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

2x11 to 1x11?

Old 04-26-21, 08:28 AM
  #1  
Helderberg
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2x11 to 1x11?

Has anyone changed their 2x11 to a 1x11 mech? I am thinking of changing from 2x but would like to know what you lost or gained by going 1x other than no front DR?
Wondering about the loss of top speed and running out of gear especially downhill? Photo of my bike but now with flat pedals and a new saddle.
Thanks in advance, Frank.

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Old 04-26-21, 09:00 AM
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I haven't switched yet, no parts availability. But I used a gear calculator to match my current 2x gearing and I don't think it will be a problem. My high gear is 42-11 and my low gear is 28-32. I rarely use that 42-11, it's a pretty steep gear. Are you trying to keep up with people who bomb down descents on gravel roads? I think you probably should stop. People my age probably had a bike with a 52-14 high gear and the 42-11 is a bigger gear than that. But I think I would be perfectly happy with a 38-11.
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Old 04-26-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I haven't switched yet, no parts availability. But I used a gear calculator to match my current 2x gearing and I don't think it will be a problem. My high gear is 42-11 and my low gear is 28-32. I rarely use that 42-11, it's a pretty steep gear. Are you trying to keep up with people who bomb down descents on gravel roads? I think you probably should stop. People my age probably had a bike with a 52-14 high gear and the 42-11 is a bigger gear than that. But I think I would be perfectly happy with a 38-11.
Thank you for your response. No, I am not trying to keep up with anyone but I have a lot of long hills where I live and run out of gears with the 46/11 combo. Honestly, at 72 YO I am and should be more concerned with the climbing ratios. Am looking at swapping out the FSA 172.5 46/30 for a GRX 46/30 w/ 165 cranks. Short legs and old knees w/big hills. Thought if I was going to do it I would consider all options.
Frank.
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Old 04-26-21, 10:12 AM
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A 42x11 is good for around 30mph at 100rpm cadence. A 46x11 is good for 33mph. If you find that you are frequently spinning out on 46x11, a 1x setup will make this worse. I personally find 42x11 to be plenty of gear for my gravel/cx bikes, but I also have little reason to be pedaling at speeds above 30mph.
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Old 04-26-21, 12:43 PM
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Helderberg I recommend you first do some gearing comparisons by using this nifty gear calculator. This will allow you to compare different gearing setups with your current.

I run a 46t or 42t chainring...the cassette is a 10-42 (SRAM XD). I went to the 10t small cog so that on a 42t chainring I won’t spin out (I’m in my late 40s and I shouldn’t be pushing 60km/h on gravel, but I don’t learn so good). By having two chainrings to choose from, before a big ride (like the three gravel races I’ll ride this summer), I can adjust the gear range appropriately for the course profile, 42t for hilly and 46t for “flatter”. Note: to run the 10-42, I had to change the free hub, which is a relatively easy affair on DT Swiss wheels. It could be an option for you, or just use a Shimano 11-42 cassette.
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Old 04-26-21, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Helderberg I recommend you first do some gearing comparisons by using this nifty gear calculator. This will allow you to compare different gearing setups with your current.

I run a 46t or 42t chainring...the cassette is a 10-42 (SRAM XD). I went to the 10t small cog so that on a 42t chainring I won’t spin out (I’m in my late 40s and I shouldn’t be pushing 60km/h on gravel, but I don’t learn so good). By having two chainrings to choose from, before a big ride (like the three gravel races I’ll ride this summer), I can adjust the gear range appropriately for the course profile, 42t for hilly and 46t for “flatter”. Note: to run the 10-42, I had to change the free hub, which is a relatively easy affair on DT Swiss wheels. It could be an option for you, or just use a Shimano 11-42 cassette.
I think the SRAM XD is a game changer.

I use a 38t chainring.

I've got the 10-42 a d added a wolf tooth 44. Basically I removed the 42 and added a 44. So I've got a solid climbing gear of 38x36. That's about the perfect hard long push gear. And a bailout of 44. Being honest with myself, I knew that shifting lower than 36 wasn't to keep tempo and lay down the hurt, it was to get me home or over something without exploding. Or after exploding really.

38x10 is fine downhill. It's pretty much the same as 42x11 which is most gravel 1x bikes highest gear.

There are bigger jumps than on a 2x system. I rarely notice.
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Old 04-26-21, 09:49 PM
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The older you get the more you appreciate the smaller steps between gears on 2x. So much easier to find the right gear.
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Old 04-27-21, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Helderberg I recommend you first do some gearing comparisons by using this nifty gear calculator. This will allow you to compare different gearing setups with your current.

I run a 46t or 42t chainring...the cassette is a 10-42 (SRAM XD). I went to the 10t small cog so that on a 42t chainring I won’t spin out (I’m in my late 40s and I shouldn’t be pushing 60km/h on gravel, but I don’t learn so good). By having two chainrings to choose from, before a big ride (like the three gravel races I’ll ride this summer), I can adjust the gear range appropriately for the course profile, 42t for hilly and 46t for “flatter”. Note: to run the 10-42, I had to change the free hub, which is a relatively easy affair on DT Swiss wheels. It could be an option for you, or just use a Shimano 11-42 cassette.
That SRAM XD 10-42 is intriguing. Do they make any other sizes of 10t cog cassettes for non AXS 11 speed?
A 10-36 would be perfect for me.
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Old 04-27-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post



38x10 is fine downhill. It's pretty much the same as 42x11 which is most gravel 1x bikes highest gear.
??
That is only 100 gear inches which is not very high. At all.
Most 2x Gravel bikes run a 31/48 or a 30/46 or even a 32/50 to get somewhere over 120 inches on the tallest gear.

