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Worth upgrading to 1x10?

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Worth upgrading to 1x10?

Old 07-18-21, 08:47 AM
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matimeo
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Worth upgrading to 1x10?

So I've had a heck of a time finding a mountain bike these days. My oldest son got tall, so I gave him my old bike and I wanted to foray into the full-suspension realm. I could have picked something up locally for 3-5K, but couldn't justify those kinds of prices for the kind of riding I do (i.e. nobody pays me to ride a bike).
So I ended up pulling the trigger on this Motobecane
It ticked off enough of my boxes, in that it has a decent frame that could be upgraded if needed. The biggest tradeoff I made was the 3x8 barely above Tourney drivetrain (I know, the fork kinda sucks too). I've purchases a handful of bikes from them and have always been happy with what I get at the price point.
Then I poked around and realized that drivetrain components for mountain bikes are WAY cheaper than they are for road bikes (where I've spent most of my time wrenching). At my local Universal Cycles shop, I can pick up a 36t Shimano Zee crankset with bottom bracket (that should fit in this frame), and the MicroShift Advent X derailleur, cassette and shifter for just a hare over $300.
Perhaps I can sell the parts off the old bike for $100-150 and come out not too far above the $899 I already paid for the bike.
So I guess I'm wondering if it's worth it. I know 1x drivetrains are all the rage right now, but I have no experience with them other than on my single speed coaster bike. The microshift stuff looks cool too. If I upgrade my fork on this bike, I can probably end up with as good of a bike as I could have gotten for more money of I'd waited for them to have something in stock.
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Old 07-18-21, 10:27 AM
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1X is very nice on a mt. bike when you ride trails with a lot of closely spaced up and downs, where you are shifting a lot. You don't spend time thinking about the need to shift the front and the rear into something useful. Its all available in the range of the rear. You lose some of the closer spaced gearing, so if you're favorite trail is flat and you like having tighter gearing as on a road bike, you lose that as the jumps on a 1X are much greater, especially at the upper end of the cassette. Don't buy into the idea that a 1X is more reliable as a 3X system well setup was never unreliable, just one additional cable and housing the change during maintanence time. And its not like 3X suddenly started to suck.
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Old 07-19-21, 06:24 AM
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You may not need a new crank. Are the rings replaceable? If so, just buy a narrow wide ring and run it in the middle ring position of your current crank.

One thing to consider is that the suspension design on that bike is very chainring size dependent and kinda sucks in the small ring. 1x can eliminate that issue.

Last edited by Kapusta; 07-19-21 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 07-19-21, 06:35 AM
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1x drivetrains on mountain bikes just make sense. There's just too much gearing overlap on a 3x and 2x drivetrain and you simplify and lighten up. The Microshift Advent stuff is a solid bit of kit. I have the Advent 9 and 10 speed stuff on my bikes. Cheap on the wallet and the gearing range I could ever want. I bought them from Universal as well and got it within a week from the PA warehouse.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by commo_soulja View Post
1x drivetrains on mountain bikes just make sense. There's just too much gearing overlap on a 3x and 2x drivetrain and you simplify and lighten up.
^^^This.

Plus one less shifter, cable and derailleur to maintain and adjust.

You can't even give away a front shifter and derailleur these days. Nobody wants them. I tried in 2016 when I converted my bike from 2x to 1x. I ended up throwing the parts in the trash.
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Old 07-19-21, 11:30 AM
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Without being too unkind... no, I don't think you should put many upgrades into this bike. Just enjoy it for what it is. Maybe a very basic upgrade to a Recon or something.

1x is great but with full suspension really benefits from a bike designed around it. This one is not.
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Old 07-19-21, 12:28 PM
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I did the same with a bike I purchased this past January. Originally wanted a Trek Roscoe 7 or 8 and had the budget for it. Local LBS were telling me a year out for these.

