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UnConfuse a Roadie: 1X drivetrains over compact??

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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

UnConfuse a Roadie: 1X drivetrains over compact??

Old 12-11-16, 05:09 PM
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UnConfuse a Roadie: 1X drivetrains over compact??

Shopping for a gravel bike...and coming from a roadie background, the idea of a 1X front versus a 2X front seems....rather....heresy? Fewer gears is a feature? I'm currently leaning towards steeds that have an 40t x 11-32t ....which I'm guessing is practical enough or it wouldn't be as common? Having not CX'd other than on a roadie as an emergency I'm out of my element here.

For example near the top of my list: Flyover Force 1 | Foundry Cycles

Half of me wants to buy just the frameset and throw a compact Ultegra Di2 rig on it...OTOH not being unlimited in means, I'll drop a ton more coin than $4500 stock ($2600 frameset, another $700+ wheels, $1300 for a Di2 group, bars/post/saddle/pedals, plus other bits etc) , and am not sure if it is worth the coin/effort versus just sticking with the 1X platform.


These geographic parts we have tons of 5-8% for 100m roller-y gravel/dirt roads, as well as loads of chipped limestone flat bike path....as well as those famous great plains winds. Thoughts from the gallery?


(BF doesn't think "1x" is long enough to warrant being recognized as part of a search string, so forgive if there's a million other threads of FNGs asking already)

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Old 12-11-16, 05:26 PM
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That's more of a racing cyclocross bike. A 1x11 seems to make sense for racing, since there's no front derailleur to cause problems. And the racers won't be going really slow, they can get off and run up a steep hill.

I'm just starting on gravel riding (there's essentially no gravel roads locally). But I was surprised how difficult a 5-6% grade with large, loose gravel was. I was maxed out on it, but I can quite easily ride up a 10% paved road. So I'd like even lower gears than my current 30 front - 29 rear low gear.

And I'd want to be able to fit 40c tires. I'm guessing that frame wouldn't handle tires that large.
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Old 12-11-16, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
That's more of a racing cyclocross bike. A 1x11 seems to make sense for racing, since there's no front derailleur to cause problems. And the racers won't be going really slow, they can get off and run up a steep hill.

I'm just starting on gravel riding (there's essentially no gravel roads locally). But I was surprised how difficult a 5-6% grade with large, loose gravel was. I was maxed out on it, but I can quite easily ride up a 10% paved road. So I'd like even lower gears than my current 30 front - 29 rear low gear.

And I'd want to be able to fit 40c tires. I'm guessing that frame wouldn't handle tires that large.
That guy is rated to handle 41mm tires with SRAM parts. Think I read reviews getting larger in there, depending on the make.

https://foundrycycles.com/files/frame...mesheet_V6.pdf

With my shopping list...since I want the option for fender points, the options get thin real quick. And what is left doesn't get a hwole lot more in the tire clearance department. Internal wiring for possibly Di2 down the line or immediately. Disk brakes. BSA threaded BB. Also STI or equiv, last time I had a friction or DT shifter bike it cost the insurance $15K in piecing my wrist back together.
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Old 12-11-16, 06:14 PM
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Given all the CX/adventure/gravel bikes out there, most of which are doubles, I certainly wouldn't get fixated on a 1x bike if you prefer a double. And unless the bike shop will do a low-cost swap, buying a new 1x and turning it into a double doesn't make economic sense.

As to 1x vs. double, it's really just a straightforward tradeoff - with 1x you gain in simplicity, easy of setup/adjustment, a slight weight advantage, and get one-control shifting. You lose in gear range and perhaps bigger jumps between gears (depending on setup). The gear range loss can vary between pretty severe (with say something like 12-28 cassette) to pretty minor (with a 10-42 cassette).

I love 1x and not worrying about shifting a FD. And I like the cleaner look and not having to setup a FD. But I am willing to give up gear range on the top end because I don't care to pedal the bike faster than about 25-mph anyway. And I don't do pacelines or road race where smaller gear steps pay off.

Never heard of Foundry. That Flyover is a sharp-looking bike! But the painted portion gives up one of the key things I like about Ti - its durability with respect to finish.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 12-11-16 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 12-11-16, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by markjenn
Given all the CX/adventure/gravel bikes out there, most of which are doubles, I certainly wouldn't get fixated on a 1x bike if you prefer a double. And unless the bike shop will do a low-cost swap, buying a new 1x and turning it into a double doesn't make economic sense.

