Home

Why is Shimano taking so long to roll out 1x for CX/gravel/road?

There's clear demand for it, the number of people running DIY 1x setups. I'd certainly adopt 1x on my TT bike and a CX bike (when I get one!).

There's the usual rubbish about the gear range being too small, the gear jumps too big and the chain line not being optimal - but these really have no effect when you consider how they are used.

My TT bike, for example, I only ever use the 52t big ring with an 11-28 (ok, I used the little rin when I was rolling round a car park waiting for my mates to arrive), a wide range of gearing isn't needed, so losing the lower gears doesn't matter. Conversely, for a CX bike (when I had one), I was rarely topping 30mph (and when I did it was usually downhill on a road getting to or from some CX terrain) - so any gearing allowing you to go above 35mph can be dropped - the resulting gear jumps can be kept more or less the same as a 2x setup.

And don't for a minute think I'm suggesting doing away with 2x setups completely - definitely not! I have 52/36 11-28 on my Canyon and I use every gear pretty much every ride, means I can comfortably cycle between speeds of 6mph to 45mph without grinding or spinning too much. Similarly, the 50/34 11-32 on my Whyte is great for endurance riding and commuting, where speeds tend to be a little lower (gives me a range of 5 mph to 43 mph).

Am I alone in wishing Shimano would bring 1x to CX/road? For now, the Wolftooth conversion will suffice my planned CX build (and maybe my TT bike!).

 

30 comments

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2198 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

You can do it with a m8000 single sprocket crank and this https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/96-bcd-4-arm/?teeth=46

46t will be plenty to get max speed of 35mph, I know my 44t tops out at 32mph at about 105rpm

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
CXR94Di2 wrote:

You can do it with a m8000 single sprocket crank and this https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/96-bcd-4-arm/?teeth=46

46t will be plenty to get max speed of 35mph, I know my 44t tops out at 32mph at about 105rpm

Ooooh, didn't think about that, cheers! I think I'll stick with he wolftooth conversion (when I get round to it), looks better IMO.

I created a gear/speed/cadence calculator based on my riding style and speeds using StravistiX, really useful as it shows the distribution of speeds and cadence.

On my road bike I have an RPM range (normally distributed) between about 60 and 120 RPM, on my TT bike the distribution is much much closer, between 80 and 100. For the CX riding I have done the RPM distribution is similar to road - but the speed distribution is smaller, and the max speed only 30-35mph.

Based on that, a 40t up front with 11-34 covers all the speeds and RPM I ride at for CX.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [2287 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

I don't see the point, the jumps between ratios are massive, transitioning between terrain/gradient/increasing speed is made more difficult with those bigger jumps. It's a 'solution' to a problem that did not nor does not exist.

Just because it might give you the range doesn't mean it's anywhere near as effective, but you know, trends and all th\t crap where it's manufacturers creating the BS and the feeble of mind think they just gots to have it when essentially they're downgrading or spending cash for no improvement, indeed a 1x system is more expensive for less components, no wonder companies want to sell it!

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

I don't see the point, the jumps between ratios are massive, transitioning between terrain/gradient/increasing speed is made more difficult with those bigger jumps. It's a 'solution' to a problem that did not nor does not exist.

Just because it might give you the range doesn't mean it's anywhere near as effective, but you know, trends and all th\t crap where it's manufacturers creating the BS and the feeble of mind think they just gots to have it when essentially they're downgrading or spending cash for no improvement, indeed a 1x system is more expensive for less components, no wonder companies want to sell it!

If you don't see the point, you don't need to buy it - I would have thought that more options and more tech are only good for the road bike industry.

The jumps between the ratios are not significantly larger (or no larger) than a 2x system, assuming the gear range is much smaller - which is fine for cyclocross and TT. In fact, if I set up my TT bike with a 1x system using a 40t chainring with an 11-28 (this would give me a comfortable speed range between 7 mph and 35 mph), the gear ratio jumps are 25% smaller than using my current 2x...

The average gear jump for a 42 x 11-34 is the same as for a 46/36 x 11-28 (for all but the 11t jump) and you only lose 2mph at the top end (but the top speed is still over 35mph),

I'm not sure how 1x can be called less effective, Wout Van Aert and Sven Nys have won plenty of CX races on 1x setups and team Aqua Blue have ridden the 3T Strada to road race wins.

