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SRAM Apex vs my old 80s touring bike

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SRAM Apex vs my old 80s touring bike

Old 09-21-21, 09:55 PM
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SRAM Apex vs my old 80s touring bike

A few years ago my wife bought me a Giant Revolt Advanced 1 for my birthday. She wanted to steer me away from road riding at our new hill country location for safety reasons. Apex 1 was the group set with a 40/42 lowest gear. The revolt has been sitting unused because it was just geared too high. Since then I've converted an 80s Nishiki Cresta touring bike to a gravel bike. The Cresta with indented chainstays fits 42mm tires and has a 26/36 lowest gear. Even with being a heavier bike the Cresta is way more fun on the terrain and hills around here.

I ordered an AbsoluteBlack 38 tooth oval chainring several months ago to lower the granny gear on the revolt. The chainring was back ordered until just a couple weeks ago. I installed it tonight. The 2 teeth improvement doesn't gain me much but the oval will help and Im more fit since I last rode the Revolt.

I wish there was a way to get reasonable adventure bike gearing with the SRAM Apex. I researched it quite a bit. The Revolt is my first experience with SRAM and so far it hasn't gone so well.

If there are any good recent gearing fixes for SRAM Apex 1 please let me know. Thanks.
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Old 09-22-21, 01:20 AM
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if you run a shimano hub, you could swap the cassette 11-42 and put a 11-46 SLX shimano cassette. Once the b screw is adjusted, it works well. I have done ~400k on mine in the last 3 weeks, it's lovely.
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Old 09-22-21, 05:35 AM
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I think the solution is to convert your Apex 1 bike to an “Apex 2” bike. New compact double crankset, a front derailleur and a left brake/shift lever. I don’t know if the clutched derailleur would work with this set up or not. I’m inclined to think it would, but front shifting might be affected. In which case add a new 2x rear derailleur to the parts list above. Provided your bike has either a round seat tube or a derailleur tab, you should be able to make these modifications without any trouble.

Edit: reportedly, the pivot location for the clutched rear derailleurs from SRAM means they can't take up the chain slack from two chainrings. So you do need a rear derailleur. If the 2x SRAM road derailleurs don't have enough capacity for a large rear cog for your needs (officially they max out at 32T and in my experience you can't really push this), you have a couple options. One would be the Wolftooth Components thingie that attaches to the rear derailleur hanger to provide more clearance. Road Link or something? Anyway, that might give you the clearance you need. OR you could use a SRAM MTB derailleur from the X series that uses the same Exact Actuation cable pull ratio as the road shifters. E.g. X.5, X.7, X.9, X.0. In this case I recommend installing an inline barrel adjuster somewhere on the shift cable run, as these derailleurs don't have a barrel adjuster built in.

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Old 09-22-21, 06:40 AM
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This shouldnt be a knock on SRAM as SRAM didnt spec the bike or buy the bike. For many, a 40-42 bailout gear ratio will be enough. Ends up you want easier gearing, which is cool, but is hardly SRAM's fault. It isnt Giant's fault or your wife's fault either, to be clear, it just happens that a common gear ratio at the time doesnt work for you where you live and ride.

26-36 is super low bailout gearing and you will not get that ratio on most any stock bike purchase. That ratio is 20.01 gear inches when using a 42mm tire.
Some bikes come with 46-30 up front and you could swap the cassette to an 11-36. That gets you kinda close at 23.07 gear inches, which is legitimately really low for gravel bikes.

The Giant currently has 25.02 gear inches on it with the 38-42 ratio.
Look into a 2x gravel drivetrain to get lower gearing. Or look into a SRAM wide range drivetrain as I know they exist, but have never been interested in details as they are basically an MTB drivetrain.
...or keep riding the Cresta since you like it more.
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Old 09-22-21, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
This shouldnt be a knock on SRAM as SRAM didnt spec the bike or buy the bike. For many, a 40-42 bailout gear ratio will be enough. Ends up you want easier gearing, which is cool, but is hardly SRAM's fault. It isnt Giant's fault or your wife's fault either, to be clear, it just happens that a common gear ratio at the time doesnt work for you where you live and ride.

26-36 is super low bailout gearing and you will not get that ratio on most any stock bike purchase. That ratio is 20.01 gear inches when using a 42mm tire.
Some bikes come with 46-30 up front and you could swap the cassette to an 11-36. That gets you kinda close at 23.07 gear inches, which is legitimately really low for gravel bikes.

The Giant currently has 25.02 gear inches on it with the 38-42 ratio.
Look into a 2x gravel drivetrain to get lower gearing. Or look into a SRAM wide range drivetrain as I know they exist, but have never been interested in details as they are basically an MTB drivetrain.
...or keep riding the Cresta since you like it more.
thanks for the thoughtful reply. Yes, it was mine andy wife's ignorance that may have caused this problem. It's not SRAM's fault. I still have an expensive bike I don't ride and looking for the right fix.
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Old 09-23-21, 08:34 AM
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https://bikepacking.com/gear/guide-t...t-drivetrains/
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Old 09-23-21, 02:50 PM
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Use Sheldons Gear Calculator and compare the Giant to your Cresta gears. Figure out what you like about the cresta gears then look to see what you can get for the Giant. sometimes a one tooth difference makes a big one. I like an 18 in the rear but alot of cassettes don't have that in their range. So i have to buy the pieces that I want to make what I can.
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Old 09-23-21, 05:39 PM
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A friend has SRAM 1X on a couple of road bikes. He uses a 34T chainring and pie plate cassette. I don't know if the crank is SRAM or something else. The LBS sets these up for him so it can't be too esoteric or complicated.
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Old 09-23-21, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by canopus
Use Sheldons Gear Calculator and compare the Giant to your Cresta gears. Figure out what you like about the cresta gears then look to see what you can get for the Giant.
yep, that s what I did when rebuilding my folding bike (well calculator on XL) and when easing my gravel I looked at what i used 75% and i shifted the range towards easy looking the 2 hardest gear.
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Old 09-23-21, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
A friend has SRAM 1X on a couple of road bikes. He uses a 34T chainring and pie plate cassette. I don't know if the crank is SRAM or something else. The LBS sets these up for him so it can't be too esoteric or complicated.
rival 1 and force 1 can take eagle +6mm eagle chainring (3 T10 torx bolts)
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Old 09-24-21, 09:27 AM
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I love my wife.

If it was me and my wife bought me a bike, Id find a way to use it.
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