Refining gearing for long travel suspension

My SC Butcher bike has some serious drive train issues that make it less than fun to be on. It functions, but it’s so floppy and loose that it ends up being something that I think a lot about on a ride. That sucks. Gonna fix that.

I don’t want to strip the bike down to single ring since that would turn it into less than an all mountain bike and not super fast descending and super painful climbing. Screw that.

Initially, I ran the bike with a triple drive train. I’d like that on this bike since it weighs around 34 pounds. That system just didn’t work well at all. I switched to a SRAM X9 38/26 front with a 11/36 cassette and an SGS derailleur. It worked a bunch better but still not what I’d call good.

Now I’ll be going ballistic. Swapping the small front ring with a 28t ring rather than 26t, an 11-32 cassette, and a GS derailleur. It’s not going to be the best climbing bike in the world but it’s certainly going to have a lot more range than a single ring bike.

This will allow the chain length to be cut from 106 links to 104. Also the chain will be a bit less slack when in the 28 tooth ring. This should bring the range in line with the GS derailleur and allow a bit more tension to be held on the chain. If it works, it’s going to be a pretty fun light gravity bike.

Here’s a quick calculation for the change. Note that 2×10 ends up being 13 distinct gears.

I’ll order the parts tomorrow to have the bike going for the weekend. Fun.