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From Compact to 1x11

Old 07-18-17, 08:04 AM
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Donsell
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From Compact to 1x11

I'm moving from a road bike to a gravel bike.

My road bike is a 2x10, 50/34 11-28t. The gravel bike I'm looking at comes with a Sram 1x11 42 11-42t. It's quite a step up to move to the Sram Rival with 46/36 11-32t.

The riding I do is mostly country roads and trails, no huge climbs. The trails here are converted railroad tracks so they don't have anything very steep. I do some road with some steeper climbs.

What's the experience been for those that have moved from a compact double to a 1x? Do you wish you had more gearing on either end or are you happy with the switch?
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Old 07-18-17, 08:10 AM
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With such a wide range cassette, you should be fine in terms of gearing range.....the problem you may have is the wide gear spacing.

For pea gravel and punchy farm rollers...like lots of rural Nebraska gravel....you'll want that 1:1 ratio. OTOH for hard-pack rails-trails that are basically pan-flat, hard-pack MMR that aren't, and the odd road riding-you'll probably find yourself missing that goldilocks just right gear.
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Old 07-18-17, 08:43 AM
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As a guy with about 4,000 miles this year on 1x11 with 42/42, I agree with the post above-- total range is great, but you may notice a gap here and there... sometimes. People seem to assume that hills will be a drawback with 1X, but it has lower gearing than pretty much any compact double-- you almost never see anything lower than 34/32. There are moments here and there where the grade is just so, and I find myself say between the 15T and the 18T. One is a little too tough, the other is too easy to spin. But I'm not in a race, so I either slow down or speed up as the feeling motivates me.

As to more gearing, I both do and don't wish I had an XD driver, so I could fit the 10-42 cassette. It would be nice to have that little bit of extra for downhills (prepare to actually get to use your 11T cog, BTW-- I use mine every day) but it's wholly unnecessary. With 42/11, 100rpm is right around 32mph. And you know, I don't need to be pedaling beyond that. If the bike you're getting has the 1X Rival (that's what I run,) I think you're going to be quite pleased. That RD is just fantastic.

Oh, and lastly-- enjoy a really quiet drivetrain.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:02 PM
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It's an Apex 1, not a Rival. I'm looking at the stock Niner Steel bikes. The price difference between the Apex 1x and the Rival 2x is $700 which seems steep to me. My LBS will build whatever I want, but I haven't priced it with anything like a 105 group.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Donsell View Post
It's an Apex 1, not a Rival. I'm looking at the stock Niner Steel bikes. The price difference between the Apex 1x and the Rival 2x is $700 which seems steep to me. My LBS will build whatever I want, but I haven't priced it with anything like a 105 group.
You shopping at Method Cycles? Good bunch of eggs there. Also some good beer.

The SRAM pricing anywhere is rather whacked, IMHO. The other option rather than 1X is a sub-compact like the Praxis 48/32 or the FSA or IRD 46/30 cranks...both of which would get you narrow cog spacing and the same range of gearing (I use 46/30 with an 11-32 Di2). Although IIRC the Niners all tend to ship with PF30, so finding a PF30 sq-taper BB may be problematic.
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Old 07-18-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
You shopping at Method Cycles? Good bunch of eggs there. Also some good beer.

The SRAM pricing anywhere is rather whacked, IMHO. The other option rather than 1X is a sub-compact like the Praxis 48/32 or the FSA or IRD 46/30 cranks...both of which would get you narrow cog spacing and the same range of gearing (I use 46/30 with an 11-32 Di2). Although IIRC the Niners all tend to ship with PF30, so finding a PF30 sq-taper BB may be problematic.
I am shopping at Method! They are good guys. I haven't shopped too seriously as I'm trying to sell my Roubaix first. But it's hard not to plan.

How do you like your Carver? I could have a Ti All-Road build with 105s for a little less than the Ninner. I just can't ride it before I buy which is concerning.
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Old 07-18-17, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Donsell View Post
I am shopping at Method! They are good guys. I haven't shopped too seriously as I'm trying to sell my Roubaix first. But it's hard not to plan.

