Pimping my ride
In the spirit of the season (cross that is) and to try somehting new, I have converted my Ti Deluxe to a 1x9. By removing the stock XTR rings and front der/ XTR STi shifters, then bolting on a MRP carbon guard w/ a 32t middle ring, and mounting a 3rd Eye to the inside (I would eventually like to add another inner guard), the drivetrain conversion was quick. What slowed the process down was mounting an XTR hydro lever that needed bleeding. Had I opted for the separate triggers and levers to begin with, the process would have been much faster. However, I like the performance out of the XTR STI shifters.
As a devoted single speeder, I fell for this new system within the first ride. I should mention I also dropped my bar ends, threw some lighter wheels and tires- the new Hutchinson TubelessReady Pythons, all together made for a snappier, faster and efficient ride. Today I hit Hartman Rocks aboard the freshened ride, and it was a blast. This setup rides similar to a single speed, feeling more free, lighter and efficient, but with the mechanical advantage of a multi-geared bike.
simple, clean drivetrain
The new tires, which I have been involved with the development for a couple of seasons were incredible. Predictable cornering, confident purchase and subtle smooth ride, everything one could ask from a tire, all in spades.
I don't get it why Shimano doesn't embrace 2x9 as a drivetrain for serious racers and riders. We all do not need a granny, and we would not have to pay for redundent gearing in weight. Another idea I am working on is converting some hydro XTR levers to be compatible on road bars. We are looking and molds for the hoods, and means to route the cables. This will be a winter project for sure, stay tuned.