How are riders justifying 1x setup for gravel/road?

VWA running 1x in MSR :face_with_monocle:

3 Likes

… which must be why he “only” finished third. If he only had a second chainring … :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :grin:

4 Likes

SRAM. Couldnt afford a dropped chain with their atrocity of a Front Derailleur

And a 430wFTP helps eliminate equipment restrictions.

2 Likes

If only WVA had read this thread first!!

Data point - first gravel race of the year for me today and I’d estimate 90% of the pointy end was on 1x and a surprising number running mullet eagle. Whether this is the result of bike industry conspiracy or it’s just a better system is certainly up for debate, but 1x has become the standard around here (central TX) for gravel racing. This was a rolling course, mix of smooth dirt, a little pavement, and lots of chunky gravel and without any steep or technical stuff (100k, ~3.5k of climbing).

BTW, it was an epic day for bike racing, perfect weather for this time of year. Another observation - gravel races are getting faster and faster every year as more of the strong roadies are doing them and pack/drafting dynamics are increasing. Winning speed of the race today was almost 22mph, 21mph last year, was only ~17-18mph back in 2018 and 2019 for this same race before gravel really started to explode. I wouldn’t attribute any of that speed increase to the move toward 1x drivetrains, but I also don’t think it’s slowing anyone down.

12 Likes

This take is way too balanced haha.

I do think you make a great point about the changing nature of those racing.

My conclusion is that with the upcoming GRX 48-31, 11-36….most of us will want to stick with Shimano 2x.

2 Likes

I run a single-speed. Problem solved.

6 Likes

That would work great for me. Except I’d have a front derailleur :face_vomiting:

(I’m joking, front derailleurs are great on road bikes :laughing:)

2 Likes

Singlespeed: Always The Wrong Gear :joy::joy:

I love my SS bikes!

3 Likes

There have been over a 100 posts since my first reply. Without reading them, but with riding 100’s of miles since then I can refine my stance.
On a muddy course I would 100% recommend 1X setup- if the course is not mud ridden then a 2x would be my choice for the range of gearing and both up/down gearing.

2 Likes

My conclusion is that the 2x owners have a gravel bike that they ride also on the road.

4 Likes

I’ve done 100-120km events with around 1500m climbing (nothing particularly steep or sustained) with 38T and a 11-34T cassette. One was especially muddy/tacky.

I’ve also done a 200km event with 3000m climbing, plenty of which is steep, on and off road with 44T and 11-42T cassette. Did the same event with a 2x, 48/35 and 10-33T cassette.

There were spots where 44T was spun out, but it was no issue holding onto groups simply by drafting. Even early on in the race with everyone excited on a road descent, I dropped no spots. The 38T wasn’t spun out either, but the courses had no steep descents to test it on. It would definitely have been a challenge on other courses.

Having done both, I’ll be switching to a 2x setup for my next bike. Some of the jumps on the 11-42 are a little higher than ideal, though that didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it may. 44/42 definitely wasn’t enough range for the steeper stuff. When 200W has you grinding out 50rpm and not even moving 7kmh, you know there’s a problem.

1 Like

Just to throw a curve ball in your conclusion, I have a road bike with 1x which also accepts 650b 48mm wheel/tire combos…:wink:

2 Likes

This is where I’m at. But also, I used my CX bike for two years as my everything racing crits, road, grave, and cx. I regret selling it. Truly a great rig. 50t 1x 11-36. Would swap to a 40/42 for gravel and cx. Could do 40s.

Now running GRX 46/30 11-36 and needing more gears when doing group rides and the one crit I did. Was interesting. I might do the GRX 48/31 cranks and get the e13 9-34 cassette but IDK.

Also debating going 48t 1x 10-50 axs.

2 Likes

Things are changing:

6 Likes

It seems that even road bike pro teams are catching on — if they have the choice. With SRAM, the teams do have a first-party choice, I don’t think SRAM dictates whether teams have to use a 1x or 2x setup. I am not sure what their position on teams running Classified hubs is, perhaps it is simply “nobody will notice”? :wink:

I am very excited, we can all argue in forums like this until we are blue in the face, but the proof is in the pudding. How many more generations until Shimano will offer a first-party road bike 1x solution?

Cool to see the Wolf Tooth chain guide on a WT-level bike too.

2 Likes

Something something marginal gains :thinking:

Unbound 2023 was a great example of where 1x excelled. With all that mud, taking the front derailleur out of the equation had to help with. I ran Eagle Mullet with KMC chain catcher.

1 Like