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Are 1X the future of road cycling?

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Are 1X the future of road cycling?

Old 09-04-17, 07:34 PM
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Doge
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Are 1X the future of road cycling?

I noticed this weekend that several of our active bikes don't have but one front ring.

Hill bike - 1X - Di2 FD removed. DA rings in parts bin.
MTB/Gravel road bike - now 1X
TT bike - 1X
Next on the block DI2 Venge yet another Di2 FD and rings joining the parts bin as well.

Not counting the fixie, track bikes etc.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:04 PM
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I hope I can go 12 speed "out of the box" in a few years when I get my next bike. Why even pay for a small ring and FD and related shift cables if you don't need it. It would probably save a nice amount of weight for the weight weenies but also add simplicity without loss of gear choices for my riding needs.

I guess the rear would be 11-30 and a 46 front. It would give me enough to push on flats (113 gear inches) and a small enough gear (41 gear inches) to do most hills. I do my best to avoid severe terrain and I'll be in my late 50's in three years when I anticipate the new bike. I mostly use the big ring now so I already am using a 9 speed.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I noticed this weekend that several of our active bikes don't have but one front ring.

Hill bike - 1X - Di2 FD removed. DA rings in parts bin.
MTB/Gravel road bike - now 1X
TT bike - 1X
Next on the block DI2 Venge yet another Di2 FD and rings joining the parts bin as well.

Not counting the fixie, track bikes etc.
No.

Just an added option for buyers. But The 2x11 is still needed for lots of riders or bikes that see different terrain.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:17 PM
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Maybe. Twenty two are a lot of gears. My 2x7 was just fine in terms of number of gears. I don't think I'd mind losing two or three more. On the other hand, what's the point?
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Old 09-04-17, 08:17 PM
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I know a crit rider who has forgone his small ring, and for that type of riding, I think it makes sense. Really, for flat land riding period, I think I'd consider doing the same since I'm only in my small ring when I'm on a sustained climb. Chainline would need to be dialed though. I tried 1x earlier this year, and my chain would jump down to higher gears on the cassette if I backpedalled.


After riding 7 speed for a couple years, I would probably get along fine on the wide range 11 speed cassettes that we have now. 10-42 would probably be plenty of range with a 42t ring.


However, I've heard enough road riders complain about their gear spacing, that I don't see it ever catching on for anyone that wants to anything more than flat riding.


Wouldn't surprise me to see 12 speed cassettes coming along, and a 1x SRAM version will probably be first. But I'd bet there's still a double attached once they become mainstream.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:19 PM
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I'm of two minds regarding 1x. I was kind of keen on getting one, and now that I have it, although I realize its advantages with its mega range cassette (11-42), in a way, I don't like the mega range cassette. For one thing, it's big and ugly. And honestly, as long as there's just one chain ring, that mega range just isn't as versatile as a normal range cassette with two chain rings. I have a 46 now, which is fine for ordinary rides, but for a super-climby, steep ride coming up (lots of 18-25% grades), I'm planning to put the original 40t ring back on. But that's an ordeal, not something you can pull over to the side of the road to take care of like a flip-flop. It takes a shorter chain, too! So yeah, if you have a separate bike for every separate kind of ride, a 1x may seem like a natural choice. A 1x may be simple, but for versatility, a front derailleur is a nice complication, kind of elegant compared to a dumb old monster cassette and long rd.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:35 PM
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I hope not. I still like my triples, although the next bike will be a compact. Weight does not matter to me at all, and finding a comfortable cadence is way more important than the weight difference.

The simplicity makes sense for mountain, but I hope this doesn't come to road.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:51 PM
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Only with the advent of CVT on the rear.

For road cycling, you're more efficient with closer gear spacing than a 1X can net you for the visible future. IMHO. A double lets you get close gear spacing and fairly wide range. This ofc, ignores the needs of tourists-who still pine for triples quite reasonably.
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Old 09-04-17, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
I know a crit rider who has forgone his small ring, and for that type of riding, I think it makes sense. Really, for flat land riding period, I think I'd consider doing the same since I'm only in my small ring when I'm on a sustained climb. Chainline would need to be dialed though. I tried 1x earlier this year, and my chain would jump down to higher gears on the cassette if I backpedalled. ...
Look at a Wolftooth drop stop. I'm told SRAM patented that design and therefore Shimano won't do it.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:02 PM
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SRAM patented using 12 speeds in the rear?