As to 1x vs. double, it's really just a straightforward tradeoff - with 1x you gain in simplicity, easy of setup/adjustment, a slight weight advantage, and get one-control shifting. You lose in gear range and perhaps bigger jumps between gears (depending on setup). The gear range loss can vary between pretty severe (with say something like 12-28 cassette) to pretty minor (with a 10-42 cassette).

I love 1x and not worrying about shifting a FD. And I like the cleaner look and not having to setup a FD. But I am willing to give up gear range on the top end because I don't care to pedal the bike faster than about 25-mph anyway. And I don't do pacelines or road race where smaller gear steps pay off.

Never heard of Foundry. That Flyover is a sharp-looking bike! But the painted portion gives up one of the key things I like about Ti - its durability with respect to finish.

- Mark
Being a roadie, I'm just used to doubles. Hence the OP question.

Need to chat with BossMan@the LBS about parts swapping possibilities and what not. It more than likely is in the cards, just not talked out yet. This has been a project in the back of my head for a few years....but economics are cropping up making me think sooner rather than later. Also Tour de Nebraska is planning an entire gravel/path route for the 2017 summer for at least 4 of 5 days.


I hadn't heard of Foundry either. Got a flyer from the LBS about a holiday sale on Saturday (one reason I'm thinking sooner rather than later) and went to see what all they stocked now and they came up. Santa's list of Wants ends up pointing to bespoke real quick. Competitive Cyclist has a Niner RLT build-your-own that really dots all my Is and Ts for $3500USD or so (Di2 compact, Belgium+ hoops, and the Niner has pannier mounts-something nice to have but not at all certain I'll use more than a handful of times right now)...OTOH the Flyover and its Ti is quite the looker and hits almost everything. And either way I end up with paint that can get dinged (My 7 roadie is half-paint).

Trek's CrossRip is a ton cheaper, but not sure about tire sizing...and it just doesn't make me drool TBH.
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Old 12-11-16, 07:33 PM
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Not a lot to contribute that hasn't been said, I feel the 1x really is aimed much more towards racing as opposed to general surface riding; I'm always feeling out-of-sorts like I'm searching for the right cadence when I'm using my 1x on the road. If I could do it again, I'd have passed on this one and built up a frame with a compact crank, or even 46/34

Finish on Foundry's bikes is top-notch, however. 1500 miles on my Chilkoot this year and no scratches on the paint
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Old 12-11-16, 08:11 PM
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Yeh, 1x is a thing. I tried it on my old steel roadie. It was fine. But it was only that. Fine.

I don't race, but I occasionally do group rides, and I felt like I was missing gears--not so much at the top or low end, but in between/for cadence.

My gravel (and now, go-to) ride is the Niner RLT9 with a 46/34. It's nice having the gears back.
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Old 12-11-16, 08:48 PM
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To chime in on 1x... I drank the kool aid, and I love it. Never futzing with a FD ever again. Need wide range gears? Shimano makes 11-46t cassettes now. Expander cogs are available up to 50t from Wolf Tooth, and others. 1x chain rings are readily available in a variety of sizes to fit pretty much any crank you need - easy to gear up or down to suit your conditions. SRAM makes the 1x group with hydraulic brakes, which I would give serious attention if I wasn't already committed to Shimano. Otherwise, there are a few other ways to get there too ... I've wanted to try the Gevenalle setup for some time too. But, I'm a fan of simplicity, and I'm quickly loosing my favor for road groupsets because of that.
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Old 12-11-16, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti
Shopping for a gravel bike...and coming from a roadie background, the idea of a 1X front versus a 2X front seems....rather....heresy? Fewer gears is a feature? I'm currently leaning towards steeds that have an 40t x 11-32t ....which I'm guessing is practical enough or it wouldn't be as common? Having not CX'd other than on a roadie as an emergency I'm out of my element here.
Couple things.

1- the idea of 1x instead of 2x being an issue for a roadie is sorta funny since 3x road drivetrains existed and arent popular now since roadies wanted...less gears.
Yes yes, a compact double has the same overall range as a road triple. Same with a 1x though. Most have the same general range as a 2x system.
Thing is, range doesnt equal comfort. Sure it may matche the high and low of a compact double, but that doesnt mean a 1x is better. Someone may like smaller jumps between gearing and in that case a 1x is terrible.