Currently, the 1x system isn't more expensive than 2x, Sram Force 1 is (only just) cheaper than Sram Force 22. Moreover, Shimano M7000 SLX 1x11 is only £350, far cheaper than ANY 11 speed groupset. I would hope if Shimano began to produce 1x for CX/road, it'd bring the cost down - currently, Sram more or less has a monopoly.

As I said, I wouldn't switch my 2x on my road bike as the speed range is far greater! I intend to build up a cross bike 1x because, having collated my speed and RPM distributions of my cross rides, a 1x system covers all the speeds I cycle at without any larger gear jumps. 

So the ratios aren't larger, the gearing isn't less effective and it doesn't cost any more, surely?

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey [611 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

As Shimano are arguably the no1 supplier of drive train kit, maybe they don't need to pander to this new and fickle market? 

I think half by is a niche market.  And for me, a niche market is TT bikes and cx bikes.  I have one road bike and one mountain bike, and I want them to have proper transmissions that can cope with whatever I throw at them.  I want the road bike to climb steep hills at maybe less than 5 mph, and I want to be able to pedal it at over 40 mph.  I would argue  the case for a triple chainset with a nice close ratio cassette as being the best possible transmission, although I haven't found a triple that has a wider range than available doubles.  You use the front shifter for big changes and the rear one to fine tune the cadence you want. 

I want my mountain bike to climb shitty muddy tree-root ridden flinty chalky trails in the South Downs at less than walking pace, and I want to be able to pedal it along roads between trails.  

I just don't get the claims of simplicity either.  If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!  It's just marketing bollocks, in my opnion, another way to get people to part with their cash. 

Now if I was a pro, and could ride  a 54 tooth chainring on a TT bike, or if I was racing cx, maybe it makes a little more sense.

Avatar
fukawitribe [2545 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

Yeah - fucking choice  - it's a bitch.

Avatar
kevvjj [422 posts] 3 months ago
3 likes

 I have a 3x on my MTB, a 2x on my road bike and a 1x on my adventure bike. They all work beautifully. I'm not a racer and coudn't care less if my cadence change causes me to slow down a little because of the so called gap in ratios. As for 'marketing bs'... it's called free choice - the last time I looked there was no law that said you have to buy the latest "new and fickle market" stuff.

One thing is for sure, the big S are researching and developing a 1x system as we write.

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Daveyraveygravey wrote:

As Shimano are arguably the no1 supplier of drive train kit, maybe they don't need to pander to this new and fickle market? 

I think half by is a niche market.  And for me, a niche market is TT bikes and cx bikes.  I have one road bike and one mountain bike, and I want them to have proper transmissions that can cope with whatever I throw at them.  I want the road bike to climb steep hills at maybe less than 5 mph, and I want to be able to pedal it at over 40 mph.  I would argue  the case for a triple chainset with a nice close ratio cassette as being the best possible transmission, although I haven't found a triple that has a wider range than available doubles.  You use the front shifter for big changes and the rear one to fine tune the cadence you want. 

I want my mountain bike to climb shitty muddy tree-root ridden flinty chalky trails in the South Downs at less than walking pace, and I want to be able to pedal it along roads between trails.  

I just don't get the claims of simplicity either.  If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!  It's just marketing bollocks, in my opnion, another way to get people to part with their cash. 

Now if I was a pro, and could ride  a 54 tooth chainring on a TT bike, or if I was racing cx, maybe it makes a little more sense.

Certainly no arguing about it, they are the biggest supplier of groupsets!

I never suggested getting rid of 2x and I certainly wouldn't part with the 52-36 11-28 on my road.  bike.

There's a lot of bikes out there using 1x currently and I've seen plenty of commuter bikes with 1x11, using Shimano gears with a generic 1x crankset.

I'm just mildly surprised Shimano don't even manufacture their own 1x specific chainrings to go with their existing cranks - they wouldn't even have to develop a new groupset. If they did this, they could easily swallow up the 1x market from Sram, seeing as the Sram groupsets seem expensive!

Avatar
cyclisto [406 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

If I would complain to shimano, I would ask for more 3x chainsets. We love our knees.

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
kevvjj wrote:

 I have a 3x on my MTB, a 2x on my road bike and a 1x on my adventure bike. They all work beautifully. I'm not a racer and coudn't care less if my cadence change causes me to slow down a little because of the so called gap in ratios. As for 'marketing bs'... it's called free choice - the last time I looked there was no law that said you have to buy the latest "new and fickle market" stuff.

One thing is for sure, the big S are researching and developing a 1x system as we write.

+1 for this.

All have their purpose.

