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Drivetrain change

Old 11-16-21, 08:00 AM
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exercion
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Drivetrain change

I'm considering (ok ok lusting after) a new bike, gravel style with attachment points for panniers, etc. Looking gard at the Diverge. Here's my question: for the last 30 years or so. I've ridden bikes with triples exclusively. Considering changing to a 2x is a big step for me, but a lot of these come as a 1x....and the last time I had a single up front was on a BMX bike. Has anyone else made a transition like that? If so, do you like it, how was the adjustment period, any regrets? I freely admit I'm not a big fan of change (my daily driver car turns 34 this year) but I am sorta open to the idea. Yes, riding them is the best way to tell, but with the current lack of bikes, combined with me needing a tiny frame, the options to test ride some are few and far between. So I figured I'd toss this out there.


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Old 11-16-21, 08:15 AM
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A few years ago I switched from a triple road crank to a double (2 x 9) on a gravel bike. Most of my cycling has been touring, but I've never used less than a 1:1 ratio. As I got older, I lightened my touring load substantially, and used the small ring so seldom, the switch to a double made sense. The new gravel bike is 34/32 in low, so it's close enough for me. The 16-tooth step took a little getting used to, just an extra down shift in the rear sometimes. The 50/11 gives me a decent high gear as well. I would miss that with a single.
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Old 11-16-21, 01:48 PM
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You usually can get a wider range of gearing with more possible combinations on a 3x. However you won't find a high tier 3x for 11 or more speed rears.

You might find the range you need on a 2x bike, but you also might loose some in between ratios that let you hold a particular speed comfortably when riding with others.

At least that's what I get out of it. I've never needed a 3x. But I'm not carrying loaded panniers and riding through gravel either.
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Old 11-16-21, 02:47 PM
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I started out with triples but went with 2x when compact cranks became popular and itís worked really well for me. I can get all the gearing I need out of a 2x. I havenít looked at a 1x but if I could get an easiest enough gear Iíd certainly go with it.

A buddy of mine running an 11 sp 50/34 Ultegra crank recently removed his mid cage rear derailleur and replaced it with a XTR MTB derailleur. He also added a Wolftooth Roadlink and installed an11-42 MTB cassette. Doing something like that should get you plenty of gears for a loaded bike. Heck you could also install a 46/30 crank.

Anyway you can get plenty of gearing on a 2x setup. My brother really likes his Diverge and I enjoy my Lynskey Titanium Gravel bike. It has grommets for racks.
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Old 11-16-21, 03:31 PM
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I run 2x6 on my (vintage) road bikes, but could happily switch to 2x7, 3x6, or 3x7, and I use 3x8 on my mountain bike, which also serves as my gravel bike. The 1x systems do not interest me. With a 2x half-step, I can use the rear derailleur for most shifting, then fine-tune with the front when needed. With a 2x 1.5-step, I can do the same, as well as dump the chain to the small ring when approaching a climb or a red light or an incline.

