Did anybody get a 1x12 road bike and regretted it due to the larger gaps between gears?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

Moderator: robbosmans

siovene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:35 pm

by siovene

I'm getting a new bike and considering going to 1x12.

I checked the gear ranges and availability using a visual online gear calculator, and it seems that 46x10-36 gives me almost exactly the same range as my current 52/36x11-32. I rarely use the 32 so the 46x36 is better than my 36x28, and I don't care about losing 2 km/h of top speed. Above 60 km/h I'm coasting in an UCI-illegal aero position anyway.

So I'm not worried about climbing or top end speed.

In theory, it also looks like the gaps shouldn't be a problem, by looking at the attached chart, but that's the #1 con I read online, regarding 1x.
Screenshot_20210420-144242_Chrome.jpg
Can somebody here offer personal experience? Did you try 1x12 on a road bike and regretted it?

Conversely, can anyone here vouch *for* it?

Thanks!

User avatar
synchronicity
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:41 pm
Location: Moruya, Australia
Contact:

by synchronicity

I'm avoiding 12 speed specifically because of the gaps between gears. I guess I've turned into a retro-grouch...

With the introduction of 12 speed gearing, it suddenly dawned on me that the humble 18T was absent from many of my 9/10/11 speed cassettes. Where did they go all of a sudden? :noidea: Ever since then I've changed everything back so that all my bikes have an 18T cog (yes even the downhill bike :twisted:). I'm happy. :mrgreen:

Think of it this way, many years ago, a six speed cluster had 13,14,15,16,17,18T cogs. This is before my time, but still, those are the ones you want to have. With the gearing you propose, you'd be missing half that lot! :shock:

I do have one 12 speed bike but it will be 12-27T.
vertebrae | Precision braking and shifting.
vayakora | Eco mouse mats: silk, linen, cotton, ramie, bamboo, etc.

by Weenie


talltales
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:43 pm

by talltales

Assuming, on your six speed, your tallest gear was a 53/13 and 39/18 low gear, then with a 10t small cog you need a 41t chain ring to match the top gear and a 12s 10-25 cassette (!) to match and exceed the low gear ... ;-)

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB=41& ... 8&UF2=2102

You could even do a "better" 1x with a 45t chain ring and a 11s 11-25 and still have two more low gears than the old school six speed.

http://ritzelrechner.de/?GR=DERS&KB=45& ... 8&UF2=2102

User avatar
synchronicity
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:41 pm
Location: Moruya, Australia
Contact:

by synchronicity

Yeah, except they (campagnolo) don't make 12 speed 10-25 cassettes.
SRAM make a 10-26. But no one is whinging about SRAM's 12 speed cog ratio options...
vertebrae | Precision braking and shifting.
vayakora | Eco mouse mats: silk, linen, cotton, ramie, bamboo, etc.

AJS914
Posts: 4582
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

I never ever wished for a 13-18 straight block! I think I always had at least a 21 back in the day.

WattagePeaShooter
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:13 pm

by WattagePeaShooter

I have the SL7 Pro with 46x10-36. Coming from a 53/39x11-28 (10x), it's certainly not been an issue for me. The gaps so far have been fine, but I'm also not too worried about always having the optimal cadence. Top gearing is fine for sprints (at my average abilities) and descending. I've been really happy with the 1x on my gravel bike, and do enjoy the Simplicity of not having to worry about front shifting.
2012 Focus Izalco Pro 3
2017 Bombtrack Hook EXT Steel
2021 Tarmac SL7 Pro

siovene
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:35 pm

by siovene

WattagePeaShooter wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 4:29 pm
I have the SL7 Pro with 46x10-36
Thanks, that's exactly what I'm eyeing!

kkotsiouros
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:45 pm
Location: Arta Greece

by kkotsiouros

Ridley noah fast 46x11-39 Rotor cassette
I need the 14tooth sprocket (it is missing from 10-36 cassette)

Hexsense
Posts: 2066
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

synchronicity wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:28 am
I'm avoiding 12 speed specifically because of the gaps between gears. I guess I've turned into a retro-grouch...

With the introduction of 12 speed gearing, it suddenly dawned on me that the humble 18T was absent from many of my 9/10/11 speed cassettes. Where did they go all of a sudden? :noidea: Ever since then I've changed everything back so that all my bikes have an 18T cog (yes even the downhill bike :twisted:). I'm happy. :mrgreen:

Think of it this way, many years ago, a six speed cluster had 13,14,15,16,17,18T cogs. This is before my time, but still, those are the ones you want to have. With the gearing you propose, you'd be missing half that lot! :shock:

I do have one 12 speed bike but it will be 12-27T.
People no longer care about specific cog because they realize what they need is not a specific cog but rather, specific gear steps.
52x18t is in between 48x17t and 48x16t. Even better, the chainline is more straight with 48/32+11-29 on 16t or 17t than 52/36+11-25.
So, if you found yourself use 18t of 52/36 x12-25 (or 27) often, a switch to 48/32 x 11-29 give you same jump at that speed and more straight chainline.
18t.png

cheapvega
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

I don't think looking at the jumps with the two chainrings is meaningful as you're not gonna be jumping around between chanrings like that for every shift. IMO you start with the jumps on the cassette, then use the chainrings to determine your lower and upper bounds for pedaling speed

I have been using 11-34T cassettes for years and this year I've been working on lowering my cadence on climbs, in part to pepper my angus for going 1x. So far so good; I can get away on a lot of my climbing in the 50T ring. Going to go to a 44-46Tish chainring and an 11-36T 11 speed cassette. In a few years when I go disc I will probably drop down to a 9-xxT cassette.

