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Sram 1x

Old 06-06-19, 04:56 PM
  #1  
Carbonated
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Sram 1x

I'm curious if anyone is running or has run a SRAM 1X drivetrain. I work with an accomplished mountain and cross biker who claims in the future it will dominate the market.

I was skeptical thinking the range of gears was too limited but after researching it a bit I've changed my opinion. In any case, there is some interesting if not convincing info on the SRAM web site (see link).


https://www.sram.com/stories/13-thin...-about-1x-road
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Old 06-06-19, 05:40 PM
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I am not convinced. With the right cog and chainring selection, my 3x8 can cover as much range with smaller steps, or a greater range with the same steps.
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Old 06-06-19, 05:53 PM
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I have one in transit right now. It shipped yesterday and will take a week or so to make it to the boonies of Idaho. It's a carbon hardtail MTB with a SRAM 1x12 GX Eagle. Chainring is 32T and cassette is a 10-50. For it's anticipated usage, I don't really care about jumps in gear ratios. When I think that my old "ten speed" only had 2x5, I think a 1x12 will be fine.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:51 PM
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I have a Cannondale SuperX which has Sram Rival 1x with a 40T and 11-32. I specifically wanted it since I can replace the entire drivetrain for the cost of a Sram Red cassette on my road bike.

Th Cannondale is my winter - foul weather bike. I ride it all winter long. The hydro disc brakes and 32mm tubeless are a killer combo.
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Old 06-07-19, 08:35 AM
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Just the latest example of something designed to make life cheaper and easier for the manufacturer, being foisted on the consumer as an "improvement".
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Old 06-07-19, 11:28 AM
  #6  
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I remember reading an article on Adventure Cyclists years ago, when SRAM was starting to promote 1x. The SRAM representative told me how horrible the triple on my touring bike is. The middle ring was especially useless, which is why I almost never used it. I am was deeply disturbed to find out I have been doing it wrong all these years.

Range is not the only issue. Steps are very important, at least for me. Assuming equal range, there is nothing I would hate more when, saying, climbing a mountain pass, than having to choose between spinning to fast or mashing too hard. Less likelihood of that happening with a drivetrain that has smaller steps. I'll keep my 3x9 for touring, thank you. Maybe I will go to 10 then next time I need to change my cassette, but not likely.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:11 PM
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About 15k miles with SRAM Rival 1 (42T w/ 10-42 cassette.) I have zero complaints.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:31 PM
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Depends entirely on what one does with the bike. One has to let off pedal pressure to shift a FD, while a RD shifts OK under pressure. So if your use requires you to not let off pedal pressure because of your particular competition needs then 1X will be fine. OTOH if your riding or competition depends more on being able to spin the right cadence for the pedal pressure, then smaller gaps will be more efficient and faster for you. I like to have as small gaps as possible, especially in the smaller gear-inch range because I'm mostly interested in speed on long climbs, which depends on being in just the right gear. We don't see road pros riding 1X.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:31 PM
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In another thread, someone cannot get satisfactory front derailleur and knobby rear tire clearance..

1 by is a way around that other (although heavier) options , internally geared cranksets ..

chainring and crank arms can turn at differing rates with an epicyclic gear system in between them ..



I happen to like my planetary hub and crank geared combination..

Sram discarded the Sachs hub gears that they got when buying out their competitor,

and shipping all the German production machinery to Taipei

& putting the Fichtel Sachs group of companies our of business ..






....

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Old 06-07-19, 12:58 PM
  #10  
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One of my buddies rode 122 miles of Dirty Kanza last weekend before calling it a day. He’s thinking a 1x would have been a much better gearing option with all the short steep pitches. I’ve never really given it much thought but could see some situations where I’d like it. For me, I just need easiest enough gears to get me up and over everything.
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Old 06-07-19, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Depends entirely on what one does with the bike.
This is the answer and is so obvious i wonder why anyone even started a thread.

Off-road there are a lot of situations where 1X might be the best option ... Road-racing, it didn't work when it was tried. The idea has been debated endlessly in other threads anyway ....


