system tbh. You could probably even still get away with a short cage derailleur. Curtis is running a medium cage here as far as I can tell and it looks more than capable.
  • + 3
 why would anybody spend £200 on this?

your paying an extra £150 for an extra cog which probably costs the manufacturer £0.50 to make.
  • + 4
 the posers and the racers would. the rest of us cope with a 1x9 chainset.
  • + 1
 I'm ok then. I cover both those categories Razz
  • + 2
 This guy has a fixie with Saint cranks on it and he wants to poke fun at "posers" ......Smile
  • + 1
 lol haha yep its true. but i didnt buy the cranks for the fixie, just put em on because they were in my spares box.. and i thought it was quite funny, saints on a fixie, haha makes me smile every time.
  • + 1
 well its not just a cool fixie, its got a front disc brake that has a cable routing down the steerer, inside the fork leg, and out a hole right next to the caliper. thats kinda posing i spose, but i call it engineering genious Razz
  • + 2
 I just want 4 gears. This is nice for people who want to loose the front rings, and would probably be on my XC bike, if I ever got one. Personally, I want 4 gears on my bike for freeriding/every day riding, Downhill, fast flat riding, flat, and uphill. Maybe the 1x6 would be good for my DH racing, but I think most of us have the leg strength to spin in just 4 gears on ALMOST any terrain.
  • + 1
 this would be good for a very diverse downhill course so maybe like thoese 12 mile super d things
  • + 1
 smaller freehub diameter could be issues if not steel. I like hopes take on integrating the rings and freehub together in one piece for strength/weight but definitely going to be an expensive thing to replace in case of wear. One downside to this design is it takes away weight from the bb area (best place to have weight on a bike) and adds it to the unsprung mass (2nd only to unsprung rotating mass as the worst place for weight). Also going to have a lot larger gaps between gears which isn't ideal for XC.
  • + 2
 9-32 and 9-34 9-speed have been standard equipment on small-wheeled recumbents for years. Google 'ICE trikes', they have a lush 4-cartridge bearing hub with disc brake mount, and their cassette has nicer steps between cogs than the one in the photo above. Rumours are that massed produced 10 speed version is just around the corner.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Just need to get rid of cogs and make rolhoff's cheaper!

That would be real progression, gearbox/hub-gears are the way to go if money and development were poured in to it.

I bet Shimano wouldnt like to see all the revenue for the mechs and cogs go missing.......
  • + 2
 Magnetic drive freehubs powered by photovoltaic helmets is the future. I've been running mine for 3 months now with no problems, and I really like how silent it is.
  • + 1
 Fixie is the Future. The Hipsters have already realised this, it's only a matter of time until the rest of the world follows...
  • + 1
 i'd love to see the development of fixed XC, either that or brakeless XC - the future. Razz Wink
  • - 1
 @LemonadeMoney: what about hydraulic drive? pump driven by cranks, and rear wheel driven by hydraulic motor. just a thought
  • + 1
 HTNDave, the problem with rohloffs is the unsprung weight and rotating weight, you want acceleration and control on an MTB and a hub gear kills both, Great for commuters and tourers because of the low maintenance but it is not right for the MTB market.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I think so much of this discussion is relative to the terrain and location that you ride. I like the idea of single ring on the front. The riding where i live and build is very steep and tight all climbing is done in the granny and mostly I'm mostly controlling speed with braking on the downhill. I don't think I could live with a 32 - 36 for too long with out blowing up my knees. I recently bought a sinister gruitr frame and due to a lack of usable cable stops for the front der and my anxiousness to get out and try the bike i ended up with a 26t front and a 12-34 9 speed rear. I have only had one chance to try it out but so far it may stay on there for a while.
  • + 1
 I'm with you. If I push big gears for too long, either my lower back or knees blow up. In addition I like to spin easy gears on long uphill grinds so I can conserve my energy for the descents.

I would love to be able to run a 1 x 10 setup, but I run nothing but flat pedals and with all the climbing we do around here there is no way I could pedals up everything with that setup - that's unless I run a small front ring, but I also don't want to spin out on the descents. 1 x 10 is not for everyone, but if you can get away with it, it's a pretty sweet and clean setup.