2- when it comes to gravel and adventure bikes, just accept that the brands arent spec'ing the bikes for the average user. They are spec'ing bikes to follow trends, fads, and to be equal to other offerings.
Nebraska is generally flat so a 40-32 gearing may work for yoh there, but thatd be brutal around me and i cant imagine some other areas of the country.
The more expensive a bike is, the higher the drivetrain level. The higher the drivetrain level, the less customizing can be done as there is less flexibility due to components not working with lower level components.


I would want either a 3x9 or 2x11 system.
3x9 would mean- 48-38-28 110/74bcd crank mated to an 11-32 cassette.
2x11 would mean- 46-34 crankset mated to an 11-36 cassette. Maybe an 11-40 cassette. The crankset would be a CX 46/36 crank with the 36 ring awapped out. This is what i use, actually.

An ideal world would have an affordable compact double be 46-32 mated to an 11-36 11sp cassette. Thatd be awesome.


Point being, so many gravel and adventure bikes that i see which are on the higher level of cost (ie over $1700) are woefully misgeared for what i think a lot of riders could benefit from.
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Old 12-11-16, 09:03 PM
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1X setups are great if the gear range works for you and what you plan to do on the bike. 2X setups will generally have a wider range. By substituting different chainring sizes and different cassette ranges, you can tailor the specific gearing capabilities of either to work better for your needs. Comparing the stock Foundry Flyover arrangement to the standard spec for their more gravel oriented Overland model (Overland Rival 22 | Foundry Cycles) you can see that the 1X gives up a low gear and a couple of high gears to the 2X.
HTML5 Gear Calculator

By simply changing the cassette on the 1X to a 11-36 model, you can virtually match the low gear of the 2X. But I would not be happy with either of these options as delivered. I need lower gearing than either provide and if I was going to be doing a fair amount of paved road or smooth dirt road cruising, I'd want a higher gear than the standard 1X, though I could easily live without the highest gear on the 2X. What range you might need and what options you would consider to get it, I can't say.

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Old 12-12-16, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by athrowawaynic

I don't race, but I occasionally do group rides, and I felt like I was missing gears--not so much at the top or low end, but in between/for cadence.
Ditto...

With 1X or 2X its not too hard to get the extremes in gears (low and high). Just that you get a lot more choices with the "in-between gears" that makes the 2X more enjoyable when riding on the road or smoother gravel for long periods of time. It doesn't matter so much in short CX racing, therefore, 1X is okay in this these situations. So you might want to think about what type of riding you will be doing most and go from there...
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Old 12-12-16, 02:16 PM
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I would think this would entirely depend upon the type of terrain you most commonly ride. Riding in the high deserts of southern Arizona we encounter lots of really quick changes in grade and surface material, especially riding through washes. I need to be able to switch a big amount of gears in a really short time, so having those extra chain rings is a must. There's options, like Genevalle, to fly through a huge casette on a 1x setup, but I'd prefer to just tap once to the next chain ring when needed.
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Old 12-12-16, 03:01 PM
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Current "compact " Double is 2 Most ship 34-50 Cyclocross they ship 36-46, for that Off Road race bike type.

110 Bolt circle.

I have not used my Compact double a 36-52 since the 80's.. Hill climbs Like Mt Tam , from Stinson Beach.

[Now my 1X has a Rohloff Hub on the other end]
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Old 12-12-16, 08:53 PM
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I've done the 46-34 with both 11-32 and 11-36 cassette, and mostly liked it. But I would still take my 40 with 11-42 over that any day. Most of my riding is up and down hills, with a bit of pavement on the way to the trail, and maintaining a cadence isn't much of a problem for me. I almost never ride in a group though, so I set my own pace wherever I go. I didn't mind losing some top end because I pretty much never used the smallest 2 or 3 cogs anyway. Sure, I ride some super steep descents, but with the switchbacks, I have to scrub speed anyway, so never really get to cruise in that 46x11 on the cross bike or 50x11 on the roadie.

For me, the simplicity and ease of maintaining it is worth it. Not only that it's one less derailleur, shifter, and cable to maintain, but cleaning the bike and lubing the chain is also a lot easier. Also, I can wear whatever pants I want and not get them hung up on a derailleur or chainrings.

