1x Drivetrains - when less really means less

10 comments

1 day 12 hours ago

I started out with a triple, some 26 years ago.  Never got along with it.  Later came a trekking bike equipped with a Rohloff, I still own it.  Didn't want a front derailleur on my gravel bike and got a SRAM Force 1x11....bliss, except that for road riding the gaps between gears were too much and for the riding that I did I spent a lot of time in the smaller cogs.  

6 months ago I decided that I wanted to have my cake and eat it too so I shelled out for a classified powerhub and combined that with an 11-32 cassette.  Not claiming that it's a perfect system for everyone but so far, for me it is as it gives me good spacing and a range equal to a 2X system but without front derailer.

 

1 week 4 days ago

1x both ends.  Anything else is just excessive wink

1 week 4 days ago

Even though I hated 1x10 when I modernised my MTB and chose 2x11 on my gravel/do it all bike, I'm totally unconvince by the writers arguments which seem to come down to "I want one bike to do it all" even though by their own admission they have several.  This makes no sense to me.

The "big jumps" argument is overblown and only really applies to hardcore roadies or gravel riders who are desperate to stay in an optimal cadence.  Who can actually sustain a steady cadence on anything but the smoothest offroad? Certainly not me.

I'm willing to be convinced that 1x is a step too far - but the arguments to be deployed need to be better than "I dont like it".

1 week 4 days ago

I suspect a big driver was big brands wanting to simplify the chainset area to ease full suss frame design. I like the idea of 1x but I'm  afraid I need 2x at least.

1 week 4 days ago

I still run 2x10 Shimano XT gears on my mtb with a custom 20t inner and a 10x36 cassette gives me a nice tight set of gears I don't have any plans to change. I run 2x11 Ultegra with an Ultegra clutch mech paired with a Praxis 48-32 crankset and an XT M8000 11-40 Cassette which is flipping brilliant! 

1 week 5 days ago

I'm currently fixing up a Specialized Epic.

It was a 2x, I'm going 1x because.... fashion.

I haven't ridden an MTB in years. I'll pass judgement when my roadie legs tell me how they feel. Going 34 up front because that'll go on the original Race face crankset, but I can't believe  the default is 32. 32*42 gearing, are you climbing Everest?!

 

1 week 6 days ago

Most 1x mountain bikes use a chainring roughly equivalent to the middle chainring of a 3x; I and many of my mates that had the old 3x mtb's rarely used the small or big rings; I'd only use the small ring for really steep climbs, which the latest 12 speed cassettes with 52t can cope with and the big ring stayed pristine, as I never wanted to ride as fast as that gearing required.

1 week 6 days ago

You know what would be great? A Di2 triple with syncro shift. Putting triples on low end bikes only benefits bike mechanics. They're not easy to set up and keep running smoothly and if they're on a cheap bike it's likely owned by someone who doesn't know an allen key from a torx bit. 

I'm well aware of my 1x bike's limitations - not least that I spend too long in the 11T cog on flat sections. I really need a bigger chainring but there's no stock. It does however shift sweeter than any triple I've ridden (Deore M5100 11sp).  

1 week 6 days ago

My first mountain bike (bought ~15 years ago) had 3x7 gears. As such, my new 2x11 bike actually has more gear choices and (IIRC) a wider overall gear range.

It's fair to say on a gravel bike, a 1x system might leave you lacking if you want to both explore steep offroad hills and keep up with the road bikes on the Sunday club run. But how many people use their mountain bikes for that? I think this goes hand-in-hand with the development of mountain bikes, particularly relating to "progressive" geometry - whilst they have become much better at technical offroad terrain, they have also become less versatile and not so good on easy stuff. Maybe also related to the growth in dedicated trail centres?

It would be good if the article provided a few more actual data - how does the range of a 1x system with a massive cassette compare to 2x or 3x systems? I note that most 2x or 3x systems can't have such big cassettes because of limitations on derailleur capacity.

Another advantage of 1x is that it generally equates to greater clearance at the bottom bracket (obviously depending on what chainring you have) - it certainly means clearance is maximised (i.e. you don't have a bigger ring than the one you are using). I've clipped rocks and logs with my big ring.

1x also means frame designers don't have to worry about fitting a front derailleur, which opens up more options around the bottom bracket area.

1 week 6 days ago

My first mountain bike (bought ~15 years ago) had 3x7 gears. As such, my new 2x11 bike actually has more gear choices and (IIRC) a wider overall gear range.

It's fair to say on a gravel bike, a 1x system might leave you lacking if you want to both explore steep offroad hills and keep up with the road bikes on the Sunday club run. But how many people use their mountain bikes for that? I think this goes hand-in-hand with the development of mountain bikes, particularly relating to "progressive" geometry - whilst they have become much better at technical offroad terrain, they have also become less versatile and not so good on easy stuff. Maybe also related to the growth in dedicated trail centres?

It would be good if the article provided a few more actual data - how does the range of a 1x system with a massive cassette compare to 2x or 3x systems? I note that most 2x or 3x systems can't have such big cassettes because of limitations on derailleur capacity.

Another advantage of 1x is that it generally equates to greater clearance at the bottom bracket (obviously depending on what chainring you have) - it certainly means clearance is maximised (i.e. you don't have a bigger ring than the one you are using). I've clipped rocks and logs with my big ring.

1x also means frame designers don't have to worry about fitting a front derailleur, which opens up more options around the bottom bracket area.