I've been running a double ring with an MRP LRP for years now and never missed a shift nor dropped a chain - so I have no problem running a front derailleur. Also 10 spd can be a bit finicky to setup and maintain. like someone mentioned, a slight change in cable tension or a slightly bent derailleur hanger and your shifting goes out the door. Same will happen with 9spd setup, but it's not "as" bad.
  • + 2
 Also agreed. It's always super easy to say, "oh I don't need that gearing," and people who say that are absolutely right - for the conditions they experience. 1 ring works perfect for many people, but there are many who can benefit from the extra. I went through the whole reducing the gears adventure in the 90s, and losing the granny worked perfect for me - until I moved back from Florida. Back in New England my buddies with their 22x32 combos pedaled away from me leaving me feeling like a fat sausage in lycra.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Some have been using the Shimano 9sp 12-36 cassette available and just replacing the 12-t cog with a 11-t then using either a 32 or 34 chainring. A lot of people don't even know it exists and having only one shifter for your trail bike makes shifting that much more simpler. The 9-36 cassette 10-sp will be interesting. Wink
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yawn...... Weren't we talking about this when 9 speed first came out? 11-32T cassette and a 34 or 36T chainring? I don't recall that many people running a single chainring and 9 gears out back for general trail riding and I doubt people will go that mad for this. The vast majority will stick to 2 or 3 chainrings cos "more gears is better."

I'm with HTNDave - Internal gear hubs are the future, Shimano just won't accept that though and will continue to bring out hopeless ideas like 10 speed cos that's what they've always done and Sram will have to follow suit in order to compete. We are really pushing the whole derailleur idea way beyond it's limits.

Anyone know how long a Shimano 10 speed chain will last? I reckon I'd snap it on the first ride.......
  • + 1
 I disagree that more gears is better. Bigger range is great with less repeated ratios, but more gears tends to equal more unused gears. That said, internal is probably the future. That or cassette customizing. I could just figure out which 5 cogs I use the most and learn to live without the rest, then buy a shifter that lets me shift five times and a hub that is set up to handle it. It's pretty sad that I would have to go through so much to get a custom design. A good idea would a company that does it all for you . . .
  • + 2
 I was using a single ring/ 11-34 cassette 10 years ago on my xc bikes. I said then this is the way to go. Finally more people are getting it now. A 1 to 1 ratio (36-36t) would allow to climb most things, and retaining an 11t would be good for speed.
  • + 1
 But how often do you go through a chain? And how's you maintenance?
  • + 1
 I agree with YetiMong on the internal gears. I like the idea of a big range with no overlap. I also like the idea of a chain that will last forever and low maintenance. I wish Shimano would work harder on this area and make something that works really well.
  • + 1
 1 chain per year usually, whether my bike needs it or not.

Don't get me wrong, at times I miss having a big ring, and even though I rarely use a granny there are times when I would want one. But given the simplicity and reliability of a single front ring, I'll take it over a triple. I love using an xc/am bike with that set up plus a super light chain guide.
  • + 1
 That makes some sense Doc. I ride all mountain and I did it with a single chain ring for a while. I went back to double when I hit brief irregular inclines and needed the granny. I found the best set up for me was actually bbg sandwich bash style where I replace the inner with another special bash guard. 102 grams total, about $30 total, and easier on the chain I think.
As often as I bend my hanger though I still think less is more for me.
  • + 3
 YetiMong,

Snap on the first ride?! Hardly... There are loads of riders out there with plenty of miles on Shimano, SRAM, Wipperman ect 10 speed chains and have had no issues. I've used all all of those options and have had no issues with chains snapping. 10 speed isn't new by any means, it's only new to mountain bikes. And I don't believe the argument about MTB's putting more stress on chains than road bikes.

