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1X drivetrain for all-round gravel / touring bike?

Old 12-05-19, 10:21 AM
  #1  
maartendc
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1X drivetrain for all-round gravel / touring bike?

Hello all,

I am looking into Gravel / touring / adventure bikes at the moment. I will be using the bike pretty much all-round:
commuting on asphalt during the week, riding off-road on the weekends, and once a year taking it bikepacking on weeklong tours.

Some of them can be equipped with SRAM Apex 1 with just 1 chainring, while others can come with Shimano 105 with 2 chainrings.

So what would be the better choice for my use? I hear 1X drivetrains are all the rage these days.. the bikes with SRAM apex are cheaper by about 350 EUR over the Shimano 105.

- Sram Apex 1 would be a 42T chainring with 11-42 cassette.
- The Shimano 105 would have 48/32 chainrings with an 11-30 cassette.

Which would you choose and why? Thanks!
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Old 12-05-19, 10:38 AM
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I would want lower than a 1:1 for a low range. My bike packing rig has 22-36 front, 42-11 cassette for the rear. Gearing is very personal, everyone has a preference . Go 2x, lower range, IMHO. Look at overall GI and cassette spacing gear jumps.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:02 AM
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What's your lowest and highest gear on your current touring bike? I like a gearing range from about 18 to 95 gear inches for touring on and off road. My current touring bike runs 38/28t rings and a 11-42t cassette. To match the same gear range with a 1x setup, I'd have to run at 34t ring and a 10-50t cassette, which I can do because I don't use drop bars.

It sounds like you're looking at drop bar bikes. It's possible to use a 11-50t cassette with a drop bar setup:
Although it's not recommended by the manufacturer and definitely not available on an off the shelf bike. You'd lose 10% off the high end too.

Of course the expensive solution is to use Sram Red AXS shifters and Sram XO AXS rear derailleur to run a 10-50t cassette. But that's about a $2k upgrade.

However if you pack light and are a strong rider maybe you can get away with the gear range you're thinking of using. Only you'll know the answer to that.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:15 AM
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I wouldnt want either 105 or 1x.
I would want a drivetrain that fit how I would need to ride. If I were wanting your setup, I would go for a 46/30 crank mated to an 11-36 cassette.

The 48/32 crankset(praxis I assume?) could work for many.
A 105 mid-cage rear derailleur can handle an 11-36t cassette even though its over the stated capacity. Or upgrade to an Ultegra RX800 rear derailleur that can both handle the large cassette AND has a chain tension setting which removes chainslap.

30-36 gearing would be good for me if I were riding a gravel bike with an extra 23-40 pounds of gear added to it.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:21 AM
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I like the simplicity of 1x and have it on most of my bikes.

The 42 chainring with 11-42 in back is pretty standard for a 1x system and gets you a 1:1 low gear which is usually adequate for most folks except for carrying loads in hilly terrain. You could still probably make it work by fitting a 38t for touring as you probably don't need to pedal above 23-mph or so anyway so the loss at the high end isn't very important. Note that the 2x setup you're considering actually is worse from a low-gear standpoint (although it has much higher gears) so if you want very low gears, you're going to have to make mods no matter what you get. If you need even lower gearing, you probably should be looking at completely different systems, perhaps even a triple. As someone else has said, gearing is very personal.

The slightly bigger gearing gaps of 1x are inconsequential for an all-around utility bike. They typically become an issue come with high-speed riding in groups where your speed is being dictated by others and you are near the limit. And a 2x system needs to be carefully selected to avoid similar gaps.

So I'd go with the 1x but be prepared to fit a smaller front chainring for your loaded trips.

- Mark

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Old 12-05-19, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
Hello all,

I am looking into Gravel / touring / adventure bikes at the moment. I will be using the bike pretty much all-round:
commuting on asphalt during the week, riding off-road on the weekends, and once a year taking it bikepacking on weeklong tours.

Some of them can be equipped with SRAM Apex 1 with just 1 chainring, while others can come with Shimano 105 with 2 chainrings.

So what would be the better choice for my use? I hear 1X drivetrains are all the rage these days.. the bikes with SRAM apex are cheaper by about 350 EUR over the Shimano 105.

- Sram Apex 1 would be a 42T chainring with 11-42 cassette.
- The Shimano 105 would have 48/32 chainrings with an 11-30 cassette.

Which would you choose and why? Thanks!

