About ten years ago, I built myself a new bike, for general utility riding and some light trips through the countryside (tens of miles on towpaths etc). I was most familiar with the classic (hardtail) mountain bike technical ecosystem, so that's what I used. Over time, various parts have worn out and I have replaced them. Most of the drivetrain has now worn out again, and I am looking to replace it.
But everything has changed! Some of the parts I want don't exist any more, and some do, but seem like they are on the brink of extinction. So I wonder if I should take this opportunity to bring things up to date. Can I do this, or are there features of my bike which make this impossible?
The bike currently has:
- 26" wheels
- quick releases
- a square taper bottom bracket
- a triple chainset (24, 38, 48 - this works, if only just)
- a 9-speed cassette (11-34)
Specifically, what I need to replace is:
- Rear mech
- Rear hub (the freehub body is malled; there are no replacements, so I need a whole new hub)
What I would quite like to do is move to a 2x11 setup, while maintaining a comparably wide range of gears. Is this possible? What do I need to check to make sure it will work?
Does anyone make cranks for square taper bottom brackets any more? Does anyone make hubs for quick releases? Can I switch to thru axles? Will I need an XD hub? Do I need to worry about this boost geometry stuff? Are there chainline considerations? Can I use my current front shifter and mech with a double chainset? Do 26" wheels make me an irredeemable caveman?
I realise this is a bit of a vague question. Part of my problem is that I don't know what I don't know!