1x XPLR Mixed Feelings...how about GRX or 9200?

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

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ccie6872
Posts: 262
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:46 pm

by ccie6872

I have been enjoying my recent Crux build, really an exceptional and versitle bike. Reminds me of a more robust Aethos with a ton more versatility. Handling not as agile, but it really performs well. I have been jumping around 303 FC (BJP tires) and Terra CLX (Pathfinder 38mm tires) finding a combo I like and depending in the type of ride.

On to the topic of the thread - SRAM. I really wanted to try 1x and I built it with 46x10, 40t SRAM XPLR and just move to a 38t. Given most of my rides are 50%+ road and being a roadie, I find the jumps between gears a bit dramatic. It is very hilly here in the bay area and do like 46x38 or 40 for the 16%+ gravel grades. I also found the shifting speed to be somewhat slow (comparing to 9100/9200 dura ace that I run on my road bikes).

I am curous if others have been faced with this dilemma and how a GRX setup would compare? Going 2x with a 11-34 and 31-48 is quite interesting but curious on how it compare in shift speed and to AXS? I also beleive this crank would have enough clearance on the new Crux.

The other option is getting very creative like this post with 9200 and AXS cassette/crank - https://www.instagram.com/p/CW7Hc6iF_p2 ... =copy_link
Does make me wonder if a GRX crank and a AXS 11-36 cassette (flat top chaine) would work with 9200 RD/FD?

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fa63
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by fa63

I use the GRX 48/31 cranks with a 11/36 SRAM cassette on my gravel bike which is currently also doubling up as my road bike and really like it. Gives me a huge range of gears without the big jumps between cogs.

Di2 does shift slightly faster than AXS.

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jayjay
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by jayjay

ccie6872 wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:02 pm
Does make me wonder if a GRX crank and a AXS 11-36 cassette (flat top chaine) would work with 9200 RD/FD?
The GRX crank has a different chainline than the Dura Ace front derailleur

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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

GRX 2x is great for gravel that has steep climbs. I'm currently running GRX 48/31 (non Di2) and 11-34, as well as 650B wheels which in effect gives me an additional lower gear as compared to 700C wheels due to the smaller circumference on the 650B. The Ultegra 11-speed 11-34 cassette is tuned specifically for gravel. It has big gaps on the higher ends (which is perfectly fine for gravel) and close ratios in the middle of the cassette where you spend a lot of time on. The 48/31 crank is great, giving you the needed low and high end gearing. I love the 48/31 so much that I bought one for my dedicated road bike. First thing my 9150 Di2 FD didn't work with the 48/31. The FD height isn't a problem as my frame uses a FD clamp and I can adjust the height of the FD without issue. I think the issue is due to the difference in chainline (GRX crank is +2.5mm). The new 9200 FD is +1mm from the 9100 so the 9200 FD MIGHT work with the 48/31. Ironically the Shimano USA website lists the 9200 FD big ring teeth capacity as being 46-55. It's most likely a typo.

If you are doing 50%+ tarmac on you gravel bike you may not like the Shimano's 11-speed 11-34 when on the tarmac as it has 2-teeth jumps on the higher gears. But it's still better than a 1x setup. The 2-teeth jumps on the higher gear is a non-issue on gravel since your speed slows and picks up much quicker than on tarmac. Another option is build a custom 11-speed 12-34 cassette like I did for my road bike. It's essentially the 9200 11-34 cassette minus the 11T cog (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30-34).

fourfa
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 am

by fourfa

Bay Area gravel does seem to be a little... particular. Often steep climbs, loose over hard most of the year, flowy fire road descents, and tons of pavement miles to get there. I wasn't able to climb Cupertino's Canyon Trail start to finish with no feet until I tried 30 front - 40 rear on my 650x50 @ 18psi (as low as I can safely go @ 200 lbs). With higher ratios (30F/36R), I found it impossible to keep moving without spitting out gravel in back while still keeping the front wheel down. At 30/40, that balance somehow magically works. That kind of ratio is utterly mainstream on a MTB but apparently absurd to most gravel riders. And given the long bay area pavement miles (I ride from my door, not from a car) I've never considered anything but 2x. Hell, I still pine for 3x.

robertbb
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by robertbb

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 5:45 pm
GRX 2x is great for gravel that has steep climbs. I'm currently running GRX 48/31 (non Di2) and 11-34, as well as 650B wheels which in effect gives me an additional lower gear as compared to 700C wheels due to the smaller circumference on the 650B. The Ultegra 11-speed 11-34 cassette is tuned specifically for gravel. It has big gaps on the higher ends (which is perfectly fine for gravel) and close ratios in the middle of the cassette where you spend a lot of time on. The 48/31 crank is great, giving you the needed low and high end gearing. I love the 48/31 so much that I bought one for my dedicated road bike. First thing my 9150 Di2 FD didn't work with the 48/31. The FD height isn't a problem as my frame uses a FD clamp and I can adjust the height of the FD without issue. I think the issue is due to the difference in chainline (GRX crank is +2.5mm). The new 9200 FD is +1mm from the 9100 so the 9200 FD MIGHT work with the 48/31. Ironically the Shimano USA website lists the 9200 FD big ring teeth capacity as being 46-55. It's most likely a typo.

