Basic 1x Road conversion

Question for the mechanics or road 1x enthusiasts please!

I’m thinking of a really basic, low budget, 1x conversion for my 105 R7000 equipped road bike. With a 48T narrow wide front ring such as a Wolf Tooth, and either 11-32 or 11-34 rear cassette.

I have a SS R7000 rear mech, Shimano quote capacity on that as 35, low sprocket max 30T. I don’t want to buy the the GS R7000 rear mech, which offers capacity 39, low sprocket max 34T.

I’m thinking: 1) Rear mech capacity shouldn’t be a problem because the ‘slackest’ combination in such a 1x setup would be 48-32 (or 48-34). 2) Clearance for the 32 or 34 sprocket might be an issue - but in that case, a Wolf Tooth road link should create the clearance and would be cheaper than a new GS rear mech.

Please point out the no doubt numerous flaws in this reasoning…

Anyone done something similar?



I have an Allez Sprint x1 with a SRAM Road Force drivetrain. Have you looked into this? It runs a 10-32 with the short derailer. There are two other longer derailer lengths if you need bigger cogs.

I think trying to keep stuff in the family is worth the lack of headaches in the long run from kit bashing a setup.

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With 1x, the total capacity doesn’t really matter like it does in 2x, just the difference between smallest and largest cog. So an SS RD has 35T and GS RD has 39T
1x (48-48)+(36-11) = 35T
2x (50-34)+(36-11)=41T

So it really just matters how far the cage can swing to gather up the chain. I think 11-32t with the SS should work fine even though its rated at 30T with the right chain length. The GS can probably do 36t easy - that’s $49. I’d do a proper 105 GS or RD-RX810 over the Wolflink for lateral rigidity.
Also, note that 11sp 11-34t cassette is a MTB cassette, you need to run the spacer on a 11sp road rear hub.

You need a new chain likely, so get a 12sp chain and the right ring for the 12sp chain. The 12sp chain is made to swing side to side more and will work better than the 11sp with the right ring. If you’re thinking about the bigger cassette, do that upfront so you don’t need to buy two chains.

Keep in mind that parts are in short supply, so make sure you can get them first. Don’t buy anything on backorder.

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I’m assuming you are aware of the potential issues of running a 1x without a clutched RD. There is a way to increase tension on the RD cage by moving the spring location but I haven’t done it with R7000, only with previous generation 6800


Finally, consider running a chain catcher for cheap insurance

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I have a TT 1x setup with narrow-wide 58T chainring and SS Ultegra rear mech (no clutch) with an 11-32 cassette. No issues with clearance or chain slack and have never dropped a chain.

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I think the wolftooth link is supposed to be more rigid than OEM.

I’ve got one on my grx (so I can use a 50t cassette when current dies) and certainly haven’t noticed any worse shifting than the stock.

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Just don’t change gear on the front!:joy:

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I ran a poor man’s 1x before upgrading to a “real” 1x system (SRAM Force 1x group):

  • Removed FD and cabling to the shifter
  • Installed a 42T narrow wide front ring - converted my existing 2x crank with spacers from Praxis.
  • Installed a chain catcher

It worked well outside of really rough gravel where I experienced a few chain drops.

Note on the 42T ring: I live a really mountainous area of the country and do not race road. A 42 up front and 11/36 in the back was pretty reasonable for all but the steepest climbs and fastest group rides.


Don’t run that one in particular, because you can’t flip up the cover. You should be fine without a clutched RD and NW ring… how often does your chain fall off now with 2x - never? The chainguide is enough (or just use the FD).

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I mean there is a reason every manufacturer has clutched RDs for all their road systems now. DIY 1x systems in cross were pretty popular before sram released their 1x road systems and people(including me) would drop them all the time still even with narrow wides. Heck people drop chains still with clutched RDs, anyone remember the aquablue fiasco?

Not sure why you need to flip up a chain guide either


It’s called repeated severe bumps while offroading with longer cage (larger range) RDs. 1x road was originally sold for CX/Gravel/Adventure. The features are there to differentiate it from 2x more so than actual need for road. 1x is just 2x without the other ring and FD. The only time you drop a chain 2x is when shifting. A chainkeeper or NW ring will do the same for 1x. For road, you’re better off with the keeper for when you take your rear wheel off.

The clutch is pretty annoying if you can avoid it.

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Maybe if you only ride smooth roads. 1x with short cage RDsof course was almost always what was used with CX setups and dropped chains were still a semi regular occurance. People drop chains on 2x even when not shifting just watch some old cobbled classics. Difference with 2x of course is that you can usually pedal it back on.

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What i have:
R8000 derailleur, with the wolftooth Roadlink DM
Shimano 105 shifters
Tiagra crank
Absolute black 46T oval chainring
Shimano 11-40 cassette

The SS R7000 derailleur will work on that bigger 11-34 cassette with the Roadlink. I think 11-36 and 11-40 even work in a 1x setup

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Thanks for the advice all, much appreciated.

Great to know, thanks. What front ring is that? And do you just mount it on the crankset in the big ring position and find the chain line is good, or any fiddling with spacers, offset etc? Cheers

Aerocoach 58T. Yup, I just mounted it and chain line to the gears I use most was pretty good so no fiddling.

I just converted my gravel/road bike to a 1x. It had a 44T chainring, and a 11-34 cassette. I took it on a group ride with a handful of road riders, and realized I needed a bigger chainring. I will have a 48T chainring switched out today. My old 2x had a 46T big ring, which was fine, but I wanted more top end speed.

I also took my bike on a solo gravel ride last weekend, and found myself spending too much time in the biggest gear, so I feel confident in the switch to a bigger chainring. Even on some of the longer climbs later in my ride, I found myself not really needing the easiest gear.

I’ll find out soon when I get back out on a group ride.

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My gravel bike has a 46x11 gear as well and it was fine on group rides. 48x34 low gear…you must be super strong haha

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Good to hear, thanks!

Ha, we’ll see how the climbing goes in that gearing.

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