Jeff in Seattle recently made an upgrade to his drive train and replaced his outdated 2x setup (As you can see in this pictures) with a brand new Sram Eagle X01 drive train. Here is what he had to say about his switch to 1x.
2017 Drivetrain upgrade on my Banshee Scirocco.
Back in 2006, I built up a bike for dealing with the steep and technical terrain in Nelson, BC, where I often vacation with my Canadian wife’s family in the summer. I leaned towards heavy and bombproof and ended up making some sacrifices in the gearing. The nearly 1/2" thick e*thirteen bash guard held up well to abuse, but limiting my drivetrain to a granny gear plus a middle chain ring often left me wanting for the right gear in less vertical trail sections. Climbing and gravity assisted descending were acceptable, but my enjoyment of flowing, varied elevation single-track suffered. Chain line was also not ideal most of the time.
I first saw the 1-by concept at a local Seattle shop back in 2015. While the simplicity impressed me, I thought it prudent to wait for the technology to evolve. This spring, I pulled the trigger on a SRAM Eagle X01 group set and purchased it from a new-to-me shop, Worldwide Cyclery. Their pricing was competitive and they were accommodating in letting me dial in crank length and chain ring size for my needs. I had to ship my rear wheel to Phil Wood to replace the 9spd Shimano freehub body with an in-house machined XD body. My dropout spacing crept up to 136.5mm with this modification, but on a sturdy aluminum frame that is tolerated (not recommended for carbon fiber.)
The install went mostly smoothly, but let's just say that I strongly recommend the use of a torque wrench as well as carefully watching the video(s) from SRAM. Once I replaced the finely machined alloy ($20) bolt that holds the rear derailleur on, everything came together smoothly. Pay particular attention to proper B tension screw adjustment; the included gauge helps.
This winter has been particularly wet and chilly in Seattle, so my riding impressions are from fairly tame local single-track and steep, paved hills. My bike is noticeably lighter, but that is to be expected given the chunky bombproof stuff I pulled off (e.g. steel DMR ExType cranks & FUNN platform pedals) along with the extra rings, front shifter, & derailleur. Shifting is crisp & reliable but reminds me of riding a Rohloff hub, where the choices are simple: up or down. I prefer to sit and spin most of the time--especially climbing--so I appreciate the low range of gears available. The few flowy bits of local trail were joyful to ride and this setup allows me to get much closer to that Zen experience when the bike simply disappears beneath and you just ride.
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