Found a bike that fit me nicely and upgraded to AdventX and replaced the Suntour suspension to a RockShox Recon. But did go over my original budget by replacing the overly flexy wheelset. So after selling parts my Aspect now cost more than a Roscoe 7, but less than the 8. But, I absolutely love this bike! It is exactly what I wanted. In several ways, it is better than what the Roscoe 7 would have been and maybe not as good in other ways since it's only 1x10 rather than a 1x12. But in my opinion, unless your racing, 12 speed isn't needed and requires more adjustments.

The AdventX has taken my abuse over rock gardens and through creeks without any issues.

This Fantom you bought seems to have nice wheelset, decent frame, inexpensive to replace the drivetrain and even the shox. I say go for it and sell the parts no longer needed to offset the cost. If the bike fits you well and you like it, then it's worth it.

Hint for selling your drivetrain: Sell it as a whole set. Don't try to sell it piece by piece. You will have more people interested in buying a set for a good price and will sell the front derailleur, shifter this way.


EDIT: The OP's frame is the same as this one and does show it works with a 1x system: https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...suspension.htm

It's too bad the OP didn't get this bike instead. Would have been less money in long run.

Last edited by travbikeman; 07-19-21 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-19-21, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
And its not like 3X suddenly started to suck.
I agree.

IMO, it always sucked for trail riding

Ever since the late 90s, Iíve pulled the big ring off the 3x cranks on all my MTBs and run them 2x.

Which is exactly what I would do with the OPs setup if he did not want to drop the money on a new setup.
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Old 07-19-21, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
But, I absolutely love this bike! It is exactly what I wanted. In several ways, it is better than what the Roscoe 7 would have been and maybe not as good in other ways since it's only 1x10 rather than a 1x12. But in my opinion, unless your racing, 12 speed isn't needed and requires more adjustments.
What does racing have to do with 1x10 vs. 1x12?

1x12 gives you lower gears to make climbs easier. Really nothing to do with racing.

Last edited by prj71; 07-19-21 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 07-19-21, 03:22 PM
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Take the big ring off, shorten the chain and adjust the endpoint of the front derailer. The bike will serve you for years. The new drivetrains are mostly marketing BS.
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Old 07-19-21, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
The new drivetrains are mostly marketing BS.
How so?
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Old 07-19-21, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Take the big ring off, shorten the chain and adjust the endpoint of the front derailer. The bike will serve you for years. The new drivetrains are mostly marketing BS.
I donít agree with the last sentence (clutch RDs and narrow/wide 1x rings are big improvements) but the recommendation to do a 3x to 2x conversion is worth consideration.

For $20 you can stick a BBG Bashguard on in place of the big ring and reuse the bolts. The whole conversion will cost about $22 with shipping.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:25 PM
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It is a tourney crank, I assume it is riveted together. Going to need a new crank and NO I don't think 36t crank is a good idea unless you are in extremely good shape. You want a 32 or less if you are going 1x. Pick up a cheap square square tooth 1x crank, first one that popped up when I google it was $40 on amazon. The other option is see if anybody in a local mtn bike facebook group will just give you one, they are worthless, and buy a narrow wide ring for $20. Then you can move on to the Microshift or Box, Box also have some good cheap 1x setups.
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Old 07-19-21, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
What does racing have to do with 1x10 vs. 1x12?

1x12 gives you lower gears to make climbs easier. Really nothing to do with racing.
I'm guessing that it refers to the fact that if you have a 11-42 10sp vs an 11-42 12sp you have a better gear selection that will help you go faster for race purposes. Smaller jumps, more optimal gearing.