There a lot of good reasons to go 1x other than to follow the trend. It's not for everyone, but I sure love mine!
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Old 12-12-16, 09:01 PM
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I'm glad I got a 3x on my gravel bike.
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Old 12-12-16, 09:38 PM
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I have never felt that a cable and derailluer is a hassle. I havent looked at my front derailleur and hated the sight of it for vexing me in the past.

...but i have friction front shifting on 3 of my 4 drop bar bikes, one of which is my gravel bike. Bar end shifters and Gevenalle shifters. Makes front shifting incredibly simple.
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Old 12-13-16, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by speedystein
i've done the 46-34 with both 11-32 and 11-36 cassette, and mostly liked it. But i would still take my 40 with 11-42 over that any day. Most of my riding is up and down hills, with a bit of pavement on the way to the trail, and maintaining a cadence isn't much of a problem for me. I almost never ride in a group though, so i set my own pace wherever i go. I didn't mind losing some top end because i pretty much never used the smallest 2 or 3 cogs anyway. Sure, i ride some super steep descents, but with the switchbacks, i have to scrub speed anyway, so never really get to cruise in that 46x11 on the cross bike or 50x11 on the roadie.

For me, the simplicity and ease of maintaining it is worth it. Not only that it's one less derailleur, shifter, and cable to maintain, but cleaning the bike and lubing the chain is also a lot easier. Also, i can wear whatever pants i want and not get them hung up on a derailleur or chainrings.

There a lot of good reasons to go 1x other than to follow the trend. It's not for everyone, but i sure love mine!
+1
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Old 12-13-16, 08:28 AM
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Opinions:

1. I see no upside to 1x and a few upsides to 2x. Personally, I don't get the attraction.

2. A cross bike will work but it's far from an ideal gravel bike. Cross gearing isn't great for most gravel racing, it's designed for cross which is typically lower speed with very sharp 10 second climbs. A racey cross position is likely too aggressive for endurance gravel riding and puts too much weight on your hands, a cross bike is designed for 1 hour races not 4+ hour epics. Cross chainstays are very short making the bike less stable, this is a personal preference thing but I much prefer longer chainstays on a gravel racer. Cross tires aren't ideal for the majority of gravel conditions as they're too knobby. The typical cross bottom bracket is too high, again adding to instability. Finally, cross bikes generally don't have the tire clearance of a true gravel bike: 33mm doesn't cut it for most gravel racing IMO. If you want a gravel bike, get a gravel bike.
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Old 12-13-16, 11:52 PM
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I am not a big fan of triples. I was thinking about going with 1x on one of my bikes, but at the time the cassettes didn't go low enough. Still not convinced I want to have a 42 tooth gear on the back. I think it's a lot easier to just use an FD

I have a mountain double on my gravel bike. The big gear is 42-11, and I'm reasonably happy with that. My low gear is 28-32, and it would be pretty easy to go to 28-36 if I ever decide I need to go lower.
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Old 12-15-16, 07:59 AM
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I Bought a FuJi Altimera CX 1.3 last spring for mainly doing gravel rides. It came with 1X with 44 on front and 11-28 in rear. We have quite a few hills so I switched the cassette to a 11-36 which work well with my mid length Sram Force derailleur. The Bike is CF frame and fork with sram force Hydraulic discs. I run Schwalbe G ones 700X38's on it.

We generally have about 70-90 feet per mile of hills around mid missouri. I have found the 1X with the 44 and 11-36 combo to work absolutely great in the gravel. Plenty low for the steep loose stuff and I can still take the bike on pavement and do 35 MPH without a ridiculous high cadence. The bike is great for gravel and fast. Entered two races and I was green as a gord in doing gravel. First 50 miler I placed 7th out of 84 (3500 feet of climbing). Second 50 miler I took first out of 51. This was a little flatter with just 2000 feet.
The 1X really keeps it simple with no front derailleur to cause chain drops. I found the bike to perform wonderfully in both races and would say that 1X is the way to go for this gravel rider. By the way I am an old guy at 56, and the place in the gravel races was against all age groups. I beat a lot of 20-40 year old guys. The gravel is really fun when you have the right equipment and are in proper riding shape.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:16 PM
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That should work out well.

The 44-36 is basically the same as a traditional 36-28 (i.e. 34-35 gear inches)

On the flip side, a good 100rpm cadence will get you ~33mph
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