And agreed, I want more choice. I've made the choice to specify a 1x system for my next build based on analysis of velocity and cadence distributions. I also have all the bits, other than a wolftooth narrow-wide chainring. Incidentally, I also have all the bits for a 2x, but to be perfectly honest, I like the lack of concern about shifting at the front end that 1x brings.

As it is, if you don't want 1x, don't buy it! Just rejoice in the fact that we have more gearing options now than we've ever had  1

Avatar
David Arthur @d... [885 posts] 3 months ago
5 likes

If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!

Yeah, more of this elitist nonsense. Nice one

Avatar
jterrier [210 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Someone really lit a fire here. Obviously, its all a marketing bs conspiracy, and I dont like it so none of you are allowed to either, and while we are at it, disc brakes are evil and so are tubeless tires. Now where's my tinfoil hat.

..as for the 'if you cant handle a front mech you shouldnt be on the road' crap, my little girl cant use a bike with 2 mechs. She is 7, but anyway, i had better stop her from riding a bike forthwith to avoid upsetting the trolls.

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey [611 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:

If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!

Yeah, more of this elitist nonsense. Nice one

I've spotted a gap in the market, going to start selling bikes with only one pedal.  You know, less maintenance, less weight, easier to operate...kiss

Avatar
PRSboy [312 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

It would be interesting if Di2 etc could provide data on what gears riders tend to use.

In my case, where my local terrain is rolling, I reckon I use maybe five gears, of which one predominantly.  1x would be ideal for me.

Avatar
Mungecrundle [1059 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Daveyraveygravey wrote:
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:

If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!

Yeah, more of this elitist nonsense. Nice one

I've spotted a gap in the market, going to start selling bikes with only one pedal.  You know, less maintenance, less weight, easier to operate...kiss

 

The Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycle company have pretty much been making the same model since 1950. I suggest that if you are averse to new ideas, development and change, that you get yourself one of these. Cheap, robust, last you a lifetime and apart from being quite cool and the associated risk of being labelled a hipster, no-one is going to accuse you of being a sucker for whatever new and spangly tech other component manufacturers are dangling before you.

 

Avatar
OnYerBike [11 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

The Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycle company have pretty much been making the same model since 1950. I suggest that if you are averse to new ideas, development and change, that you get yourself one of these. Cheap, robust, last you a lifetime and apart from being quite cool and the associated risk of being labelled a hipster, no-one is going to accuse you of being a sucker for whatever new and spangly tech other component manufacturers are dangling before you.

 

In case anyone is seriously thinking about this, don't:

https://foolishhuman.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/lets-all-go-out-and-not-ge...

Avatar
hawkinspeter [2368 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
OnYerBike wrote:
Mungecrundle wrote:

The Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycle company have pretty much been making the same model since 1950. I suggest that if you are averse to new ideas, development and change, that you get yourself one of these. Cheap, robust, last you a lifetime and apart from being quite cool and the associated risk of being labelled a hipster, no-one is going to accuse you of being a sucker for whatever new and spangly tech other component manufacturers are dangling before you.

 

In case anyone is seriously thinking about this, don't:

https://foolishhuman.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/lets-all-go-out-and-not-ge...

I saw a bloke on the train with a very similar looking model, though if I remember correctly was made by Pashley. Looked like it weighs a ton, but the chap was quite happy with it.

Avatar
Nick T [1155 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

It’s frame makers who’ll push the market to adopt 1x, rather than the groupset manufacturers. Frame designers would love to lose the front mech requirements, even if most riders want 2x

Avatar
TheHungryGhost [57 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

I saw a bloke on the train with a very similar looking model, though if I remember correctly was made by Pashley. Looked like it weighs a ton, but the chap was quite happy with it.

 

The large Pashely Roadster has the double top tube.  It does weigh a ton, but its got a five speed hub gear, and with a big bloke riding it, it can shift on the flat.  Got a few double takes when passing lycra clad rodies.  Unfortunatly mine's got a problem with the hub gear, so its off the road at the moment.

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
jterrier wrote:

Someone really lit a fire here. Obviously, its all a marketing bs conspiracy, and I dont like it so none of you are allowed to either, and while we are at it, disc brakes are evil and so are tubeless tires. Now where's my tinfoil hat.

..as for the 'if you cant handle a front mech you shouldnt be on the road' crap, my little girl cant use a bike with 2 mechs. She is 7, but anyway, i had better stop her from riding a bike forthwith to avoid upsetting the trolls.

Yeah too right!

Blimey, all I asked is why Shimano haven't made a 1x groupset yet.