The interesting bit here isn't the 36 tooth cog, but the 9 tooth cog on the opposite end.
  • + 1
 @Mikelevy... totally! In 15-20 years of riding I have never broken a chain. Usually the ones I see broken are people who are crossing up their chains from one extreme to the other, or use a chain way past its replacement date. Look at road sprinters: they put so much force through their lighter weight drivetrains than us mtb'ers. A 9spd cog has me all tingly in the nether region.
  • + 1
 Yeah I have not broke a chain in many years....since the 8 speed days. I love this idea and hope it catches on...I have been thinking of dropping the front D for a while now and go single ring and wide spread cassettes like this give me hope that it will happen soon.
  • + 1
 the stupid ones can use this as a way to brag to theyre fellow shittly riders that they have mire gears us smart ones will pair it up with a 32tooth chainring and a chainguide and see the benefits
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I like the increased range, but I still don't need the extra cogs. A bent derailleur hanger can make a nine speed cog not work right until I can get it on the stand, ruining the rest of my ride. I can't imagine a ten would be better. The old sixes were less fine tuned and could take a stronger chain. Less time in the shop = more time in the woods.
I understand how xc guys would want more cogs, but as an all mountain guy I'm not very excited. I'd prefer a lower maintenance set up. A light and efficient internal 8 with belt drive and something like the hammerschmit but belt driven and lighter sounds like heaven to me.
  • + 1
 I've had my bike set up with a Hammerschmidt and 10 speed rear cluster, although it was a 11-36 spread. Super low gearing for when I'm lazy/out of shape and had no issues. We have a belt drive equipped Norco on test right now - belt drive and HS combo would be quite the thing!

I understand the concern over bent hangers and the 10 speed's tighter tolerances, but having been down that very road, it wasn't an issue for me. It seems to me that most bike's hangers are much more resilient than they were when we were running 7 cogs out back, or even when 8 was the common number. I believe that it is this fact, combined with the tighter tolerances and higher quality of modern derailleurs that makes this a non-issue... for me anyways. There will be those who bend hangers or damage derailleurs on a regular basis - those guys are maybe screwed whether they have 10, 9, or 8 cogs out back.
  • + 1
 It's really only a problem when I'm riding skinnies a lot, which I've stopped since I got my new bike and wanted to keep the derailleur safe and sound. Still, my buddy has a reinforcer, and a shortcage x9 and he goes through 4 hangers in a busy season. And my older bro is almost as bad.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'm pricing up a 1x10 conversion for my enduro, the Hope cassette would suit me as I've got hope hubs but the price will probably put me off. I'm not prepared to pay over £200 just for a cassette. Looks to me like 1x10 is the future for AM bikes.
  • + 2
 Now while I'm not sure! I think the Hope 10s cassette is cheaper than both the XX and the XTR. On top of this, well you get a new freehub with fresh bearings.
  • + 2
 I'm fairly sure that the Hope system is actually integrated into the freehub body, making it only compatible with Hope hubs.
  • + 2
 the hope cassette should be around 150 gbp.

i would love that in my enduro setup Smile
  • + 2
 I am running XT 1x10 (36, 36/11) on my Enduro and SLX 1x10 (36, 36/11) on my Hardtail. Both work beautifully and I don't miss the extra ring at all. By the way there is no perceptible performance difference between the SLX and XT!
  • + 2
 For those curious about the Hope system that they are talking about, check it out here: www.pinkbike.com/news/eurobike-2010-random-2.html
  • + 1
 Yeah that's what I thought, Mike. The cassette is part of the freehub body (part of what makes it so light), so it's only going to be compatible with Hope hubs.
  • + 1
 yeah, but which hubs are going to be compatable with these cassettes? probably only going to see them on specialized 143mm hubs I bet.
  • + 2
 I doubt that they'll be specific to Specialized bikes. If anything they'll only be compatible with special DT Swiss 12x142 240S hubs, or other 12x142 hubs that rely on the 240S freehub body.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great idea and I think it will work for all-mountain or trail riding applications fantastic. No front derailleur to fuss about no shifter and cables. Smaller size front ring will give more clearance. "SIMPLIFIED" bike design and about 1 pound less weight (big chain ring, small chain ring,no derailleur and front shifter, cable and housing) . Depending on what are you riding you can switch chainring size between lets say 32T- 28T down to 26T if you will. Chain line will suffer some which probably will shorten chain life expectancy but not efficiency as much I think. Make it compatible with current hub designs like "HOPE" did with their version of this cassette and make it long lasting (Steel cogs) and you have already a buyer. DO IT.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is definitely the way forward. I run a single ring set up with a 34 front ring+chain device and range of 11-34 at the back. I hate doube/triple ring on my bike and the clunky from mech and your chain coming off all the time! It is only the very steepest of hills that i cant cope with my range of gears and having a 36 at the back will solve this. If everyone who runs triple ring set ups actually tried a single ring set up then they would realise that this makes total sense!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've started using my own radical new gearing concept: 3x7. It's never ever been tried before but I think it might work. By the way...11-34 pg 830 cassette (minus the 11 tooth) = 300 grams and $23
Sram or KMC 8spd chain = $15
Old 83 gram Shimano top mount shifters... priceless
Wider gear spread, better chain line and chain-to-tire clearance when you space the cassette outboard with the extra room you made by not using the 11, flawless shifting under all conditions, and yes, with practice, front derailleurs work fine.
The only thing that scares me is the 44 tooth razor death circle pointed at my right calf.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm definitely seeing the use of this. My double ring setup has rollout from 1.42m to 6.57, so fair enough for them to get that much range in a mech. That would simplify everything so much. I ride an AM bike, mostly for dh, but I ride to my dh spots, so I need the gears, but I would also get the crash-proof simplicity (as crash proof as a mech can be)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like it and I don't like it....