OP: My own experience was 3x was never all that good on a MTB. When I bought my current it was 2x10 and had what I thought was a great system, but after trashing my cassette and chain in a race I made the jump to 1x11 and found it to be great for a MTB. I went with a 34t ring, and 11-46t cassette and haven't looked back, also didn't drop a lot on it. Picked up with the crank from randombikeparts and found the chain, shifter, and cassette from another site and ended up with an XT equipped bike for 350.00, totally worth the cost. I can see, budget wise, where that frame might be less than optimal but worth spending the money on for something that will shift a lot better.
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Old 07-20-21, 05:55 AM
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Good point above about Tourney being riveted, If it is, any sort of conversion to 1x or 2x is pretty much a no-go with it, unless you want to break out a grinder.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
I'm guessing that it refers to the fact that if you have a 11-42 10sp vs an 11-42 12sp you have a better gear selection that will help you go faster for race purposes. Smaller jumps, more optimal gearing.
No. The gearing is too close on the high gears to make a difference.

2x and 3x drive trains have a LOT of gearing overlap, whereas 1x covers nearly the same useful range with the wide range cassettes. The lower gears and and simplicity of 1 x 12 are what it's about.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Without being too unkind... no, I don't think you should put many upgrades into this bike. Just enjoy it for what it is. Maybe a very basic upgrade to a Recon or something.

1x is great but with full suspension really benefits from a bike designed around it. This one is not.
Perhaps you can elaborate on this. Bikesdirect sells the same exact frame with a 1x12 (which I would have bought if they weren't out of stock).
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Old 07-20-21, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
It is a tourney crank, I assume it is riveted together. Going to need a new crank and NO I don't think 36t crank is a good idea unless you are in extremely good shape. You want a 32 or less if you are going 1x. Pick up a cheap square square tooth 1x crank, first one that popped up when I google it was $40 on amazon. The other option is see if anybody in a local mtn bike facebook group will just give you one, they are worthless, and buy a narrow wide ring for $20. Then you can move on to the Microshift or Box, Box also have some good cheap 1x setups.
Good point on the crank size. I have been going over this and trying to decide the right one. Here is my analysis:

1x10 w/36t chainring on 29er with Advent X cassette (11-48)
easiest gear inches = 21.67
hardest gear inches = 94.96

1x10 w/30t chainring on 29er with 10spd Advent X cassette (11-48)
easiest gear inches = 18.20
hardest gear inches = 78.86

Current 3x8 mountain bike (that feels about right)- two lowest gears and highest gear:
22x32= 18.08
22x28= 20.70
42x32=100.11

30t and I lose some of my high end (probably won't miss it), but I get a pretty good low end for climbing.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
I did the same with a bike I purchased this past January. Originally wanted a Trek Roscoe 7 or 8 and had the budget for it. Local LBS were telling me a year out for these.

Found a bike that fit me nicely and upgraded to AdventX and replaced the Suntour suspension to a RockShox Recon. But did go over my original budget by replacing the overly flexy wheelset. So after selling parts my Aspect now cost more than a Roscoe 7, but less than the 8. But, I absolutely love this bike! It is exactly what I wanted. In several ways, it is better than what the Roscoe 7 would have been and maybe not as good in other ways since it's only 1x10 rather than a 1x12. But in my opinion, unless your racing, 12 speed isn't needed and requires more adjustments.

The AdventX has taken my abuse over rock gardens and through creeks without any issues.

This Fantom you bought seems to have nice wheelset, decent frame, inexpensive to replace the drivetrain and even the shox. I say go for it and sell the parts no longer needed to offset the cost. If the bike fits you well and you like it, then it's worth it.

Hint for selling your drivetrain: Sell it as a whole set. Don't try to sell it piece by piece. You will have more people interested in buying a set for a good price and will sell the front derailleur, shifter this way.


EDIT: The OP's frame is the same as this one and does show it works with a 1x system: Save up to 60% off new Mountain Bikes - MTB - Motobecane Fantom 2729DS Disc brakes, Tubeless Compatible Rims

It's too bad the OP didn't get this bike instead. Would have been less money in long run.
Glad to hear your good experience with the Advent X stuff.

I would have bought bike you linked there if they had my size in stock. I'm hoping I'll come in around that same price when I sell off the unused parts on this bike, and I think the Advent X will actually be a significant upgrade over the Sram Eagle setup on that bike.
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Old 07-20-21, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by matimeo View Post
Glad to hear your good experience with the Advent X stuff.

