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Flatbar 1 x 9, 10, or 11 with 18 gear inches granny?

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Flatbar 1 x 9, 10, or 11 with 18 gear inches granny?

Old 05-06-20, 12:01 PM
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MrJames67 
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Flatbar 1 x 9, 10, or 11 with 18 gear inches granny?

Hi, does anyone make one of these out of the box, with flat handlebar? It's my lightweight perfect dream bike for here in the mountains. 700c, no shocks, 1 x 9 or 10 or 11: a single 22 to 28T chainring and a 11-32 or 11-42 cassette.

My older Trek Fuel 90 MTB triple has a granny gear of 22T x 32 in back. Yes, it's only 4.5 mph at 85 cadence, but I prefer staying on the bike than hike-a-bike walk. And this allows me to do so with few stops. But it's a heavy bike and I'd prefer a light one with single chainring. Carbon might be nice, not so much for the minimal weight savings; I've just never had one. A 28 x 42 setup would be okay as would a 22 x 32. And whichever derailleur would work reliably with the setup. Could be a 9 speed. Or 10 or 11. Irrelevant. I also could convert an existing light bike perhaps without too much expense maybe..

Any and all suggestions, please.Twenty gear inches is my maximum on this, and 18 gear inches as I have now on the heavy bike is ideal for my hills. I'll be 75 in a few weeks. Thanks.
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Old 05-06-20, 01:18 PM
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Would this be for road or off road? I have a mountain bike with a 28 in front and a 46 big cog in back. It's pretty low.
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Old 05-06-20, 05:43 PM
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I've seen stuff like that, MTBs, but never paid attention to brands, etc. I'm sure it's out there.
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Old 05-07-20, 04:01 AM
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On roads. I already have two full suspension MTBs with very low gears. That's what I need here.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:19 AM
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There are so many options, depending on your budget. Canyon is doing well right now. Here is just one. It has a 34x34 low gear but I'm sure you could go lower if need be. Plus, it looks hot. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/hybrid-...accordions=1_1
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Old 05-07-20, 10:25 AM
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Fezzari is another option. You could ask them if they could put lower gearing on it, they offer custom builds in some of their bikes.
https://www.fezzari.com/holidaysale/murdock
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Old 05-07-20, 10:30 AM
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I'd select whatever wide range 1x bike you like (even if stock it doesn't go as low as you prefer), then get the chainring you need to get the low gear you want. Requiring 18 gear inches out-of-the-box seems unnecessarily restrictive, IMO.
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Old 05-07-20, 10:43 AM
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You could get a gravel type frame and have them build it however you want.
https://www.competitivecyclist.com/r...NDYXQxMDA1MDg=
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Old 05-07-20, 11:08 AM
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This Trek has a 30x36 low. You might have to go with a mountain bike and switch to road wheels or go custom to get super low gears.
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...orCode=reddark
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Old 05-07-20, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I'd select whatever wide range 1x bike you like (even if stock it doesn't go as low as you prefer), then get the chainring you need to get the low gear you want. Requiring 18 gear inches out-of-the-box seems unnecessarily restrictive, IMO.
Probably have to change the crank to get super low. The ones I looked at had 34 minimum ring or 30 in some cases. The rear are 34 or 36. To get the mtb gearing you probably have to use mtb parts. If I was doing it I would look at custom gearing on that Canyon, just because I like the way it looks.
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Old 05-07-20, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I'd select whatever wide range 1x bike you like (even if stock it doesn't go as low as you prefer), then get the chainrings or crankset you need to get the low gear you want. Requiring 18 gear inches out-of-the-box seems unnecessarily restrictive, IMO.
This!

Since nobody makes a road bike (since you want light) with the gearing you want, and for good reason, Your best option IMO is to buy something like the Giant Fastroad and have the dealer install the proper chainrings or crankset to get down to the 18 - 20 gear inches you want.

If you swap out a 26 x 2.3" knobby mountain bike tire with a 1.75 - 1.95" semi slick properly inflated for road use on a mountain bike, you can significantly reduce rolling resistance improving both hill climbing and accelerating from a stop.

