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SRAM apex 1x for road biking (40t crankset)?

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SRAM apex 1x for road biking (40t crankset)?

Old 09-26-22, 04:23 PM
  #1  
itsamario
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SRAM apex 1x for road biking (40t crankset)?

I'm looking at a gravel bike (a cervelo aspero) which comes with a 1x setup. It's a sram apex 1 with a 40t chainring in the front and 11-42 11 speed cassette in the rear.

If I wanted to use this on group road rides (30 kph), would it be alright? Or is the 1x gearing a deal killer?

I want to use the same bike for gravel and road.
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Old 09-26-22, 05:14 PM
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surak
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It's not a deal breaker but you may have some issues. I've used my rain bike with 1x Rival on 30-32kph group rides. 11-42t is significantly wider than the 11-36t I run with a 40t chainring too, so you might not like the gaps between gears, but you can use a larger chainring to compensate. Not too many people seem to like Apex, though. Maybe look for a 2x GRX alternative? There was another poster who was looking at an Apex Cervelo and ended up doing exactly that.

Edit: of course if you have a separate road wheelset, you could also simply run a tighter cassette if you don't need the sub 1:1 low gear ratio.

Last edited by surak; 09-26-22 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 09-26-22, 05:24 PM
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I use the same setup for road and gravel riding. Works just fine for me, and I don't miss my 2X.
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Old 09-27-22, 10:05 AM
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I posted this in your other thread:

40/11 is pretty low top gear and those Gravel King SK 38mm tires will also be a bit draggy for long road rides. Also the 11-42 cassette has some pretty big jumps in gearing.
Both of those are relatively easy problems to solve so if you otherwise like the bike I'd say yes... it can definitely double as a road bike. Maybe just plan on getting some faster tires and a bigger 'ring and possibly a more close-range cassette. A second wheelset helps if you frequently want to swap between road and gravel. If your riding includes lots of long climbing and fast descending, finding a balance on the gearing may become problematic.

I frequently ride a 1x cyclocross bike on faster group road rides with 28mm road tires on carbon wheels. I've found that 44t 1x with an 11-32 gives me plenty of range for flat road riding, but acknowledge that this would be pretty limiting for climbing. It's very flat here so this is fine for me, I have no trouble keeping up with the "A Group" which is usually in the range of 22-25mph (35-40kph) on flat roads. I also am more spinny on cadence than most, so. YMMV.

I'd say if you like the bike then go for it.
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Old 09-27-22, 07:54 PM
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My wife has that setup on a custom frame and she loves it. She rides on 30c tires (you could change the 38's out). If you wanted a higher gear, you could fiddle with the chain ring to a slightly large one. She has an AXS set up with an mtb RD so she can go way lower with a cassette change.

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Old 09-27-22, 09:51 PM
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I have considered similar setups. You will be at about 100 RPM by 30 MPH, so if you like pedaling much past that you may want to consider a double (or at least a bigger chainring if you don't need something as low as 40/42). You should also be aware that your cadence will have almost a 20 RPM range from one gear to the next, so you better not be too picky there. I played around with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator to figure this all out.
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Old 09-28-22, 12:15 AM
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Are you riding solo on your own pace, or are you needing to keep pace with a pack on these road rides? I ride with a guy who has a 1x gravel setup with 35mm gravel tires, and on the road he's noticeably slower, though we try to keep it casual.

On my 1x road bike setup I run 44t front with 12-36 rear. I rarely find that I need a higher top gear, and my climbing gear is roughly equivalent to a 34x28, which is doable but sometimes challenging on the steep stuff. The gaps in the wide range cassette aren't too bad for pack riding but I don't really do serious group rides anymore.
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Old 09-28-22, 03:29 PM
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I cruise between 18-20mph, or about 29-33kph. I do this with a 50T ring up front, and between 13-16T out back, depending on terrain. That leaves me gear ratios between 3.33-3.85, driving a 28mm rear tire.

With a 40T ring up front, similar gearing would be between 10-12T. If your cassette starts at 11T, you'll likely be spinning up quite a bit on long gentle downhill grades - I can get around 22-24mph (36-39kph) on a -0.5-1.5% stretch, and I use 50x12 for that, sometimes stretching into 50x11 if I'm feeling good.

I think a 40x11 top gear would be a bit limiting, but not so much that it wouldn't work, especially if you're running slightly bigger tires to compensate. I'd personally want something with a slightly bigger ring in front, or a 2x setup, if I were planning on a fair amount of road @30kph or better.
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Old 09-30-22, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox View Post
I cruise between 18-20mph, or about 29-33kph. I do this with a 50T ring up front, and between 13-16T out back, depending on terrain. That leaves me gear ratios between 3.33-3.85, driving a 28mm rear tire.

With a 40T ring up front, similar gearing would be between 10-12T. If your cassette starts at 11T, you'll likely be spinning up quite a bit on long gentle downhill grades - I can get around 22-24mph (36-39kph) on a -0.5-1.5% stretch, and I use 50x12 for that, sometimes stretching into 50x11 if I'm feeling good.

