Can't shake the 1x bug.... please share your experiences

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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cheapvega
Posts: 246
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

Roads near me are all rolling hills, so my top speeds are in the low 30s and I'm usually in the 13-19MPH range. I am running 50/34 + 11-34T 11 speed and just can't shake the idea of possibly shedding some grams, ditching my annoying Extralite chainrings and going with like a 40T up front and a ZTTO 11-36T in the back (I have been having a decent time with my 11-34). Anyone go 1x and regret it? Is the crosschaining efficiency loss a huge deal?

js
Posts: 719
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:57 pm
Location: Canada

by js

I can share some experience with my TT/Triathlon & CX set-ups, both of which are 1x.

I live in the prairies, so local riding is no issue - not even the worst headwind is enough to force you out of the big ring locally. My TT set-up is 52T with 11-28, 11-speed cogset. The bigger test for the bike was using it at Ironman Boulder 70.3, where I obviously didn't want to be forced into too low a cadence for any climbs. Fortunately (yet annoyingly given what they could have included) the Boulder IM courses skip any major climbs. You get a few grades maxing at 5-6% and for that, 52/28 kept me from getting too bogged down into low cadence, muscle-straining effort, while maintaining a steady tempo exertion. I could still spin up the climbs.

With a 40x34 low gear, I'd think you'd be fine for any road climbing - that's less than a 34x28 combo that would be accetable for Trans-Alp, multi-day rides. Where you'd risk a struggle is on the high end. My CX bike has a 42T ring on the front and the 42x11 combo spins out at 50km/h and above.

A 42T ring with the 11-34 cassette would give you a low gear just above the 34x28 combo, while at least keeping you from spinning out below 50km/h. Remember, you can struggle through at low cadence up any (hopefully rare) 20% slopes to keep pace, but once you're at 120+rpm, there's not much more you can do to keep up on the high end. I guess a lot of that questions is going to come down to which scenario you more regularly face in your riding.

by Weenie


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onemanpeloton
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Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:30 am
Location: Edinburgh, UK

by onemanpeloton

I've previously owned road bikes with 2x gearing. But I now use my cyclocross bike (trek boone) for all my road riding.

It has sram force axs with a 40t chainring and 10-33 cassette.

My area is all rolling hills too and I'm rarely looking for an easier or harder gear. I can sit around 30mph at 90-100 cadence no problem, and can climb at sensible speeds and cadences too.

Unless I'm racing, I really don't need any more gears than this
2020 Trek Boone
2017 Merida Reacto
2017 Trek Superfly AL

Orbital
Posts: 316
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Pitt Meadows, BC

by Orbital

I went 1x on my Giant Revolt. Love it. My usual rides are rolling so it’s great for that. I have a few rides I do that have a good deal of climbing and I feel I have more than enough gearing. They only annoyance I could see people having is the larger gear jumps. Mine seam to be perfect for my strength and riding style so it’s not a bother.

gSporco
Posts: 533
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:58 am

by gSporco

1x roadie, gravel and XC here. So 3 types of bikes and all 1x.

Road gearing AXS 12s 44/ 10-33
Gravel gearing AXS 12s 40/ 10-36
XC gearing AXS 12s 32/ 9-50 e13 cassette

I would like Sram or someone else to come up with a 40 or 42 cassette (I would then use a 46 CR on the road) .... maybe Garbaruk will one day

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 7498
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

onemanpeloton wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:25 pm
I've previously owned road bikes with 2x gearing. But I now use my cyclocross bike (trek boone) for all my road riding.

It has sram force axs with a 40t chainring and 10-33 cassette.

My area is all rolling hills too and I'm rarely looking for an easier or harder gear. I can sit around 30mph at 90-100 cadence no problem, and can climb at sensible speeds and cadences too.

Unless I'm racing, I really don't need any more gears than this

40x10 at 95rpm is right around 30mph with 28mm tires. This would be suboptimal for me. I’d be spinning out on most descents, not to mention sitting in the 10t and 11t cog a lot on group rides. I’d end up going through a lot of expensive monoblock cassettes as a result.

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MarshMellow
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Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:47 pm

by MarshMellow

Is not bad to build around so long as you understand what limits are involved. Have been riding 'all road' 1x for 5 seasons; 6 chainrings, 4 cassettes but - these were also part of experimenting w/ conventional HG hubsets.

Best combination of steepest hill terrain came from 46t x 11-36, which I run w/ 50t now, when running 33c tires. If riding only roads, it becomes 54t x 11-25 for rolling hills and flats. Able to power-out a local 14km section of straight pavement in well-under 20mins @ 45kmh, then turnaround and charge quick 10% grades running 25c tires.

But if things were to move over to a dedicated road bike, I would set it up 2x - personally. I love to climb and have been working on efficient riding positions for the past two seasons. 2x Gearing for this would likely be 54/41 x 11-28 w/ option for 11-32. A 1.28 climbing gear settled in best and, unless doing true hillclimbs was effortless.

There's plenty of options to condense gearing into 1x but, there's no way for it to replace ability(s) from 2x gearing.

saverin
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:02 pm

by saverin

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:24 am
onemanpeloton wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:25 pm
I've previously owned road bikes with 2x gearing. But I now use my cyclocross bike (trek boone) for all my road riding.

It has sram force axs with a 40t chainring and 10-33 cassette.

