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SRAM Apex 1

Old 04-30-17, 10:58 AM
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FrontRanger
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SRAM Apex 1

If you're looking to go 1x11 w/o spending a ton of dough, Apex 1 is definitely worth checking out. It shifts better than some pricier groups I've ridden. Zero dropped chains, and no ghost shifting if you have to backpedal. Full review here.
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Old 04-30-17, 11:41 AM
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Jarrett2
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I've just installed it on two different bikes for people recently and I'm really impressed with what you get for the money with the Apex 1 stuff.

I've previously used Rival 22, Rival 1, Force, Dura Ace and 105 stuff, but I'd be fine using Apex 1 on my personal bikes as well.
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Old 04-30-17, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
I've just installed it on two different bikes for people recently and I'm really impressed with what you get for the money with the Apex 1 stuff.

I've previously used Rival 22, Rival 1, Force, Dura Ace and 105 stuff, but I'd be fine using Apex 1 on my personal bikes as well.
Yeah, I've had Rival 22, Rival 1, Force CX, Force 1, and the Apex 1 stuff shifts just as well. It's a lot heavier, but for the price, I'm OK with that. Plus, if a big hungry rock decides to eat the rear mech, it's cheap to replace.
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Old 04-30-17, 11:13 PM
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johngwheeler
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I have the SRAM Rival 1 (1x11) with a 40T chain ring. It feels very positive and I've never had a dropped chain or missed gear change. There is a noticeable "clunk" when it changes though, which is different to the Shimano gears I've tried with smaller gear steps.

Do you ever find you lack low enough gears when climbing (my lowest is 40-32) or spin out at higher speeds?

I can only get to about 50km/h with my bike, spinning at about 90-95rpm. It's fast enough, but I would be easily outpaced by bikes with higher gearing if I were riding in a group.

John
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Old 05-01-17, 08:28 AM
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I set up my 1x bikes with low gears no greater than 1:1. On my "everything bike" I'm running 38 up front with 11-42 in the back. Works really well with 29.x2.35 road tires. For dedicated off-road use I swap out the 38 for a 28. A couple of weeks ago I didn't feel like changing back to the 38 so I commuted with a 28/11 high gear. It was, as they say, "a learning experience."
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Old 05-01-17, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
Do you ever find you lack low enough gears when climbing (my lowest is 40-32) or spin out at higher speeds?
I've done some really steep (paved) climbs with a 40/32 low gear but they were mercifully short. It's slightly worse than a compact with an 11-28 (33.4 GI vs. 32.3 GI). For gravel, long climbs, and/or larger riders, I could definitely see a need to go lower. But as you've discovered, you have to really widen the cassette range to get much lower without losing too much top end.

The Apex 1 PG-1130 cassette does just that. The only offering is an 11-42 (weighing it at 538g!), so SRAM is taking a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Interestingly, the PG-1130 cassette appears to use the MTB approach of letting the big cog cantilever over the hub so it will fit a 9/10-speed freehub body on older wheels. This makes Apex 1 a really affordable option for people looking to switch from 2x10 to 1x11.

The down-side of that much range is big jumps between the gears. The 42t is a 17% jump and the 11t is an 18% jump so they're really granny/descent gears. The remaining 9 cogs average 13.6% between cogs (compared to the 8.6% average on the middle 9 of an 11-26). If you race (or ride like it) and need a wide gear range, riding 1x will put you at a disadvantage.
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Old 06-04-17, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
I've done some really steep (paved) climbs with a 40/32 low gear but they were mercifully short. It's slightly worse than a compact with an 11-28 (33.4 GI vs. 32.3 GI). For gravel, long climbs, and/or larger riders, I could definitely see a need to go lower. But as you've discovered, you have to really widen the cassette range to get much lower without losing too much top end.

The Apex 1 PG-1130 cassette does just that. The only offering is an 11-42 (weighing it at 538g!), so SRAM is taking a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Interestingly, the PG-1130 cassette appears to use the MTB approach of letting the big cog cantilever over the hub so it will fit a 9/10-speed freehub body on older wheels. This makes Apex 1 a really affordable option for people looking to switch from 2x10 to 1x11.

The down-side of that much range is big jumps between the gears. The 42t is a 17% jump and the 11t is an 18% jump so they're really granny/descent gears. The remaining 9 cogs average 13.6% between cogs (compared to the 8.6% average on the middle 9 of an 11-26). If you race (or ride like it) and need a wide gear range, riding 1x will put you at a disadvantage.
This is exactly why I am torn on 1x vs another compact 2x on my 2nd bike. I cannot make a decision. I'm often in my big (50t) ring in gravel races, lots of fast descents and quick pacelines. On the other hand, having the 34t small ring is so nice with 11-32 out back, I can tackle anything. Curious to hear other opinions on the 1x setup...the guys from Wolftooth seem convinced 1x is superior on a gravel or cross rig.
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Old 06-04-17, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
the guys from Wolftooth seem convinced 1x is superior on a gravel or cross rig.
Cross (racing) and gravel are radically different things. You don't need a lot of range to race cross. Fast sections are not that fast, and short enough it's not a big deal to spin a high cadence on them. And if you hit sections that need a really low gear to ride, it's faster to get off and run. Combine that with the fact that an FD can fail in a bunch of unpleasant ways in the CX environment, and 1x makes a huge amount of sense. For gravel it's much more of a toss-up.
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Old 06-04-17, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
Cross (racing) and gravel are radically different things. You don't need a lot of range to race cross. Fast sections are not that fast, and short enough it's not a big deal to spin a high cadence on them. And if you hit sections that need a really low gear to ride, it's faster to get off and run. Combine that with the fact that an FD can fail in a bunch of unpleasant ways in the CX environment, and 1x makes a huge amount of sense. For gravel it's much more of a toss-up.
As a cross racer myself (terrible one) I get all of what you said. I wasn't implying anything different. Merely stating that Wolftooth is all about the 1x for BOTH cross and gravel.
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