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Single ring and wide-range cassette drivetrains are gaining popularity, so is this the end for the front mech

The drivetrain on a modern road bike has evolved loads since the early days when a rod was manually operated to move the chain onto a different sprocket, with electronics now commonplace and ever wider range cassettes providing enough gears to tackle even the steepest mountain climbs.

Most modern road bikes combine two derailleurs to move the chain across the rear cassette and front chainset, and it works well thanks to many years of product development. We probably take them for granted. But there's a move in some parts of the cycling world to simplify the drivetrain and it threatens the future existence of the front derailleur.

The arrival of SRAM’s 1x11 drivetrain a few years ago, a groupset which ditched the front mech and instead combined a single chainring with a wide-range cassette, provided another path. Such groupsets have become hugely popular on mountain bikes and we've seen cyclocross and adventure bikes also being specced with the company's groupset in recent years but could the same happen to road bikes?

What are the benefits on a road bike?

The simplicity is certainly appealing. With just one shifter, changing gear is much more intuitive than having to manage the front and rear derailleurs. For beginners, that's going to be an obvious benefit. There’s one less component to fail as well (though front derailleur failures are rare) and on bikes designed for wider tyres, removing the front derailleur can provide additional clearance around the rear wheel and seat tube area.

Read more: Beginner's guide: understanding gears

sram rival 1 first ride2

A short history of the front derailleur

Early users of double chainsets didn't even bother with front derailleurs; they pushed the chain from the large to small chainring with their heels at the bottom of a long climb, then stopped at the top of the hill to manually lift it back to the big ring. In the 1930s, French cycle tourists began using mechanisms to move the chain, as they realised being able to change gears was useful on the flat as well as when you had a long climb ahead.

Front derailleurs of the 1930s were usually actuated by cables; rod-operated front derailleurs appeared in the 1940s, and provided very quick and efficient shifts. You had to reach down towards the bottom bracket to operate them, which looks awkward to modern riders who are used to brake/shift levers, but was reportedly quite straightforward.

Read more: First Ride: SRAM 1x Road

Since then, the front derailleur really hasn't changed much at all. It's still a basic component, comprising two metal plates that shove the chain across the chainrings, and the stiffer those plates the better the shifting. But making plates stiffer by making them thicker also adds weight, so gear makers have added ramps and pins to the chainrings, bringing a real improvement in front shifting performance. The biggest recent development has been the addition of a motor in the electronic systems made by Shimano, Campagnolo, SRAM and FSA.

The 1x charge – the industry speaks

But the cycle industry is in a great period of technological development at the moment and everything is up for change. Chainsets have evolved from triples to doubles over the years with loads of configurations available, but a definite trend towards lower ratio setups like a compact, semi-compact and most recently, sub-compact. So if lower gears are popular, why not go all the way and use a smaller single ring?

For mountain biking, a single ring chainset makes a lot of sense. Changing gears is easier with just one gear shifter, there's one less thing to malfunction, mud and ground clearance is improved, weight is lowered and suspension designers are freed from the limitations of having to factor in a front derailleur when locating pivots. And any loss in gear range is compensated for by a wide-range cassette, with SRAM’s introduction of a 10-42t cassette and more recently 10-50t with its 12-speed Eagle groupset.

SRAM has been instrumental in the popularity of single ring drivetrains, but SRAM’s Global Drivetrain Category Manager Ron Ritzler doesn’t think fans of the front derailleur need to worry just yet.

"Will the front derailleur disappear? Probably not yet as there are certain users, like some elite athletes, who need the range and the steps to perform at their best – but can it kill the front derailleur for users who spend their time in cyclocross, commuting, adventure riding and in events where fast precise single ring performance is preferred; heck yes,” he tells us.

“We still make front derailleur and 2x rings that work really perfectly, but we love the fact that there are some many people using road bikes in new ways that make 1x the right choice."

While SRAM has been cheerleading the benefits of single ring drivetrains, Shimano isn’t really embracing it. Shimano’s Ben Hillsdon says the versatility of the double ring setup is just too good to ignore.

