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Gravel Grinder + CX racing gearing

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Gravel Grinder + CX racing gearing

Old 08-20-17, 07:24 PM
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Gravel Grinder + CX racing gearing

I currently have a SRAM 2x11 11spd with a 34/46 x 11-32 (Rival 22).

I've done some long gravel rides out in the mountains (just did d2r2 180k) and learned that I would like some smaller gearing for those 15% climbs. Turning 34x32 at 17rpm on those super steep things sucks, when I'm at my prime around 100rpm. I'd like another gear please (heh, maybe even two ).

My goal is to have gearing where I can have good CX racing gearing, and good gearing for steep epic gravel mountain ventures on the same bike. I know there is a compromise with this in any way, and it seems no one has great solutions for this dilemma other than pedal harder or have two bikes...but still chasing.

My first choice would be to replace the crankset with a subcompact to get 30T in the front, but I have a left-arm power meter on my SRAM Rival 22 crankset, so would prefer not having to do that.

My current thought is to put a medium cage SRAM GX 10-speed derailleur on (which should work with SRAM 11-speed drop shifters), with a 12-36 cassette (Interloc racing appears to make one). This would ensure the same gaps between gears as standard 11-28 cassettes, give an additional gear in the low end (34x36), and have favorable gearing for cross racing (46x12-36 is pretty equivalent to a common 38x11-28 that many CX racers run). Seems like a great way to solve my goal, but haven't seen others talk about running 34/46x12-36 on this common dilemma.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by stevehollx; 08-20-17 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 08-21-17, 08:34 PM
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Going from 32 to 36 in the rear is not going to get you much. It's something, but not a lot, and certainly not 100 RPM on 15% climbs.

I rode 15% with a 34 ring and 36 cassette today and wish I had lower gear.
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Old 08-22-17, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by stevehollx View Post
Any thoughts?
Sounds like you have it way more figured out than anyone else. On paper it should work. Here's a thought, what about having a 1X crank for CX and just switching between the two cranksets? Of course this would only be feasible if you don't need to switch them often.
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Old 08-22-17, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by stevehollx View Post
Any thoughts?
throw a 12-36 on there. you know you want lower gears, so there's nothing to lose.

if you need lower beyond that, then take a look at the subcompacts. something like a 44/30 (in my opinion) would be nice to have for both cross and general off road use. you have your 44 for cross use, and then the 30 for those stubborn uphill grinds.

for reference, my 'do everything' bike has a 42/11-36. i'm usually in the middle of the range for cx racing, and use the full range for everything else. every once in a while a steep grade has me walking, but that's the compromise...
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Old 08-22-17, 07:26 PM
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I'm going to be looking at a 46/30 over the winter and pair it with an 11-32. If I know there is a particularly hard climbing route, I might go switch to a 12-36.
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