1x10 on a tri bike?

So, I’m looking to turn my felt b16 into a 1x10.
Recently the guide of the front deruller broke and more than likely felt will not cover it, although it’s in my opinion a manufacturer defect (horrible placement).

Anyway. I live in Florida so hills are not many, but there is an are in central Florida that it can get hilly. Not super climbs but lots of rolling. I do some races in that area so I want to make sure I have enough to climb (the biggest one is probably 10% inclination but is not super long, although is the biggest hill in Florida (sugar loaf)

I have a 52 on front, which I could probably change to something smaller if necessary.

I also need a long cage to put a bigger cassette.

What combination would you guys recommend?


It depends on your riding style. Most TTers I know moan about the large gaps between gears in a 1x system, “can never find the right gear”.

I’d see if you can race one of those courses with you current setup, but don’t use the small ring. Or pay close attention to the gears you actually ride in, and then look up the gear ratios and work out if a 1x system can give you the same.

Hey Joel,

Instead of getting a different rear derailleur you could always go with a Wolf Tooth Roadlink. It makes your medium cage into a long cage for around $22. For cassettes you could look at 10 speed MTN bike cassettes- something like a 12 - 34. Only downside would be like Splash says is the gaps are not great.

I did this for a gravel/commuter I built up from spare parts, I am running a 44 Wolf Tooth narrow wide chainring in the front. You could use a site like BikeCalc.com to check out some of the gear combos

I run 1x on my TT bike. 58T up front, 11-28 cassette, works great though I do all my training on flattish roads and don’t race on anything steep enough that the gearing becomes a problem. What kind of speed are you going up that 10% climb at?

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1x10 is going to involve some significant compromises - either in range, or the size of the jumps between gears.

If you are getting a new RD and a new cassette anyway, perhaps get a new rear shifter and turn it into a 1x11 system? (A 1x12 system would be even better in terms of range and size of jumps, but considerably more expensive.

Why? You could use an 11-28 cassette with a suitable chainring. That’s plenty finely spaced. With a SRAM cassette you have 5 cogs with 1-tooth jumps between them. For flat courses that might be enough.

Why would you need a new front shifter for a 1x system? There is no front mech, that’s the whole point.

Good catch. I meant rear shifter.

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Thanks all

I would consider changing to 1x11 since the deruller seems to be not super expensive (mechanical). Maybe that will make the jumps in gear slightly more tolerable.

Now. If I do that, would my wheel still work?

I’m willing to spend about 200 on changing this.
I don’t wish to spend more money that I need on the bike. My goal is to make this my trainer bike and get a new bike within 24 months.

The FREEHUB BODY I need can be purchased for about 100 (maybe less). Then a new 11 speed Ultegra mechanical I’ve seen new for about 85. Then I need probably a shifter

Thanks in advance for any help.

Most freehub bodies can do both 10 and 11 speed, so you might not need a new one.

Regarding the rear mech - not entirely sure how this works for shimano, but a 1x specific mech will keep the chain tension better.

You’ll need a new rear shifter to use the extra gear obviously.

And a new 1x (narrow-wide) chainring.

Cassette and chain are the same.

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Bigger gears are more efficient, of course. Think 250 to 150 mW gained for every tooth added. So, taken to the extreme, a bigger front chainring and bigger cogs in the back can save material Watts.

On the other hand cross-chaining can cost you 7-8 Watts so there is that to keep in mind!

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