12 speed drivetrains in true fatbike conditions?

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12 speed drivetrains in true fatbike conditions?

Postby bbender785 » December 2nd, 2019, 11:07 am

currently running a wide-range 10 speed on my fatbike, and honestly it has all the range i personally need. but i had the opportunity come up recently to purchase a take-off 12 speed group for pennies on the dollar, which i thought long and hard about. ultimately i didn't go for it, one of the reasons being i question how the 12 speed systems operate when you begin to regularly subject them to the inherent slop and icing up that actual fatbiking brings? do they get finicky? especially the lower-end stuff (this would have been the new "bottom-of-the-line" SRAM SX group). this was my hypothesis, based solely on my theory that 12 speeds need to be more precisely aligned and move less between shifts than those of lower tooth counts... but enough to be the difference, i don't know? i'd love to hear some real-world feedback.
Last edited by bbender785 on December 4th, 2019, 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 12 speed drivetrains in true fatbike conditions?

Postby c0nsumer » December 2nd, 2019, 2:12 pm

Only experience here is with GX level, but both Eagle (1x12) and 1x11 stuff. Absolutely just fine in fatbike conditions. Works better than the 9 speed stuff I had on my original Mukluk, which was awful at times because the chainline scraped snow off the tire, pulling it into the cassette.

If I were building up a new fatbike it'd be SRAM GX Eagle with a 30t ring.

Can't speak to SX stuff specifically, but I don't think the number of speeds nature will harm you.
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Re: 12 speed drivetrains in true fatbike conditions?

Postby c0nsumer » December 2nd, 2019, 2:17 pm

One thing to add, I'm also using XD driver cassettes. Because of the dome-type machining for them, snow can't really pack into the cassette unless it gets COMPLETELY full. Mostly it goes in the cassette and falls out the back side. With the plate-type (Shimano driver) SX and NX cassette this may end up different, but it's hard to say.
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