Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB workshop & tech

Please help to choose FD, Setup 2x9 with 38/24t

Hi all.

I've tried to search through the forum but none of the discussions answered my question.

Here is my project:
I've got free hardtail mtb in quite bad condition and decided to build a commuter for by friend.
My plan is to keep frame and wheelset. Might be fork, not sure yet. The rest will be replaced (as it's in an awful condition). I'm looking at 2x9 setup. As an experiment I did have myself full Alivio 2x9 setup 11-36 cassette 36/22t crankset. I rode it for a month, setup was just right for me.

Friend's current bike is Apollo Slant with 14-28 cassette 24-34-42 and he needs a little bit more of the higher ratio and keep existing low ratio. 36/22t won't make a sense on a high side, so after playing with around gear ratios calculator I think that my friend need to go with 38/24t. That will be just right setup for him.

To save the money I'm aiming Shimano Alivio groupset which is cheap enough as it is (even that is more than enough for the purpose). Just probably with SR-Suntour crankset which is £30 cheaper.
I don't really want to go for Deore for two reasons: 1) He doesn't need it 2) It's £100 more expensive
SRAM also will be way more expensive for 2x9 setup than Shimano.
I could go for Altus but Alivio havs smoother shifting and slightly easier to adjust.

And that where the issue is:
Alivio 2x9 FD-M4020-M specs stating that top gear teeth is 36t.
In other hand Deore FD-M6025 supports 34-38t, however it's a 2x10 speed mech, and I' don't know how will it work with 9 speed drivetrain.

I remember that with SRAM, regardless 36t spec, you could just put front mech slightly higher and it would work and that was official SRAM recommendation.
Will it be the case with Alivio as well or I need to go for Deore front mech and shifter?


  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    14-28 is all but certain to be a freewheel not a cassette, you'd need a new wheel to use a cassette.
    Pretty sure the Alivio FD will work fine with a 38t as you're not stretching it's capacity (radial height) with a 22T granny.
    Given you won't end up using much from a Groupset I'd be buying separates, looking for good used parts as well, you'll need a 7 speed rear shifter anyway (or an 8 as it has the same spacing near enough, a nine won't work though).

    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • VadimVadim Posts: 3
    Hi Rookie.

    Thanks a lot ))

    I have completely separate hardtail frame (I'd say for hardcore hardtail) with 2x9 on it, home-brewed from 3x9 (my colleague wanted to take it to the recycling centre in the first place). Drivetrain all completely rusted and I'll trow it away. I just hope the wheelset and hub is in a decent condition.
    Probably I can reuse my old Alivio FD shifter for 3x9 (I found that Alivio 2x9 exactly the same just displaying 1-2 but still having capasity of 3 chainrings)
    So, I'll need crankset, cassette, FD, RD, RD shifter 9sp

    I just slightly worrying buying used parts, as for example RD can be slightly bent.
    But as I said if 24-38 works fine than I can buy purely Alivio, it's cheap enough.

    Do you know places who sell used parts but checked, so I won't buy bent RD or well-worn crankset?
Sign In or Register to comment.