If you are doing 50%+ tarmac on you gravel bike you may not like the Shimano's 11-speed 11-34 when on the tarmac as it has 2-teeth jumps on the higher gears. But it's still better than a 1x setup. The 2-teeth jumps on the higher gear is a non-issue on gravel since your speed slows and picks up much quicker than on tarmac. Another option is build a custom 11-speed 12-34 cassette like I did for my road bike. It's essentially the 9200 11-34 cassette minus the 11T cog (12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30-34).
The 11 speed 11-34 sounds great, but is buggy as hell. I've had 5 of them in hand, mix of R7000 and R8000 and every single one of them had that issue of chain suck on the third biggest sprocket and warrantied by Shimano. I just gave up. Pretty sure there was a massive bad batch though Shimano would never admit it (of course)

takolino
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by takolino

+1 for 2x di2 although I have a mix of GRX 815 levers, Ultegra RX805 and Cannondale spidering on the older bb30 crux. 46/30 rings with Sroad 10-36 cassette gets me from pavement to gravel in the bay area, happy with the wide range and shift quality.

zmjones
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by zmjones

i've had no problems with 11-34 cassettes fwiw.

yea the standard grx setup is nice. i've also run 50-34 x 11-40 and 11-34 which works pretty well.

i also don't think the scenario of having steep gravel/dirt roads with loads of pavement to get to them is at all unique to bay area. most places i've lived that is the case (PA, WA, TN, GA). Don't think there are generally the same regulations about road grade for unpaved forest roads and in many places where most people live is reasonably far from the good shit.

steveb77
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by steveb77

I've ran 46/30 GRX crank with 11-34 11 speed cassette on my Vitus Substance CRS2 for over a year and it was excellent, never had an issue with shifting despite some typically British off-road conditions, mud, leaves & water and the gear ratios are fine on the road, especially on 700c wheels

I've now gone to a single ring (40t) with an 11-36 as it's become my 2nd CX bike for the pits to go with the Vitus Energie Evo CR that I run as my main race bike, so the gearing had to match.

ccie6872
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by ccie6872

steveb77 wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 4:31 pm
I've ran 46/30 GRX crank with 11-34 11 speed cassette on my Vitus Substance CRS2 for over a year and it was excellent, never had an issue with shifting despite some typically British off-road conditions, mud, leaves & water and the gear ratios are fine on the road, especially on 700c wheels

I've now gone to a single ring (40t) with an 11-36 as it's become my 2nd CX bike for the pits to go with the Vitus Energie Evo CR that I run as my main race bike, so the gearing had to match.
With the 46/30 and 11-34, was it with GRX RD/FD or ultegra/9100?

fourfa
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by fourfa

zmjones wrote:
Fri Dec 03, 2021 4:09 pm
i also don't think the scenario of having steep gravel/dirt roads with loads of pavement to get to them is at all unique to bay area.
sure, of course that's right. I've just noticed over the years how many riders can't understand why anyone would need a 1:1 climbing gear, much less MTB-style ratios. I'm sure there's a million miles of flattish farm roads and choppy rollers where road gearing is perfectly nice (just very little of that in the bay area).

The bay area does have an interesting inside-out geography; rather than a city center that slowly turns rural and wild as you move away from the center, here we have a thin strip of city along the bay with steep mountains and old growth just 5-10 miles away. Rides tend to be slight incline approach, climb and descent a wall on dirt (often +3000ft gain in one go, +6000ft if you go over the ridge and back up), then slight decline back home. I'm not a geologist but I'm reasonably sure the Coast Ranges are higher on average than the parts of the Appalachians within trivial riding range of an ~8 million person metropolis. And a 3000ft monotonic climb just needs different gearing to stay under the limit, than 3000ft accumulated over a whole day of rollers. That's what I meant by as the peculiarities (and joys!) of bay area gravel

PoorCyclist
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by PoorCyclist

The GRX shift feels similar to ultegra shifting. Using an unsupported option of 46T and 1x would lengthen the chain or B adjustment and make it a little slower. I would recommend road crank either 1x or 2x for straighter chainline and Q factor.

I just stay in the last 3 cogs (32/37/42) and 40T chain ring. Anything else is too "tall" more hike a bike than I like.

I have "upgraded" to 38T chain ring and 11-46 since and find it more suitable for bay area fire roads.

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arizonahalfnhalf
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by arizonahalfnhalf

Can't wait to receive my new Crux! As I've been gathering parts for upcoming build, I've had many of the same questions. I've been loving my 2019 Crux but wanted four things.. more tire clearance, third bottle mount, regular seatpost clamp, and threaded BB. They nailed it.

I'll be following this thread to see what you come up with. I'm really hopeful that I'll be able to run a double crankset with a power meter, subcompact rings, and a reasonable Q Factor (<150mm ideally) on the new frame. Spesh says GRX cranks only for double rings due to chainstay clearance.

