Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

1x experiment: experiences so far

Notices
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

1x experiment: experiences so far

Old 08-05-20, 10:42 PM
  #1  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
1x experiment: experiences so far

Thought I'd share my 2x to 1x experiences as "data" for others.

I built up my Niner RLT9 with Ultegra 2x (46/34, 11-32 cassette) and I've ridden like that for over 4 years. No real complaints, but I like to tinker and I do really like the simplicity and general riding experience of 1x on my mountain bike, so I decided to give 1x a shot on the gravel bike. I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay) where most of the riding involves a lot of climbing and lot's of descending...maybe not ideal for 1x gravel? I had to find out.

Swapped in a wolftooth 40T chainring on the ultegra cranks, removed the front derailleur and cables, added a wolftooth roadlink to the ultegra RX rear derailleur, added a 11-42 cassette and viola! I've got 1x.

I've put in a few mixed rides and I have to say that I quite like it so far (maybe 150 miles on the setup). It's nice to not have to think about shifting the front derailleur and the 40 x 42 bailout gear is really nice to have on some of the steep dirt climbs around here.

The typical cons that folks share about going 1x haven't really been an issue (yet), but I will report back. So far, the jumps between gears haven't bothered me and max gearing of 40-11 has been fine for flats (and I'm OK coasting down the big hills once I've maxed out).
jp911 is offline  
Likes For jp911:
Old 08-06-20, 10:44 AM
  #2  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,250

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1576 Post(s)
Liked 294 Times in 187 Posts
A 11-36 cassette would have been cheaper and same 25 inch low gear.
trailangel is offline  
Old 08-06-20, 02:50 PM
  #3  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 4,473

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1653 Post(s)
Liked 365 Times in 255 Posts
" I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay) where most of the riding involves a lot of climbing and lot's of descending...maybe not ideal for 1x gravel"

Probably IDEAL for a 1X setup. Going up and down a lot won't have you missing 1 tooth jumps on a cassette. It's when you are on a flat or easy rolling ride, may be with long sections with a headwind, that makes you want the 2X and tighter cassette.

Last edited by Steve B.; 08-06-20 at 03:24 PM.
Steve B. is offline  
Likes For Steve B.:
Old 08-06-20, 02:55 PM
  #4  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,976
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1309 Post(s)
Liked 183 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by jp911 View Post
Thought I'd share my 2x to 1x experiences as "data" for others.

I built up my Niner RLT9 with Ultegra 2x (46/34, 11-32 cassette) and I've ridden like that for over 4 years. No real complaints, but I like to tinker and I do really like the simplicity and general riding experience of 1x on my mountain bike, so I decided to give 1x a shot on the gravel bike. I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay) where most of the riding involves a lot of climbing and lot's of descending...maybe not ideal for 1x gravel? I had to find out.

Swapped in a wolftooth 40T chainring on the ultegra cranks, removed the front derailleur and cables, added a wolftooth roadlink to the ultegra RX rear derailleur, added a 11-42 cassette and viola! I've got 1x.

I've put in a few mixed rides and I have to say that I quite like it so far (maybe 150 miles on the setup). It's nice to not have to think about shifting the front derailleur and the 40 x 42 bailout gear is really nice to have on some of the steep dirt climbs around here.

The typical cons that folks share about going 1x haven't really been an issue (yet), but I will report back. So far, the jumps between gears haven't bothered me and max gearing of 40-11 has been fine for flats (and I'm OK coasting down the big hills once I've maxed out).
And here I am trying to get away from the exact same setup. BTW you didn't need a Roadlink for your rd, it works without it.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2019 Salsa Warbird
shoota is offline  
Old 08-06-20, 03:41 PM
  #5  
chas58
Senior Member
 
chas58's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,321

Bikes: too many of all kinds

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 970 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 173 Posts
Yeah, 1x is fine when I'm riding on my own. But in a group ride when someone else is setting the pace and cadence - the gaps are more of an issue.
chas58 is offline  
Likes For chas58:
Old 08-06-20, 06:10 PM
  #6  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by shoota View Post
And here I am trying to get away from the exact same setup. BTW you didn't need a Roadlink for your rd, it works without it.
I maxed out the B-screw and shifting into the 42 cog was really rough. The roadlink solved it for me. Maybe differences in the derailleur hanger between frames and manufacturers?
jp911 is offline  
Old 08-06-20, 06:11 PM
  #7  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Yeah, 1x is fine when I'm riding on my own. But in a group ride when someone else is setting the pace and cadence - the gaps are more of an issue.
I can definitely see that being an issue. I mostly ride alone, especially now in the world of social distancing.
jp911 is offline  
Old 08-06-20, 07:15 PM
  #8  
shoota 
Senior Member
 