Your legs aren't my legs so I really can't choose for you. It would be best to just compare them. Personally, I wouldn't use either of them. Both have a low gear that is too high for loaded touring. The 48/32 gear train has a high that is a little too high but at least it won't spin out quickly. You could get a better low with the 1x by going to a 39 tooth gear in the front but your high will suffer. You'd spin out (>120 RPM) at about 35mph while you won't spin out on the double until about 45mph at the same RPM. On a 1x you can choose a good high for going downhill fast while struggling to go up or you can choose a good low at the expense of a good top gear.

But all is not right with the double. While you have more range, the range you have is kinda goofy. You essentially have two different gear systems with little in common. For example, if you are riding along at 90RPM in the 48 on the front and 21 in the back, you are going about 17 mph. But if you downshift to the lower range, you RPMs will only produce 11mph. It will feel like your chain dropped off. You can increase your RPMs to 120 to get back up to about 15 mph but 120 RPM is hard to maintain for long. And you'll go through that with each large to little change.

I know it goes against current fashion but if you went to a triple, you end up with a better high, a better low and a better gear selection. For example, comparing the 48/32 to a 50/38/24, you have much lower low, a slightly higher high (which might not be needed) and a smaller step between ranges. Comparing the 50/38/24 to the 1x, it's easy to see that you end up with a better high and low at the (slight) expense of complication. You could lower the high and use a cassette with a lower gear and improve it even more.

If you go really silly, you can end up with a huge range. I have this range on my touring bike and have used every gear from top to bottom and been thankful for the bottom.
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Old 12-05-19, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I wouldnt want either 105 or 1x.
.
I researched maybe 15 different gravel bikes on-line before ordering a C-Dale Topstone from the LBS. Too many used 105 with the 105 crank at 34/50. An occasional used an FSA 30/46, which is what the Topstone has and is a better choice. I saw a few at Jenson that had press-fit b-brackets on steel and aluminum frames and could only think how cheap and dumb.
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Old 12-05-19, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
Hello...
A 1x drivetrain is fine for loaded touring if a. you use a MTB crank which will accommodate a low tooth count chainring so as to achieve an adequately low final gear (17-25 gear-inches depending on load/route/user), and b. you are content with a lack of high end gearing. Are you happy to coast above 25-30 mph, or can you maintain a cadence in excess of 120?

You could use use two crank/ring combinations, one for touring, and one for everything else (also chain length adjustment required). Nowadays SRAM/Shimano cranks have a fairly narrow range of compatible chainrings, meaning changing only the ring would not get you a low enough gear for climbing mountains loaded, nor high enough to pedal at high speeds.

I still use 3x drivetrain. I do however find a 1x drivetrain attractive in it's lower weight and simplicity (1 derailleur, 1 shifter, 1 gear cable/housing). I'm waiting for 1x to evolve to 11-55t cassette and cost <$300 complete (I build my own bikes from frameset and parts). I can get by with a 500% gear range (but I'm used to 640%).
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Old 12-05-19, 01:07 PM
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I really do not know where the 1X fad came from, but cyclocross riders starting using 1X systems because it was a bit lighter, less likely to drop a chain, less hardware that can get out of adjustment and less likely to clog up with mud. So, I am guessing that cyclocross racing is where this started. And I suspect that cyclocross riders will stick with it, as it works for them.

And I am sure that some of the manufacturers were happy to see the option of making a high end grupo that was less costly to manufacture.

One of my touring bikes has a total range from lowest to highest gear of 526 percent. I really notice a lack of range with that bike and my other two touring bikes have a total range of 558 percent which means I am less likely to run out of gears. My rando bike has a range of 504 percent, but I do not carry much weight on that bike. My road bike range is 355 percent which is not the gearing I would have chosen if I built up that bike but I bought that bike as a complete bike so for now at least I am using the stock gearing on it. .

The range of a 1X with an 11/42 cassette would be 382 percent which is a lot smaller than I would want if I am carrying my camping gear on the bike for a week. I think that the shortcoming of most 1X systems I have seen out there is the lack of range.

And, when you are carrying your camping gear on the bike, you do not need to worry much about mud and light weight as you would in a cyclocross race, so for a cyclocross racer those advantages of a 1X system are more important.