You might also consider an e-bike if you budget permits. If I needed 18 gear inches on a road bike, I would buy one.

I need 21 gear inches on my 35lb comfort bike to climb a pretty steep hill of loose stone and soft gravel, but on pavement I seldom use 36 gear inches for hills. The stock gearing on Giant's road bikes, and probably most other reputable manufactures is much less then that and should be enough for 99% of their customers.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 05-07-20 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 05-07-20, 11:57 PM
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An 18" low gear is fine and attainable but a 1x? with an 18" low ... what is the high? I don't really want to know!
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Old 05-08-20, 07:50 AM
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Specialized makes a flatbar Diverge, but the crank chainring is 40T: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/sh...ge#result-list
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Old 05-08-20, 08:46 AM
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It seems you could do a 50-34 crank set with a 42-tooth pie-plate max cog and get 21 gear inches. (BikeCalc.com - Bicycle Gear Inches Chart) and 20 inches with a 48-32 crank set. 46-30 gets you a range 18.7--110 gear-inches ... and I believe you can get 46 teeth or more for the rear.

Not sure you would want to do all your riding with a 1x sporting a 34-tooth chain ring. You would get about 72 inches tops ..... which is about the middle of the cassette for a 50-34 ... it is about equivalent to a 50x19? (no clue if I am reading the chart right) which is actually a fair cruising gear if you aren't a speed demon ... or if you like a 120 cadence ....

I can't see getting there with a 1x without tremendous compromise ... but what would be compromise for me might be perfection for you.

I would probably consider a 46-30x11-42 or something if I lived in that kind of terrain ....
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Old 05-08-20, 09:00 AM
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This thread (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-c...brid-bike.html) came up on another page on this site.
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Old 05-10-20, 09:57 AM
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Thank you everyone, for your ideas and suggestions. I was hoping maybe but not expecting, some manufacturer would build a ready-made bike for people like me who are almost always coasting downhill or climbing. A lightweight 1X climbing flatbar road bike with hydraulic brakes. I'm guessing most people in the USA are probably pedaling level or near so much of the time. I'm the opposite. What I want is a 28T chain ring and an 11-42 cassette. This gives me 17.7 gear inches, 4 mph @ 85 cadence on the 42 and 17 mph at the same cadence on the 11 when riding on level ground. I don't need more speed than that where I ride-. I'm not a group rider, and I coast down at about 30 mph tops which is plenty quick on a bicycle. For genuine fast I could get another Honda CBR600 that topped out at 145 mph. Only in my dreams of course in high desert or remote interstates out west. I already have two older quality full suspension mountain bikes with that low gearing which are fairly heavy, and a Raleigh road bike with very low gearing and drop bars. No more drop bars for me. Partly because of the wildlife in the rural areas I ride, jumping out of ditches and culvert pipes, and deer who need to run out of the woods ahead of me. Or so they think. Several close calls. I have to have my hands on the brakes at all times. In short, a lightweight flatbar climbing bike, for which I guess manufacturers see no market worth building for at present. Money is an object . I'm waiting to hear from Specialized who seems in no hurry to respond, if a Sirrus Expert Carbon can do a 28T x 11-42 without the chain hitting the frame. Would consider it, depending upon the extra cost of alterations. Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-20, 03:49 PM
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Do you object to a triple crank? You could just leave it in the granny gear if that's what you really want.

Back in 2013, I bought a Trek 520. It's a touring bike and came with mountain bike gearing: 48-36-26 rings and 11-32 cogs. I used it on the FANY ride that year and had to walk several hills. So, swapped the cogs for 12-36 and replaced the small ring with a 22 tooth ring. Everything worked fine. Haven't walked a hill since. It has a 17 inch low gear, just what you want. I've ordered the 2020 Trek 520 and expect to make the same change.