I had a wolf tooth ring. It was awesome, but didn't do a thing to help with my chain jumping situation. I didn't give 1x a very fair shake though, since I was using a goat link and a bike designed for 2x. I think a proper crank, frame, and clutch derailleur would be the ticket.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
SRAM patented using 12 speeds in the rear?
Not that I know of. The thick tooth/thin tooth alternating.
Just what my kid told me. I expect he is correct.
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Old 09-04-17, 10:59 PM
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I can do my commute with in my 50 ring with a 11-28 in back (might be tough in 20-30mph winter head winds). If I lived back in S.E. Michigan that would be all I can ever see needing. However, while I'm here, and have steep hills, I wouldn't want to loose my small ring.
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Old 09-04-17, 11:19 PM
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We have a lot of up and down here, so not for me. I like tight gear spacing.
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Old 09-05-17, 02:08 AM
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they ugly tho
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Old 09-05-17, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
I know a crit rider who has forgone his small ring, and for that type of riding, I think it makes sense. Really, for flat land riding period, I think I'd consider doing the same since I'm only in my small ring when I'm on a sustained climb. Chainline would need to be dialed though. I tried 1x earlier this year, and my chain would jump down to higher gears on the cassette if I backpedalled.


After riding 7 speed for a couple years, I would probably get along fine on the wide range 11 speed cassettes that we have now. 10-42 would probably be plenty of range with a 42t ring.


However, I've heard enough road riders complain about their gear spacing, that I don't see it ever catching on for anyone that wants to anything more than flat riding.


Wouldn't surprise me to see 12 speed cassettes coming along, and a 1x SRAM version will probably be first. But I'd bet there's still a double attached once they become mainstream.
A lot of the gear spacing talk is more perception than reality. Looking at the gear calculator reveals that 1x can be very close to a standard setup with a 11-28 in the back and a 34/50 crank. Its only above 89" gear inches the 11-28 is significantly tighter than an 11s 11-40 + 48t chain ring. That is to say in this comparison the 11-28 is only really "better" above 22 mph or so, or if you utilise the small ring to get close ratios at lower speeds. Most dont. At least where I live, most ride the big ring all the time and cross over to the bigger end of the cassette where the gear spacing is almost the same as it would have been riding a 11-40 + 48t.

Last edited by Racing Dan; 09-05-17 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 09-05-17, 04:26 AM
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Not for me, I love having different range options. Here in the Midwest there's lots of rolling hills and always plenty of headwind! I have a standard 53/39 double that I've been thinking of switching to a 53/42 just for better cadence, since I rarely encounter any big climbs. This is with my older Shimano 6400 group and a 12-26 cassette.

I can see some advantages to a single chain ring though, especially in racing. However one of my favorite things to do is come into a sharp corner or steep climb on the large ring, while down shifting the cassette to mid point, then dropping to the 39 from the 53.

This usually let's me keep a steady cadence and allows a fast shift to lower gear inches once I'm out of the corner or cresting the hill. It's also great for coming to a stop, so that I'm not frantically shifting the RD.
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Old 09-05-17, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I noticed this weekend that several of our active bikes don't have but one front ring.

Hill bike - 1X - Di2 FD removed. DA rings in parts bin.
MTB/Gravel road bike - now 1X
TT bike - 1X
Next on the block DI2 Venge yet another Di2 FD and rings joining the parts bin as well.

Not counting the fixie, track bikes etc.
What are you running for gearing then, and are they 1x10 or 11s? I'm curious as to how your "hill" bike is setup.