shoota's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: not sure
Posts: 6,976
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1309 Post(s)
Liked 183 Times in 136 Posts
Originally Posted by jp911 View Post
I maxed out the B-screw and shifting into the 42 cog was really rough. The roadlink solved it for me. Maybe differences in the derailleur hanger between frames and manufacturers?
That is quite certainly possible. Glad you got it sorted.
__________________
2014 Cannondale SuperSix EVO 2
2019 Salsa Warbird
shoota is offline  
Old 08-06-20, 07:54 PM
  #9  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,663
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 247 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 9 Posts
I like 1x a lot for cyclocross. When Iíve done gravel races, Iíve done them on my cross bike. And for gravel, in my opinion 1x is acceptable, but thatís all. If I had a dedicated gravel bike, it would be 2x. No doubt about it. That said, the 1x in question is a 10-speed, 42x11-36. 12-speed with a bit more range, especially at the top end, might be a different story. But itís on the edge. A double crank gets you the range and close ratios you want, easily, without giant cassettes or compromises.
grolby is offline  
Old 08-07-20, 09:18 AM
  #10  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 707
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 64 Posts
I live in the midwest, where climbs and descents are measured in seconds. The vast majority of my riding is pancake flat. In these conditions you can pair 1x with a narrow range cassette and eliminate the gear jump issues that are usually associated with large-range 1x setups.

I have two CX/Gravel bikes with 1x setups. I'm running 11-32 or 11-34 cassettes, paired with either a 40T or 42T chainring. On my bike equipped with a 40T ring, I almost never use the top half of the cassette. For 95% of my road and gravel riding, a 42T with an 11-28 would be perfect. I run the 11-32 and 11-34 primarily to give a little extra range for CX racing, and for occasional trips to northern Michigan or Wisconsin where there are some actual hills that take more than 30 seconds to climb. If I lived in an area with more climbing I'd probably want a larger rear cassette which would make the spacing worse, but as noted in these conditions gear spacing is usually less of an issue since you're not riding at a constant speed.

Don't get me wrong, if I were buying or building up a dedicated road bike, I would probably go with 2x shifting. For CX and gravel riding? I'm good with 1x.

For comparison on spacing and jumps in gears, anything below an 11/32 is almost identical for the small side of the cassette. Here's Shimano's typical road offerings:
11-25: 11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25
11-28: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-28
11-30: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30
11-32: 11-12-13-14-16-18-20-22-25-28-32
11-34: 11-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-30-34 (this is a 105 cassette)

EDIT: It's interesting because I've never really looked at cog sizes that closely, but there are some differences between Shimano and SRAM cassettes. The sizes above were for Shimano Ultegra, except for the 11-34 which is only available as 105 level.

SRAM's larger Force cassettes seem to have tighter spacing on the smaller cogs:
SRAM's 11-28 (PG-1170) has
11-12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-28
SRAM's 11-32 (PG-1170) has 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-25-28-32
SRAM's 11-36 (PG-1170) has 11-12-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36

Last edited by msu2001la; 08-07-20 at 09:33 AM.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 08-07-20, 09:40 AM
  #11  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,080
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 513 Times in 377 Posts
I have thought about going 1x, and I am pretty sure I could do it successfully. I just haven't gotten over the idea of a giant cassette to match my current 2x system
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 08-07-20, 09:57 AM
  #12  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 707
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 64 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have thought about going 1x, and I am pretty sure I could do it successfully. I just haven't gotten over the idea of a giant cassette to match my current 2x system
There is a surprising amount of added weight for some of the larger cassette sizes, if you care about that sort of thing.
Shimano XT 11-42 is 433g compared to an Ultegra 11-25 at 232g. That added weight is nearly equal to whatever you'd lose from eliminating the FD and a chain ring.

I do like the simplicity of 1x shifting, especially during CX racing.
msu2001la is offline  
Old 08-07-20, 01:36 PM
  #13  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
A 11-36 cassette would have been cheaper and same 25 inch low gear.
Thx for the suggestion. I have an 11-36 cassette that I've used for gravel events in the Sierras with really big climbs, but this experiment was more about trying 1x vs (cost) efficiently adding a granny gear. In fact, the 11-42 cassette I used came from my mountain bike, so the only hardware I purchased were the chainring and roadlink...a little more expensive than a new 11-36 cassette, but not by much.
jp911 is offline  
Old 08-11-20, 05:45 AM
  #14  
Hmmm
Senior Member
 
Hmmm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 316

Bikes: TCX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Liked 39 Times in 29 Posts
Originally Posted by jp911 View Post
Thought I'd share my 2x to 1x experiences as "data" for others.

I built up my Niner RLT9 with Ultegra 2x (46/34, 11-32 cassette) and I've ridden like that for over 4 years. No real complaints, but I like to tinker and I do really like the simplicity and general riding experience of 1x on my mountain bike, so I decided to give 1x a shot on the gravel bike. I live in the SF Bay Area (east bay) where most of the riding involves a lot of climbing and lot's of descending...maybe not ideal for 1x gravel? I had to find out.