- Ed
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Old 05-13-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MrJames67 View Post
Thank you everyone, for your ideas and suggestions. I was hoping maybe but not expecting, some manufacturer would build a ready-made bike for people like me who are almost always coasting downhill or climbing. A lightweight 1X climbing flatbar road bike with hydraulic brakes. I'm guessing most people in the USA are probably pedaling level or near so much of the time. I'm the opposite. What I want is a 28T chain ring and an 11-42 cassette. This gives me 17.7 gear inches, 4 mph @ 85 cadence on the 42 and 17 mph at the same cadence on the 11 when riding on level ground. I don't need more speed than that where I ride-. I'm not a group rider, and I coast down at about 30 mph tops which is plenty quick on a bicycle. For genuine fast I could get another Honda CBR600 that topped out at 145 mph. Only in my dreams of course in high desert or remote interstates out west. I already have two older quality full suspension mountain bikes with that low gearing which are fairly heavy, and a Raleigh road bike with very low gearing and drop bars. No more drop bars for me. Partly because of the wildlife in the rural areas I ride, jumping out of ditches and culvert pipes, and deer who need to run out of the woods ahead of me. Or so they think. Several close calls. I have to have my hands on the brakes at all times. In short, a lightweight flatbar climbing bike, for which I guess manufacturers see no market worth building for at present. Money is an object . I'm waiting to hear from Specialized who seems in no hurry to respond, if a Sirrus Expert Carbon can do a 28T x 11-42 without the chain hitting the frame. Would consider it, depending upon the extra cost of alterations. Thanks again.
Bicycle weight is meaningless and irrelevant. Disc brakes are heavy. Hydraulic disc brakes are very heavy. Manufacturers do make what you want but it won't have disc brakes. I've seen at least a couple of SRAM Eagle (12sp) 1x 11-50 bikes in the ~25lb range. Something with an 11-40/42 is also easily attainable but you may have to do some work customizing something with a 2x10 drivetrain. I'm hanged if I can see cutting off one's nose to spite one's face to save weight by jettisoning chainrings and front derailleurs. What do YOU weigh* is the question that has not been asked. It matters.
*none of my business, rhetorical (though relevant) question.
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Old 05-13-20, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Bicycle weight is meaningless and irrelevant. Disc brakes are heavy. Hydraulic disc brakes are very heavy. Manufacturers do make what you want but it won't have disc brakes. I've seen at least a couple of SRAM Eagle (12sp) 1x 11-50 bikes in the ~25lb range. Something with an 11-40/42 is also easily attainable but you may have to do some work customizing something with a 2x10 drivetrain. I'm hanged if I can see cutting off one's nose to spite one's face to save weight by jettisoning chainrings and front derailleurs. What do YOU weigh* is the question that has not been asked. It matters.
*none of my business, rhetorical (though relevant) question.
Bicycle weight is important to people who do a lot of climbing. A few grams may be irrelevant but a few pounds carried up thousands of feet will take a toll. Disc brakes may be heavier than rim brakes but disc brake bikes can be 15 pounds, or less. It's all about the money at that point.
He asked about a 1x system because he has had success with 1x set ups on his mtb.
The Canyon I linked above is around 18 pounds and I think the gearing could be swapped to his specs, but I could be wrong. The mtb frameset I linked could definitely be built up to his specs.
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Old 05-13-20, 06:24 PM
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I weigh 146. I already have six bikes, 2 with very low granny already. Two of my bikes have disk brakes, one of which is hydraulic. Love it, would never go back. And I have no problem with front derailleurs. What I was asking about would just be a fun climbing bike, unlike all the others. I have never had anything but triple chainrings, other than 3 speed hubs. I keep everything tuned up, no problems. I've never had a carbon bike, so that would be nice to see what they're like. It's not for the slight weight savings, just a different feel and sound. And the lightest bike I have is 25.0 pounds. So I'd like to try a lightweight. And of course it makes a difference uphills that can be 2 miles or more. I like that Canyon that big john mentioned earlier in this thread. A great bike especially for the money. But it uses a 105 derailleur which I am told can only handle a 34 tooth max cassette. I will contact Canyon to ask if what I want would work, and the cost for doing it.

While I'm at it, am I that odd in what I want for long hills? Can most of you in this group climb a mile or more without stopping or walking part way in your lowest gear?
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Old 05-13-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by groth View Post
Do you object to a triple crank? You could just leave it in the granny gear if that's what you really want.