Currently running S Works Cranks, 48/32 oval rings, 11-36 sram 11-speed chain, GRX mechanical as a budget build. It's outstanding, you can climb up walls and descend almost as fast as on a road bike. No big gaps between gears. The only thing I'd want is a 10t small cog so I can go just a bit faster.
ccie6872 wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:02 pm
The other option is getting very creative like this post with 9200 and AXS cassette/crank - https://www.instagram.com/p/CW7Hc6iF_p2 ... =copy_link
Does make me wonder if a GRX crank and a AXS 11-36 cassette (flat top chaine) would work with 9200 RD/FD?
I live 3 mins from Fairwheel, got to play with this Open a bit while it was being built. The SRAM cassette shifts super well with the new 9200 stuff, feels 100% natural. Those chainrings are 'meh' but its never going to be as smooth as shimano. For best results, you DO need to run a Sram 12 chain though, if that matters to you.

Do note, the thing you're giving up here is a "clutch" rear derailleur if you're using the new Ultegra/DA for a gravel setup. Depending upon the stuff you ride, the chain clatter can be significant. That rules this combo out for me for right now, I'll be sticking with 11s.

Regarding group choice, I've never been a fan of SRAM stuff from a 'feel' perspective, to me it just doesn't compare to shimano. 1x is out for me because of exactly what you've mentioned, those gaps between gears. I use mine as a part time road bike as well. It seems like a good idea for many, then once they spend time on it they end up disliking it.

Image

ccie6872
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by ccie6872

arizonahalfnhalf wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:49 am
Can't wait to receive my new Crux! As I've been gathering parts for upcoming build, I've had many of the same questions. I've been loving my 2019 Crux but wanted four things.. more tire clearance, third bottle mount, regular seatpost clamp, and threaded BB. They nailed it.

I'll be following this thread to see what you come up with. I'm really hopeful that I'll be able to run a double crankset with a power meter, subcompact rings, and a reasonable Q Factor (<150mm ideally) on the new frame. Spesh says GRX cranks only for double rings due to chainstay clearance.

Currently running S Works Cranks, 48/32 oval rings, 11-36 sram 11-speed chain, GRX mechanical as a budget build. It's outstanding, you can climb up walls and descend almost as fast as on a road bike. No big gaps between gears. The only thing I'd want is a 10t small cog so I can go just a bit faster.
ccie6872 wrote:
Wed Dec 01, 2021 3:02 pm
The other option is getting very creative like this post with 9200 and AXS cassette/crank - https://www.instagram.com/p/CW7Hc6iF_p2 ... =copy_link
Does make me wonder if a GRX crank and a AXS 11-36 cassette (flat top chaine) would work with 9200 RD/FD?
I live 3 mins from Fairwheel, got to play with this Open a bit while it was being built. The SRAM cassette shifts super well with the new 9200 stuff, feels 100% natural. Those chainrings are 'meh' but its never going to be as smooth as shimano. For best results, you DO need to run a Sram 12 chain though, if that matters to you.

Do note, the thing you're giving up here is a "clutch" rear derailleur if you're using the new Ultegra/DA for a gravel setup. Depending upon the stuff you ride, the chain clatter can be significant. That rules this combo out for me for right now, I'll be sticking with 11s.

Regarding group choice, I've never been a fan of SRAM stuff from a 'feel' perspective, to me it just doesn't compare to shimano. 1x is out for me because of exactly what you've mentioned, those gaps between gears. I use mine as a part time road bike as well. It seems like a good idea for many, then once they spend time on it they end up disliking it.

Image
I appreciate the info and I have been going back an fourth between a 9200/SRAM/Flat top and giving the GRX a try. I ended up picking up both groupsets (still waiting on delivery) but I will go with GRX first (keeping the 9200 as a spare to my other 2 road bikes). Really good feedback on the lack of a gravel clutch on 9200 and I was worried about. RD The Q-factor of GRX did worry me as I have few anatomical issue and a 2.5mm change could affect me. I ended up grabbing a Gravel NGeco Gravel NGeco Rotor ALDHU R crank with standard road spacing. I will keep you posted on what I like / don't like on this setup. Hopefully I can get it installed before it gets too muddy out there.

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arizonahalfnhalf
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by arizonahalfnhalf

ccie6872 wrote:
Sun Dec 05, 2021 2:22 pm
I ended up grabbing a Gravel NGeco Gravel NGeco Rotor ALDHU R crank with standard road spacing. I will keep you posted on what I like / don't like on this setup. Hopefully I can get it installed before it gets too muddy out there.
I think you made the right choice on the GRX - its just the best option for a mixte bike right now (which is what the Crux is so good at!). There's no need to be hung up on 12 speed when you have that kind of range with such small gaps in between.

That Aldhu P2M combo from PowerMeterCity is the exact crankset I've been thinking about... but I'm worried about crank arm clearance on the chainstays + chainring clearance. I know the GRX crankset is bowed out a bit for that reason (hence the Q factor difference).

I'll stay tuned, would really appreciate any info when you get around to test fitting! Thanks!

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