The only other advantage I can see of a 1X system is that some people get confused when they have two or three chainrings and sometimes can't figure out how to find the gear they want. A racer in the heat of competition is more likely to want to avoid the potential of a missed shift or something like that. If you have only one shifter, then the shifting is all sequential which makes it almost hard to get confused. Bikepacking and touring, not a problem. I have triples on most of my derailleur bikes for a reason and the few times I get cross chained or something like that, it is not a big problem because I am not in competition.
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Old 12-05-19, 01:40 PM
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1X I believe came. from and is used extensively on mt. bikes. It works very well when you are quickly approaching inclines and hills that are hard to anticipate a front shift followed with a rear shift.

Touring and road ?, not seeing it.

I find it amusing as one thing Shimano does really well with the Di2 system, is front shifting, including synchro shifting for a simultaneous rear shift.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:01 AM
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At least according to conventional wisdom...
It depends on how you will use the bike. For touring and gravel, 105 and 1x would be great for me and my preferences. With a different ring it would would also work for road and light gravel.

Trying to make it work for the whole range from road to touring with much of a load or much serious climbing off road will involve less than optimum gearing on one end of the range or the other unless you swap rings. You could have a front ring that served for the mode you used the bike for the large majority of the time and put a different ring on when you need the other mode if you only needed that sometimes and it was predictable, like for a tour.

On the other hand, sometimes I have happily ignored conventional wisdom and gotten good results...
I have a bike I set up for a road tour with a really low top gear (88") and I find it really pleasant to ride on the road. It is possible to keep up surprisingly well by spinning up to a super high cadence at the top of a hill and then coasting down, but I still wouldn't choose it for riding club rides with the fast guys. FWIW, I rode it on the Southern Tier with a gear range of 25" to 88" and found it to be super pleasant to ride with ultralight camping/cooking gear on board. I never had any trouble keeping up on the flats or downhill with a fast young rider that I rode with a lot of the way. Keeping up with him on the climbs was another matter but that had nothing to do with gearing.

Since then my daughter, a serious enough cyclist to have ridden across the US and commuted daily for years, took to commuting on that bike despite have a couple other bikes of her own that she could have been riding. She never asked for a gearing change even when one was offered.

I think for me the bottom line is that I'd love a gravel bike with 1x and 105 stuff, but I can see where it would have limitations that some might find unacceptable. I think I could actually use it for pretty much every thing I do from single track, to road, to touring on all surfaces.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:48 AM
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I've become a 1x convert for the type of touring I have been doing and plan on doing. For many years I've done my touring on a 1997 Trek 520 with the usual 3x setup. I had an old hybrid beater bike (also with 3x) that I would use for non-paved riding and touring.

My touring is always credit card style - I am not carrying cooking or sleeping stuff, so never that heavily loaded - front panniers, rear rack loaded up on the 520. However, I weigh 230 lbs and most of my paved touring has been in fairly hilly terrain - I needed the granny gear on the 520.

Conversely, I was almost never in the highest gear doing 30+ mph - where I bike here in MD, the downhills features many surprises and when I am going down hills on roads I am not familiar with, I'm always looking for surprises - even though that 230 lbs is an advantage going down, I am a slow descender on purpose.

I've been increasing the percentage of my rides that are on non-paved roads decided to do a "N-2+!" - replace the 520 and the beater hybrid with what today is called a gravel bike. I test rode several, both 1x and 3x. I ended up buying a Jamis Renegade that has a 1x with 38 up front and 42 the largest cog on the rear. The 520 granny gear is something like 26 in the front, 36 in the rear.

So, the lowest gear in the Jamis is not as low as the 520, but the Jamis is also 5-6 lbs lighter than the 520 (both are steel). So, far the granny gear in the Jamis has worked fine so far.

The other downside of the 1x is bigger gaps between gears. My old 520 3X7 drivetrain probably has something like 15 usable (non overlapping) ratios vs. only 11 choices the the 1x, so there are bigger jumps. That hasn't bothered me - never having to double shift offsets that.

The other issue is Sram's different approach to shifting - just one lever that you always push to the left whether you are upshifting or down shifting. After 25 years of Shimano "brifters" that is hard to get used to.

The other upside of 1x is that you don't shift at all with your left hand, so on a drop bar bike you gain a little room for a bar bag on that side.
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Old 12-06-19, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
... .
You could have a front ring that served for the mode you used the bike for the large majority of the time and put a different ring on when you need the other mode if you only needed that sometimes and it was predictable, like for a tour.
....
That is what I have been doing on my expedition bike that has a Rohloff hub. By changing one chainring, I can move the entire gear range up or down. It takes a while to change chainrings, remove or add a few chain links and reset the bottom bracket eccentric for chain adjustment.