One ring up front for simplicity would be nice.. no thought put into shifting and all, want harder.. just pick the next gear. NICE
This with a 30t front ring would give me everything I would want.

What I am not sure about.. 75% of my riding is done in granny gear.. (very steep short techy climbs, to coasting down short hills, repeat to exhaustion). Sooo grany ring on the front gives me the nicest chain line.. but would suck for the other end of the cassette. So i feel like for me chain line would suffer as I would have to compromise somewhere.
Also.. as is I am constantly double shifting. I'm not racing or going for the fastest time and perfect cadence means little to me, I'd rather slightly fewer option, less weight.

But I used 32t ring with 34-11 cassette all this summer and used both extremes off my gearing, and at times hoped for just a little bit more range (usually so i could just putter up some longer climbs). So I could see thing working out okay.. But straiter chains last longer and seem to feel better. So after a couple months I have switch back to dual ring front (24,36) and will probably try out a custom cut down cassette next summer. ( tinkering is fun!)

In closing.. I can see where this could work perfect for someone! And would love to try it and see how chains last for me. But I would rather a frame mounted internal transmission! Mounted low and central on a slack 6" bike for "AM" and make it belt driven to the rear.
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  • + 1
 With a 26T chaingring up front the 9 - 36T cassette would provide nearly a full range of a 32/22 11-32 setup.
32T / 11T = 2.91 ratio
22T / 32T = 0.69 ratio

26T / 9T = 2.89 ratio
26T / 36T = 0.72 ratio

All we need now is a crankset with a smaller BCD middle ring spider and voila! Goodbye Hammerschmidt, front derailleur/shifter/cable/chainsuck, etc.
  • + 1
 I agree completely. This is not rocket science. Why is this not available now, or years ago for that matter?
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  • + 1
 my friend has been running this same set up on his 2010 enduro for a few weeks now and he loves it...i rode it a few times and also feel it has a great range for am riding, plus its nice and light with only the single ring up front
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  • + 1
 I personally don't see much use for this cassette on a xc/ all-mountain bike. I think it's unlikely that you'll be going so fast that you'll be pedaling on the 9 tooth ring. I never go into those last 2 lowest gears when riding xc, and that's on a 9 speed cassette. If I had a 10 speed cassette, I would want more large rings so I would have more high gears for climbing, making it easier to run just a single ring up front.
  • + 4
 What if your chain ring had 28 or 30 teeth though? A common 24/34 combo gives you a rollout of 1.52 meters, but a 28 tooth ring and 36 tooth cog would give you 1.67 meters... a pretty damn close easy gear. But on the other end a standard 32/11 combo gives you a max rollout of 6.26 meters compared to a 28/9's 6.7 meters.