I admit I'd have more 1x setups if I had more dedicated bikes lol. With just two in my stable I make alot of compromises, especially with my hard tail mtb. I really do use the heck out of its triple, even with the 11-34 cassette.
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Old 09-05-17, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Only with the advent of CVT on the rear.
And then, for anyone interested in performance, only by some miracle of modern technology. I don't know why it is, but the transmissions(?) on the CVT equipped Citibikes I've ridden feel dreadful, and they aren't really any more reliable than the geared hubs.
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Old 09-05-17, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
A lot of the gear spacing talk is more perception than reality. Looking at the gear calculator reveals that 1x can be very close to a standard setup with a 11-28 in the back and a 34/50 crank.
'Very close' to an already too-widely spaced 11-28 cassette? No thanks.
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Old 09-05-17, 07:25 AM
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I have a 1x (10-50 cassette; 30-tooth crank) on my MTB, which affords 17-84 gear inches. It's great for climbing, certainly; and the gear spread is fine for rough, mountain riding in which your cadence is normally interrupted by various obstacles. But, I'd really miss the higher end if I had this configuration on one of my road bikes and I were riding on smooth pavement. So, on those bikes I have 2x and closer gearing, still.

Last edited by Scarbo; 09-05-17 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 09-05-17, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
What are you running for gearing then, and are they 1x10 or 11s? I'm curious as to how your "hill" bike is setup.

I admit I'd have more 1x setups if I had more dedicated bikes lol. With just two in my stable I make alot of compromises, especially with my hard tail mtb. I really do use the heck out of its triple, even with the 11-34 cassette.
The "hill bike" is a MASI Evolutionize rebuilt for these hill climbs they have in CO. Start at the bottom, finish at the top, mass start, So not always the lowest times, anyway...
Front is Wolftooth 44, rear is 11speed 11-29(12-29 would have been preferred, I couldn't get in same spec). I have 46 and 48 T options. Junior has crit raced with same setup, although might just go to a single bigger ring for that as the chain angle is a wee better.
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Old 09-05-17, 07:48 AM
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Cadence. I was just thinking about closer gear ratios and the bearing that they have in maintaining proper cadence. Something, that it strikes me, is not talked about enough is how a smooth cadence works towards countering the effects of rider fatigue over the course of a long ride. I find that if, in the course of a normal gear change, I get the wrong gear there is this momentary "lugging" effect in which my legs are needing to adapt. Of course, this should be the exception rather than the rule; but towards the end of a ride when you are getting a bit sloppy it could have negative consequences and these could also be cumulative depending on a rider's technique. So, another argument in favor of closer gearing.
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Old 09-05-17, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
I noticed this weekend that several of our active bikes don't have but one front ring.

Hill bike - 1X - Di2 FD removed. DA rings in parts bin.
MTB/Gravel road bike - now 1X
TT bike - 1X
Next on the block DI2 Venge yet another Di2 FD and rings joining the parts bin as well.

Not counting the fixie, track bikes etc.
Looking at Vroomen's 3T Strada, he evidently thinks that 1x, discs, fat(ter) tires and aero are the future. I can hear heads assploding throughout the 41 already.
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Old 09-05-17, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Looking at Vroomen's 3T Strada, he evidently thinks that 1x, discs, fat(ter) tires and aero are the future. I can hear heads assploding throughout the 41 already.
Not really, its a gravel bike.
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Old 09-05-17, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
A lot of the gear spacing talk is more perception than reality. Looking at the gear calculator reveals that 1x can be very close to a standard setup with a 11-28 in the back and a 34/50 crank. Its only above 89" gear inches the 11-28 is significantly tighter than an 11s 11-40 + 48t chain ring. That is to say in this comparison the 11-28 is only really "better" above 22 mph or so, or if you utilise the small ring to get close ratios at lower speeds. Most don't. At least where I live, most ride the big ring all the time and cross over to the bigger end of the cassette where the gear spacing is almost the same as it would have been riding a 11-40 + 48t.
So ...

1) A double chainring setup is better above 22 mph.
2) Two chainrings are better at lower speeds, if you use the small chainring.
3) But, no one uses their small chainring very often.

Conclusion: A single chainring is almost as good as a double? Brilliant!!!

(What kind of terrain do you ride where you are always on the big ring, but stay below 22 mph?)
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