I don't need more than 96 gear-inches on a road bike, and I have a 100-inch top gear (46/12) on the mountain bike, having just switched from 48-40 to 46-38, which will facilitate a planned switch from a 28 to a 26, or even 24, granny ring. (When I used it in the past, the 24-40 shift proved a little too delicate for use in a quick gear change.)
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Old 11-16-21, 03:46 PM
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I do have a bike with a triple that I rarely ride, not due to the triple. I live in a very flat area and do not need extremes for either the cassette or crank set. My favorite crank set up now is 48/36 for crankset and 13-30 for the cassette. If I travel and have climbs to do, that will pretty much cover anything I am likely to be riding. It is easy enough to switch out the cassette if the need arises. Also, my favorite bike to ride has a crank set that I can easily switch the chain rings to larger or smaller. In the end, is it worth the cost to you to give it a try
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Old 11-16-21, 05:49 PM
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I'm seeing compact doubles with 40T cassettes being used by 65 y.o. relatively strong singles riders, not even touring, just to climb at a good cadence. At 76, my low gear is 26 X 30. I think that's a lot better than 34 X 40. That's the same bike on which I used a 30 X 25 at 55. It's a good stiff carbon bike, same frame Lance won his first TDF on, 18.5 lbs. all up.
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Old 11-16-21, 07:01 PM
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I think I find the idea of a 1x strange to ride: shifting only one end instead of both, especially when I'm very tuned to shifting multiple front rings. Not looking to haul heavy loads, when I travel I travel fairly light unless I'm also hauling my camera gear along. Overall gear range is easy to come by, as mentioned above the super wide ranges of some rears, but then I have to wonder how it is to ride with such necessarily large steps from cog to cog. I'm guessing that requires a bit different approach to gear selection vs. terrain. I have a certain cadence range that I find very comfortable and can sustain for long periods of time, and with close gearing it makes for nice tuning of speed/cadence. A wide step between I think would feel odd.
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Old 11-16-21, 08:00 PM
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I think 1X is a hip filter from the MTB world, where it is quite appropriate. Doing single track, there aren't many long, even climbs where one needs to fine tune the gear. What is needed instead is reliable instant shifting and 1X is perfect for that. For road cycling, I want my low gear-inches as close together as I can get them as my best climbing cadence range is small and gets smaller as I tire on long climbs.
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Old 11-16-21, 10:10 PM
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Two years ago I went from a 3x to 2x when I bought my Diverge. I'm very happy with the Diverge and for my riding, 2x works perfectly.
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Old 11-16-21, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by exercion View Post
I'm considering (ok ok lusting after) a new bike, gravel style with attachment points for panniers, etc. Looking gard at the Diverge. Here's my question: for the last 30 years or so. I've ridden bikes with triples exclusively. Considering changing to a 2x is a big step for me, but a lot of these come as a 1x....and the last time I had a single up front was on a BMX bike. Has anyone else made a transition like that? If so, do you like it, how was the adjustment period, any regrets? I freely admit I'm not a big fan of change (my daily driver car turns 34 this year) but I am sorta open to the idea. Yes, riding them is the best way to tell, but with the current lack of bikes, combined with me needing a tiny frame, the options to test ride some are few and far between. So I figured I'd toss this out there.
Eric
so if you have a triple, Mid ring is a 42 or 39 ? If 39, then you can get a 'guess' by riding your current bike ONLY using the Mid-ring... you didn;t say how many on the cassette...
and what your current cog range is...
But some things I note on the Diverge - 40 chainring, 11,13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40 - cassette 'sounds' like you'd be able to pull stumps... until you put it on a gear chart...
on the low end 40x40 is only a 34+ inch gear.... If I had panniers with just a little bit extra weight, a 34 would have me out of the saddle often, on a longer climb with some 10% + sections...
a 34 inch gear is fine with just the bike weight... but add a little, and it gets harder...
you do have Central-Pa in your profile, so do you ride mostly North-south, or do you also go East-west-east occasionally ?
40x11 is 125 inches, effectively useless for me, so my first gear would actually be a 13... so 10 spd... not 11
only 3 cogs in the 65 to 85 inch gear range - 17, 19, 21 - where I spend most of my time these days... if you consider from high 40 inch to 88 inch you can also include the 24 & 27....
not much selection for my money...
OP, I thank you for asking your Q ! I really hadn't thought much about 1x for a combo paved and dirt road bike (which I have thought about...).... 1x is definitely a non-starter for me...
Ride On
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 11-16-21 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-21, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
But some things I note on the Diverge - 40 chainring, 11,13,15,17,19,21,24,27,31,35,40 - cassette 'sounds' like you'd be able to pull stumps... until you put it on a gear chart...
on the low end 40x40 is only a 34+ inch gear