No wonder roadies are always the last to get any new tech innovation.

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Daveyraveygravey wrote:
David Arthur @davearthur wrote:

If you can't manage a front and rear shifter should you be riding on the road?!

Yeah, more of this elitist nonsense. Nice one

I've spotted a gap in the market, going to start selling bikes with only one pedal.  You know, less maintenance, less weight, easier to operate...kiss

That's not really the same though at all is it.

And once again, I'm not saying 2x doesn't have it's place.

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2198 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
PRSboy wrote:

It would be interesting if Di2 etc could provide data on what gears riders tend to use.

In my case, where my local terrain is rolling, I reckon I use maybe five gears, of which one predominantly.  1x would be ideal for me.

 

Depends on what discipline you want from one bike.  My main bike is a Tripster V2, I geared it to mainly climb mountains, but mindful I also wanted to do sportives, clubs runs.  Instead of using a 50/34, I went initially with 40/28-(altered to 44/28), I swap between 11-32 cass wheels and 11-40 for climbing mountains.  The increase in chainring was I found there was just a little top end speed missing.  I can now pedal at around 100-105rpm at 32mph on slight declines, which is plenty fast enough and if it gets steeper gravity will make me faster.  The 28t chainring allows me to spin for hours if need be on mountain climbs.  

There are some occasions when I would like to have a 53t chainring for blasting along flat roads in a pack but they are few.

 

Btw, I do use all the range of gears, mainly on the 44t ring, but if inclines go above 10% the 28t is used alot.

 

Avatar
exilegareth [142 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Canyon48 wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

You can do it with a m8000 single sprocket crank and this https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/96-bcd-4-arm/?teeth=46

46t will be plenty to get max speed of 35mph, I know my 44t tops out at 32mph at about 105rpm

Ooooh, didn't think about that, cheers! I think I'll stick with he wolftooth conversion (when I get round to it), looks better IMO.

I created a gear/speed/cadence calculator based on my riding style and speeds using StravistiX, really useful as it shows the distribution of speeds and cadence.

On my road bike I have an RPM range (normally distributed) between about 60 and 120 RPM, on my TT bike the distribution is much much closer, between 80 and 100. For the CX riding I have done the RPM distribution is similar to road - but the speed distribution is smaller, and the max speed only 30-35mph.

Based on that, a 40t up front with 11-34 covers all the speeds and RPM I ride at for CX.

I'm no expert, but I think you might want to go away and think again about those RPM / cadence stats, and especially think about whether the range at which you are most efficient is narrower than 60-120.

Let me give you an example - I rode our club 10 on weds night. Halfway round the right hand brifter (SRAM Rival, from the 'made from chocolate' generation) self destructed leaving me stuck in 53/11. I got round, and my top speed was not far off the first lap, but accelerating was hell, and instead of my usual 95 rpm I found myself grinding away at about half that in places. As a result my left knee (arthritic, not much cartilage left) is the size of a watermelon, but the key thing is that it was less efficient.

 

I get that many people are fitter tha me, and can use a range of techniques (like standing up and so on) to cope with wider gaps between gears, but those may not be the most efficient techniques, and may not be good for your body in the long run.

I know its horses for courses but this broken down old nag thinks you may be thinking yourself into a cul de sac by not qustioning the data enough.

Avatar
Daveyraveygravey [611 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

[ I suggest that if you are averse to new ideas, development and change,

I'm not, but this isn't new or a development.  It's a backward step, if you read my original post you would see why I think that.  This is the emperor's new clothes, marketing people are dreaming this stuff up to try and get more sales.   

 The guy running the team with the 3T bikes doesn't seem to think they are progress...and they have the resources and knowledge to adapt their bikes for whatever terrain they are on that day.  Although I suspect a double would give them a lot more scope to deal with varied terrain...

Avatar
Mungecrundle [1059 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Given that where I live in N Herts there really are no hills of any severity, I have a 53 12-25 setup as this gives me a choice of 3 gears in my happy cadence range somewhere in the middle of the cassette for 90% of my riding. I could quite happily go 1x if that really was all I wanted the bike to do.

1x 2x 3x, whatever option of chainring sizes and cassette ratios works for you, it's all good.

Avatar
Canyon48 [1057 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
exilegareth wrote:
Canyon48 wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

You can do it with a m8000 single sprocket crank and this https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/96-bcd-4-arm/?teeth=46

46t will be plenty to get max speed of 35mph, I know my 44t tops out at 32mph at about 105rpm

Ooooh, didn't think about that, cheers! I think I'll stick with he wolftooth conversion (when I get round to it), looks better IMO.

