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Upgrade to a dropper or 1x first?

HOME FORUM RIDING FEELS GOOD FORUM TECH TALK Upgrade to a dropper or 1x first?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  jcitizen 4 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #815060

    Ledbetter
    Participant

    Have been wanting to upgrade to a dropper post for a while but have been waiting for companies to figure things out. So far pretty much sold on 9point8 Fall line mechanical. One problem is my RM Thunderbolt is 2×10 (RM obviously late to join the 1x party). This obviously effects where the lever goes and lever style.

    I do only trail riding. Not big into jumps but love the short downhills Ontario has to offer and like mixing in some tech (puslinch/kelso/buckwallow/hydro). Haven’t felt lost without a dropper but maybe don’t know what I’m missing?

    Question is if I was going to put $500 into my bike would you all vote to convert to 1x or go dropper? Not looking for everyone to decide for me but maybe those who have recently entered the expensive world of droppers and 1x set ups could offer an opinion.

    Oh and before you suggest One Up conversions, RM cheaped out on the cassette…. whole bike is SLX/XT but the cassette is lower spec’d and can’t be one up-ed. And my legs won’t like a 36T cassette with a 30t ring so that is not an option.

    Finally save my money towards new bike and enjoy my current set up?

    #815063

    matthewg
    Participant

    You should be able to still add a granny cog to your cassette. If you have a clutch derailleur i think you are good. But it sounds like you looked into it. I went with wolf tooth and went 1x for about $200 on my xt 2×10 set up. Oval 32t in the front and 40t in the rear. $500 is alot spend on your drive train. I would only spend that money if my drive train needed to be replaced anyways from wear. if it’s in good shape i wouldn’t spend that much. My reason for going 1x is that I hate forgetting where I am in the front rings, with 1x you don’t need to remember if your in the big or little ring.

    I personally love my dropper post and don’t ever want ride without it. I even upgraded my 125mm reverb to a 170mm. I have buddies with droppers and they barely use them, citing the like the feeling of the saddle between their legs, i think that is crazy talk. A dropper is key for me as I like to jump and manual and get right over the back wheel, it gives me way more confidence. I am constantly using the dropper post, any time things get hairy it goes down. The 9point8 is an awesome choice, locally made (i think, definitely designed in milton) and i think the cable actuation helps to avoid sticky returns in cold weather like the reverb post.

    haha i would do both potentially, but i definitely wouldn’t pay for new drive train unless mine is currently pooched. but i believe you can run a 40t in the rear and 30/32 in the front and it would only put you back $200 and hopefully still have money for a dropper.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #815064

    matthewg
    Participant

    But yes, potentially selling you bike and getting a new one with all the fancy bells and whistles doesn’t sound like a bad idea. What year is your bike?

    #815067

    Ledbetter
    Participant

    Well I’ve looked into the One Up conversion where you drop your 15t and 17t and replace with a 16t I believe and add a 42 granny. I don’t want to go to much higher than a 0.7 gear ratio as I like to spin when I’m in trouble.

    My bike is 2015 but I bought it in fall so really only has one season (about 350km) and has been meticulously maintained. I like but has a couple things that could be better. Has 2x drive train. Skinny non-tubeless rims (but I’ve set up tubeless with success anyhow), cheaper cassette. Does have a clutch derailleur XT.

    I also question adding weight of a dropper without dropping weight of the 2x set up. Could save and ride one more year as is and go for it all at once next year but then I’m upgrading an older bike….

    #815068

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    Dropper.

    There’s a plethora of remotes and ways to mount a dropper that accommodate a 2×10 set up which

    ” And my legs won’t like a 36T cassette with a 30t ring so that is not an option.”

    would lead me to believe you’re better off hanging on to your 2x if you’re enjoying it. Consider that “upgrade” when you need to replace it anyway.

    As far as which post. I have the 9point8 Fall Line and a Fox Transfer. The Transfer works A LOT better in the cold than the 9point8 ever did, but if you’re riding in warmer weather that doesn’t really make a difference. The only downside to the Transfer is the remote is sold separately and is either 1x or 2x specific (I would recommend almost any other remote).

    #815071

    aerius
    Participant

    Get the dropper. A 1X doesn’t do anything to change the way you ride, you lose the left shifter but so what? It’s a bit lighter but you’ll end up with a compromised gearing range and/or some wonky gaps between the gears. Wide range cassettes often have oddly spaced or overly large gaps between some of the gears and a cassette that has good, evenly spaced gears likely won’t give you the range you need. Not to mention that chains are still easy to derail even with narrow-wide rings and clutch derailleurs so a chainguide of some sort is still needed.

    A dropper on the other hand opens up whole new ways of riding. You can now get optimum body positioning on your bike at all times, balance, stability, and control are all improved and it’s not subtle. Put it this way, there’s a section on my local trails where I can literally go twice as fast if I use my dropper post to get the seat down and out of the way, it’s about a 10 second gap in less than 200 meters.

    #815073

    Matty F
    Participant

    I’m with aerius. Dropper, no question, and I wouldn’t even ditch the 2x if I were you. I’m on a 1x right now and I want to switch to 2x. 1x is alright for the Don, but anywhere with appreciable hills (eg. where I’ve been living for the last three months) a 1x won’t cut it. Plus any sort of OneUp/Wolftooth cassette expansion doesn’t tend to work very well if you want to try and go cheap on the 1x at all.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #815081

    Ledbetter
    Participant

    Great insight. I’ve never despised my 2×10 especially on trails I know. At times on a new trail you can get caught and the simplicity of a 1x set up would be ideal. I guess I’ve got a good range and gear ratio spacing so looks like a dropper is the best upgrade possible. Thanks everyone for the advice. This forum is really great because only serious/knowledgeable riders reply. The advice I was given on tubeless was huge (Blurred Lines). Thanks again all!