What I'm getting at is that this system can eliminate the redundancy of current gearing setups. You get a gearing range that is very close, but with less fuss. Done correctly, you could increase your gearing range as well.
  • + 1
 I agree mike, I would much rather have a simpler drivetrain. I would like to see a setup in the opposite direction though, meaning multiple gears on the front and a single cog! Something just like hammerschmidt except with 4+ gears, such a system would have many benefits: no more hanger to break, no more derailleur to wack, no more chain slack, instant shifting at any time, and be belt drive friendly.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Does anyone else feel as if the huge gaps in tooth size would make it shift super slow? Road cassettes keep getting smaller and smaller, mountain bigger and bigger. Personally I would rather run the traditional 2 or 3 rings up front for XC with a more closely grouped cassette if it meant smoother faster shifting.
  • + 3
 All of the 10 speed systems that I've ridden have actually shifted slightly faster than their equivalent 9 speed cousins, I'm guessing because the cog spacing is actually tighter. Remember the old Shimano Mega-Range cassettes that had that massive jump from a 30t to a 34t cog? As long as we don't see that sort of thing I'm sure it'll be OK.

Smart jumps between the gears are vital for a lot of riders who are particular about their cadence, too big of jumps could be an issue. The cassette pictured though has been put together out of what was available and it's possible that it doesn't have the jumps that the average rider would want. If this ever does see production, which I hope it does, lets keep out fingers crossed that the jumps make sense.
  • + 1
 This is a prototype cassette that was put together using a lot of current offerings. A final offering would be more refined.
  • + 1
 old????? I'm still rocking one of those cassettes on my commuter Mike.... gotta make it up the NV hills somehow.....
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  • + 1
 *sighs....yeah its a good idea. the more i get bombarded with this being what i need the more i can see it making sense...apart from the new casette, new hub, (ergo) new wheel build, new single ring crankset, new shifter, new cables and new housing. that wont cost much at all.
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  • + 1
 I don't understand gearing very well atm (as far as the numbers go) so I'm not entirely sure about what this is supposed to accomplish. Is this one cassette supposed to replace the gearing of a 3x9??? I could at least see how that would save on weight for XC riders.
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  • + 1
 Since this is clearly a product for all mountain riders, why not just develop a cassette with a 38t cog so you can just run a 32-34t chainring and no new hub development would be required. Of course then Sram wouldn't be able to also sell you a new spider and chainring or a new crank and DT wouldn't get to sell you new hubs, wheels, or freehubs. I'm not a crank conspiracy theorist but it seems clear that this is an unnecessary standard that will cause compatibility issues and result in a product you could have had for a whole lot cheaper.
  • + 1
 A 38t cog would make very little difference. In practical terms, the difference between a 38t and a 36t is not the same as the difference between a 11t and a 9t.
For example, a 44x11 transmission has the same ratio as a 36x9 (4x). But to get a ratio comparable with 36x36 (1x) using a 44t ring up front, you would need a 44t ring in the back (44x44).
Getting the same shifting range as a 9-36 cassette would take a 11-44 one.
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  • + 4
 i also remember the 10 speed 9-X tooth cassate from Hope at Eurobike! It's a nice progression for the sport!
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  • + 2
 I just threw on the X9 1x10 & I'm diggin it. As ihartmybike pointed out, it allows me to run the chain guide up front and still have some decent range. I think x7 is available in 10 speed too.
  • + 1
 I'm running a x9 10 speed on my all mountain rig and I personally really like it alot.
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  • + 1
 I seem to be a bit of an exception, but my 44-32, 11-32 transmission is enough to get my 34 pound bike up any hill that I can get traction on. If I ran a single 36t ring up front with this cassette, I would get the exact same range of gears as I do now, and be able to use a chainguide. Perfect!
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  • + 3
 Not going to bother with this , pretty happy with 11/36. Give me a decent internal hub already.
  • + 1
 Arent there any decent internal hubs out there already, Rohloff, Alfine?
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  • + 1
 32 + 9-36 (10 rings) or 32-22 + 11-32 (8-9 rings) ? Simple choice. This 10 rings cassette is no substitute for a front derailleur. We need a 9-46 tooths cassette - but it's stupid Wink
  • + 1
 first link is dead. second link is neat though. Usually when I have to use my heal to shift it means I need to adjust my derailleur. Smile
  • + 1
 First link is not dead. You're just to lazy to select the link, instead you click on part of it :p haha. Carlos, that is some very useful information, thank you!
  • + 1
 CarlosMC - thanks for reminding folk of Schlumpf. I rode a Speeddrive once and it was one of the most impressive things I've used. Hopefully Florian will develop mods for press fit BBs.
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  • + 0
 1x10 on a mountain bike? I'd be replacing chains every week! I use a 2x8 on my hardtail and still stretch a chain out in about 6 weeks. When I had to buy a new road bike just before xmas, I purposely went for the 'lower grade' 2x9 rather than 10 or 11 out back due to chain stretch. Maybe that's just me, I'm a powerful guy and tend to use drivetrains hard.
  • + 1
 i hope you know that ton of people run 1x9 gearing(which i beleive has the same spacing as 1x10) and none of us, including myself, are "replacing our chains every week"
  • + 1
 Maybe I'm just too strong for my own good then. I'll just stick to the thicker chains. I can blast up the hills quite happily and don't have a problem with 2 cogs up front. Weight's not an issue for me and my chain doesn't fall off the rings.
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  • + 1
 Yeah, I'm pretty convinced about this idea. I think its the future for sure. Also another nail in the coffin for gear hubs, cos derailleur systems just got lighter AND more reliable
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  • + 0
 I use 32t chain ring and 12-36 cassette. To get more power got 175mm cranks. E-13 guide. Front derailers are the weakest link of the mtb drivetrain. I've never spun out 32-12. My local trails suit this set up well. Chain line concerns are OVERRATED.
  • + 0
 quote "Chain line concerns are OVERRATED."