How do you like your Carver? I could have a Ti All-Road build with 105s for a little less than the Ninner. I just can't ride it before I buy which is concerning.
I love my Non Urban Assault Vehicle. Only complaint is the rear rack mount placement on the legs, which is something that Lynskey did for lord knows what reason (I suspect margin). I'm in LNK as well if you want to see it. Although high summer I'm only out and about on bike around dawn or at dusk due to heat and sun. Lately been playing with no racks and spare cages up front for Gravel Worlds, also played with the slider configuration to funny around with the rear center.

I got my Niner gravel fork from Method actually.

The Carver all road and GG are pretty close, especially given slider dropouts and choice of fork and headset. The spare tire clearance is quite nice. For most of the in-town rails/trails 35s are enough...but once you hit pea gravel out of town you'll want 40s IMHO. This year on Tour de Nebraska we had an optional gravel route. Day2, we had a lovely 15% hill with pea gravel--my 30/32 bailout was most certainly wanted. Course the MTB crew and their 4" tires were enjoying the pea gravel.
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Old 07-18-17, 04:05 PM
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Is that for hydro brakes? I went with mechanical levers because I already owned Hy/Rd brakes, but my whole Rival setup was about $325.
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Old 07-18-17, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Donsell View Post
It's an Apex 1, not a Rival. I'm looking at the stock Niner Steel bikes. The price difference between the Apex 1x and the Rival 2x is $700 which seems steep to me. My LBS will build whatever I want, but I haven't priced it with anything like a 105 group.
Something seems fishy. The price difference between Rival 2x and Apex 1x is (barring any massive unstated feature differences) going to be at most a couple hundred bucks. So the extra half-thousand dollars is coming from, what, adjusting a front derailleur?

There's a SRAM front shifting joke in here somewhere...
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Old 07-18-17, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Is that for hydro brakes? I went with mechanical levers because I already owned Hy/Rd brakes, but my whole Rival setup was about $325.
They're both hyrdo, the cheaper one Apex hydro, the more expensive Rival hydro. The other difference is the wheels. The Apex comes with Niner Alloy wheels and the Rival comes with Stan's NoTubes Grail which is probably a lot of the cost difference.
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Old 07-18-17, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Something seems fishy. The price difference between Rival 2x and Apex 1x is (barring any massive unstated feature differences) going to be at most a couple hundred bucks. So the extra half-thousand dollars is coming from, what, adjusting a front derailleur?

There's a SRAM front shifting joke in here somewhere...
There is also a significant wheel upgrade. I hadn't noticed that I was focused too much on the group set.
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Old 07-18-17, 05:19 PM
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I can't comment on the gear range difference between the compact double and a 1 x 11, but if you go with the 1 x setup I would recommend using a wide/narrow chain ring and a rear derailleur with a clutch.

My bike originally came with a Sram 1x9 with a guide for the standard 42 tooth chain ring and a non-clutch rear derailleur. I would occasionally drop the chain off the chain ring when shifting on bumpy roads or when going over bumps even when not shifting. I'm not talking about hard core trails, just the average county road in my area. Adjusting the chain guide had no effect, as the chain would "whip" and come off the bottom of the chain ring. There is never a convenient time to drop a chain.

I installed a Shimano 1x10 with a clutch RD, and a Wolf Drop-Stop wide/narrow chain ring with no chain guide. I haven't dropped a chain in close to 1000 miles since the change.

There are several companies making the wide/narrow chain rings now, I think including Sram. The bike you are looking at may already have this, but if it doesn't I would take it on an aggressive test ride to see that the chain stays put.
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Old 07-18-17, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordo View Post
I can't comment on the gear range difference between the compact double and a 1 x 11, but if you go with the 1 x setup I would recommend using a wide/narrow chain ring and a rear derailleur with a clutch.

My bike originally came with a Sram 1x9 with a guide for the standard 42 tooth chain ring and a non-clutch rear derailleur. I would occasionally drop the chain off the chain ring when shifting on bumpy roads or when going over bumps even when not shifting. I'm not talking about hard core trails, just the average county road in my area. Adjusting the chain guide had no effect, as the chain would "whip" and come off the bottom of the chain ring. There is never a convenient time to drop a chain.