I think a 40x11 top gear would be a bit limiting, but not so much that it wouldn't work, especially if you're running slightly bigger tires to compensate. I'd personally want something with a slightly bigger ring in front, or a 2x setup, if I were planning on a fair amount of road @30kph or better.
That might depend on your comfortable cadence range. Yours seems to be lower than average for an enthusiast.
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Old 09-30-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
That might depend on your comfortable cadence range. Yours seems to be lower than average for an enthusiast.
Fair; my cadence is usually in the low 80s RPM, so you can tack on 10% to your speeds if you're hitting the benchmark 90 RPM that I hear so much about.
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Old 10-01-22, 09:16 AM
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so , with a 700x28 tire and a 40x11 gear , at 80 rpm, one is at 23-24 mph (37-37 kph), at 90 rpm = 26+ mph (42-43 kph) and at 100 rpm = 29+ mph (47 kph).
I think it's ok to coast at 30+ on an average group ride - different if it's clearly a hammerfest.
one could always get a 42 ring to get that lil bit more...
again, with 1x, the real issue comes up when you're at 20 thru 25ish and you're hunting for a 'happy' gear to maintain whatever pace the group is at. It's not a SRAM or Shimano or Campy thing, it's a 1x - 2x thing.
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Old 10-02-22, 08:41 AM
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It’s a deal killer.

There are a lot of unknown variables here, but a 40t 1x would be a non-starter for me; there’s no way that would cover my group ride needs. I use every inch of a 52/36t x 11-28 11spd, which is how I know, but I also have a 40t 1x, so I know that way, too.

How can the OP know whether a 40t 1x would work for their needs? We’d need to have more info than what has been provided, such as terrain, their power/strength, weight, fitness, and how sporting the group rides are.

I use a 50/34 x 11-30 equipped bike in winter/spring, but even that doesn’t do it for me when summer-tuned group rides kick in, so I switch to 52/36 for that. Many in my clubs ride 50t compacts all the time, so it works for some, but it’s probably my physiotype which makes it often better and preferable for me to have a bigger gear and higher torque load. For example, I’m able to kick over good power and a big gear at lower RPMs, allow my heart rate to drop and recover a bit, and still retain pedal control and responsiveness to cover surges, which allows me save my cardio headroom for really high output efforts. I’m definitely a big “diesel,” and throwing around my heavy legs at 100rpm comes at a higher cost than I have to pay for the same power in the 75-92rpm range.

Sorry I got a little long-winded there, so let me be succinct here: definitely go 2x if you’ve not already done the riding and know certainly 1x works. “Hoping” to use the same bike for multi-disciplinary cycling is the strongest indicator that I can think of that 2x is the best choice.
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Old 10-02-22, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
...again, with 1x, the real issue comes up when you're at 20 thru 25ish and you're hunting for a 'happy' gear to maintain whatever pace the group is at. It's not a SRAM or Shimano or Campy thing, it's a 1x - 2x thing.
Yes, well said! The “happy gear” is precisely the issue, and we must resist the temptation to boil down the intricacies of road group riding and human performance to speed-in-gear-at-cadence. It’s not even half of the story.
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Old 10-02-22, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
How can the OP know whether a 40t 1x would work for their needs? We’d need to have more info than what has been provided, such as terrain, their power/strength, weight, fitness, and how sporting the group rides are.
We need to know (1) How fast the OP likes/needs to pedal, (2) the slowest the OP rides up their steepest climbs, (3) what cadence range the OP is comfortable sustaining. Anything else?

But yeah, a double takes much of that guess work out. What got me wondering if I could be happy with a 1x was when I realized that 1x systems have more total choices now than doubles had when I first started riding!

Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yes, well said! The “happy gear” is precisely the issue, and we must resist the temptation to boil down the intricacies of road group riding and human performance to speed-in-gear-at-cadence. It’s not even half of the story.
For myself, I set a range. For example, when I was considering a 1x, I calculated the speeds at 80rpm and 100rpm for every gear combination and made sure those ranges overlap. If someone prefers to be more precise on their cadence than that, then they will definitely not like a 1x with a wide range.
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Old 10-02-22, 10:32 PM
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1x is great for a gravel

1x is great with road tires, solo ride just enjoying yourself

1x not so great road tires in a fast group ride when everyone else has aero road bikes and 2x setup. Every little head wind, slight rolling hills etc.. you will probably be between gears.
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Old 10-03-22, 09:45 AM
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Most of this conversation about gear jumps and cadence at specific speeds is likely solved by running an 11-32 cassette on a set of road wheels. Unless the OP is riding up some serious/long climbs, they aren't likely to be using 40x36 or 40x42 gearing in a group ride situation.

1x isn't ideal for road bikes, but that's not what this thread is about. I'd have zero hesitation buying the Aspero in question and using as a dual-purpose for road riding.
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Old 10-03-22, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
Most of this conversation about gear jumps and cadence at specific speeds is likely solved by running an 11-32 cassette on a set of road wheels. Unless the OP is riding up some serious/long climbs, they aren't likely to be using 40x36 or 40x42 gearing in a group ride situation.
Good point. A 40/32 is roughly equal to a 34/27, a common low gear for moderate terrain.
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