Hexsense
Posts: 2066
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

cheapvega wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 7:08 pm
I don't think looking at the jumps with the two chainrings is meaningful as you're not gonna be jumping around between chanrings like that for every shift. IMO you start with the jumps on the cassette, then use the chainrings to determine your lower and upper bounds for pedaling speed

I have been using 11-34T cassettes for years and this year I've been working on lowering my cadence on climbs, in part to pepper my angus for going 1x. So far so good; I can get away on a lot of my climbing in the 50T ring. Going to go to a 44-46Tish chainring and an 11-36T 11 speed cassette. In a few years when I go disc I will probably drop down to a 9-xxT cassette.
Chainring do effect the user experience and the full gear spread plot should be considered. This is simply because...
1) We can tolerate big jump differently at different speed. Power requirement for a specified speed go up exponentially when aerodynamic is the major drag, 12% increase in gear at low speed mean ~12% increase in power so it is toleratable, but same gear jump result in >20% increase in power at higher speed.
Chain ring size effect what speed those big jumps on the cassette are.
2) Especially on flat, riders do not use all the gears equally. Some cassette are mostly great with one or two flawed jumps that should not be in your cruising speed.
/For example,
Sram 11 speed generation 11-28 has 19 to 22 jump. With 53t that happen at 28-32 km/h. Smack in the middle of many casual group ride. This cassette can be annoying with 53t big ring for those that cruise at this speed. However, with 48t front ring, that big jump move to 25-29 km/h. Meanwhile, 11-28 Shimano has no annoying jump at this range but it miss 16t. User experience can suffer when using smaller front ring and use 16t often instead...
Considering this,
11-28 Sram work better with smaller front ring to move 19-22 jump down to lower speed where it doesn't matter much.
11-28 Shimano should be used with relatively bigger ring so that we don't miss 16t so often.
/end of example.

See, it's the full combo (also with wheel size, tire size, preferred cadence) that matter. So, analyzing on full gear calculation plot give more information than considering cassette jumps in isolation from everything else.

cheapvega
Posts: 270
Joined: Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:12 pm

by cheapvega

I fully agree that the full gear spread plot should be considered. I am just not convinced that say, the 3% difference between 21 on 34 vs 30 on 50 is relevant to real life riding. I think most people make fine gearing adjustments on one chainring, and then make coarse/big gearing changes by switching chainrings. So like you said it's important to consider where the meat of your riding occurs speed wise and ensure that whatever gearing you choose covers it. You just have to interpret what you see in a way that's applicable to how you ride.

For example with the rolling hills here my average speeds are around 16-17 MPH. I would call my "critical" speeds- speeds for my climbs where I'm at high power and need the finest tuning for gearing- maybe between 11-14 MPH. Since I'm used to the 10-11% jumps from an 11-34T cassette that and my minimum speeds (prob 9MPH or so) are what I'm using to guide my gearing choices.

I can def understand why people don't rock with 1x. There are efficiency and noise issues to consider. And people who are really fast and do a lot of climbing will probably need more than 1x can offer. But for me right now I think it's a good option in the context of WW and overall simplicity.

Hexsense
Posts: 2066
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

cheapvega wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 11:14 pm
I am just not convinced that say, the 3% difference between 21 on 34 vs 30 on 50 is relevant to real life riding.
Or, right. I agree with that.
People don't switch for nearly equivalent gear on the different front ring.
That's why 2x11 is counted as having 13-15 useful gears (depend on cassette and small ring vs big ring size), rather than 22 gears. The remaining 7-9 overlapping gear combinations in 2x11 that usually aren't being used isn't counted toward useful gears.

OP start with 2x11 52/36. Normally, it'd be equivalent to 1x14's jump and range. But then sacrificing 1 bottom gear and 1 top gear, it turns out 1x12 seems to work. Actually, top isn't really noticeably sacrificed because starting cassette with 10t enlarge all jumps so the top missing gear is spent by enlarging gaps throughout the whole range rather than feeling like a missing gear.

usr
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:58 pm

by usr

Keep in mind that the chainline on the extreme cogs of a 1x is about as bad as the second-worst diagonal chainlines on a 2x. In my eyes that means that the longest and the shortest gear should be quite far out of your range of commonly used gears and that calculations like "I rarely use the 11t on my 2x and the smallest cog on the 1x is almost as long as the 12t" aren't really valid, because the chainline of the longest/shortest gears of a 1x is so much worse than the chainline of the longest/shortest on 2x. Many people *never* ride a chainline that bad on 2x. If you take the chainline into account, a 1x should be wider than a 2x, not "almost as wide".

User avatar
synchronicity
Posts: 2018
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:41 pm
Location: Moruya, Australia
Contact:

by synchronicity

I'm getting rather cynical about all this. Had the front derailleur only been invented last week, I'm sure the industry would be telling us that we can now have closer gaps between gears, and they'd be trying to push 2x onto an already existing 1x market, just for something new and different to sell. That's how they remain in business, that's how it (consumerism) all works.

I'm just happy to ride whatever.
vertebrae | Precision braking and shifting.
vayakora | Eco mouse mats: silk, linen, cotton, ramie, bamboo, etc.

by Weenie


Post Reply