My area is all rolling hills too and I'm rarely looking for an easier or harder gear. I can sit around 30mph at 90-100 cadence no problem, and can climb at sensible speeds and cadences too.

Unless I'm racing, I really don't need any more gears than this

40x10 at 95rpm is right around 30mph with 28mm tires. This would be suboptimal for me. I’d be spinning out on most descents, not to mention sitting in the 10t and 11t cog a lot on group rides. I’d end up going through a lot of expensive monoblock cassettes as a result.


Ride in the rolling hills near the foot of the Rockies and I run an oval Garbaruk (great chainrings, btw) 44t with 11-36 cassette on my 3T strada. Climbing is about equivalent to 34/28 on my Trek Emonda with Campy EPS 11s. I do notice the loss of top-end as mentioned above, so I am looking into switching to something with a 9 or 10t cog, but not as concerned about going through cassettes with the amount I ride, let alone in the smallest cog on the cassette.

Worth noting that you will need to adjust to the larger gaps in gearing....but it only takes a few weeks to get over it.

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onemanpeloton
Posts: 368
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:30 am
Location: Edinburgh, UK

by onemanpeloton

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:24 am
onemanpeloton wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:25 pm
I've previously owned road bikes with 2x gearing. But I now use my cyclocross bike (trek boone) for all my road riding.

It has sram force axs with a 40t chainring and 10-33 cassette.

My area is all rolling hills too and I'm rarely looking for an easier or harder gear. I can sit around 30mph at 90-100 cadence no problem, and can climb at sensible speeds and cadences too.

Unless I'm racing, I really don't need any more gears than this

40x10 at 95rpm is right around 30mph with 28mm tires. This would be suboptimal for me. I’d be spinning out on most descents, not to mention sitting in the 10t and 11t cog a lot on group rides. I’d end up going through a lot of expensive monoblock cassettes as a result.
Then fit a bigger chainring........
2020 Trek Boone
2017 Merida Reacto
2017 Trek Superfly AL

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 7498
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

onemanpeloton wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:43 am

Then fit a bigger chainring........

Sure. My Rock Lobster is currently set up 44x10-52t

Milese
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 am

by Milese

My mate did it and I kept dropping him on fast sections as he just couldnt hold my wheel when I was pushing the 52/11. He's now gone back to a double. If you do group rides then it will likely become a problem.

Given how cassette weight ramps up quite quickly when the cogs get big, is there really that much of a weight saving?

I've got 1x on my MTB and CX bikes, with 32T fronts and 11/42 and 11/36 cassettes. Fine on the ups, but fraustrating on the road sections riding to the trails.

For me, on the road the range of gears you need if you ever ride in a group or anywhere with hills means that 1x means too many sacrifices.

Quite a few TT on 1x with a big 56 ot 58T single chainring, where the aero and chainline benefits are probably more important than the weight, but they will seldom being going up hills (and often report dropped chains)

If you are only riding around for leisure on your own and are happy that spinning out isnt an issue then it might work fine, but in that case the extra few grams you carry for 2x doesnt matter either.....

MaxPower
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:30 pm

by MaxPower

I didn't like the added chain noise of 1x

TobinHatesYou
Posts: 7498
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

MaxPower wrote:
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:59 am
I didn't like the added chain noise of 1x

My 1x bike is quieter than my 2x bike because of the additional chain tension from the Eagle XX1 AXS RD and maybe also narrow-wide chainrings.

raggedtrousers
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2020 9:29 pm

by raggedtrousers

It's all about 1. your local terrain and 2. your strength [especially power to weight] as a rider.

I'm UK based, and live close to the Chiltern hills. Sustained climbs [over 4-5km] are rare; short, sharp inclines of 12%+ are common, and the steepest hills touch 19-21% in places. I'm 71kg and pretty much bang on 4w/kg FTP. For me, I can cope with a 52/26 and 11-30 combo [so 1.2 ratio] , but it can get grindy up some of the hills towards the end of long rides and I'd ideally like a little lower.

At the top end, I'd worry less. Despite what people claim on forums, no one who is not at the very least at the sharp end of Cat 1 is spending any extended time on the flat in a 52-11. That's over 65kph at 100rpm.

I've tested a 3T Strada that had a 44T and a 10-36. Sure, I was just about spinning out on some descents, but when you have people like Alex Dowsett telling you that you're best off saving energy, getting aero and picking a line at over 55kph, again I wouldn't worry. Moreover, most descents around here where you hit that speed are pretty narrow and technical. Going up, it was a little sloggy up the likes of Whiteleaf hill. What actually killed that purchase was a relentlessly slipping seatpost.

Something else: in a 1x, you may find that you actually have only 1 really out-and-out climbing gear.

Long story short, it can work, but I'm not sure the downsides don't outweigh the benefits for a pure road bike. Ekar might be my first choice if I was going down that route.

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Lewn777
Posts: 1045
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

I went 1x for MTB years ago and got the 1x thing out of my system with various 'bashwiches' narrow wide rings and now old school chain guides. 1x can be much simpler and prettier but you need to have the right wide range rear cassette, and your local terrain suit it. For me though I would never go 1x on a road bike I just love spinning up the hills and never getting spun out down the hills. Also don't forget that a front derailleur is also a chain guide and that there is an advantage to dropping to the small ring when the terrain suddenly goes up hill.

For me, like tubeless and disk brakes 1x woukd be best suited to gravel bikes.

by Weenie


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