“Essentially the front derailleur doubles the number of gear ratios available to a rider, and, therefore, gives riders smaller steps in shifting between their biggest gear and their lowest gear,” he says. “That means riders have a wider range of gears, a smoother pedalling experience and their cadence (ie leg speed) can stay constant.

“That, in turn, brings a physiological benefit as muscles and joints are saved from being overworked, which can be crucial when it comes down to the sharp end of a race. The versatility of a double-ring setup is that you can go anywhere without compromise. However, for those riders choosing simplicity, our strategy is to offer drivetrains that can be set up in many different ways for different styles of riding.”

Read more: Your complete guide to SRAM road bike groupsets

Polygon Bend CT5 - crank.jpg

But a front derailleur gives you more gears, right?

One of the biggest advantages offered with the introduction of the front derailleur was massively increasing the range of gears. That was an obvious advantage with a 5-speed cassette many decades ago. Over the years, the number of sprockets on the cassette has increased and is now up to 11 (and 12 in the mountain bike world).

Not only has the sprocket number increased, but the size of the sprockets has gone up: most racers predominantly used 11-23 cassettes a few years ago, but 11-28 is now common in the pro peloton and many sportive bikes now come with 11-32 cassettes.

Of course, removing one of the chainrings reduces your available range so to combat this SRAM introduced a whopping 10-42 cassette. It was instrumental in winning over mountain bikes as it was possible for a single ring drivetrain to offer nearly the same gear range as a conventional compact drivetrain.

Read more: SRAM Rival 1 review

How does a single ring drivetrain compare to a conventional drivetrain? Favourably, if you look at the numbers. Combine a 44t single chainring with an 11-36 cassette and you have a gear range from 33 to 108 inches. That’s very nearly the same as the 32.8 to 122.7 range that a conventional 50/34 and 11-28 setup provides, typical of many sportive bikes these days.

You can adjust the size of the chainring and the cassette to tailor that gear range to suit the geography of your local terrain and riding style, whether solo touring rides or racing, much like you modify a current drivetrain with different chainsets and cassettes depending on whether you want top-end for racing or low-end for riding in the mountains.

While the gear range compares favourably, where the 1x setup falls short is in the jumps between the gears. This will concern those cyclists who like to be in the perfect gear for the optimum cadence at all times. How big a concern the larger jumps between gears will be to you depends largely on the type of cyclist you are, the sort of riding you do and your terrain. There is much work being done to provide cassettes that can help smooth the transition in the most frequently used gears, with 3T's Gerard Vroomen developing two versions of a 9-32t cassette that looks to be a good choice.

Kinesis Tripster AT - cassette.jpg

So should you ditch the front derailleur?

That depends. There are clear advantages and disadvantages to a 1x drivetrain at present. It’s unlikely we’ll see the front derailleur confined to the history books anytime soon, especially given Shimano’s dominant position in the market. That'll certainly be the case for regular road bikes and especially race bikes where tradition rules.

Where we expect to see single ring drivetrains really start to become a lot more popular is on bikes where the disadvantages are outweighed by the advantages offered by a simplified drivetrain, where the ultimate range isn't as critical and where the bigger jumps aren't as much of an issue.

Read more: Will your next bike be a gravel bike?

We’re talking about cyclocross bikes (where many racers have been going single ring for many years already with home-brewed solutions) and the gravel and adventure bike category where 1x has pretty much established itself as the groupset of choice. But with the likes of the 3T Strada and Whyte Wessex One, two road bikes designed around 1x11 drivetrains, we could be looking at more road bikes devoid of front derailleurs in the future.

Whyte Wessex One

Ultimately, though, the modern groupset is too good for many cyclists to want to make a radical change. But the rise of wide-range cassettes does provide an interesting alternative that will appeal to many cyclists, which means we might see a few less front derailleurs on road bikes in the future.

Do you ride a bike with a single ring drivetrain?

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

95 comments

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cyclisto [412 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The problem with 1X is that it is usually...more expensive than 2X and 2X usually ...more expensive than 3X.

