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Help me decide - 1x or 2x for an all-round bike?

  • 18-06-2021 8:56am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    I built a Genesis CdF 853 over Christmas holidays (it was my project to keep me from drinking with two weeks off and nothing to do). My plan is to use it for gravel, winter road bike, possibly on the turbo from time to time.

    When I first built it up, I realised on the first ride that the 105 FD is not fully compatible with the GRX crankset. You can get it working perfectly on the stand, but actually riding the bike isn't as smooth as it should be and I got some chain drops. I picked up various GRX parts as they came into stock over the last few months.

    I therefore now have a choice of the following gearing:
    • 1x Shimano GRX 600 / 812 (40t front, 11-42 rear)
    • 2x Shimano GRX / 105 mix (46-30t front, 11-32 rear)

    For me the advantages of 1x are that I much prefer the simpler shifting and lack of FD on gravel rides - helps with maintenance, tire clearance, not having to get into the small ring on changing terrain. It would rule out the turbo as I would spin out (I can live with that though).

    The main advantage I can see of 2x is therefore better gearing for road rides. I could probably deal with the gaps / not ideal cadence (I notice this on road sections on my current gravel bike with the same gearing). What it comes down to really is can a 40-11 lowest gear deal with a group ride at around 27kmh? Looking online you only spin out around 45kmh in 11-40. Has anyone ever done a group ride on a 1x with similar gearing?

    Any views either way? Am I ruling out use as a road bike on group rides if I go 1x? Is it a case of allround needs 2x, if I go 1x it is pretty much a gravel only bike?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    Oh two bikes for sure

    3 better again


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    fat bloke wrote: »
    Oh two bikes for sure

    3 better again
    Oh don't worry about that - I currently have good bike, winter bike, gravel bike, parent's house bike, in-laws' house bike, and a Brompton. This is just an extra which may replace one or more of the fleet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ zindicato


    That's my all around bike same gearing as you've mentioned ,no problem with the speeds you've mentioned there, fastest recently on the royal canal dublin to mullingar was 43kph we were maintaining 30-35kmh most of the way you'll just be pedalling more than the roady guys ( cadence training ) but it still feels soft compared my road bike so it's more gentle on the knees


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,335 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    fwiw I've had no issues on gravel with 2x10 with an fsa crankset, which I upgraded to 2x10 GRX, set up. That's on my Topstone Tiagra. Mainly gravel but some single track around Ballinastoe (every built trail except bump n grind and expressway, so nothing that narly) but including some fairly rough gravel where Coillte have been logging. I've never dropped the chain and that's with the standard tiagra rear mech. I'll caveat it though, that I only had 1x on a mtb a few years ago, so I've nothing to compare it with.

    I haven't noticed enough of an issue to change anyway. Only I already have a alu giant defy with (mechanical) discs I'd have no problem with the Topstone as a winter road bike, but it's still more hassle swapping wheels than having both ready to go!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    Seriously though. I'd go for a 1x. I've limited enough experience of them but I did some on and off road riding on a cx bike with a 1x setup and I was very impressed. Didn't feel constrained by gearing and loved the simplicity of it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 789 ✭✭✭ columbus_66


    I've had a 1x for the last 2 years and I can say it's very good. I have used it for road racing with a 48 front ring and 11-32, I've tried 40,42, and 44 as well but for fast descents on the road a 48-11 is good but for a day in the mountains a 48 on the front may not be low enough, 48-32 is the same as a 42-28 so ok for most hills. The 11-40 cassette has a lot of gaps for road riding.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    https://www.donedeal.ie/bicycles-for-sale/3t-strada-aquablue-road-bike/28397519

    I'd love to give this a go. Has anyone here had one?


  • Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ philten


    I have 2 x on my gravel bike and like the small jumps between gears and the fact that it's a seamless transition when I go from my road bike to my 'gravel which does a lot of road anyway.

    I have 1x 11 on a hardtail and fs. On hardtail I do spin out alot on downhill or flat sections, running a 34t chainring and find the jumps between gears a bit annoying but wouldn't change from 1x on mtb bikes as simplicity wins out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    Thanks all for the inputs - I'm leaning in the direction of giving 1x a try but will hang on to the 2x crankset

    To add - my only worry about the chain dropping on gravel was due to the 105 FD.

    So I'm in a situation where I need to change either the FD, or RD and crankset.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,335 ✭✭✭ Macy0161


    fwiw prior to going GRX (which necessitated a FD change), I was on Tiagra without issue. Ironically enough, I only dropped the chain once, and that was on the road the day before it's 3 month check up!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,093 ✭✭✭ Peterx


    With an XD driver set up (I think) you can have a 10-42 at the back and a 42 at the front making the single ring very feasible.
    For me the 40 Front 11 at the back spins out a bit earlier then I would like for an all-round bike and the GRX 46/31 makes a lot of sense.

