1X11 gearing for TR

The only thing is that on dumb trainers where you cannot adjust the resistance (e. g. fluid trainers), the most suitable gear combinations depend on your trainer’s resistance curve and your FTP. Be that as it may, gear range is not an issue with my TrainerRoad workouts. (50/34 with an 11-25 cassette has pretty much the same range as 1x with 10-33 or 11-36 cassettes.)

1 Like

Dumb trainer here as well (Tacx Booster at max resistance). 300+ W FTP. 50/34 and 11-25.

Unless standing, I’m in the little ring. However, I really don’t like having more than one cog difference between gears in the cassette. It’s really annoying when I’m at the limit on long intervals to be between gears. So I wouldn’t like the huge spacing between gears in a 1x system on a dumb trainer.

Two things: first of all, the spacing between the cogs of SRAM’s 11-36 cassette aren’t huge, on the climbing end they are exactly the same as on SRAM’s 11-28 and 11-32 cassettes. Sure, they are larger than on an 11-25 cassette, but I don’t ride an 11-25 cassette outside either. On a dumb trainer, there is some logic to using a more finely spaced cassette, though.

Secondly, there is something to be said to using the same cassette outdoors and indoors. Outside I have to vary the cadence just the same if I want to stick to a certain power target.

If you’ve used TR before, which gears are you using now? You can work out if you’ll have the same range with a 1x by looking at bikecalc.com or similar. Will depend on the chainring and cassette on the 1x.

The other issue is the steps between gears, but that comes down to personal preference.


I do that without shifting - smoothly slow down the cadence to let the trainer catch up and increase the resistance to maintain power, then stand up; slowly accelerate cadence back to normal afterwards. It’s part of the “rewards” I give myself during recovery between demanding interval blocks. “You’ll get to stand and stretch for a moment. Later. Just push now and stop whining”.

Yeah you can do that but it just doesn’t work as well especially if you’re in the middle of an SST, LT, or VO2 interval. You may not be able to spin the trainer back up once you bog yourself down by letting your cadence drop in that gear. I also prefer to mimic what I would do on my road/gravel bike actually outside.

Obviously some personal preference there but it really is much better to me to use 2x.


Agreed. The “slow down your cadence” or “speed up your cadence” to deal with low cadence work and standing in particular, never sat well with me.

I discovered the shifting “trick” and never looked back. It’s funny really, because the shifting is exactly how we handle these similar efforts (for standing anyway). We shift up to get the gearing to work best with a standing cadence. That usually means 2-3 shifts on the cassette, or a small to big ring jump.

I have used that since I started in ERG training back with my PowerBeam Pro around 2015. Works a treat and is MUCH faster to handle compared to the slow-down/speed-up recommendations. I even wrote an article on it because I wanted to make sure people knew of a better way.

1 Like

Correct - I meant during a recovery between intervals, not during one.

I’ll try it.

1 Like

Been using different 1x setups on the wheel on trainer (kurt kinetic rock and roll).
46t, 42t and 38t all on 11-23 and all have been fine.

1 Like

I use an ovalised Wolf Tooth chainring on my trainer bike. I’d need to check but I think it’s 46t (edit: it’s 42t). No issues. I would run out of high gears on Zwift but I flicked that so is a non issue now. Erg and non-erg are both fine for me with this setup.

Ditto. I have the same trainer (Elite Turbo Muin 2) which for those who don’t know it is basically a “wheel off” dumb fluid trainer - similar to a Kurt Kinetic.

I ride a 50/34 with a 12-29 cassette on-road and always found that when using this setup doing indoor TR workouts the gearing I favoured was somewhere easier than the 50 and harder than the 34 - no matter where I was on the cassette.

I’ve recently bought a “good weather” carbon bike for outdoors and my old aluminium bike has now been converted to a 1x with a 42t ring (right in the middle of the 50/34). Coupled with an 11-25, this gives me the perfect range I need for TR workouts. Everything from warmup/recovery, threshold work and sprints are covered.

To the OP: Your mileage may very. It’s going to depend a lot on your own physiology, the resistance on your trainer, and to some extent the type of workouts you focus on. But for me it’s worked very well.