But exactly as @Carbonfiberboy says .... and @John E and @indyfabz. Sometimes fast shifting under load is preferable and sometimes smaller jumps between ratios is preferable depending on how you use your bike. For the MTB riding I used to do (before I got too badly out of shape) Ix would hav been great----short, steep climbs where fast shifts under pressure determine success or falling sideways off the ridgeline (ouch, by the way) and no long straight flat runs where a close-ratio transmission would be a huge benefit.

However, my MTB is 3x8 and probably always will be.

Touring, I want 33 gears if I can get them .... because when hauling a big load up a steep hill sometimes the right gear determines, again, success or failure. Fully loaded touring, mashing is not an option sometimes because if I am in the wrong gear there is just too much weight to force the pedals around ... but if the gear is too low, i can't spin fast enough, lose speed, and need muscle-power to get it back ... and the load is too big.

For my solo road riding I could use a 1x but I wouldn't want to ... but for group road riding I want 18 or 22 gears so I can keep up with the peloton the whole way, and the small gain in efficiency really shows then.
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Old 06-08-19, 07:39 AM
  #12  
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Really?

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
This is the answer and is so obvious i wonder why anyone even started a thread.

Is it really that obvious? The reason I ask this is because a (winning) competitive mountain and cross cyclist (and accomplished mechanical engineer) disagreed with me on what drivetrain a friend should start out with - a 3X, 2X or 1X.


The newbie is middle aged and heavy so I suggested a 2X or 3X but the cyclist insisted 1X, not only for its simplicity of use but he argued it had plenty enough gear range to suit him. One thing I didn't mention - the newbie will mainly be riding trails with steep hills - not on the road.


So I started researching it and think his point may be valid and wanted to get input from other owners of 1X. Perhaps the next time I have a question I will run by you first to see if it's too overly obvious to post
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Old 06-08-19, 08:04 AM
  #13  
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I have a 1x11 on my year-old mtb and I think it's great for my purpose. I use a 28 tooth front ring with a 46 rear for my low gear and I do a lot of steep climbs with it. There isn't much of a high gear but when off road I don't need it, if I'm going fast I'm usually coasting.

Single ring set-ups allowed 29 inch wheels to be used with short chainstays and allowed frame manufacturers the freedom to try different suspension configurations without needing to consider the placement of a front derailleur. Many designs would not be possible with multi-ring setups.

Another benefit is when riding in mud. If you've ever had "chain-suck" you know what I mean. Mud will just cause the drivetrain to lock up and you can just fall over. Front derailleurs SUCK in the mud.

I would not consider a single ring for the road, there is too much disadvantage and no real advantage.

Last edited by big john; 06-09-19 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:13 AM
  #14  
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I have gone through 3x, 2x, and now have had 1x for the last 3 seasons (Sram GX Eagle) on my 29er SC Hightower. I also have 1x (Sram Rival 1) on my MEC Gravel Bike, 2x on my Lamond Road Bike, and 3x on my Surly Cross Check (set up for touring).

This is my opinion:

For mountain biking I love 1x. The trails I ride have lots of sudden ups and downs and I am continually changing gears and am not bothered by the bigger steps between gears as I am often shifting more than 1 gear step at a time anyway. It is simpler and leaves the left side of my handlebar open for my dropper post lever. It is easier to maintain and use, but I don't believe you save any weight getting rid of the front derailleur and extra chain ring as those big 1x cassettes are heavier than those smaller ones used on 2x. I use the full range of the 10-50 tooth eagle cassette, but if you are riding is areas with less steep climbs (or have stronger legs than me) you can probably get away with an 11 speed 11-42 Shimano set-up.

On my MEC Gravel bike I like the 1x, but think I would be okay with 2X as well. If you are in really hilly bumpy gravel the simplicity and bigger gear jumps are great. If you are on smoother roads and like to hold a tight cadence with small shifts, not so great. I am on the fence on this one.

On my road bike I prefer 2x. I like keeping my cadence tighter and I live in a hilly area so to keep the cassette gearing tight I need 2 chain rings for range.