Back in 2013, I bought a Trek 520. It's a touring bike and came with mountain bike gearing: 48-36-26 rings and 11-32 cogs. I used it on the FANY ride that year and had to walk several hills. So, swapped the cogs for 12-36 and replaced the small ring with a 22 tooth ring. Everything worked fine. Haven't walked a hill since. It has a 17 inch low gear, just what you want. I've ordered the 2020 Trek 520 and expect to make the same change.

- Ed
I like your solution. I almost bought a 520 a few years ago. I already have two mountain bikes with the low gearing I am asking about. But I'd like to try a carbon bike, I've never had one. And I'd like to try a 1 X 11 or 12 because I've never had one. And it has to be a flatbar with hydraulic discs.
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Old 05-13-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MrJames67 View Post

While I'm at it, am I that odd in what I want for long hills? Can most of you in this group climb a mile or more without stopping or walking part way in your lowest gear?
I stand corrected in that I thought you had a 1x, I thought you got that granny that way.
Not sure I understand your question though. I can climb long climbs but I do use my low gear, 34x29, if it gets steep. I always climb about 300,000 feet per year in 5-6000 miles. I have a friend older than I who climbs 600,000 feet per year.
A 10 mile climb is not a problem if it doesn't get ridiculously steep. The longest climb I've done was 35 miles with a 1 mile descent in the middle. The top was 8300 foot elevation and I got a little sick to my stomach.

Last edited by big john; 05-13-20 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 05-13-20, 11:07 PM
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Consider buying a Chinese CF frame, a 12-speed drive train with a pie-plate large cog, and disc brakes .... or look into using a Wolf's Tooth with the 105 set-up on the Canyon. https://www.wolftoothcomponents.com/...ts/roadlink-dm

With the Wold Tooth Road Link you could run the 42-tooth large cog and the rest of the stock 105 drive train.
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Old 05-14-20, 05:26 AM
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Thanks for all these good ideas. I like that RoadLink derailleur extender to fit a 42T to the 105. Nice. Yet without changing the chain ring as well, it won't get me well under 20 gear inches. Boo hoo. As for doing my own buildup from a frame, I don't want to monkey around with what amounts to experimenting and no warranty, and cost of individual components. And definitely not my time. I'm 75 with plenty of projects and don't need another with only a few years remaining. That's why I want a ready-built with a minor mod acceptable. Groth with his modded Trek 520 has the gearing I want. As for skinnier tires, on my best mountain bike, A Trek 90 fuel disc, I've used it for years for local riding and climbing, running Ritchey Tom Slick 1.0 inch tires, and that works fine.

Here's what Canyon replied to my query:
We are not set up to customize the bikes so they will ship as spec'd on the website.
Additionally, while Shimano does not advise using a 24T chainring with their components, we have not tested our Roadlite with this set up to ensure there is enough clearance for the chain.

(Seems they could pull out a straightedge or string and eyeball it in a minute, but maybe not)

Looking at almost all of the fitness bikes I see online, and plugging their specs into the calculator, to my mind it seems that most are about 26 gear inches at their lowest, which I gather is supposed to be plenty low for climbing hills while maintaining or getting some of that fitness. I don't understand that, unless one is already very fit or riding mostly on flats. I have twenty years practice on getting that fitness at my gym for 2-3 hours on the 3 days I go. I am a recreational rider only in a cold snowy climate, almost nothing but hills. I ride for fun, some cardio, sightseeing, and never in a hurry. My longest rides are usually no more than fifty miles in a day and typically no more than ten. Builds up an appetite at first light for breakfast. But a couple of minutes on climbs with 26 gear inches and I have to stop because the muscles give out, even though my pulse is not over 115. Suggestions from others here on another thread and practice since, have improved my ability considerably. But nonstop for a mile at 26 gear inches? No sir. I have to stop and recover.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:48 AM
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I won't question your gear choices, it seems like you know what you want. It's a shame Canyon wasn't more flexible. You could try Fezzari, just to see what they say.
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