Swapped in a wolftooth 40T chainring on the ultegra cranks, removed the front derailleur and cables, added a wolftooth roadlink to the ultegra RX rear derailleur, added a 11-42 cassette and viola! I've got 1x.

I've put in a few mixed rides and I have to say that I quite like it so far (maybe 150 miles on the setup). It's nice to not have to think about shifting the front derailleur and the 40 x 42 bailout gear is really nice to have on some of the steep dirt climbs around here.

The typical cons that folks share about going 1x haven't really been an issue (yet), but I will report back. So far, the jumps between gears haven't bothered me and max gearing of 40-11 has been fine for flats (and I'm OK coasting down the big hills once I've maxed out).
LONG LIVE 1X! I love it, This year I've been riding road often and gravel occasionally. Still love it.
Hmmm is offline  
Old 08-17-20, 01:31 PM
  #15  
rosefarts
With a mighty wind
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,419
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 142 Posts
I ride that same ratio and have for a few years. No real complaints. I've occasionally found a place where I'd like a little lower. I don't mind coasting and tucking on the few paved descents I take but I 40x11 does feel like a bare minimum.

I think I'd like to try 10-42 x 38, that sounds perfect. Of course it's the kind of thing to put on a new bike, not my 23 year old cross bike.
rosefarts is online now  
Old 08-23-20, 08:50 AM
  #16  
smurfy
Senior Member
 
smurfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: Classic lugged-steel road, touring, shopping, semi-recumbent, gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
My Marin gravel bike conversion is 1x 35t chainring and 11-36 cassette so I will report on that if anybody is interested.
smurfy is offline  
Likes For smurfy:
Old 08-23-20, 10:10 PM
  #17  
Le Mechanic
Senior Member
 
Le Mechanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 319

Bikes: 2020 Pivot Vault, 1983 Rossin Record, Garneau R1, Mesamods home built gravel/rain commuter bike, 1995 Barracuda A2V modified with Surley single speed dropouts, 1969 Bottecchia junkyard special fixed gear, Cervelo P4, Mesamods 650b klunker

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 43 Posts
I finally converted to a wide range 1x set up on my commuter, gravel, bad weather bike about a year and a half ago. The only regret I have is not doing it sooner. I went from a 2x 11/28 cassette 50/34 chainring set up to a 46t chainring 11/42 cassette 1x combo. I made a Youtube video with gear charts, and the installation process, and wow, what a difference!

Le Mechanic is offline  
Likes For Le Mechanic:
Old 08-27-20, 10:31 AM
  #18  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Checking back in...I'm really enjoying the 1x setup and as someone noted: it's well-suited to an area with a lot of climbing. The only issue I've had so far is a chain drop on a really rutted, fast downhill dirt trail. I heard it happen, so I just coasted until the trail turned to uphill and quickly fixed it. This revealed another benefit of 1x, which is how much faster you can put your chain back on without a front derailleur.

I took a ride on my road bike last weekend and found that I needed to put more thought to shifting with a front derailleur back in the mix. That bike is less oriented to climbing from gearing perspective, so I was def working harder on steeper climbs (not surprising).
jp911 is offline  
Old 08-29-20, 11:50 PM
  #19  
Caliper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 948

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 362 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by jp911 View Post
This revealed another benefit of 1x, which is how much faster you can put your chain back on without a front derailleur.
Aside from one chain drop that got tangled in the crank spider, I have always used the front derailleur to shift any chain drops back on, no stopping needed.
Caliper is offline  
Old 08-30-20, 04:58 PM
  #20  
jp911
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 169

Bikes: Trek Madone 5.2 Dura Ace, Niner RLT9 aluminum, Santa Cruz 5010 CC, Wabi Classic

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 46 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Aside from one chain drop that got tangled in the crank spider, I have always used the front derailleur to shift any chain drops back on, no stopping needed.
I've never been so lucky. Not that I've experienced a lot of chain drops, but when I do they seem to require more work than what you describe (maybe I'm just doing it wrong).
jp911 is offline  
Old 09-15-20, 12:06 PM
  #21  
smurfy
Senior Member
 
smurfy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: Classic lugged-steel road, touring, shopping, semi-recumbent, gravel

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Finally test-rode my 1x setup. Microshift XLE 10 clutch real derailler and bar-end shifter. Crank is Bontrager 7050 "race" (whatever that means) formally a triple.

Shifting is absolutely flawless. Has all the gears I need however I haven't tried it on any hills yet. Rode it on gravel and chain hasn't come off yet so that's a good sign!

Maybe this weekend I will take it to some real off-road trails and see how it performs.
smurfy is offline  
Likes For smurfy:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.