The problem with road groupsets is the HUGE cost of brifters, especially now that hydraulic brakes are part of the game. If we could ditch one of the brifters and the front mech, the cost would be greatly reduced but it simply isn't happening.

Apart from the cost that doesn't gets reduced as it should, from 1X I would only be afraid about crosschaining and the watts that it costs. If we can see one day a road groupset 1X10 with a hollow crank at sub-Sora price with crosschaining that cannot be felt I would go for it...

...but until then I will be super happy with my Sora really, it works great for my commuting and touring needs. If you have lived with friction shifters or single speed, basic Shimano is just great.

 

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Cugel [77 posts] 1 year ago
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gary p wrote:

Cugel wrote:

What I do find annoying is the lack of cassettes that begin with a 14 or 15 tooth sprocket and end with a 32 or 36. One must have a useless 11, 12 and 13 sprocket ... or buy two cassettes to cannabalise so the ideal sprocket range can be extracted. (Even then, the ramps on the sprockets sometimes suffer a graunch-causing mismatch).

Like the single chainring thing, 11-summick cassettes are just a fashion aping "the professionals" and/or the latest manufacturers marketing gimmick. It all makes work for the landfill attendants to do, I suppose.

Cugel 

 

Well, you can get some of the same effect with the newer subcompact cranksets aimed at gravel bikers and cyclocrossers, or going with mountain bike chainrings....assuming your front mech mount has enough vertical adjustment.   

Well, there's the other problem. On two of my bikes there's a band-on front changer that can be moved to accommodate any size chainring. There's a 34/44 on one of them. But on my other two bikes there's a "braze-on" (actually riveted-on) holder for the front changer that won't descend any lower than the height appropriate for a 50 tooth ring. It will move upwards to accommodate a 56 tooth ring, though! Who needs that!? Just that Wiggo; and a Cav.

For all the blather about how modern cycling wares offer a much greater choice than yesteryear, there is a remarkable lack of anything in the way of gearing for road bikes that suits anyone other than an elite racer able to output 400 watts all day.

The closest to my needs in 11-speed are a Shimano Ultegra 11-32 and a 14-28. Is it not obvious that they should do the other permutation of 14-32? They do an 11-28, the rascals! I had to buy two to make the one I want. Is this their cunning plan?

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stephen connor [56 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Having ridden 1x on my 2nd/winter bike for 2yrs, Its takes a bit of working out to get the ratios correct. I had a 10spd 52t chainring 11-36 cassette. It was perfect in terms of range for my requirements. Personally it workd very well for me,
Regarding pro's and big jumps in ratios, a sram setup with 48 chainring and 10-36  cassette  (Sram XDr freehub) will give you almost identical overall range as a standard pro 53/39 11/28 setup. If sram introduce 12spd eagle tech to the road then the additional cog will further help the jumps between ratios. Its worth remembering that there is alot of overlap on a 2 x 11 setup which effectively leaves you 16 or 18 different gears. See gear ratios in image attached, these are ratios gear inches / metres of development as your tyre size effects the that figure. 

Saying that the front mech will not die off completely, there will always be traditionalists and others who want to try different or new/updated technologies. 

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stevio1967 [54 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Did anyone mention that the cost of a cassette is roughly the cost of a 105 groupset yet? And all the weight shifts to ge back axle

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stephen connor [56 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
stevio1967 wrote:

Did anyone mention that the cost of a cassette is roughly the cost of a 105 groupset yet? And all the weight shifts to ge back axle

 

The Sram XD cassettes are rediculously expensive. But the there are options which are much better value in 11spd standard non XD cassettes. A 52 chainring with an 11-40 cassette give a very decent gear range. There are 11-40  cassette from shimano (XT CS-M8000) which are no more expensive than ultegra stuff and sunrace offer and 11spd m8 11-40 cassette that can be had for less money than 105 cassettes. THe sunrace cassettes are also lighter than the shimano ones by about 20g or so.  You don't have to have a clutch mech for road use, a lindarets roadlink and a a short cage road mech will allow you to use an 11-40 cassette. If you have issues with chain retention when used with a narrow wide chainring, its possible to change the cage spring tension in shimano mechs, the mech ships from the factory in the low tension setting.