I created a gear/speed/cadence calculator based on my riding style and speeds using StravistiX, really useful as it shows the distribution of speeds and cadence.

On my road bike I have an RPM range (normally distributed) between about 60 and 120 RPM, on my TT bike the distribution is much much closer, between 80 and 100. For the CX riding I have done the RPM distribution is similar to road - but the speed distribution is smaller, and the max speed only 30-35mph.

Based on that, a 40t up front with 11-34 covers all the speeds and RPM I ride at for CX.

I'm no expert, but I think you might want to go away and think again about those RPM / cadence stats, and especially think about whether the range at which you are most efficient is narrower than 60-120.

Let me give you an example - I rode our club 10 on weds night. Halfway round the right hand brifter (SRAM Rival, from the 'made from chocolate' generation) self destructed leaving me stuck in 53/11. I got round, and my top speed was not far off the first lap, but accelerating was hell, and instead of my usual 95 rpm I found myself grinding away at about half that in places. As a result my left knee (arthritic, not much cartilage left) is the size of a watermelon, but the key thing is that it was less efficient.

 

I get that many people are fitter tha me, and can use a range of techniques (like standing up and so on) to cope with wider gaps between gears, but those may not be the most efficient techniques, and may not be good for your body in the long run.

I know its horses for courses but this broken down old nag thinks you may be thinking yourself into a cul de sac by not qustioning the data enough.

One step ahead, I've already considered that. My usual cadence is around 90 ± 10 RPM, so anything in that range is practical. I tend to favour a lower RPM when I'm really going for it uphill (strange really, my PR's have been at lower cadences).

I've also considered the actual gear ratios, 40t/34 gives me a slightly lower gear than 34t/28, anything lower than that on a CX bike and I'll be shouldering the bike!

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2198 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

 I tend to favour a lower RPM when I'm really going for it uphill (strange really, my PR's have been at lower cadences).

 

That will be because you've hit your threshold HR before peak power due to higher cadences elevate HR.

I had a little experiement on Zwift riding up Volcano climb trying to set a new PB, my first attempt I had a cadence of 98rpm and averaged about 360W, my HR at threshold.  I did the climb a few days later and averaged 396W at 86rpm at threshold HR.  My second attempt felt slightly easier as my HR didnt hit threshold as quickly

Avatar
exilegareth [142 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

 I tend to favour a lower RPM when I'm really going for it uphill (strange really, my PR's have been at lower cadences).

 

That will be because you've hit your threshold HR before peak power due to higher cadences elevate HR.

I had a little experiement on Zwift riding up Volcano climb trying to set a new PB, my first attempt I had a cadence of 98rpm and averaged about 360W, my HR at threshold.  I did the climb a few days later and averaged 396W at 86rpm at threshold HR.  My second attempt felt slightly easier as my HR didnt hit threshold as quickly

Isn't this an example of the argument that trying to set too high a cadence is less efficient because of the energy you're using mrerely turning your legs over?

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [2198 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
exilegareth wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

 I tend to favour a lower RPM when I'm really going for it uphill (strange really, my PR's have been at lower cadences).

 

That will be because you've hit your threshold HR before peak power due to higher cadences elevate HR.

I had a little experiement on Zwift riding up Volcano climb trying to set a new PB, my first attempt I had a cadence of 98rpm and averaged about 360W, my HR at threshold.  I did the climb a few days later and averaged 396W at 86rpm at threshold HR.  My second attempt felt slightly easier as my HR didnt hit threshold as quickly

Isn't this an example of the argument that trying to set too high a cadence is less efficient because of the energy you're using mrerely turning your legs over?

 

I guess so.  Its that balance between wasting energy by spinning too high and saving leg strength for later.  I tend to sacrifice outright speed on long rides to save legs by spinning.  If zwift racing then drop cadence to give power 

Avatar
fukawitribe [2545 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Daveyraveygravey wrote:

This is the emperor's new clothes, marketing people are dreaming this stuff up to try and get more sales.

Nah, plenty people are and have actually been asking for it from what we've heard. It's not for you - fine, you don't have to buy it - and it certainly doesn't suit all circumstances (no-one is pretending it is) but they're hardly compelling reasons to think it's all hype. The real world says your opinion isn't shared by a significant number of people, do you have anything to back it up ? This perpetual whining about every new choice  in cycling, often as though those who appreciate it somehow need 'saving' from their stupidity, is getting extremely tedious.