...40x11 is 125 inches, effectively useless for me...
I'm not following your math. a 40/40 gear is 1/1 and on a 26.5" drive wheel that's a 26.5" gear. Conversely, a 40/11 gear on the same wheel is (40*26.5)/11=96.3" Are you saying you have a 34" drive wheel on your Diverge?
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Old 11-17-21, 09:04 AM
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Never rode a triple. Started out with a compact double when I got back into cycling in 2010. I'm 65. Currently my gravel bike has a 31 - 30 low gear, which works fine, and a cassette change could take it to 31 -34. If I ever need anything lower than that, I'm probably ready for an e-bike.
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Old 11-17-21, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I'm not following your math. a 40/40 gear is 1/1 and on a 26.5" drive wheel that's a 26.5" gear. Conversely, a 40/11 gear on the same wheel is (40*26.5)/11=96.3" Are you saying you have a 34" drive wheel on your Diverge?
oh! You're right ! I was off... I have my gear charts on a spreadsheet and was looking for my cross setup which used a 2135 circum.= 28mm tire and I must have input the wrong wheel diameter - also noting that the gravel tire is 38mm... not 28mm...
so yes, gear inch range looks better when corrected... 11-40 range of 100 inch down to 27.5 inch, for a 700 x 38 wheel/tire - circum. of 2200 mm. or a bit over 27.5 wheel diameter.
WHy were you using 26.5 wheel ???
The correct range does look very weighted for 'climbing'. or dirt road progress - don;t think I'd like it for any paved road riding... But that's the nature of the stepping in the smaller cog size range...
I guess I want my cake and eat it too (I never quite understood that 'saying' LOL!)
so 'mea culpa' on the earlier gear interpretation....
But I still want a better overall range... so I'm gonna stay with a 2x crank setup.
my original thinking on 'multi-purpose bike, was similiar to what I had with my long gone cross bike - outer ring and cassette (freewheel, LOL) for 'paved' and inner ring for climbing/dirt....
around here in SB area, we don't really have much 'dirt' road, at least not without really steep sections , heavy cross ruts, rock ledging, etc. They are mostly Fire break/'forest roads' .
Much better suited for mtb duty bikes...
I'm trying to not 'drive' distance, just to 'ride'... We do have a bunch of stuff which is way knarly and way over my head... LOL!
I guess I could go ride on the desert... ... ... ... nah ....
Ride On Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 11-17-21 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 11-17-21, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
But some things I note on the Diverge - 40 chainring,..
Not all Diverges come as 1x. My Diverge is 2x with 34 and 48T chainrongs. Works great for my rides.
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Old 11-17-21, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
Not all Diverges come as 1x. My Diverge is 2x with 34 and 48T chainrongs. Works great for my rides.
Thx
I was mostly addressing the OP's Q about 1x - also as an option for me...
Good to know there are 2x Diverge out there.
Not to divert from OP's Qs... as clarification. My considerations do not include 'New Bike' Some things like chains, tires, cables call for 'new', but otherwise during Y2K, I decided to 'recycle/reuse' as much as possible... Stuff already made. Tyring to be as much 'environmentalist' as I can...
trying to be as much "leave no footprint', no box for me, telling my kids I want my dust to be put into the garden...
... so, my options... remote possible - buy someone's 'pre-owned' bike.... other option - repurpose an '05 Roubaix, I already have... with cyclocross/gravel tires on wheels I already have, get an appropriate cassette for either the 3x I have or a 2x compact I have, with low cog near 32ish...
Roubaix only goes out when shopping/inclement weather/riding with social groups... has a rack, could have fenders easily.
Thought about 1x... but it's limiting... for me...
If I buy someone's bike, the Roubaix would be sold...
...back to OP's topics...
Thanks again
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 11-23-21, 04:34 AM
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I went TO a triple recently, not because I needed more gears, but because I needed a chainring smaller than my Campy 42T. However, I just recently made it up a certain hill in my 42/28, so maybe I don't need it now as much as I thought I did. But, there are steeper hills too.
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Old 11-23-21, 11:07 PM
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4 years ago I bought a mountain bike with a 1x and I think it's great but I don't need a high gear on the dirt.