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ChetManley [95 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
Cugel wrote:

gary p wrote:

Cugel wrote:

What I do find annoying is the lack of cassettes that begin with a 14 or 15 tooth sprocket and end with a 32 or 36. One must have a useless 11, 12 and 13 sprocket ... or buy two cassettes to cannabalise so the ideal sprocket range can be extracted. (Even then, the ramps on the sprockets sometimes suffer a graunch-causing mismatch).

Like the single chainring thing, 11-summick cassettes are just a fashion aping "the professionals" and/or the latest manufacturers marketing gimmick. It all makes work for the landfill attendants to do, I suppose.

Cugel 

 

Well, you can get some of the same effect with the newer subcompact cranksets aimed at gravel bikers and cyclocrossers, or going with mountain bike chainrings....assuming your front mech mount has enough vertical adjustment.   

Well, there's the other problem. On two of my bikes there's a band-on front changer that can be moved to accommodate any size chainring. There's a 34/44 on one of them. But on my other two bikes there's a "braze-on" (actually riveted-on) holder for the front changer that won't descend any lower than the height appropriate for a 50 tooth ring. It will move upwards to accommodate a 56 tooth ring, though! Who needs that!? Just that Wiggo; and a Cav.

For all the blather about how modern cycling wares offer a much greater choice than yesteryear, there is a remarkable lack of anything in the way of gearing for road bikes that suits anyone other than an elite racer able to output 400 watts all day.

The closest to my needs in 11-speed are a Shimano Ultegra 11-32 and a 14-28. Is it not obvious that they should do the other permutation of 14-32? They do an 11-28, the rascals! I had to buy two to make the one I want. Is this their cunning plan?

I had (have) the same the same problem with my bike. Why a gravel bike would need a 56t front ring is beyond me, but the front mech won't drop far enough to accommodate anything smaller than 48.

I have a 46 on there, the gap is pretty big. It mostly worked but could drop the chain when shifting under load. Clutch mech sorted it out, but shouldn't need to have done that.

Avatar
ChetManley [95 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
stephen connor wrote:
stevio1967 wrote:

Did anyone mention that the cost of a cassette is roughly the cost of a 105 groupset yet? And all the weight shifts to ge back axle

 

The Sram XD cassettes are rediculously expensive. But the there are options which are much better value in 11spd standard non XD cassettes. A 52 chainring with an 11-40 cassette give a very decent gear range. There are 11-40  cassette from shimano (XT CS-M8000) which are no more expensive than ultegra stuff and sunrace offer and 11spd m8 11-40 cassette that can be had for less money than 105 cassettes. THe sunrace cassettes are also lighter than the shimano ones by about 20g or so.  You don't have to have a clutch mech for road use, a lindarets roadlink and a a short cage road mech will allow you to use an 11-40 cassette. If you have issues with chain retention when used with a narrow wide chainring, its possible to change the cage spring tension in shimano mechs, the mech ships from the factory in the low tension setting.

My M8000 11-40 is actually lighter than the stock 105 11-32 it replaced. Interesting stuff on the spring tension, never came up in my research. Hey ho the clutch mech is awesome.

Avatar
stephen connor [56 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
ChetManley wrote:
stephen connor wrote:
stevio1967 wrote:

Did anyone mention that the cost of a cassette is roughly the cost of a 105 groupset yet? And all the weight shifts to ge back axle

 

The Sram XD cassettes are rediculously expensive. But the there are options which are much better value in 11spd standard non XD cassettes. A 52 chainring with an 11-40 cassette give a very decent gear range. There are 11-40  cassette from shimano (XT CS-M8000) which are no more expensive than ultegra stuff and sunrace offer and 11spd m8 11-40 cassette that can be had for less money than 105 cassettes. THe sunrace cassettes are also lighter than the shimano ones by about 20g or so.  You don't have to have a clutch mech for road use, a lindarets roadlink and a a short cage road mech will allow you to use an 11-40 cassette. If you have issues with chain retention when used with a narrow wide chainring, its possible to change the cage spring tension in shimano mechs, the mech ships from the factory in the low tension setting.

