1X Drivetrain On A Budget

Looking for a bit of advice here, the secondhand Specialized Crux CX bike I bought really cheaply to see if I liked cross has an old 2x9 setup with ultegra shifters and a cheap MTB derailleur.

I’m keen to switch to 1X to simplify things and want to do this on a budget, as depending on how well this upcoming southern hemisphere cross season goes I will likely buy something new and sell this bike on, so don’t want to invest too much in it.

Would it work if I got say… 10 speed 105 shifters (don’t think the rear hub is 11 speed compatible), switch the dual ring setup out for a 40T narrow wide chainring (the bike has a new 105 CX crankset already), 11-36T MTB cassette, and something like a XT Shadow+ MTB derailleur?

  • The pull ratio for Shimano 10 and 11 speed Road shifters does not match up to the Dynasys pull ratio for 10 and 11 speed MTB derailleurs. If you want that matchup, you need to add a Wolftooth Tanpan.

On a budget means different things to different people. Do you have a price range? I did my Giant TCX for about $300.

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You are going to need a converter to run road shifters with a MTB rear mech

Alternatively if you are just sticking with a 36T cassette you could possibly use the GRX 10 speed rear mech instead of an MTB one. So no tanpan required



Was hoping for around $500 NZD which is about $350 USD so your post gives me hope!!

Awesome, the GRX would make things way simpler, didn’t realise the pull ratio was different!

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Yea, it’s definitely doable. I had the luxury of starting with a 2x11 ultegra groupset so I didn’t have to deal with new shifters. That allowed me to spend the money on the mid level GRX stuff, with the XT cassette. I’m confident you can do it.

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Possibly dumb question, are there specific 1X left road shifters or is there some trick to stop them moving without having a derailleur attached?

Also I need to use cable brake shifters as the Crux has cantis :slight_smile:

Zip tie. I just use a little zip tie to make the lever not move. No idea if there’s a better solution. You could always use that lever for a dropper seat post in the future ;).


HA! Yes after watching the GCN video where they put a dropper post on a CX/Gravel bike I was thinking about that :smiley:

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The only 1x specific Shimano road shifters are the new GRX, which are hydro brake only. So you just are stuck with a 2x shifter for cable brakes.

You can consider running a short cable and housing, to a hard cable pinch stop, that could reduce or eliminate the lever rotation. But it will be a bodge to make happen.

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I built my Gravel bike as budget (use it for cross also)

I purchased an entry level Diverge and tore everything off of it (minus brake caliber).

I had an entire 10spd Dura-Ace group sitting in a box and a 6800 Ultegra 172.5 crank sitting in another box. I also had some old bars, stem and thomson seatpost laying around.

I purchased a Shimano XT 10-spd 11-36 cassette and a derailleur extender, a Wolf 38T front ring, saddle, some on sale XT rotors, some Specialized Tracer Tires and some used SLX24 wheels and went on with my day.

It works flawlessly and is probably my favorite bike, its weight runs with bikes that cost tremendously more, I think when it was all said and done I had $2000-2300 in the bike complete.

This was a long post to simply say that just keep your stuff or if you have stuff laying around to upgrade the bike. In my experience all old 10speed shimano road parts works with MTB 10 speed parts, you have to get the short rear derailleur lengthened out in order to run larger cogs on the cassette though.

PS - I took the claris I pulled of the bike originally and built an old steel road frame I had sitting around and sold it to a local guy for a cool $600 offsetting the price even more! I took the OEM wheels and tires and sold them on a forum for $200 plus shipping so I really made out on the deal!

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Thanks Chad! That made me think, I could leave the FD cable in place and just terminate the inner cable at one of the FD mounting points, it has barrel adjusters on the gear cables so I could do this, would prefer to avoid tho’ if possible :smiley:

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Handy compatibility chart: https://productinfo.shimano.com/#/com?acid=C-454&cid=C-453

No issues with GRX RX400 and 2x10 Road Shifters :slight_smile: I think I’m gonna go this way, thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions!!

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Why even change it at all? The best budget idea is to do nothing!

I have an S-Works Crux that came with 1X. I use it for gravel - don’t race cross. I actually wish it was 2X because transitioning from gravel to road usually means running out of top gear on a downhill. I also have large jumps between the cogs (11-40 cassette) which don’t bother me on gravel but do seem a little annoying on the road.

But I’m just going to stick with 1X because it would cost a small fortune to convert - hydro levers are pricey, plus the derailleur, new cassette, etc.

Microshift Advent 1x9 is effing killer.
I fought really hard to put it on sub-$1000 (USD) bikes.
The downside is the larger gaps in shifting.

10 and 11 speed exist as well as the XLE groupset.

It’s not as precise as Shimano or Sram but man oh man, for a budget it’s KILLER!

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grx rx400 only works with 4700 tiagra 10 speed and GRX 10 speed shifters

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Cheers! Yes I have some 4700 levers on order :slight_smile:

I’m changing it because the old 9 speed ultegra shifters it has on it are pretty stuffed, the bike was assembled from just a frame on a budget by the guy I bought it off, and I don’t see the point of 2x for cross, I only ever use the small ring :smiley:

Plan is to go 42T on the front and the GRX derailleur can only take 11-36 so will use that on the rear, should be a pretty decent spread!