The 1x revolution being pimped by manufacturers is because they making money and not because it is inherently better. It ain't. 1x is the answer to a question no one was even asking.
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Old 04-27-21, 11:12 AM
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My personal experiences:
Flat/rolling = a 2x setup so that you can minimize the jumps between gears and better maintain speed
Larger climbs on paved surfaces = a 2x setup with moderate climbing gears and high gears for fast descents
Larger climbs on trails/gravel = a 1x setup for easier climbing, but expect more coasting on the descents
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Old 04-27-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
That SRAM XD 10-42 is intriguing. Do they make any other sizes of 10t cog cassettes for non AXS 11 speed?
A 10-36 would be perfect for me.
I don't think so. The 11-speed XD cassettes seem to all be "MTB". I've been a Shimano fanboy for years. The only reason I went with this 10-42 was because it was easier to get than an 11-40 or 11-42 right now, and I had the XD free hub because it came with the wheel set.

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Old 04-27-21, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
??
That is only 100 gear inches which is not very high. At all.
Most 2x Gravel bikes run a 31/48 or a 30/46 or even a 32/50 to get somewhere over 120 inches on the tallest gear.

The 1x revolution being pimped by manufacturers is because they making money and not because it is inherently better. It ain't. 1x is the answer to a question no one was even asking.
He never commented on the gear inches (106 for 42x11 to be specific), he said it was pretty much the same as 42x11, and 38x10 is (105).

But, the last part? It is the answer to a question lots of people were asking. If it wasn't, why did home brewed mullet 1x drivetrains exist before all the component manufacturers got in the game? The manufacturers didn't drive the market, the market drove the manufacturers, as I see it.
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Old 04-27-21, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jp911 View Post
My personal experiences:
Flat/rolling = a 2x setup so that you can minimize the jumps between gears and better maintain speed
Larger climbs on paved surfaces = a 2x setup with moderate climbing gears and high gears for fast descents
Larger climbs on trails/gravel = a 1x setup for easier climbing, but expect more coasting on the descents
My personal experiences:
MTB and CX: Definitely 1x
Gravel: Probably 1x but in some cases 2x
Casual/solo road: Probably 2x but in some cases 1x
Fast/group road: Definitely 2x

12 speed mechanical drivetrains will accelerate the move to 1x for gravel bikes.
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Old 04-27-21, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
He never commented on the gear inches (106 for 42x11 to be specific), he said it was pretty much the same as 42x11, and 38x10 is (105).

But, the last part? It is the answer to a question lots of people were asking. If it wasn't, why did home brewed mullet 1x drivetrains exist before all the component manufacturers got in the game? The manufacturers didn't drive the market, the market drove the manufacturers, as I see it.
Pretty much.

A gravel descent around here (Colorado) includes washboards, ruts, cattle guards, and switchbacks. 105 gear inches is plenty.

If your rides consist of straight road descents or long smooth grated dirt, well, sure a road bike gearing would be great. For where I ride though, I choose gravel or road bike, not one to do it all.
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Old 04-27-21, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la;[url=tel:22033992
22033992[/url]]My personal experiences:
MTB and CX: Definitely 1x
Gravel: Probably 1x but in some cases 2x
Casual/solo road: Probably 2x but in some cases 1x
Fast/group road: Definitely 2x
+1. I use 36 front, 11 speed 11-42 rear for gravel/bikepacking (and may switch to 34 front and/or 11-46 rear); 38 front, 11 speed 11-34 rear for casual/solo road, including Tour de France mountains in prepandemic travel; and 30 front, 11 speed 11-46 rear on my fat bike, in the non-mountainous Mid-Atlantic US.

I obviously give up being able to pedal hard downhill, which I don't miss at all; and close steps between gears, which I do miss a bit sometimes. Pros are simplicity - I never miss a shift or drop my chain; and versatility - I can get up everything I've tried to ride, even with bikepacking bags, and I can keep up with the people I choose to ride with.

Fast/group road riding, definitely 2x.
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Old 05-03-21, 08:57 PM
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I just don't get 1x on gravel, but it all depends on where you ride. I have 46/30 and 11-36 cassette and I use all of the gears. Often I have pavement between gravel sections, and if it is downhill I'll almost spin out. I don't use the 30/36 low gear often but I'm really glad I have it when I need it! If you are having a shifting problem with the 2x, figure that out. And if not, just keep the gearing you have!
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Old 05-04-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Chilepines View Post
I just don't get 1x on gravel, but it all depends on where you ride. I have 46/30 and 11-36 cassette and I use all of the gears. Often I have pavement between gravel sections, and if it is downhill I'll almost spin out. I don't use the 30/36 low gear often but I'm really glad I have it when I need it! If you are having a shifting problem with the 2x, figure that out. And if not, just keep the gearing you have!
46x11 at 100rpm is going to be good for around 35mph. Most people have zero need for gearing this big on a gravel bike, but for those that do, a 2x setup definitely makes more sense.
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Old 05-04-21, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
46x11 at 100rpm is going to be good for around 35mph. Most people have zero need for gearing this big on a gravel bike, but for those that do, a 2x setup definitely makes more sense.
<- 46x10 (10-42 cassette)

You're not wrong, I keep wondering if I should put a 42t on, or remount an FD and get a 50/34 crankset.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:05 AM
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I have decided to stick with the 46/30 crankset. I like the 22 close ratios gear choices it gives me for the hills I have here and the limited flat. Now I just have to wait for the GRX chainset to come in and that looks like it might be at least a month and a half. Thanks for the responses and all of the information.
Be safe all, Frank.
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