My M8000 11-40 is actually lighter than the stock 105 11-32 it replaced. Interesting stuff on the spring tension, never came up in my research. Hey ho the clutch mech is awesome.

 

@ChetManley are  you running the m8000 11-40 on a road bike? How do you find it

 

I'm considering trying it myself. I had 11-36 on a 10spd setup so i am used to larger ratio jumps between gears and the additional sprocket on the back would be nice on the 11spd setup I have now.

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stephen connor [56 posts] 1 year ago
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I see Aquablue have released image/videos of the 3t Strada Team Ed bike.

Video is courtesy of Road.cc on instagram.

 

Didn't think Aquablue would be using shimano on the 3t Strada. Looks like a 50t chaniring and the cassette looks relatively standard size wise, no massive dinner plate bailout cog on inside. Probably 3T's bailout 9-36 cassette. The long cage ultegra Di2 GS rear mech has max capacity of 32t so possibly using shimano XTR di2 rear mech which has a clutch for added extra security on single ring setup.

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HowardR [265 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Living in the flatlands of Bedfordshire - I generally use a 50/34 - 12-23.

95-99% of the time this functions very well as a 1X set with minimal jumps between ratios .......but I then have the benefit of the 34 as a bail out.

If I lived in a part of the country that had different terrain I'd be using a different set of ratios - wheter or not they could be prvided by a 1x set up would depend on the terain.

I suspect that it's best suited to an area that's either (steeply) 'Weeee!' Up or 'puff-puff-pant' Down.

(and - as an aside.... <rant> why does no one ever seem to mention the sprockets between the extreams? It may be an 11-28 block or a 12-25..... but you might well find that the ratio you need for most of your ridding can only be found on a 17 tooth cog which sits on neither of those blocks </rant>)

 

 

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Al__S [1300 posts] 1 year ago
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Isn't the "it's expensive"  issue mainly just that at the moment it's only available in high end groupsets? I've not looked, but at the same groupset level, is a 1X more expensive than the equivalent 2X?

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Jimthebikeguy.com [269 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

One other note of caution, and someone else here alluded to it, is actual cassette weight. The idea of 1x roadbike is great but the cassettes will have to get lighter. My boardman cx came with a 10-42 xd driver cassette, and it weighed pretty much half a kilo on its own. It massively affected the way the bike felt.

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stephen connor [56 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Ok so the above video was just showing off the new paint scheme.

 

AquaBlue have launched their 3T Strada team edition and its running Sram Force 1x. Looks like they've gone with a biggish front chairing, probably a 50t and the cassette isn't a big dinner plate on the back which probably means its smallest gear is a 36t and 10t top gear.

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David Arthur @d... [958 posts] 1 year ago
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Yes, the bike I saw and shot for Instagram last night at the Rouleur Classic show was a mockup by Saddleback, the UK distributor for 3T.

The actual bike was unveiled today, and there's a story on the homepage of this site (here's a link http://road.cc/content/tech-news/231711-aqua-blue-sports-3t-strada-2018-...

They've gone with SRAM Force groupset with 3T supplying the wheels, finishing kit and THM cranks because 3T owns THM

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tugglesthegreat [127 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:
tugglesthegreat wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

There isnt the range for a road bike to be truly versatile all-rounder. Yes MTB the simple setup allows just enough range to tackle most climbs/trails. My own Tripster, I geared down to a MTB setup for primarily climbing mountains. It does this admirably with the gearing. However just recently I was left out gunned on a gradual slope where I couldn't spin any faster than 120rpm. I've fitted a larger outer chainring to bring cadence down for fast low percentage slopes but still capable of climbing mountains,. I have a XT Di2 setup with 44-28 chainset and 11-40 cassette  4

I was thinking of getting a 28-40 chain set and fitting a 44 for special events on my Arkose.  Does it work well on a CX bike?