On a derailleur bike, no chain adjustment needed after changing the number of links, the derailleur cage takes care of chain tension so that step not needed on a derailleur bike.

Around home where the most weight I put on the bike is a bag of groceries and my gym bag, I use a 44T chainring. That gives me low enough gears for a lighter load on the hills near my home that max out at about 7 percent. Gears range from 19.8 to 104 gear inches. And the high gear is high enough that i do not spin out on shallow downhills.

But touring where I am hauling a lot of weight up steeper hills, I use a 36T chainring. Since I sometimes carry a couple weeks of food, cold weather gear, etc. on longer bike tours to remote areas, I need the low gears to get up the steep hills.The 36T chainring gives me the lower gears i need for hill climbing but I lose the higher gears that i would like to have for long shallow downhills. But given the choice of one or the other, I will keep the lower gears for hills and lose the higher gears that I like on downhills. Gears range from 16.2 to 85.1 gear inches. My lowest speed where I can sustain vertical and directional stability for a tall hill is 3.5 mph, the slowest cadence that I find to be smooth without being jerky is 72, my lowest gear gives me a cadence of 72 at 3.5 mph, which is how I calculated the 36T chainring to be best for this sort of thing.
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Old 12-06-19, 06:52 AM
  #14  
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I'd probably stick with the double, if only for chain line reasons. If you want a lower gear go with a mountain double up front, I've been running 42/26 for a while using the inner two rings of a triple
and fiddling with the BB position a bit.
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Old 12-06-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
Hello all,

I am looking into Gravel / touring / adventure bikes at the moment. I will be using the bike pretty much all-round:
commuting on asphalt during the week, riding off-road on the weekends, and once a year taking it bikepacking on weeklong tours.


Some of them can be equipped with SRAM Apex 1 with just 1 chainring, while others can come with Shimano 105 with 2 chainrings.

So what would be the better choice for my use? I hear 1X drivetrains are all the rage these days.. the bikes with SRAM apex are cheaper by about 350 EUR over the Shimano 105.

- Sram Apex 1 would be a 42T chainring with 11-42 cassette.
- The Shimano 105 would have 48/32 chainrings with an 11-30 cassette.

Which would you choose and why? Thanks!
I underlined your comment on the intended use of the bike, and while as cycco put it very succinctly, our legs aren't your legs, if you're going to be riding the bike most of the time unloaded or lightly loaded, the double will most likely be more fun as I assume the bike is fairly light, so you'll be riding quickly.
For when you are \riding with bags and more weight, you may be able to simply put a larger cassette on with a new chain and have even lower gearing, perhaps the rd can take up to a 34t , who knows.

we dont know if you've ever ridden carrying a load, but you'll always want lower gears, and even more so in dirt trail situations where steep stuff is going to much more common.

the sram vs shimano shifting methods differences is a good point to bring up, personally I am used to shimano, so would be hesitant to use sram
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Old 12-06-19, 07:19 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
That is what I have been doing on my expedition bike that has a Rohloff hub. By changing one chainring, I can move the entire gear range up or down. It takes a while to change chainrings, remove or add a few chain links and reset the bottom bracket eccentric for chain adjustment.
Especially if the changes are at home I'd definitely just have two chains to swap between rather than mess with adding or removing a few links. Although I guess maybe you use old style master links since it isn't a derailleur setup, so maybe that is not an issue.

On the other hand, you might even be lucky enough to get it setup to the point where you didn't need to change the tension. That might mean using a half link. Those are probably available for the chain you are using with a Rohloff.