Totally agree....
  • + 1
 How can you NOT spin out a 32 12? Thats not a really high gear, and quite easy to spin out in. You must be riding a slow trail.
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  • + 1
 Hells yeah!!! Bring it!!! Ive been running a 38x11/34 for a few years now and while Im not having any issues, this is a welcome needed update to cassette range for 1x users. Love it!!
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  • + 1
 id definitely run it on my 2010 enduro. Im currently running an 11-32, would love to broaden the range. If im not mistaken though, I think the Mojo HD by Ibis bicycles is already running a 9-36.
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  • + 1
 I'd love this. Thinking about having a chainguide on my XC and AM bikes is pretty awesome, and I know the benefits of having one since I run a DH rig also. I'd really like to try something like this.
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  • + 2
 I would like this with a smaller chainring to keep the granny gear. I would be very stoked to run a single chainring with chainguide.
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  • + 0
 18 months ago I modded an XTR 9 speed cassette to run a 11-39t combination using Action Tecs Ti 39t cog running XT/XTR 9speed derailuers without issue and teamed this up with a 28t front single ring from www.widgit.com.au for go anywhere gearing up to 30kmh pedable top end.

From my experience I know that a wide ratio cassette is a winner although the biggest cog has to be 39t to compensate for the old 22t granny.....
  • + 1
 can you please show some photos of your drivetrain? sounds interesting
  • + 1
 It's buried somewhere in the 1x9 thread over @ Mtbr.com>; forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=158959
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  • + 2
 What size ring is he running up front? I would love to get rid of my front mech/shifter and my big ring up front, but I still need to be able to haul ass down hill.
  • + 1
 That is what the 9 tooth cog is for. That would be a pretty hard gear to turn, making it a perfect app for dh.
  • + 2
 I know, im not as interested in the 10 speed casseste as I am in a 9 tooth cog. If I could get a 1X9 set up with that 9t cog on the high end I would be happy.
  • + 1
 For real mang. I'm done with front der nastyness. I am with you, but why not have 10? I think that with a 22 or 24 chainring having that 9 cog in the back. I'm stoked on this progression.
  • + 1
 oops
*I think that you could get away with a 22 or 24 chainring up front and that 9 tooth in the back.
  • + 1
 Dowhnhill bikes seem to be coming with smaller front rings nowadays for some reason, maybe because in very technical trails there is no time to pedal a lot or to go fast? When I first started riding 46t up front was the norm and for downhill some riders used rings like 52t or even more... Then Shimano discontinued 46t and moved into 44t, and now most 2011 cranksets have 42t big rings, I don't really understand these trends... Some downhill bikes are coming with 38t rings... very weird... If 38t is enough for you with a 11t ring, a 31 with a 9t has the same ratio. For a 42 a 34t, for a 44 a 36t...
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  • + 2
 that bike looks like the perfect all round bike !! perfect for anything from dh to xc Drool
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  • + 1
 Where'd ya get the rear shock? I have a 2010 Enduro and found the rear shock to be an odd size which makes it hard to find a replacement.
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  • + 1
 How about this for future gearing. Derailleur and drivetrain are combined.
www.canyon.com/_uk/technology/project144-2.html
  • + 1
 That looks pretty cool! I like the idea that there is a reduction drive and the direct drive is where you'd use 90% of your gear range. That's why I don't really like the Hammerschmidt, it uses a 22t direct drive, and an overdrive for the normal range.
  • + 1
 SRAM did something similar to that a few years back. It was an internal 3-speed hub with a cassette body on it. Unfortunately it only came stock on hybrid bikes, but I always thought that it would be a cool idea for mountain bikes with a single ring up front.
