Experience going from 1x to 2x on gravel bike?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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twoangstroms
Posts: 268
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:49 am

by twoangstroms

Hi all,

I love my Ibis Hakka MX but am thinking of doing some challenging gravel and mixed-road races next year. I currently have a 1x SRAM Force setup with an Easton SL carbon crank, with a low gear combo of 40/42. That's pretty fine for mixed riding in the SF Bay Area (okay, I have spun out keeping up on descents), but wondering that might not be great for these aforementioned events -- not quite the BWR, but for example the Super Sweetwater I did the other year had both 23% climbs and long stretches along the Pacific coast where I was in my 53x12 (I used my road bike that year and I'll tell you, a 39x26 was not low enough).

Options could be to tweak the 1x gearing, or find the money to swap to a 2x setup. Has anyone done the latter, and how to do it on a budget? Thanks in advance.

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onemanpeloton
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Location: Edinburgh, UK

by onemanpeloton

I haven't done it, but I think 2x definitely has it's place in gravel. Not to mention that front mechs and shifters are super cheap to buy used because everyone's using 1x now
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by Weenie


TheRich
Posts: 505
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:36 am

by TheRich

onemanpeloton wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:31 pm
I haven't done it, but I think 2x definitely has it's place in gravel. Not to mention that front mechs and shifters are super cheap to buy used because everyone's using 1x now
2x is pretty much required to be as competitive as you can unless the course is relatively flat. But if competitiveness isn't as important, 1x is fine.

When you're coming off a downhill, someone with a 1x just isn't going to be able to maintain speed like someone with road compact gearing. You'll be spun out and they'll cruise right on by while pedaling lightly and that time/distance is just gone. it's not a huge difference, but it's a difference.

You can come close with Eagle AXS, depending on how big of a chainring you can run. But with 11-speed and maintaining a 1-1 low gear...it's just not happening.

jeanjacques
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:01 am
Location: France

by jeanjacques

On my gravel I begin with 1x 38 11-32 because I didn't like the look of bigger cassette. But steep hill didn't agree with this (and flat too) so moved to 10-42 but again on club ride, not fast enough. A 42 front solved this issue and both extrem was good.
But soon after I begin very bored with all this big jump...
Finally, went back to 2x 46-30 11-28: perfect high and low for gravel/road use and almost tight gears, very happy since :)

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kytyree
Posts: 661
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:55 am
Location: US

by kytyree

I've been happy with my 1x setup and I've got an e*13 cassette on there to give me a nice wide range and this has worked fine for doing stuff by myself. But I'm about to change the Trail Donkey over to 2x, using the GRX group. What I've enjoyed most about the bike is how useful it is for different things and I think this will only make it more so. I can tolerate the big jumps in the middle of the cassette but I started feeling that I don't have to...

spdntrxi
Posts: 3262
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

TheRich wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:47 pm
onemanpeloton wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:31 pm
I haven't done it, but I think 2x definitely has it's place in gravel. Not to mention that front mechs and shifters are super cheap to buy used because everyone's using 1x now
2x is pretty much required to be as competitive as you can unless the course is relatively flat. But if competitiveness isn't as important, 1x is fine.

this is my feeling as well.... I just wanna have fun with my gravel bike. Yes I do BWR but I'm not competitive about it so... I switched from 2x to 1x... I use anywhere from 40-42-44t in front with my e13 9-46

jemima
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 am
Location: Perth

by jemima

Went from 1x to 2x, but 10speed. Secondhand higher-end parts are fairly cheap (started with a discount carbon Easton crank though) .

A not-competitive build however, at 40/24 with 12-27. Really like the cassette spacing.
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by Weenie


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