Not completely relevant, but some folks with fixies or "two speed single speeds" with two rings and two cogs manage to get an exact enough match that they can swap the chain position manually and have tension stay okay. I think they call it a dingle speed. It is tricky to get the exact ring, cog, ratio choices to get the exact match for chain tension, but possible. It has been a while I seem to remember a formula or maybe an online calculator. The setup is manual, but can be done tool- less and in a minute on the road. It was done as an alternative to those flip flop hubs used with single speeds. It only came to mind because it is what made me think about the fact that avoiding the chain adjustment would be likely to be possible with a swap of chains especially with a half link as an option.
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Old 12-06-19, 08:08 AM
  #17  
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i would go with a triple for the delicious range of closely-spaced gears.

as that is not a choice here, then i'd have to go with the 2x, but switch
the rings to something like 26/38 for lower gearing. i'm too old to stand
and mash the pedals for hours at a time, don't mind coasting downhill
and enjoying the scenery.

problem i have with a 1x is the spacing between the gears. for my
riding that would suck, carrying a moderate load into the wind for
8 hours straight, or a 6-hour long uphill slog, but unable to find the
right gear.
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Old 12-06-19, 11:18 AM
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I did a quick look at what the numbers might look like and they were surprisingly good, at least to me. I could definitely live with something like that. The numbers will vary a bit based on the exact cassette you choose as well as tire size, but the following is an example of what you might expect and to me it looks pretty serviceable. I have crossed the US a couple times and done a lot of other touring with about the same low gear and have crossed the US once with a lot lower high gear. You really are not giving up much with a 95.7" high gear.

The following numbers are chain ring size, followed by cog size, gear inches, and percent change.
39/11 95.7" 18.2 %
39/13 81" 15.4 %
39/15 70.2" 13.3 %
39/17 61.9" 11.8 %
39/19 55.4" 10.5 %
39/21 50.1" 14.3 %
39/24 43.9" 16.7 %
39/28 37.6" 14.3 %
39/32 32.9" 15.6 %
39/37 28.5" 13.5 %
39/42 25.1"

There are options for going higher or lower various ways but that looks like a sweet spot to me. Folks who really just need super low gears or just insist on carrying heavy loads rather than my typical ultralight packing style could opt for lower gearing and still not have a crazy low high gear.

Edit:
Note that I chose a 39 T ring rather than the 42 that the OP mentioned.. I think the lower gearing is more versatile and for some going even lower might be nice.. I am not one who requires super low granny gear, but it is never a big deal to lose a few gear inches on the top gear either. Oh, and fwiw, I confess that I didn't always feel that way about the big top gear. If you go back 10 years or so you can probably find posts where I said I preferred to have a tall high gear even on a heavily loaded touring bike.
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Old 12-06-19, 02:05 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Especially if the changes are at home I'd definitely just have two chains to swap between rather than mess with adding or removing a few links. Although I guess maybe you use old style master links since it isn't a derailleur setup, so maybe that is not an issue.
...
Rohloff uses 8 speed chains, for the 44T chainring I use a second quick link and also add three links between the two quick links for a total of four extra links. It is an easy enough change to make. I do not change sprockets in the back, always use a 16T sprocket in back. So the only change is the chainring.

The bike has an eccentric bottom bracket to adjust chain tension. It takes me maybe 10 minutes to get it adjusted after adding or subtracting links. See photo. And I probably adjust it every 600 to 800 miles or so for chain elongation (or some call it stretch). Photo does not show the two bolts in the bottom of the bottom bracket shell that hold the eccentric in place.

Rohloff used to use thread on sprockets, and I still have a brand new thread on sprocket to use when I wear out the one on the bike. But Rohloff has changed to splined sprockets, so bikes with the newer splined sprockets will be easier to change gears by changing hub sprockets. Thread on sprockets take more time and tools to remove.

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Old 12-06-19, 03:28 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post

problem i have with a 1x is the spacing between the gears. for my
riding that would suck, carrying a moderate load into the wind for
8 hours straight, or a 6-hour long uphill slog, but unable to find the
right gear.
This

When I looked at assorted gravel bikes, some had 34/50 105 cranks, which sucks for hills. Others had 1X 11 spd. Some had 11 spd and a 30/46. I got the 30/46 bike with 11-34 and have 15 different gears. A 1X has 11. I like more gears and was fortunate early in my cycling years to actually learn how to shift a front derailer.
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Old 12-06-19, 03:28 PM
  #21  
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I choose neither for touring unless I was less than 30yo, in shape and had good knees. Yes, at age 28 I schlepped 50lbs of gear across the country with a 28x28 granny. Had a known how cheap and simple a granny gear swap was.....
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Old 12-06-19, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
This

