Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Making the Commuter a 1X

   The Haanjo commuter has been a great bike. It gets me to and from work in efficient style. One of the only changes I've been considering is simplifying the gearing. Right now it is a 36/46 in the front and a 11/29 cassette. There is a lot of gear overlap with that set up, and I'd like to simplify things by changing to a single chainring in the front. I set up a spreadsheet to explore the possibilities and be sure I didn't short myself on gears. 

Gearing possibilities

   In addition to the high and low gears, I was curious about overlap, so I set up a list of every gear possibility. You can see here that there is a lot of overlap between the 36/46, with more than half the gearing options duplicated. The new set up give me less top end speed, but identical climbing flexibility while reduce gearing redundancy. 

All gearing possibilities

   I fretted over a 40t vs a 42t chainring, so I rode around in the comparable gear with my existing set up and tried to get a feel for it. I like the 42 because it keeps the climbing gear the same, but still gives me a decent top speed. 

The Parts! I sourced everything from Ebay for this build:

1. Chainring: I found this super cool looking Kingstar 110 BCD chainring. Cost: $24

No narrow wide :(

2. Cassette: The Pro's Closet had this great XT cassette just waiting for me to come pick it up. Cost: $13

11/34 Cassette

3. Chainring bolts: I'm an adult now and there's no cutting down long bolts. I splurged and got myself some ready made single speed bolts. Cost: $7

Single speed chainring bolts

   Here are all the parts laid out:

Not too bad

   The whole swap was a pretty standard affair:

1. Freewheel swap
2. Chainrings off
3. Break chain
4. Derailleur off
5. Chainring on
6. Fix chain
7. Shifter/cables off
8. Adjust and test ride

All done!

   One thing I hadn't counted on was clearance on the inner chainring position. Since I was going from a 36 to a 42, I should have been conscious about this gap. Luckily, things worked out.

Chainstay clearance

   So I saved a modest amount of weight, simplified things a bit, gained some handlebar real estate and had a fun time doing it! 

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