On a road bike I don't see an advantage to a 1x set up. With a 12 speed cassette you can get a wide range but will have gaps. I think a 2 ring crank is better for road.
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Old 11-26-21, 04:31 PM
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All my touring has been with 52/46 front and a 14-28T rear cogs. Going over the sierras I would change out the 28 for a 30T cog. My wife has a triple front chainring but she only uses two of them. What I like about a 2x drivetrain is that when I start up a hill I can change to the smaller front chainring and not miss a beat. I have a lot more control than with a 1x where I need to look at the shifter to see what new lower gear the bike is in while hitting a grade.
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Old 11-27-21, 09:00 PM
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I got ride of the 2x9 driveline on my bike, and switched to a 1x11 using an MTB rear cassette and derailleur. I live in the hilly part of Tokyo, and rides to the west coast of Japan involve a fair amount of climbing, so a wide range of gears is necessary. I find it easier to shift up and down with a 1x system, and the bike is cleaner without the extra shifter, cable, derailleur and chainrings of a 2x or 3x driveline.
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Old 11-27-21, 10:57 PM
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I've been riding a double for years, 50/34 paired with 11/34 rear. Not loaded touring - bike commuting with a pannier carrying 10-20 lbs. depending on the day. I could never imagine going back to a triple...too complicated.

My Mountain Bike is a 1x12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain 32 up front, 10/50 rear. It's the bomb. If I was buying a gravel bike, I would go with this setup like this. Maybe swap out for a slightly larger front ring. You won't need the top-end riding gravel, but you'll appreciate the shifting simplicity of a 1x drivetrain.
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Old 11-28-21, 06:34 PM
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I will never go back to a triple gearing system ever again. I just switched my hybrid from a 3x9 to a 1x11 system a few months ago. I use it mainly on rails to trails, canal trails and so forth. I don't go fast with it or do any overly steep climbing. Having a 11-42 11 speed in rear and 36 chainring has been great for my riding on this bike.

My two mountain bikes...yea...won't ever switch away from a 1x system. So much easier to quickly shift and not have to work about two derailleurs to get to an optimal gear.

But for a Diverge, I can see wanting a 2x system to get the speed when the rider is on a road and yet able to drop down to the smaller chainring on steep hills.
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Old 12-01-21, 10:48 AM
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It is hilly once I leave the coast in my area.
So, on my training bike I have been using a compact (34X50) with the lowest gear at 34X30 from 34X28 a few years ago. I am converting this bike to 34X32 to ease-up on my knees as they get older. I am trying to aim at 60rpm on the steep sections. Now with the 34X30 I am at 54--60rpm.
On my other bike I use for racing (1 or 2 races a year now) and Brevets I have a 34X32 which I am increasing to 34X34. When you are tired you need a low gear to climb the steep sections. Some 200k Brevets have 3500-4000m ascent with extended climbs towards the end.
As I get older I have to use a lower gear to climb the same hills.
The important thing is to save yr knees.
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Old 12-25-21, 08:20 AM
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Enter some of the drivetrain options into Sheldon's gear calculator. It helps visualize the details of gaps/overlaps of different gearing options.

It's no road test, but a big step up from feelings or guesses.
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Old 12-26-21, 04:33 PM
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As with so many things, whether this will work for you depends on your situation. What kind of riding do you do? How hilly is it? How powerful are you?

One of my bikes has a 2x9 drivetrain. A 1x12 would give me the same number of usable ratios, but that bike is also overgeared for me as it is. Another bike has 2x11 with 46/30 x 11-30. I spend almost all of my time in the big ring on that bike, but when I need the easy gears, it's nice to have them. The 1:1 low gear has been adequate for everything I've run into so far, but it wouldn't be hard to change that to be 10% lower.
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