When I looked at assorted gravel bikes, some had 34/50 105 cranks, which sucks for hills. Others had 1X 11 spd. Some had 11 spd and a 30/46. I got the 30/46 bike with 11-34 and have 15 different gears. A 1X has 11. I like more gears and was fortunate early in my cycling years to actually learn how to shift a front derailer.
The bike I used to cross the USA came with 50/34 and 12/28 at the back. I replaced the 50t ring with a 46t and put on a long cage derailleur and a 12/36 cassette. the 46t ring gives me some nice cruising gears and enough top end and 34x36 is around 25" which is enough for me with a light load. So when I see something like the Diverge with a 48/32 x 12/34 it looks pretty good out of the box, I might replace the 48t ring with a 46t and maybe the 34 cassette cog with 36.
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Old 12-06-19, 04:04 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
So when I see something like the Diverge with a 48/32 x 12/34 it looks pretty good out of the box, I might replace the 48t ring with a 46t and maybe the 34 cassette cog with 36.
A bit of a thread hijack. I looked at the Diverge E5 Comp, nice looking bike, good component selection, nice price. Was surprised it had no eyelets in the rear for a rack, which rules out credit card tours with panniers and a light load unless you want to invest in a large seat bag, etc.... Ended up on a C-Dale, but found out there's a lot of nice gravel/adventure bikes out there.
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Old 12-07-19, 05:23 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
for my riding that would suck, carrying a moderate load into the wind for 8 hours straight, or a 6-hour long uphill slog, but unable to find the right gear.
That has me scratching my head a little and wondering. Do you actually ride somewhere that you actually climb for 6 hours straight steeply enough that finding exactly the right gear is critical. Sure I have ridden into the wind for 8 hours, but a "6-hour long uphill slog" has me wondering.

At 4 mph that would be a 24 mile climb. I have never run across a 24 mile climb that was steep enough to cut me back to a 4 mph crawl and I am not and have never really been a good climber. Sure maybe few miles, but not 24. For 6 hours 12 mph would be 72 mile climb and 16 mph would be a 96 mile climb. I may have been on sections that long that were generally slightly uphill on average, but not steep enough to be a big deal to find the exact right gear within a few percent or enough that I'd call it a "6-hour long uphill slog".

I can't specifically even remember any completely non technical 6-hour long uphill slogs when backpacking, day hiking, or peak bagging in the Sierras or the Appalachians, some were pretty long but I am not sure any ever were 6 hours unless they got to some pretty difficult scrambling, the kind that either involved deep snow or use of hands to get over obstacles.

I have done long tours in many of the mountainous areas of the continental US and am not a very good climber (and am old as dirt now to boot). So I wonder if this is just a matter of perspective, if you tour on in some different locale like the Himalayas or something (I see you are not in the US), or if maybe you just look at the same thing from a different perspective, perhaps with a bit of hyperbole. I apologize in advance if this comes off as me being a smart ass. I don't intend it that way.
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Old 12-07-19, 06:50 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That has me scratching my head a little and wondering. Do you actually ride somewhere that you actually climb for 6 hours straight steeply enough that finding exactly the right gear is critical. Sure I have ridden into the wind for 8 hours, but a "6-hour long uphill slog" has me wondering.

At 4 mph that would be a 24 mile climb. I have never run across a 24 mile climb........perhaps with a bit of hyperbole. I apologize in advance if this comes off as me being a smart ass. I don't intend it that way.
no worries. i have skin of thickness, and this is the interwebs.

yes, these are indeed long slogs.........that go on forever..........up to 40km long.
so, sure, that would be 25 miles for the metrically-challenged.

average speed is around 5-6 km/h.....or topping out at 3.7 mph.
i be loving that 16-gi setup where i can "spin" up at 50-55 rpm.

this be in china's yunnan province, in what i guess would be the foothills leading to
tibet and eventually everest. you're following the grade uphill, but as the land is rising
almost as fast as you're gaining elevation, it just never ends.

exhausted, you come around yet another curve, you see a cellphone tower or a road cut
and you think....."haha! i've reached the top"....only to be cheated again and again and
again, when you pass thru the cut to see another wall to cllimb.

and you feel really small and insignificant when you (slowly) pass an elderly couple
pushing a wooden cart loaded with watermelons. up.....hill.

it's cool heading south/east........when you get to blast thru the rice terraces for an
uninterrupted 40km.



checking the free interwebs calculators:

26*1.95 tires. 22 ring 34 cog gives a 16.84 inch gear.

50 rpm = 4 km/h = 2.5 mph
56 rpm = 4.5 km/h
62 rmp = 5.0 km/h

Last edited by saddlesores; 12-07-19 at 07:09 AM.
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