The key to getting the best out of your 1 x 10 setup is to have the right mix of components. Everything is a compromise and going 1 x 10 is no exception.
Three key ingredients
- Clutch rear derailleur
- Narrow-wide chainring
- Wide ratio cassette
How much will going 1 x 10 cost?
The cheapest setup will be around $200:
|Zee rear derailleur||$50|
|Extended range cog||$70|
The most expensive will be almost double the least expensive and it mostly comes down to the rear derailleur cost:
|XTR rear derailleur||$160|
|Extended range |
What rear derailleur cage length?
A medium cage (eg. Shimano GS or SRAM equivalent) rear derailleur will work with an 11-42t rear spread. On some bikes, a short cage (like the Shimano Zee WR version) will work with an 11-40t or even 11-42t spread. If you've got a full suspension bike with any amount of chain growth through suspension travel, then go with a medium cage rear derailleur.
To get the most out of going 1 x 10 you may need some additional items:
16t cassette cog
Adding an extra cog to your cassette involves removing another to keep the total cog count at 10. Normally on 11-36t cassettes the 15t or 17t is removed resulting in a big gap. To get a more consistent change in range you can remove both the 15t and 17t and replace them with a 16t. Some cassettes have a 16t so you may be able to get one from there. 16t sprockets are available from:
- cassette manufacturers like Miche; and
If using a Shimano 16t then choose the 9 speed version as it will have the shift points in a position that will work better with the gap in the cassette.
Shifting into and out of the 42t cog on the cassette can be compromised when using Shimano rear derailleurs. A possible solution is to use the OneUp RAD cage. It offsets the top jockey wheel so that you require less tension on the b-screw for the top jockey wheel to clear the extended range sprocket.
Note: the RAD cage is only applicable to Shimano rear derailleurs. The SRAM clutch rear derailleurs already have an offset top jockey wheel.
Issue: slow shifting into/out of the 40/42t cog
Solution: make sure your extension cog is properly aligned and that it is the right type for the particular cassette you are using.
- OneUp components 40t and 42t sprockets have two different installation positions depending on whether you are using it with a Shimano or SRAM 11-36t cassette. It does not appear compatible with Shimano 10 speed 11-34t cassettes;
- Wolftooth Components makes two different versions of their 40t and 42t cogs for use with either Shimano or SRAM 11-36t cassettes. Make sure you are using the right one;
- e*thirteen 42t extended range cogs, like the Wolftooth Components versions come in two different versions depending on whether you have a Shimano or SRAM 11-36t cassette. e*thirteen also produce a 40t extended range cog which is specially made to work with Shimano 11-34t cassettes.
Issue: lack of b-screw adjustment
- longer b-screw;
- reverse existing b-screw to make it longer;
- install OneUp RAD cage (only applicable to Shimano rear derailleur setups).
Issue: chain too tight in 40t/42t and too slack in 11t
Solution: Shimano rear derailleur? Check the orientation of your axle bracket unit and make sure it is near to horizontal - see here for some pictures of a Zee RD with the axle bracket unit properly oriented are you using a short cage rear derailleur? If so, you
Issue: derailleur inner cage interferes with 40/42t cog
Solution: try adding more b-tension with b-screw. If this doesn't work, then chain is too short - add links back in until it clears properly. If using a short cage rear derailleur, then check that chain is now not too slack in 11t. If it is, then swap to medium cage rear derailleur.
How does this compare to 1 x 11 systems?
SRAM currently offer two 11 speed MTB groupsets: XX1 and X01. These systems both have a 420% gear rage spread from 10-42t. At best your diy 1 x 10 will have a slightly narrower spread of 11-42 effectively losing 10% of range on the top end.
The new Shimano 11 speed system has an 11-40t cassette, so your DIY system with an 11-42t offers slightly more gear range than a XTR 1 x 11 speed setup. The benefits of the Shimano system are that a new freehub is not required. The cassette fits on a standard freehub.
|SRAM XX1 X-Horizon Rear Derailleur||$230|
|SRAM XX1 11-Speed Rear Trigger Shifter||$149|
|XX1 X-DOME cassette||$300|
|SRAM PC XX1 HollowPin Chain||$47|
|xD driver / replacement freehub body||$50-100|
|X01 Rear derailleur||$170|
|X01 11-Speed Trigger Shifter||$100|
|X01 XG-1195 X-Glide 11-Speed Cassette||$275|
|SRAM PC XX1 HollowPin |
|xD driver / replacement freehub |
Shimano 1 x 11 cost
|Shimano XTR M9000 Shadow+||$200|
|Shimano XTR SL-M9000 Trigger Shifter||$149|
|Shimano 9000 XTR 11 Speed Cassette 11 x 40||$250|
|Shimano XTR CN-HG900-11 Chain||$47|