Superfish 1×10 Conversion

If you haven’t seen the Superfish on here yet, she’s tasty.

In the coming weeks, she’s going to see a few renovations: one today, one tomorrow.  The third one involves mounting some more aggressive rubber, based on my great experience thus far with big knobbies on the Mariachi.  That’ll be forthcoming.

Today’s discussion is going 1×10 on the drivetrain.  The Superfish came stock with a 2×10 drivetrain, running X0 rear derailleur, 11-36 cassette, X9 cranks with 24/38 chainrings, and X9 front derailleur, controlled by X9 shifters.  Let me be the first to say: I’ve had 0 issues with the drivetrain.  Everything has worked perfectly, to my great delight.

This drivetrain change isn’t about curing a problem, then…it’s about improving functionality and narrowing hardware down to actual needs.  It’s about weight reduction, simplicity and reliability.  I’m retaining the cassette, and going to a 34T chainring.

Assuming 80rpm cadence, with 2×10, in the 24/36 gear, I’d be traveling 4.5 mph.  With 1×10 and 34T chainring, I’d be traveling 6.4 mph…close to 30% higher gearing.  That seems like a lot, but I really cannot think of the last time that I was geared out on the low end, in the lowest gears possible.  We just don’t have enough climbing here in Illinois to make that necessary.

At that same 80rpm cadence in the top gears, I’d be travelling 24mph in 38/11, versus 21.5mph in 34/11.  Given that spinning up to 90rpm gives me 24mph with 34/11, I really don’t see me running out of gear on the top end, either.  No monster climbs also means no monster descents.  There’s really only a 12% difference in gearing…and 34/11 should be adequate even for gravel rides.  (I had contemplated going 32T on the chainring…but spending time on a singlespeed geared at 32/16 has convinced me that 34/36 is deep enough gearing).

For what it’s worth, I’m keeping the 2×10 setup around until I’m fully convinced that 1×10 is the way to go.  The benefit of 2×10 is simple, for me: Dinglespeed.  I’ve talked about this before…it’s nice to leave the cassette in one gear, and shift the chainrings.  Big chainring for flats and descents, and then drop into little chainring for climbs.  Simple, effective.  We’ll see if I’m as content shifting the cassette and leaving the chainring alone.

The original plan was to slap on a cheap singlespeed, PF30 compatible crank, and/or get a spiderless chainring to mount on the X9 cranks.  After much searching, a better alternative came along.

I was able to get my hands on an MRP Bling Ring, already mounted to a set of X0 cranks.  Pretty.

X9 with 175mm cranks and double chainrings = 728 grams.

Not exactly fair, but X0 with 175 cranks and bling ring = 538 grams.  (Actually, this pic is with the wrong axle installed…the actual weight, apples to apples, is 525 grams).

That’s a weight savings of a shade over 200 grams (0.45 pounds).

The bling ring mounts up nicely to the X0 cranks (or any other SRAM cranks with the removable spider).

It would mount to my X9s, as well.

Moreover, the Bling Ring is designed for single chainring chain retention.  Look at how square and full the teeth are:

By comparison, the teeth on the X9 chainrings are ramped for ease of shifting…which means poorer chain engagement.

I pulled off the clamp-mounted front derailleur, housing/cable, and front shifter, to drop another 306 grams.

That’s about 510 grams dropped, or 1.15 pounds.  The Superfish is under 24 pounds now.

I’m running the stock drive-side spacer…

And that leaves plenty of clearance at the chainstays.

That said, I’m not sure I’d be comfortable running much larger of a chainring.

It looks fantastic.

And the ‘only one shifter’ cleans up the bars a bit.

I did some parts swapping and ended up with an X0 Type 2 rear derailleur, swapped in place of the stock, pre-Type 2 rear.  I’m not entirely certain if that, with the Bling Ring, will provide adequate chain retention.  Being a bit A/R, I’ll probably look into either a Bionicon chain guide or a Paul chainkeeper.  While the Bionicon reportedly works well, it doesn’t look like an elegant solution, and I’m not fully sold on it.  The Type 2 rear derailleur has noticeably more resistance when shifting against the clutch mechanism…I’ll be curious to see if that gets aggravating.