In summary, 1 x is great for simplicity with lots of big gear changes and I would not want to go back to 2x or 3x for mountian biking. 2x is great when you still need range but like your gearing closer together for maintaining cadence.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:19 AM
  #15  
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I read up on the 1x stuff. I bought a Rohloff.
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Old 06-08-19, 10:06 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
I'm curious if anyone is running or has run a SRAM 1X drivetrain. I work with an accomplished mountain and cross biker who claims in the future it will dominate the market.

I was skeptical thinking the range of gears was too limited but after researching it a bit I've changed my opinion. In any case, there is some interesting if not convincing info on the SRAM web site (see link).


https://www.sram.com/stories/13-thin...-about-1x-road
This is more about 1X12 than 1X in general, but the primary concern is that having only 1X in the front forces you to have a much wider-range cassette (in some cases going to 50T or 51T cogs). This can present some challenges to rear derailleurs. For example, my kid has had a GX 1X12 for a bit more than a year. He's gone through two GX derailleurs, and now we are playing with other options. In frustration, he says he would rather convert it to a more robust 1X10 and push the bike up hills if he needs to. The SRAM GX derailleur seems to be too fragile.

Also, the 10-50T 12 speed cassette is not cheap. $125 is a lot to pay for a wear item.

My sense, especially after the latest incident (resulting in a 70° B-screw bend), is that a 50T cassette cog is too much strain on derailleurs, even those allegedly designed to be able to cope.

Shimano has XTR 12-speed, and is soon releasing SLX and XT versions, which have more sane pricing. I would skip SRAM and wait for one of those if it were me.

Oh, and the Shimano options have ... wait for it ............... 51 T.

Last edited by wgscott; 06-08-19 at 09:28 PM. Reason: added intro
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Old 06-08-19, 10:21 AM
  #17  
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I have a Diverge Expert X1. It is Force 11 speed 1x. 42 and 10-42 (XD driver, with an XG1195 cassette).

The shifting is excellent. The drive-train is quiet throughout the entire range (much more quiet than my Ultegra Di2 bike). The double-tap shifter works excellent and it is pretty sweet to have one lever for shifting. I really love the way it shifts and it is not very often I get caught in a "gap", though I do live in a flat state.

Last edited by GeneO; 06-08-19 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 06-08-19, 10:38 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
Is it really that obvious? The reason I ask this is because a (winning) competitive mountain and cross cyclist (and accomplished mechanical engineer) disagreed with me on what drivetrain a friend should start out with - a 3X, 2X or 1X.

The newbie is middle aged and heavy so I suggested a 2X or 3X but the cyclist insisted 1X, not only for its simplicity of use but he argued it had plenty enough gear range to suit him. One thing I didn't mention - the newbie will mainly be riding trails with steep hills - not on the road.
Dude .. Think before you reply.

I said that the fact that whether or not a 1x set-up made sense depended solely on how one intended to sue the bike, was so obvious that one need not ask.

You reply, all snarky, by explaining how the person in question intends to use the bike.

You basically answer your own question .... It Depends on How One Intends to Use the Bike.

The Sensible question would have been, not whether a 1x system was "The best," or whether it was going to dominate the market (which is certainly not an indication of it being "the best,") but instead, about whether a 1x might suit an overweight, middle-aged rider who planned to ride off-road on trails with steep hills.

(You know ... the answer you actually gave to the guy proposing 1x.)

The generic query you alluded to (you didn’t even manage to really ask a question):
Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
I'm curious if anyone is running or has run a SRAM 1X drivetrain. I work with an accomplished mountain and cross biker who claims in the future it will dominate the market.
has exactly the answer You Already gave topthe person who suggested 1x—a breakdown of how the person intended to use the bike.

Without that info, whether other people use a 1x system or not makes no difference. It is like asking if you should use knobby tires …. but not specifying what kind of terrain you ride.

So … go get upset if that makes you feel powerful… but I pointed out exactly what you pointed out—that intended use is what determines the best drive train choice.

