Racing crits/road on 1x- gearing!

I’ve got a crux pro set up as my road bike- long story short is I sold my old road race bike and now have 2 cx bikes for racing cx properly but now wanna do road too. I don’t want to buy a new road bike and also like the idea of beating people on a cross bike with canti’s set up as a road weapon :sweat_smile:

Issue is- gearing. I already know I’ll need two cassettes- one for general riding and hilly races and another for flat. Chainring size I assume needs to be a 50? I’m happy at high cadences and have a 46 32-11 on at the moment (it’s force 10 speed) but know for proper racing I’ll need more, especially at the end.

Anyone do this? I know it isn’t ideal compared to 2x but i like the challenge and different approach to it all, and don’t wanna buy a new Orca Aero just yet :stuck_out_tongue:

Pic for attention, ignore the steerer.

Ps it cost me £650 with a spare set of tubs and carbon s works bars that I sold for £65 as they were 6000cm wide. What a bargain :dancer:t2:

4 Likes

I’ve raced a crit on a cx bike. It was years ago. I think it was 46 with an 11 on the back. Honestly, I don’t recall it (gearing) holding me back. If you can ramp it up to 120 rpm you’ll get close to 40 mph (39.48). That’s 53-11 at about 105 rpm.

edit…you’ll be fine. Nice looking set up. Race it!

1 Like

I use http://www.gear-calculator.com/ for all of my gear calculation needs. You can use it to compare gearing ratios and look at speeds possible with various gearing and cadence combinations.

I have been 1x on the road for 2 years. I started with a 46t front and 11-36 in the rear. I lost a little top end from my 50/34 w/ 12-28. There are two times I spun out with the 46t: long mountain descents in a group going 40mph which happened once, and on a couple of fast downhills in group rides. I switched to a 48t and all is good.

For a crit I think the 46 with an 11t in the front would be fine, even in a sprint. I don’t think you need two cassettes. When I compared my 10 speed compact double to 11 speed 1x configurations there were basically 13 unique ratios with the double (20 total combinations but combining overlapping ratios made 13). I’m running 11 speed 1x, so I do loose 2 ratios, but they are in between other ratios that I already have. I don’t even notice in practice.

Of the hundreds of crits I’ve done, I think I only had to use the small chainring two or three times. There was obviously some kind of short, very steep hill on the course. For road races, I’d think you’d want 2X unless they are typically flat.

BTW, I have a 1X Crux I use for gravel and the 1X drives me crazy when I do mixed road/off road rides. When it’s just off road, then 1X is great.

I raced quite a few crits on my CX bike, its 2x but with normal CX 46/36 cranks. Never ran out of gears, would only be an issue if there was a downhill finish i reckon

I now have a 1x road bike, with 50t chainring and 11-32. Id ride anything but long sustained climbing road race on it fine. Have done the local ~9min climb on it for training a number of times. You just have to keep the power on a bit if climbing with the 50t so the cadence doesnt drop, which will never be an issue in a race :slight_smile:

If I rode somewhere without my local hills I’d def give 1x a try for fast road work. I’ve 1x on my gravel/adventure/arsing-about-bike and I love it. I reckon if you’re riding on flattish courses a 46 or 48 would work fine, since you’ve already got it you’ve nothing to lose really.

Also with road wheels that Crux looks really good.

That’s one sweet-looking bike. I don’t know the crit courses where you are, but the ones around here are either pancake flat or have very short, punchy climbs that you have to muscle your way up. I don’t think you’d even need 50:32 to do any of it, so it seems to me you have plenty of gears. In a crit race, I can’t think of situations where you’d want to be in the small chain ring.

If you want to use the bike for general road riding as well, that’s another question. The gearing you need really depends on the terrain. I live in Japan at a city at the coast. But if I go inlands, I have pretty steep mountains with long, sustained climbs. For rides on the coast I never, ever use my smaller chain ring. Even if I go a little inlands, I at most have rolling hills, which are manageable with a 50:28 or at most 50:32. If it is flat, though, I think you can easily go to a 46 chain ring IMHO. When I sprint my rpm is about 120 and I’m in my 12-tooth cog usually. That corresponds to 46:11. You can easily do 50+ km/h on the flats with those gears. And I don’t think you’ll be going any faster on the flats, unless you are sprinting. But even then, you’ll top out at 64.3 km/h rather than 69.9 km/h (at 120 rpm).

Most people do 1x wrong imo (hear me out)
Chainring should set the avg speed, the cassette sets the spread to take care of a range. I think people going 34+ in the back to try to make up for it are forcing a 1x in situations that dont make the most sense.
56-11/23 on the tt bike; 54-11/28 for the crit bike. In a race where you avg north of 25mph you’re lowest speed will (hopefully) be close. I’d say at least a 50t, probably a 52 (and even in a 52 I hit the 11 more often than the 25 or 28t, hence the 54t).

Racing here in Texas, I’ve been fine with 54 11-26 for crits/ time trials and 52 11-32 for road races/ everyday riding.

I think I am missing your point, in what respect is your advice different? Are you proposing that a crit bike should be geared like a TT bike, i. e. you purposefully overgear so that most of the time you are in the middle of the cassette, which is slightly more efficient? That’s true, but I don’t think this matters too much if you are racing in the lower categories. And it might make your bike less suitable for general riding and training.

Otherwise, if efficiency is not the point, why would you need a 52- or 54-tooth chainring when you are going, say, 30 miles per hour/50 km/h? On my (2x) road bike, I am usually self-selecting my 50:13 at about 100 rpm. I recently had a loaner with a semicompact for two weeks, and I didn’t really feel much of an advantage in terms of efficiency.

Of course, the math changes if your self-selected cadences tend to be in a lower range, which is certainly the case for some people. Then a larger chain ring makes sense, too.

In that people think having a 52/36 but being 100% of the time in the 52t is no problem, but when selecting a single ring they hesitate and gear down “just in case”. Efficiency is negligible. If your big ring is a 50t and you like it, you should get a 1x 50t.
Or look at your race avg, choose a chainring size, see the lowest and highest speed and choose a cassette with that.

The reason for the two cassettes is that I live in a pretty hilly/rolling area and there are climbs that need a 36-25/28 for 5+ mins so thought a 48-36 for that purpose but then crits/races I’ve done are averaging 26-28mph on a flat motor circuit so would rather closer ratios.

The sprint can be anywhere from 34-40 I guess. I sit in the higher cadence bracket for sure so would rather spin!