While I’m typically anti-gripshift, I’m also curious to see if I find myself wishing I could spin-dump gears with alacrity, instead of click click clicking my way across the cassette.  Again, that’s a ‘wait and see.’

After all of the XX1 talk on here, why no XX1?  Well, I still think XX1 makes a lot of sense–I really do.  Frankly, if someone had come up to me and forced XX1 on me, I would have run it.  That didn’t happen…and the setup described above kind of fell into my lap, so it’s what I’m trying out.  The payback to invest a thousand bucks (or more) in converting to XX1 didn’t make sense to me at this point, when I can get a great deal of the functionality without that expense.

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll probably have some ride time in, and will be loving the setup (I hope).  As of yet, I don’t…but it looks great, and shifts perfectly in the workstand.

Sub 24 for a full suspension, aluminum, geared 29er.  I’m ok with that.

14 thoughts on “Superfish 1×10 Conversion

  1. Just wondering how your chainline is with the bling ring??? I have read a bunch on mtbr and on the MRP sight that the current bling rings are not compatible PF30 bb’s due to the offset being set up for gxp only…The say your chainline is way off to the outside…This is the setup I want to run on my Fish and was told by MRP to wait until March when they release a bling ring that is compatible with the PF30bb…Just wondering how it is working out for you…

    • Chainline is great! Look at the pictures…I don’t have a ‘head on’ chainline pic, but you can see where the Bling Ring indexes…it’s as close to the frame (as inboard) as possible, without hitting the frame. If it were any closer, the chainring would hit the chainstay. I didn’t have any issues at all…works perfectly.

      I will say that the ‘Fish came with stock X9 2×10 cranks, and the ‘upgrade’ cranks were X0. I’m not sure what they were off, but the ‘axle’ on the X0 cranks was the wrong size–it was too long. By axle, I mean the actual axle that connects the left and right crank. Normally, you would only disconnect this on the drive side (and in fact, the non-drive side crank says do not remove), but I ended up removing the axle from both cranks, and putting the X9 axle on the X0 cranks. The only palpable difference was that the X9 axle was shorter, putting the cranks closer together. The X0 cranks had a wider Q-factor…perhaps they were from a triple, or something?

      But in any event, I’m running the MRP Bling ring, X0 cranks, and an X9 axle, with PF30 BB, and no chainline issues at all. The chainring is actually just a bit inboard of where the big ring was with the 2×10 setup.

      • I sent the following question to MRP.
        “I’m interested in running a 28 and or 32 bling ring on my 2013 Salsa Spearfish 1 . Is your bling ring compatable with the press fit 30 BB shell with Sram S1400 – X9 crank”.

        This was their reply.
        “No the Bling ring only works with GXP BB’s. The spindle on a BB30 is shorter and throws off the chain line on the Bling ring”.
        Eric Prinster
        Technical Service
        Mountain Racing Products

      • Well, here’s the deal…

        I’m running an XO crankset…but the axle spindle on it was too long…so I pulled the axle spindle off of my x9 crankset and slapped the X0 crank arms on it. With that setup, it fits perfectly.

        Based on that, I genuinely think the X9 would work, even with PF30bb. I haven’t tried it with the X9 crankarms, but I think it would work.

  2. I asked another question to MRP about the production of a PF 30 BB compatible Bling Ring. This was their response.
    “We have talked about making one but as of right now we do not have
    any thing in the works”.

    I might just order one and hope for the best.
    Would you say your chain line is centred or inward/outward on the Spearfish?

      • i just installed a 32t mrp bling ring on my 2012 spearfish 2, with the stock crankset it bolted right on, and the chain line on middle cog is perfectly straight. it works perfectly- thanks for this confidence inspiring write up!

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    • It’s the same size allen “screw” as the drive side….takes the same size allen wrench (I wanna say 8 or 10mm?).

      It’s locktite’d pretty hard, so it takes some effort…but once the screw was loose, it came right apart.

  6. Pingback: Superfish 1×10 Update | ridingagainstthegrain

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