I've had a 2016 Ghost Square Cross 6 bike for about two years and I just realized that I never change the front gears once. To reduce clutter, weight and just make my bike easier to clean, I want to convert to a 1x. So far I think I need the following:

new crank set
new rear derailleur
possibly a chain guide

My front crank is a Shimano Deore XT FC-T8000. Rear derailleur is listed as Shimano XT 10-Speed derailleur and the rear cassette is a Shimano CS-HG500 11-34.

I'm at a loss for what I actually need specifically. A friend told me to look at Wolf Tooth but before I actually pulled the trigger on a purchase I saw "Not compatible with Deore triple (3x) cranksets!" so now I'm just nervous about what to buy. None of my stuff is highend or even midend so I haven't been able to find someone who converted this equipment to a 1x.

Can anyone provide some guidance as to what I am looking for or what I need for a simple 1x conversion? Thank you.

  • Do you not have any hills or grades anywhere you ride ?
    – Criggie
    Feb 20, 2020 at 7:25
  • Do you know what model your XT derailleur is? Feb 20, 2020 at 7:41
  • 4
    I am pleased to see the word convert rather than upgrade used in this context :)
    – mattnz
    Feb 20, 2020 at 8:33
  • "None of my stuff is highend or even midend so..." XT is the next to highest mountain group Shimano offers, and IMHO, represents the Pinnacle to a sensible, common man. (•‿•)
    – Jeff
    Feb 22, 2020 at 6:07
  • @Criggie Yes, tons of them.
    – Luna
    Feb 23, 2020 at 9:35

2 Answers 2


A simple 1x conversion would only need a new narrow wide chainring (and probably shorter chainring bolts). Narrow wide chainrings in 104BCD (which is the required size for the model you list) are available from USD10 if you order a cheap chain ring directly from China. You can continue to use the crankset you have, as well as all other components. After you installed the new chain ring you remove your front derailleur, the shifter cable and your left hand shifter and you're done.

if you make sure it's a narrow wide chainring (or some other shape that is designed for 1x) for most riding you would likely not need a chain keeper (although it doesn't hurt to have one). The shape of these chainrings will make sure the chain doesn't drop to the left or right of the chainring.

For more "complicated" 1x conversations you would want to review your gearing after loosing 2 chainrings. In that case you would need a new cassette and potentially a new rear derailleur depending on the new cassette. However you mentioned your intention is to simplify the bike while being happy with the current gearing (seeing you never shift the front derailleur).

  • Will it still work without a narrow wide chainring? what if i have a chain guide? Jul 29, 2020 at 11:05
  • Without a narrow-wide chainring you would need a chain guid. If not the chain is likely to run off when shifting the rear derailleur. Either solution can be had inexpensively. Jul 30, 2020 at 8:26

That crank is essentially just a 104/64 triple with a fancy big ring. You need any 104 BCD narrow-wide chainring of the size you want and that can also clear the frame (you'll be putting it in the middle position where your 36t is now, so you'll need to eyeball what kind of clearance you're working with now to determine what will fit). 104 is the most common NW ring size so you have plenty of options. You need a set of singlespeed chainring bolts and you should also get a new chain.

From there you don't necessarily need a new RD and cassette if you're saying the entire reason you're doing this is that the gear range you have without ever shifting in front is adequate for you. If that's the case then all you're really getting out of the deal is the benefit of a clutch if your existing RD doesn't have one, but I think it's probably an RD-M786, which does. If not, it is true that clutch RDs plus NW rings are the combination that make 1x work reliably without additional chain retention devices, so it's not a bad idea. If you did want a wider range your existing 10-speed shifter is compatible with any of the 10-speed Shimano 1x RDs i.e. RD-M6000-GS plus any 10s 11-42 cassette. There's also similar Microshift RDs and cassettes. There's also the various hacky extra-wide-range 10-speed cassette setups like the Wolf Tooth Goatlink plus a Sunrace 11-46, but those are even less likely to be worth messing with for you if you're happy with your current rear gearing without shifting.

Doing this to a perfectly functional drivetrain is really unlikely to increase your overall enjoyment or usability of the bike given the money and hassle. About the only time I see it really making sense would be when you've worn out the stock drivetrain and want to change things up a little for the next go-around when you're going to be spending a bit on it anyway.

  • @Luna Just FYI: Shimano's version of "narrow-wide" chainrings carry "CRM" as part of the model number. Dynamic Chain Engagement is the concept they're promoting. It incorporates additional shaping and engineering of the teeth that build upon narrow-wide. rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/…
    – Jeff
    Feb 22, 2020 at 6:29

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