I would have bought bike you linked there if they had my size in stock. I'm hoping I'll come in around that same price when I sell off the unused parts on this bike, and I think the Advent X will actually be a significant upgrade over the Sram Eagle setup on that bike.
IF interested, check out this video. My opinion of the drivetrain is very much the same as this reviewer. Only real issue I think this drivetrain has, is how easily it collects dirt as compared to the rivals:

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Old 07-20-21, 11:46 AM
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I have the same bike with RockShox fork and shock and it was originally 3x10. I purchased a 30T narrow-wide chainring from OneUp (designed to work on 3X crankset) and a Sunrace 11-46 cassette. Works well with my Deore RD and only had to adjust the B screw to make everything play nicely. Been on this bike for 5 years and 3 years so far as 1X - no issues whatever. I spent a lot less than $300 to make the conversion....
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Old 07-20-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by matimeo View Post
Perhaps you can elaborate on this. Bikesdirect sells the same exact frame with a 1x12 (which I would have bought if they weren't out of stock).
This bike has a very basic suspension, a single swingarm. Nearly all bikes for 20 years have gone to some kind of four-bar linkage which allows the designer to tune out various undesirable behaviors this one has, and it's gradually been pushed out the bottom of the line-up. A good example is the Santa Cruz Heckler which lasted longer than most, into the 2010's as a budget model. Especially specifically it makes a leverage ratio that favors a spring and not air shocks (which is what the upper link tunes), and it does not do that great to counter brake jack as well (with a single swingarm and linkage driven shock, this is done by putting the brake caliper on the floating link, ie chain stays).

Another of those things is anti squat to counter pedal bob. That is, the system stiffens up under chain force to counteract the wheelie-force you get from pedaling, which means you want the chain line to pass through the pivot point. If you go 1x with this you are going to hope it was optimized around a 30 or 32t ring. It probably was, if it was designed for a triple, and you are ok. But you have no way of knowing without really nerding out. You can see how being in the big or small ring would screw this up, how having a 2x system would screw it up more, and how a 1x system allows the designer to really tune it in.

https://linkagedesign.blogspot.com/2...kler-650b.html
https://linkagedesign.blogspot.com/2...nti-squat.html

So anyhow now that I've gone on a bit, I think you should spend your money on a half decent fork, like a mid-low Rock Shox with Motion Control, or maybe a Z2, and then also spend money on tires as they wear out, also things like seat and pedals and grips to suit you, long before you worry about the drivetrain.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:51 PM
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If the OP wants a 1x10 he should just do it. It really isn’t that big a deal and not that much money. He does need to cover the low end for climbs and let the gaps fall where they might. No big deal unless it is used on the road for any distance. Gaps on a mountain bike never bothered me.

I ride 2x8, but with a 13t is like a 2x9 with no top end. But for me, I love overlap because I can run all 8 cogs with each chainring. I hate using the FD and usually only ride the 34t with the 13-40 cassette. If I really need to go lower, and there have been times, I’ll go to the 24. I really hate when I use the 24-13, which is rare and gives me a lot of slap, but for a short section it’s okay.

John
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Old 07-21-21, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Good point above about Tourney being riveted, If it is, any sort of conversion to 1x or 2x is pretty much a no-go with it, unless you want to break out a grinder.
Havenít seen the crank in question. But in my experience a drill press is a better tool for the job.
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Old 07-21-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SkinGriz View Post
Havenít seen the crank in question. But in my experience a drill press is a better tool for the job.
You canít see it in the photo, but the rings are all riveted together and then swaged on the crank. There is no way to make it work even with a drill press.

there are pretty cheap 104BCD cranks you can find for square taper, thatís what I did on my wifeís last hybrid with a JGBikes chain ring. That was the cheapest route I could find without buying a $100 hollow spindle crank and another 40 bucks for bottom bracket and tools
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