    Final question Blurred lines re your Transfer and Fall Line… You said the cold effects the Fall line… How cold are we talking? I don’t usually ride in the cold… My bike gets packed up when the temps get below 5C and I focus more on hockey in the winter but when I have buddies heading out I can be talked into braving the cold.

    Pros/Cons Fox Transfer vs 9point8 Fall Line? I liked the Fall Line because it’s mechanical, Canadian made, reliable. I read reviews on the Transfer and it seems like they are on to something and at a decent price… Transfer is hydraulic though correct?

    #815083

    Ledbetter
    Participant

    Matty F,

    Interesting you want to switch back to 2x… this was the one concern I had going 1x with a large granny gear ratio closer to 1.0 … there’s a couple hills I frequently ride that I can’t imagine running a 36t with a 30 or 32t ring… I ride Short Hills in St. Catharines a lot and theres some steady long climbs, Dundas Valley, Puslinch…. As for Pines and Hydro Cut think a 1x would be fine as I rarely use my small ring there.

    Probably best idea is wear down my current set up and let trickle down technology get cheaper or look for it on the next bike purchase.

    #815084

    fietser
    Participant

    Finally save my money towards new bike and enjoy my current set up?

    Personally, I would save your money.

    Given what you have said it seems like your current ride is ‘new’ and well maintained. If it truly hasn’t given you any real reason to ‘need’ a dropper or a 1x set up then just enjoy it as it is currently.

    Droppers are handy, sure, but here in Ontario, and given the locations I most frequently ride I can’t justify the cost to put one on my bike. Now, if I live somewhere with serious tech/ steep I would most definitely pony up to buy one – but I don’t live in an area like that. Riding style obviously plays into this as well. For me, if I am going to session a jump I will just manually drop my seat and then raise it up when I ride away. Most trails I ride do not require constant raising and lowering of the saddle so I see the dropper as a bit of a want rather than a need.

    1x set up, again, personal choice. I was an early convert to 1×10 (30t 11-36 which I still run on my hardtail) Once again, for the trails I most frequently ride it is just right for me. It would be a hard sell for me to go back to 2x at this point but I would feel no need to replace a drive train that worked perfectly well.

    Not sure if that helps but really it is personal choice. Given that many of the standards on your 2015 may already have one the way of the Dodo bird (like my current ride) I would be tempted to stash your cash and wait until you are ready for a new ride.

    Caveat: I am a pretty big proponent of run-what-you-brung (and run it into the ground) and bang for your buck.

    #815085

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    Hey @ledbetter – I started to see losses in return speed starting around 10 degrees which sadly wasnt’ ideal for my application. the Transfer on the other hand has performed flawlessly as low as -15

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #815086

    Matty F
    Participant

    Matty F,

    Interesting you want to switch back to 2x… this was the one concern I had going 1x with a large granny gear ratio closer to 1.0 … there’s a couple hills I frequently ride that I can’t imagine running a 36t with a 30 or 32t ring… I ride Short Hills in St. Catharines a lot and theres some steady long climbs, Dundas Valley, Puslinch…. As for Pines and Hydro Cut think a 1x would be fine as I rarely use my small ring there.

    In the Don Valley the hills gets pretty bloody steep, but they are short enough that I can muscle through them with a 1x. However, in retrospect, I don’t really feel like I need to do that. Here in North Bay, though, I have a tidy 150m or so of elevation to deal with. I end up climbing for 15-20minutes at a time, and if I have to get out of the saddle and mash one of the steep sections, that can burn the last of my leg fuel. Smaller ring is needed for going up. And then going down I often clear 40 km/h hour and spin out the 1x drivetrain. Hell, yesterday I was riding on 2ft of snow and I spun out the 30t ring. Bigger ring needed.

    Also, regarding the Fall Line: Mine works fine in the cold, but you need to add air pressure to it, because the pressure will drop inherently with the cold weather. The same thing happens in your fork and shock. Also, if the last time the post was pumping up was in, say, April – at the start of the season – it’s probably lost pressure anyways. I let my bike sit out at around the freezing point, pumped it up to an average recommended pressure, and it’s been fine in the cold, even down to -10°. Though variables with seals and lubrication may effect this.

    Contrary to what Fiester said, I find I use my dropper far more in Southern Ontario than in more hilly or mountainous areas. In the Don you are constantly switching between up and down, so the dropper lever gets hit every 20-30 seconds. With bigger hills, I am typically just leaving the saddle up to pedal to the top, then down to fly to the bottom.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #815087

    Ledbetter
    Participant

    I hear ya Fietser. 2 yrs ago I was riding a 2005 HT with a spring fork! Still had fun… was riding with ppl that were riding relics. I ended up getting a modern FS and started a trend amongst my friends… Had a blast this season riding a modern bike and can’t believe how much faster and how much farther I could push a bike.

    So if I used the word “need” it was by accident, but when you look at the best upgrades or innovations to biking, droppers/tubeless/1x/Fat always come up… I don’t NEED all these but I am interested in how they enhance the trail riding experience. I converted to tubeless and was quite impressed but that was a very low cost upgrade. I rarely drop my seat now but I do find times where I would love to. Kamikazee at the hydrocut is the one spot I NEED to get my seat out of the way. Have also had a couple awkward falls trying some simple tech where my seat has lead to a far worse tumble.

    #815088

    Atom
    Participant

    I was a dropper skeptic before I got one. Definitely get a dropper. It makes riding bikes more fun.

    #815093

    Renegade Hardware
    Participant

    Places like the Don are where the dropper gets a workout. up-down-up-down-up-down-repeat. imo biggest improvement to the ‘flow’ of a ride.

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