    In saying that the one bike to rule them all for me is an 1x aluminium CX bike with 38T front and 11-36 on the back. That will get you up most climbs and manage 44kph before you spin out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    Peterx wrote: »
    With an XD driver set up (I think) you can have a 10-42 at the back and a 42 at the front making the single ring very feasible.
    For me the 40 Front 11 at the back spins out a bit earlier then I would like for an all-round bike and the GRX 46/31 makes a lot of sense.

    In saying that the one bike to rule them all for me is an 1x aluminium CX bike with 38T front and 11-36 on the back. That will get you up most climbs and manage 44kph before you spin out.
    Thanks, I do actually have a spare XD driver and I also need to buy a second cassette (I'll use separate wheelsets for road and gravel) so I might try a SRAM 10-40 and then change the front chainring to something bigger if I end up using it on the road a bit. My only worry would be indexing being off if I leave a Shimano freehub and 11-42 on the other wheelset.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 ✭✭✭ Strobing


    https://www.specialized.com/ie/en/tarmac-sl7-pro---sram-force-etap-axs-1x/p/175294?color=290853-175294&searchText=94920-1144

    Wanna perhaps pickup a Specialzed Tarmac sometime. I notice there's an option to get a SRAM Force 1, not sure what the 1x would be like but the Tarmac SL7 is generally a good all round road bike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 42 DJB030244


    fat bloke wrote: »
    https://www.donedeal.ie/bicycles-for-sale/3t-strada-aquablue-road-bike/28397519

    I'd love to give this a go. Has anyone here had one?

    I’ve a strada too, not this WD40 model but still 1-11. 50T 11/36 gearing . Nicer colour too !

    It’s a blast to ride- surprisingly comfortable and very stiff.
    I don’t find the gears too gappy . Easy enough to climb . Of course you can change wheels cassettes etc to suit but never felt the need . With the campagnolo Ekar you get 1-13 and that’s nearly perfect .

    https://blog.3t.bike/2020/09/15437/campagnolo-13-speed-ekar-groupset/



    If I wanted to spend a day in the Alps I wouldn’t use it but it’s perfect for the terrain I use
    It’s a quirky bike and not for everyone but I tend to find a lot of bikes feel the same and quite bland ..it also looks far better in medium than large for some reason !

    If i was starting out again I’d just buy the 3T exploro gravel bike with 2 sets of wheels for gravel and road with a double chainring maybe with etap . Not cheap but it would do it all.


    GCN did a good video on it below


    https://youtu.be/6OdZ0l9hFes


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,357 Mod ✭✭✭✭ smacl


    Any views either way? Am I ruling out use as a road bike on group rides if I go 1x? Is it a case of allround needs 2x, if I go 1x it is pretty much a gravel only bike?

    Big question is how much gravel will you get in on a long day out? I love getting the bike off road, but cycling from South Dublin, I really struggle to get more than 20% off-road* in from the time I leave the house. On that basis 2x is the better compromise. If you have a lot of decent gravel trails near your starting point, 1x is the winner. I like my 34/34 low gear for the tougher off road climbs and would actually prefer lower still by times. 50/11 is great on the road, and I wouldn't want to go lower than 46/11 as my highest gear.

    For me, the tyres are probably a more important consideration and face the same issue.

    (*that's distance, in terms of time it is much higher)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    DJB030244 wrote: »
    I’ve a strada too, not this WD40 model but still 1-11. 50T 11/36 gearing . Nicer colour too !

    It’s a blast to ride- surprisingly comfortable and very stiff.
    I don’t find the gears too gappy . Easy enough to climb . Of course you can change wheels cassettes etc to suit but never felt the need . With the campagnolo Ekar you get 1-13 and that’s nearly perfect .

    https://blog.3t.bike/2020/09/15437/campagnolo-13-speed-ekar-groupset/



    If I wanted to spend a day in the Alps I wouldn’t use it but it’s perfect for the terrain I use
    It’s a quirky bike and not for everyone but I tend to find a lot of bikes feel the same and quite bland ..it also looks far better in medium than large for some reason !

    If i was starting out again I’d just buy the 3T exploro gravel bike with 2 sets of wheels for gravel and road with a double chainring maybe with etap . Not cheap but it would do it all.


