Advice for new NICA parent bike upgrade

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Advice for new NICA parent bike upgrade
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Posted: Jan 17, 2022 at 19:03 Quote
Hey everyone, my 13yo just started on a NICA team, we picked up a 2016 stumpjumper comp with a 1x10 shimano XT/SLX 11-42 drivetrain.
It is time to replace the cassette and chain, and he took a spill on Saturday causing his shifter to break on Sunday during his first race leaving him stuck on a high gear for the last 3 miles of the race.

Originally I was just planning on replacing the cassette and chain at the end of the month, but now that he needs a new shifter I am thinking it may be a good opportunity to upgrade to a 12 speed.


Thinking of getting a sunrace 12. Speed hg cassette and deore XT or SRAM GX.

Any recommendations? Or should I look at going 11 gear since he won’t get the 10 tooth sprocket?

Posted: Jan 17, 2022 at 19:40 Quote
If you can do a shimano 12 speed without going microspline, that would be the simplest solution. Gives you the double tap gear shifting and multiple shifting up cog.

Other option is NX, which I believe still uses HG.

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 6:01 Quote
CarlosV74 wrote:
Hey everyone, my 13yo just started on a NICA team, we picked up a 2016 stumpjumper comp with a 1x10 shimano XT/SLX 11-42 drivetrain.
It is time to replace the cassette and chain, and he took a spill on Saturday causing his shifter to break on Sunday during his first race leaving him stuck on a high gear for the last 3 miles of the race.

Originally I was just planning on replacing the cassette and chain at the end of the month, but now that he needs a new shifter I am thinking it may be a good opportunity to upgrade to a 12 speed.


Thinking of getting a sunrace 12. Speed hg cassette and deore XT or SRAM GX.

Any recommendations? Or should I look at going 11 gear since he won’t get the 10 tooth sprocket?

Why bother with 12 speed? Does your child actually use the smallest cog now and needs to go even smaller? I only ask because the rare times I use my smallest cog on my 12 speed is when going downhill on paved roads. I could really do without it.
It doesn't really answer your question, just my thoughts on maybe saving some $. Good luck.

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 6:14 Quote
Kids may not need it, but you get more range with 12 speed. Parts availability is another. I never liked the shimano 11 speed, just felt like a half hearted effort. Parts wore quick and felt cheap. I would stick with the 10 speed before going 11, but 12, at least with Shimano, was a big improvement across the board. Shifting under load, quality, range, gear spread, were all improved.

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 6:24 Quote
Will his bike's rear spacing accept a 12 speed cassette without redishing the rear wheel?

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 7:30 Quote
Sunrace makes and 11 speed 11-50 cassette that work fine with a long cage Shimano 11 speed derailleur. Worth considering. I run this setup and am completely happy with it.

Posted: Jan 18, 2022 at 11:18 Quote
to do the 12 speed you need a different free-hub(microspline) on your hub; if its possible to swap it. then as you mentioned the shifter, derailleur, cassette, chain also.

are they struggling going up? the 12 speed will only help to get 48+ teeth, personally i would just keep them on the xt 10 speed or maybe upgrade to the 11, but if they are not using those top gears then your just adding weight to go to 11 or 12.


The other thing is if your changing out the cassette and chain you probably want a new front chain ring so everything fits right, ie chain stretch would have probably made the front chain ring not match up nicely with a new chain. the teeth may not line up

so you may just want to jump to a couple teeth in front? if not already running a 30t or 32t? to overcome not running a 10 in the rear?

rear cassettes
xt 12 speed ~470g
xt 11 speed ~410g
xt 10 speed ~330g
ultegra 10 speed ~238g, but will require a short/med cage probably but medium or short xt or saint will save another 100g

and slx is over ~550g

thinking NICA XC light weight and get out of the saddle and pedal. this kinda all comes down to ridding style

Posted: Jan 21, 2022 at 8:12 Quote
gmoss wrote:
If you can do a shimano 12 speed without going microspline, that would be the simplest solution. Gives you the double tap gear shifting and multiple shifting up cog.

Other option is NX, which I believe still uses HG.

NX Eagle does use the HG free-hub and is pretty easy to find parts for, just recently bought and NX Eagle 12sp cassette with no stock problems.

Posted: Feb 1, 2022 at 10:35 Quote
I've got kids racing (pre NICA), and am running 11 speed 11-42 rear for both of them (26" and 27.5"). Box 11 drivetrain.

I don't think they care a bit about the number of gears, other than to brag about them with their friends - and you'll always have some friends with 8/9 in the back with 1x or 2x up front, and some with Eagle AXS.

The bigger deal is making sure they have the right range. Make sure they have a good range for where they are riding. Low enough to get up the hills, high enough to not spin out. Look at the rear cassette to see what he's been riding in mostly. I'm swapping front rings now b/c the kids are using the lowest / smallest half of the cassette.

Person opinion - I agree with some of the notes above/below. Stay fewer gears, it will be lighter and less expensive, with likely more robust equipment (cassettes are thicker metal per gear, 12 speed has thinner steel, which can wear out more quickly).

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