Yeah ... maybe post here asking whether what you intend to post is worth posting .... that makes a lot of sense too. Whatever works for you.
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Old 06-08-19, 01:20 PM
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Good info...

Lots of good information - thanks. I have to agree Maelochs, my question wasn't very clear.

I mainly wanted feedback from those who have experience with 1X's and the type of riding they do. I have access to a state park with gravel trails and I'm thinking of buying a 1X cross bike to replace my old Trek triple but have reservations because of my age and diminishing strength and speed.

I'd also like to use it on the road occasionally though I already have a couple of road bikes. From responses here, although not optimal, I could use it on the road.
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Old 06-08-19, 01:27 PM
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You can absolutely use it on the road. The anti-1X crowd seldom provide genuine reasons that 1X shouldn't be considered as an option. If they like their 2X and 3X, that's great. Options are great. I do 10k miles and 400k vertical feet every year, and about 2/3 of those miles are on a CX frame with Rival 1. I ride that bike absolutely everywhere, and any limitations are purely my own and nothing to do with how many gears are on the bike.

And I've never once missed having a second ring in the front.
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Old 06-08-19, 03:14 PM
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@Carbonated: I cannot think of any reason 1x would Not work on the road except for people who pushed performance. A 1x system with 11 usable gears isn't that different than a 2x8 or 2x9 ... a few fewer options but unless you are hitting headwinds or chasing a paceline, the 1x should suffice.

I did some group rides with a couple guys on 1x systems. one guy on a CX bike was working pretty hard (or actually spinning really fast) because his chain ring was 46T and the group was all on 50-34 or 53-36 .... the other guy had a 1x Synapse and I guess the chain ring was bigger because he did alright ... though he moved up to a Cervelo S3 for group rides.

I have a 48-38-28 triple with a 14-34 on my touring bike and that is too low for road use for me .... I spend almost all my time in the top few cogs and coast on even slight downhills. It works, but it is not optimal. However if I were riding off-road I bet it would be fine.

Basically, there will be compromises with the 1x and only you can decide if they cramp your style.

I have since stopped doing group rides so I could probably move to 1x .... not any reason I would, because my legs, lungs, and heart are all so weak finding the right ratio can make a big difference. If you have the fitness you could make a 1x work quite well, I'd bet.

(I am trying to say, "Sorry for coming off like a Richard in the second post and thanks for being such a gentleman," without ever admitting I ever do anything wrong at all, ever. )
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Old 06-08-19, 03:29 PM
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Thanks Maelochs

Thanks for the feedback Maelochs and your kind words. I shouldn't have been a smart@$$ about it.
Wish we could have a beer or two together. I will have an extra one in your honor
Peace out!
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Old 06-08-19, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
You can absolutely use it on the road. The anti-1X crowd seldom provide genuine reasons that 1X shouldn't be considered as an option.
I honestly never gave it much thought until the kid got one with a 10-50T 12-speed cassette. The rear derailleurs seem to be not quite up to the challenge. I'm hoping Shimano's versions (SLX and XT are about to appear) are more robust. But my current impression is it just exchanges one set of problems for another.
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Old 06-09-19, 09:26 AM
  #24  
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I have no experience or even opinions with regards to 12-speed. I can say that SRAM appears to have 10 and 11 speed 1X well sussed out, because I have had zero problems over all of my miles.
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Old 06-09-19, 06:24 PM
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All of my bikes are now 1x's. I converted over any that had two or three rings. I can, and often do, any of my routes on a fixed gear bike. Why in the world would I need more than one ring while riding geared?

I don't need "range", I'd rather keep smaller gaps. I use tightly spaced cassettes and run a single 42-46 ring up front. Never having to bother with shifting and trimming a front D is an advantage to me. A triple can allow this, but a double never does. For me, it's the absolute worst of all choices.

If I was going touring in the mountains then yeah, I'd get a triple.

Really, it all comes down to knowing what gear ratios you want/prefer/need, and getting there however you like. It matters none what others ride or like if your systems work for you.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 06-09-19 at 06:27 PM.
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