I installed a Shimano 1x10 with a clutch RD, and a Wolf Drop-Stop wide/narrow chain ring with no chain guide. I haven't dropped a chain in close to 1000 miles since the change.

There are several companies making the wide/narrow chain rings now, I think including Sram. The bike you are looking at may already have this, but if it doesn't I would take it on an aggressive test ride to see that the chain stays put.
I'd read about that problem with 1x drive systems, but Sram says that they've solved it on the Apex 1 by using "X-Sync technology" and the rear derailer does have a clutch.

X-Sync technology

But the more I think about it, I'll probably spend more and get the Rival 2x. I want this to be an all-road bike, so why not have all the gears I'd need for all roads?
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Old 07-18-17, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Donsell View Post
What's the experience been for those that have moved from a compact double to a 1x? Do you wish you had more gearing on either end or are you happy with the switch?
I haven't moved to 1x, but I've tested 1x systems and I've owned bikes with some similar gearing characteristics to current 1x11 systems.

As far as the low-end gearing goes, the 1x11 actually provides a lower granny than your current road double. That's not a "1x vs 2x" thing so much as a gravel vs road thing. If you run out of low gears on a steep gravel hill and your form becomes choppy as your cadence drops, the rear wheel can have traction issues on the loose surface. So, gravel bikes tend to be equipped with lower bottom gears than more traditional road bikes.

For high-end gearing, that's where this 1x11 tops out much sooner than a compact road double. Actually, the high gear is very similar to what many road bikes of the vintage steel era would have had.
For solo rides this usually isn't a huge deal unless you're chasing descent KOMs; on 40mph+ descents it takes a lot of power to squeeze out small speed gains, so it's often more efficient to just tuck and coast at these times than try to pedal.
There are some compromises, however:
1-When I'm resting on a downhill, I sometimes like to turn the pedals gently against high gear, rather than let my legs just hang.
2-It's pretty awesome, in a paceline, to be one of the cool people who pedals the descents hard enough that the group doesn't need to string out or drag their brakes down the hill. And it's much harder to do that if you're spinning 150rpm.
3-In a paceline, sometimes you just plain have to deliver power on the descents to avoid being dropped. Maybe it's because the person at the front is an epic descender who wants to sprint, maybe it's because someone showed up on a tandem. But it's easier to deal with when you're not spinning 150rpm.

The other concern is gear spacing. Gears are spaced - on average - more than 40% wider on an 11-42 cassette than an 11-28 cassette. And the increase in spacing shows up biggest at road flat-ground cruising speeds, where people tend to be the pickiest about their cadences. If you end up in the middle of a 14% gearing step, it can feel like the bike is telling you how fast you should be riding.
It's less of an issue at lower intensities, since we're farther away from our thresholds for comfortable torque and cadences, but can be annoying when dropping the hammer.

Originally Posted by Donsell View Post
I'd read about that problem with 1x drive systems, but Sram says that they've solved it on the Apex 1 by using "X-Sync technology" and the rear derailer does have a clutch.

X-Sync technology
X-Sync is SRAM's bizarre marketing term for their narrow-wide chainring shape.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:19 PM
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The riding I do is mostly country roads and trails, no huge climbs. The trails here are converted railroad tracks so they don't have anything very steep. I do some road with some steeper climbs.

What's the experience been for those that have moved from a compact double to a 1x? Do you wish you had more gearing on either end or are you happy with the switch?[/QUOTE]

Ride 2000-3000 km each year on a 1x10 set up, while officially a road bike - the roads are mostly rural dirt and some paved roads. There are A fair number of hills in Vt. Have 11-36 cassette with 39 t chainring. I get around quite well, once in a while I would like a lower gear, not sure I would really use something higher. A couple years ago the deraileur snapped off and the chain whipping around trashed a spoke, cassette was due for replacement- looked at switching to just the 11 spd set OP mentioned- decided the cost wasn't worth it. Pretty happy with my set up.
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