Although 11-32, nothing as bonkers as 11-40!

 

 

Yes perfectly, it is at the maximum range on the crankset because the front derailleur cage wont allow anything more.  There is one benefit with XT Di2 is that the electronics wont allow the rear derailleur to cross chain small/small.  It stops the rear derailleur moving onto last 4 sprockets.  This keeps the chain from rubbing on the front derailleur lower section.  Ive now fitted Syncroshift display- that works beautifully.

I tried several front outer chainrings to get the correct fit and look.  I needed longer steel outer crank bolts to create the clearance between the inner and outer rings(steel has shallower heads).

I use an 11-32 cass for general riding, only use 11*40 for alpine type climbs

If you want more info just ask.  

No that's fine. Was thinking of doing the southdowns way and want a bigger range of gears.  the MTB chainset seems to be the cheapest way of achiveing that.  Thanks for the advice.

 

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hairyairey [304 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Can't see this being practical for professional events like the Tour. Sprinters  need the biggest gears but still have to get through the mountains in lower gears than overall GC contenders.

Then there's the teams invited to these events that aren't contenders for any of the jerseys. They will struggle through the mountains without the lower gears.

The alternative isn't practical either, switching bikes mid-stage for the mountain sections.

(Anyway I can't complain, I live in Peterborough and can't remember when I last changed gear!)

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rg9rts@yahoo.com [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'llhang onto my thre ring 84 FUJI  for awhile ...thank you

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rg9rts@yahoo.com [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'llhang onto my thre ring 84 FUJI  for awhile ...thank you

Avatar
rg9rts@yahoo.com [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'llhang onto my thre ring 84 FUJI  for awhile ...thank you

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rg9rts@yahoo.com [11 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'llhang onto my three ring 84 FUJI  for awhile ...thank you

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froze [114 posts] 1 year ago
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I don't think the front derailleur will die anytime soon.  A system without a front derailleur means that the chain has to twist more to reach the gears both on the tall and small end of the gears, this will rapidly destroy a chain probably in about 300 to 750 miles; some people I've read about on the internet get only 1000 to 2000 miles now on their chains which I think that's obsurd that a chain won't last at least as long as a tire!  actually a chain should last at least twice a long as a tire...not a racing tire but a regular tire most people buy.

If the industry made some sort of plastic chain that was very cheap to buy, like $5 to $8 or so, and it lasted 300 to 750 miles then great, but otherwise forget it, they already made the chains last about 3 times LESS then the old school 5, 6, and 7 speed chains lasted, now they want to shorten the lives some more? I guess I know who else wants a piece of the rich person wallet.

 

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markhardy [2 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I've been using 1x on my road bikes for a couple of year now. Racing, training and epic mountain rides.

The general use bike has 44f with 10-42 rear. Great range of gearing for 99% of occasions. Since I've gone to road riding from MTB, I'm comfortable with the large jumps in gearing. Never felt I need to micro-manage cadence. Changing front rings is a 5min job and I've run everything from a 40 for crazy climbs like Taiwan KOM Challenge to a 46 if I know it's going to be a fast rolling hills bunch ride.

The race bike is set up with 50f and 11-34 rear. Tighter gearing for crits and local club races. Perfect for hilly crits. Personally, I like never having the think about the front mech. And I've lost count of the number of times I've gapped people on climbs as their 2x has played up changing front rings.

I still have a bike with a 2x, but confess to very rarely riding it these days. So for me, the front mech is dead. But it's definitely not for everyone. My brother won't have a bar of it and he can't stand not riding at his perfect cadence or not being able to pedal up to 70km/h on a descent.

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Vejnemojnen [289 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

no way.

I can't stand cassettes with large jumps. I even miss a 20t between my 19 and 21t, ideally I'd run a 14-23 10speed or 14-25 11speed cassette with 48-39 chainrings.