    GCN did a good video on it below


    https://youtu.be/6OdZ0l9hFes



    That's cool man. That deserves a bit of a write up and a few pics.

    My teeth were itching at those gcn closeups of that lovely groupset covered in feckin sand!!!! :eek::eek:

    Is yours that "gravel" frame then? Did you buy it built (as a build like) or assemble / get it built yourself?
    In a world of samey sameness I do like the quirky uniqueness of it I must say.


  • Registered Users Posts: 42 DJB030244


    fat bloke wrote: »
    That's cool man. That deserves a bit of a write up and a few pics.

    My teeth were itching at those gcn closeups of that lovely groupset covered in feckin sand!!!! :eek::eek:

    Is yours that "gravel" frame then? Did you buy it built (as a build like) or assemble / get it built yourself?
    In a world of samey sameness I do like the quirky uniqueness of it I must say.

    Thanks - no i bought it in bike superior Hollland

    https://www.bikesuperior.com/p/3t/

    They are brilliant and their exploro / strada range Is impressive , better than 3T themselves who have no stock !

    I can’t upLoad photos , pm me if you need info

    It’s the strada road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    smacl wrote: »
    Big question is how much gravel will you get in on a long day out? I love getting the bike off road, but cycling from South Dublin, I really struggle to get more than 20% off-road* in from the time I leave the house. On that basis 2x is the better compromise. If you have a lot of decent gravel trails near your starting point, 1x is the winner. I like my 34/34 low gear for the tougher off road climbs and would actually prefer lower still by times. 50/11 is great on the road, and I wouldn't want to go lower than 46/11 as my highest gear.

    For me, the tyres are probably a more important consideration and face the same issue.

    (*that's distance, in terms of time it is much higher)
    I've only really gotten into gravel this year (after a few false starts of rides which were just mud and not fun at all), but I can easily get 70-80% gravel or other types of off road paths on a spin of 50-100km with a starting point within 5km of my house (I don't live in Ireland).

    I've put 1x on over the weekend but unfortunately my chain is one link too short so can't get it to shift into the biggest cog. Waiting for a new one to arrive even though I'm sure there is one in a drawer somewhere. I'm not the greatest of mechanic's but the whole 1x conversion was going remarkably well up until that point.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,110 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CramCycle


    For me the advantages of 1x are that I much prefer the simpler shifting and lack of FD on gravel rides - helps with maintenance, tire clearance, not having to get into the small ring on changing terrain. It would rule out the turbo as I would spin out (I can live with that though).
    ....

    Any views either way? Am I ruling out use as a road bike on group rides if I go 1x? Is it a case of allround needs 2x, if I go 1x it is pretty much a gravel only bike?

    Not at all, fair enough you won't hit race pace but I commute on my 1x CX bike and hit 40kmph with ease when I need to and its not tiring. You will climb better than the 2x riders, the gappiness that people complain about is not an issue, just imagined and you feel it more jumping from one chainring to another. Don't know many club rides that would be going faster than that other than race training so go for the 1x. Fair enough I spend alot of time in 40/11 and riding like its a single speed but that's just bad habits. Its more than enough for group spins.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    If you don’t currently have a 1x, then go for that. Then if you don’t get on with it, buy another bike.

    Simples.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,867 ✭✭✭ DaveyDave


    I have 1x on my ebike. I like the simplicity of it but the 42-11 cassette is too wide with a 48t chainring. I'm commuting so not going up anything too steep and rarely hold speeds above 35kph so I don't need a wide range of gears. There's been a number of times where I've shifted up a gear but it's ever so slightly too hard so I go back down and hold a higher cadence. A 32-11 would help with closer gears but still wouldn't get much use out of the 11t. 28-11 and a smaller chainring would be better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    Thank you all for the advice - 1x conversion is done.

    Was a relatively straightforward job even for someone of my limited mechanical competences - not having any FD really seemed to make indexing, limit screws etc much easier.

    I had to change chain to add some length, and the only thing preventing me riding it is that I tried to carefully remove the bar tape to take out the old FD cable but it was that foamy type that tore apart easily.

    LOk7ehL

    https://imgur.com/a/LOk7ehL


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,419 ✭✭✭ fat bloke


    Nice one. Love the frame colour. Genesis are great that way.

    Is that a 56?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,716 ✭✭✭ CantGetNoSleep


    fat bloke wrote: »
    Nice one. Love the frame colour. Genesis are great that way.

    Is that a 56?
    Thanks. It is - M in Genesis sizing. I'm at the high end of their recommended sizing for an M at 178cm, but I'd say it would be a good fit for a few cm taller than me


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