Sram axs 1x for all things road

Hi all,
New to posting in the forum. I’m looking to change groupsets. Im getting the 2019 venge and ride roads, mountains and triathlons. What are peoples thoughts on using the 1x system for everything? It seems to be aimed more a cyclocross but whats the downside apart from less gears than a 2x?
I know AquaBlue tried and didnt get on with it, but that wasn’t with the current AXS and their main problem seemed to be chain drops which would be greatly reduced here.

Thanks all


For climbing I don’t know if a 1x drivetrain would have the proper range without also having pretty big jumps in between gears.

I think with the extra gear (AXS being 12 speed), it gives you a wide variability of gears with the simplicity of have only one chain ring.

I race mainly MTB with 1x12 Eagle and train predominantly road/gravel with 2x11 Di2. I could never ever picture myself riding 1x12 on the road/gravel. Can’t stand those bigger jumps between gears.

But that’s just me, my preferences, the terrain I ride.

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Bigger jumps are an issue with smaller sprockets. For bigger sprockets larger jumps are fine, since you are probably climbing and grinding anyway. So if you choose you sprocket sizes carefully, you should be fine.

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I went 1x exclusively for about 2 years and really enjoyed it. I live in a fairly hilly area and the only problem I had was spinning out on flats/downhills. I recently went back 2x on the road thinking I would enjoy having the extra range, now I find myself missing the simplicity of the 1x. When the 12 speed trickles down to be more affordable I will be back on 1x. The big jumps on the cassette didn’t bother me, but I am not someone who is really concerned with cadence.

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I tried to use my 1x cx bike as a road ride, I didn’t have good results. Fearing that worked for climbing rides left me getting dropped on flats and downhills.

In my opinion, you still need 2x for a road bike if it’s to be able to do climbing rides and fast group rides.

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I use 1x11 28frnt w/11-46 cassette (Shimano XT) on my MTB. Top speed is severely limited, even with 32 front. It will probably climb up a wall though.

Cannot recommend 1x setup on a road bike right now. Just don’t see it.

By the way, my road bike has 52/36 and 11-30 cassette, I think it’s perfect.

Shimano Ultegra 2x has more gears, is much cheaper, and is well-tested over time. The front shifting is smooth and painless. It might be less new, shiny, and exotic than SRAM AXS, but it’s superior in almost every way. For me, there’s no argument.


Also looking forward to dumping the tragic front derailleur and for all round use like training SRAM have nailed the range for most people. The problem I think you’ll have is TT’ing. You’ll have to switch cassette to something tighter. I am loathe to have even 3 tooth jumps when really on my limit and trying to pace with power. Too often one gear is too spinny and power drops or and another gear up is too hard and power drops.

But most of the time, I don’t mind. When fresh it’s easy to switch cadence to suit. I’m riding and training on a 2x9 speed gravel bike the past couple months and love it. Huge range and yes there are bigger jumps than my 11 speed road and TT bikes but honestly it’s great fun and I ride the hell out of it. Don’t even think about the gear jumps unless it comes up in conversation.

You probably would have a different cassette permanently fitted to your TT rear wheel anyway right? So technically you don’t even need to bother removing cassette from hub every time?

In terms of 1x matching 2x11 speed the numbers show that you pretty much want 1x13 to kinda match it as you have quite a few redundant gears in the 2x system. With 1x12 you’re at a slight disadvantage. So it’s a trade off between slightly less gearing and a cleaner, more aero?, less fiddly system.

To me getting rid of the FD on road bikes is a long term grail of mine so I’m looking forward to the near future. Will try apex 1x12 on my gravel bike once this sora wears out.

If you ride relatively flat terrain, you can do the switch now. When I just ride the rolling hills along the coast (in the North of Japan), I always stay in my 50-tooth chainring (with an 11-32 in the back). It is not completely flat, mind you, but I can power over these hills. Only on longer, sustained and harder climbs do I change into my small chain ring. So depending on your riding, maybe you can make do with one chain ring and a wide range cassette without making any compromises.

With SRAM’s largest-range cassette, you have a range of 330 %, which is nigh identical to that of the 11-36 that Team AquaBlue used. One of Adam Blythe’s complaints was also fatigue, I believe. But now you have more closely spaced gears at the top end, so perhaps that will take care of that.

With 2x11 you have 14 effective gears. Ditto for 2x12, because the front chain rings are more closely spaced. If you are interested in 1x, have a look at Rotor’s 13-speed groupset, where you are “missing” only one gear and you are not missing any range. They offer four cassettes, although for road applications the closely spaced 10-36 (360 %) and the 10-39 (390 % range) are the relevant ones. The top end is very tightly spaced (the first 6 gears are 1 tooth apart) and you have larger gaps towards the end of the cassette.

If I had the money, I’d immediately go for Rotor’s 1x groupset, because I hate my small chain ring — pedaling just doesn’t feel right and shifting up is a chore (mechanical Shimano Ultegra 6800).

I think this is the biggest obstacle for most: SRAM eTap Red AXS is really expensive. Perhaps eTap Force AXS (or whatever it will be called) will be cheaper, but I don’t think it will be cheap by any means.

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I’m somewhat optimistic that a mechanical version will be availiable at some point in the future. That would be absolutely perfect for me since I currently run a 50 x 10-42 on my gravel bike. The gear range is totally adequate for climbing and crit racing, but the gaps between the gears are too much on the 11 speed.


I just don’t want to get my hopes up just to be disappointed later. I’d love to put an affordable SRAM 1x12-speed groupset on my bike yesterday! (I have got the gear ratios all figured out, a 10-36 cassette would give me enough range for what I do, coupled to a 42 or 44 tooth chain ring.)

I agree that SRAM will release 12-speed mechanical group sets eventually, but it may take another year or two.

I ran 1x11 on my gravel bike for many years (42t front with 10-42 cassette) and had no issues keeping up with group rides. There were times that I’d be spinning rather fast, but I don’t ever remember it being that much of an issue.

That being said, I’m back on the 2x. I could easily seeing myself going 1x Sram AXS eventually.

Thanks for all your input/help! It is probably a little early to take the plunge, especially given the AXS price, but I imagine this is the way things will one day go with Rotor being a good example

I posted comparisons of the gear development in the other Sram AXS thread:


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Although I would quibble and say that you don’t get 15 and 17 gears with Shimano and SRAM, respectively, because you can’t constantly change between chain rings to switch between intermediate gears. With Shimano 11-speed, you typically get 14 distinct gears depending on the cassette and chain ring combo. And with SRAM’s new AXS groupset you also only get 14 distinct gears because of the larger jumps at the end of the cassette and the smaller size difference of the two chain rings.

The 1x set up for road is sufficient for most triathlon, criterium and TT bikes, but, for most people, the SRAM AXS 1x is not sufficient for very hilly terrain.

You can go to and play with the numbers, but, the pic below shows a 46/10-33 is about the same as a 34/25 on the low end and 50/11 on the top end. The 1x set up ships with a 50t or 52t chainring. Until the AXS is able to accommodate a 39t cassette, you won’t get the same low end as a compact set up.

Disclaimer - I ride a 1x and swap between 50/11-32 for race days and 50/14-42 for training days/hilly courses. I was looking forward to AXS, but, am going with Rotor 1/13 instead so I can use 46/10-39 all the time.


For calculating gear ratios I prefer to use It allows you to compare two setups, include tire size, shows you how large the jumps between gears are and the only limitations are that it doesn’t go up to 13 gears yet and the newest SRAM and Rotor cassettes aren’t in the list of defaults yet.

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