 

The finer the increments are, the better for those who are not superb strong and sensitive to large jumps. When I have more power and muscle, I hardly notice 2t jumps, but, whenever I do not commit enough time (and calories) for developing muscle, I'm struggling with anything cruder than 1t increments.

 

1t-1t-1t for me please

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Gstar [23 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I’ve been running 1x11 (50x11-42) for the last few months and it’s been great, obviously a bigger jump in the upper gear range but I like the simplicity and reliability.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
ChetManley wrote:
stephen connor wrote:
stevio1967 wrote:

Did anyone mention that the cost of a cassette is roughly the cost of a 105 groupset yet? And all the weight shifts to ge back axle

 

The Sram XD cassettes are rediculously expensive. But the there are options which are much better value in 11spd standard non XD cassettes. A 52 chainring with an 11-40 cassette give a very decent gear range. There are 11-40  cassette from shimano (XT CS-M8000) which are no more expensive than ultegra stuff and sunrace offer and 11spd m8 11-40 cassette that can be had for less money than 105 cassettes. THe sunrace cassettes are also lighter than the shimano ones by about 20g or so.  You don't have to have a clutch mech for road use, a lindarets roadlink and a a short cage road mech will allow you to use an 11-40 cassette. If you have issues with chain retention when used with a narrow wide chainring, its possible to change the cage spring tension in shimano mechs, the mech ships from the factory in the low tension setting.

My M8000 11-40 is actually lighter than the stock 105 11-32 it replaced. Interesting stuff on the spring tension, never came up in my research. Hey ho the clutch mech is awesome.

Sorry but that's cobblers, XT 11-40 is 411g, 105 11-32 is 320g! and £20 cheaper.

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Vejnemojnen wrote:

no way.

I can't stand cassettes with large jumps. I even miss a 20t between my 19 and 21t, ideally I'd run a 14-23 10speed or 14-25 11speed cassette with 48-39 chainrings.

The finer the increments are, the better for those who are not superb strong and sensitive to large jumps. When I have more power and muscle, I hardly notice 2t jumps, but, whenever I do not commit enough time (and calories) for developing muscle, I'm struggling with anything cruder than 1t increments.

1t-1t-1t for me please

People say you only need small jumos for competitive riders but it's just as important when touring or commuting, maintaining your sweet spot almost anywhere on your ride but particularly at the end of a long day is important, if you're tuckered out then a big jump is just awful, fully loaded it could be the difference between maintaining momentum and actually coming off/putting a foot down.

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nbrus [585 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I would certainly welcome a simpler gearing setup that was lower maintenence and had nice even steps between gears. I'd like a wide gear range and long durability.

I would like to see cheaper and lighter pinion gearboxes with standard bottom bracket mounting points that allow for simple swaps/upgrades between manufacturers/models and that would even allow the standard gearbox to be swapped for a motorised e-bike conversion unit.

https://www.cyclingabout.com/new-pinion-gearbox-for-2017-the-lightweight...

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Jimthebikeguy.com [269 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Gstar wrote:

I’ve been running 1x11 (50x11-42) for the last few months and it’s been great, obviously a bigger jump in the upper gear range but I like the simplicity and reliability.

Is that a canyon inflite set up as a 1x roadbike? Brilliant!

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Gstar [23 posts] 1 year ago
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jterrier wrote:
Gstar wrote:

I’ve been running 1x11 (50x11-42) for the last few months and it’s been great, obviously a bigger jump in the upper gear range but I like the simplicity and reliability.

Is that a canyon inflite set up as a 1x roadbike? Brilliant!

 

 

 

 

thats exactly what it is , and it’s great , ticks lots of boxes . Light and fast both on and off road, climbs very well out of the saddle . I’ve hardly touched my road bike since putting the conti  28mms on. Plenty of clearance for the new breed of ‘gravel tyres’ too. 

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Johnnystorm [112 posts] 1 year ago
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Flying Scot wrote:

Will someone make an adaptor so I can just bolt my 42 front ring onto the casette or freewheel to save any waste then?

 

A chap on the singletrack forum did that before the cassettes or expanders were easily bought.

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