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  • + 1
 for allot of recreational users they may find that they wear out the 9 tooth cog unresonably quick. i think for some people this is a great option.
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  • + 2
 Such a sick Enduro.. I would kill to have a stock one... Let alone one that has that build on it.
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  • + 1
 I think it will be a good asset for longer travel bikes,on long and not too steep rides, but I still think that 2x10, is the way to go
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  • + 2
 When all is said and done is this just my 9 speed with one more little cog so I can go faster?
  • + 1
 Not really because as far as I know, 9 speed cassettes with 36t rings aren't made. It's more like a 11-32 8-speed cassette with two extra rings.
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  • + 1
 did any one else have this idea before or am i tho only one? still prety nice
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  • + 1
 I hope you got mad $$$ when your drivetrain starts skipping. You think an XTR cassette is pricey?
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  • + 2
 when is it going to be available?!! I want to buy.
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  • + 1
 I'd run it with a Hammerschmidt 24T up front!
More "push" on the DH side!
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  • + 1
 I like this idea, something like 29 x 9-26 wold be perfect for my allmoutain riding.
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  • + 1
 YESSS! I need that! ;D

cool for 7" allmountain bike with single chainring + guide
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  • + 1
 1x10 is all you need. I run a 33th front and 11 36 xo cassette. Perfect for all riding except the road.
  • + 1
 I also run a 1x10, 33 tooth front and 11-36 cassette all mountain setup. Love it. A 9-36 cassette definitely has appeal though as it would open up a few more setup options, as would 11-something larger than 36 - apart from weight maybe a better option. I tell ya, 1x drive trains are sweet... less is more!
  • + 1
 just to add - 10 speed isn't the key criteria in the 1x setup. 1x less than 10 is good too - it's the wide range ratio cassette cassette that is the trick, whether that is done at the high or low end I don't mind, as long as the spread of ratios in between is thought out.
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  • + 1
 I say its about time. Want.
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  • + 1
 I'd go for it, but only in 9 speed.
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  • + 1
 1 run 1x8, have done for the last 2 years, i dont think a 11t is needed
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  • + 1
 It's perfect. I'd love to try it and see how it work
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  • + 1
 this is great and i think it will definetly work!!!
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  • + 1
 about me this is very good idea...
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  • + 1
 Here you go..... 28/30 integrated chainguide

www.widgit.com.au
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  • + 1
 This setup just simplifies things.
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  • + 1
 Curtis Keene... So hot right now.
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  • + 1
 and for that the industry need 20th years? ThumpsDown!
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  • + 1
 happy ghost shifts!
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  • + 0
 singlespeed ftw!!!
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  • + 3
 Good spread of gears with the security of a chain device. Less maintenance and work to set up (potentially), saves weight too.
  • + 3
 Less weight as you lose 2 chain rings and a shifter and a cable,
Less fuss as there is no front mech
Add a chain guide and you've got a much more secure chain.
Less noise.

And all the gears of 2x9 speed? YES PLEASE!
[Reply]

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