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1x Road Bike Gearing

  • 09-05-2023 8:14am
    Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭

    Does anyone ride a road bike with a 1x gear set-up (as in a single chainring up front).

    I am in the market for a new road bike but all the main brands have similar offerings and I am a sucker for something slighty unusual. I have come across a small UK bike manufacturer that has designed its carbon road bike frames around a 1x set up.

    There seems to be a reasonably broad gearing range on offer from these bikes and I could go with the SRAM XPLR set up with something like 44T up front and 10-44 at the back. Or 42T up front and a slightly more standard 10-36 at the back.

    I wonder though would I be choosing style over substance and if I would later regret not opting for a wider range of gears. That said, there are gear combinations on a standard road bike set up that most of us rarely use and I suspect many of us rely on a small number of gears for most of our riding.

    Any thoughts here?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,400 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Get the bike frame you want and you can easily change it to 1X by swapping out the crankset, do not buy a bike solely because it comes with 1X. I regularly ride my CX bike on my commute and on club runs without issue, 42t at the front and 11-46. I also have a 48t chainring for the faster times of the year. You'll probably need a new cassette and rear derailleur as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 JoeFloyd

    have ridden my winter bike with a 1x setup on the road. 38 front ring, 11-28 on the rear. standard ultegra grouppo, but I got one of the RX rear mechs with the clutch, just because it was an option at the time (any of the 000 series mechs work great though - ie. r7000 r8000). the gearing with a 38 front would be a bit spinny for faster club rides, but I found it fine for winter miles, and also light gravel.

    I've also gone 1x on my TT bike. 54 front, 11-28 rear - seems fine for that sort of usage - but that would be a bit heavy for general riding.

    a club mate has been riding 1x for road racing. 54 ring on a dura ace crank, and I think he's running 11-30 on the rear. hasn't had any issues with chain drop, and would only use that bike for flatter courses. I've a race bike project in the works and may go that direction too.

    I would suggest its about finding the right ratio for your intended usage, and maybe have a couple of options for the cassette size - go for a long cage rear mech to accommodate a wider range. you can run 1x with a standard groupset, and just not use the left lever as a shifter. always go for a narrow wide chainring up front though, to help avoid chain drop.

    obviously, dedicated 1x groupsets exist - but to give you the best versatility, and to allow and an easy switch back to 2x, converting a 2x would be easiest I think.

    as someone in the cycling press said, 1x on the road is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist - but it certainly looks cool :-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I have a gravel bike that I've taken on a few road rides when my other one was in the shop etc. It is 40t front, 11-42 rear (11 speed).

    I find that gearing perfect for almost all gravel riding but wouldn't use it on the road by choice.

    There are two main issues - 40-11 is not fast enough as a hardest gear if you are going to do any group rides / descents / fast sections. Then the gaps between gears are too big with 11 speed 11-42. I use a 34t rear cassette on my road bike (with a double chainset) so I'm not the pickiest on gaps or finding the perfect cadence, but there were too many times when I either couldn't find the perfect cadence, or changed gear and found the difference too much.

    I think your setup would mostly fix my first issue (44-10 should be fine compared to 40-11), but I'm not sure how much better the gaps between gears would be with the extra gear.

    I do like the idea of 1x and I've never been a fan of front derailleurs (at least they have gotten rid of triples) but I'm not sure if I'd go for it on my main road bike. Might be worth a try if you could somehow do that, or make sure you have the option to retrofit a front derailleur if you changed your mind

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭Londonirish72

    Helpful advice all. I a little less sold on 1x now but still like the look of them!

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,603 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    There’s always the option of the new Classified Powershift hubs too if you do go for a 1x setup and end up wanting more range, pricey and pretty new to the market but they’ve been getting pretty good reviews so far

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,563 ✭✭✭harringtonp

    I ride this. It's a 1x gravel bike but with the road wheels on it, it's does a fine job as a road bike.

    Have used it in all the club road race leagues this year

    Max gear is 40x10 which has been enough. I could buy and put a 46 chainring on if needed.\

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭Londonirish72

    Thanks for all the comments.

    The 1x bike I am looking at also comes with the Classified Powershift as an optional extra which effectively makes it into a 2x but the bike looks a lot sleaker.

  • Registered Users Posts: 847 ✭✭✭gn3dr

    I think on a 1x the gaps between gears would drive me mad. It already annoys me on my mountain bike and that's a 3x

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam

    I can't stand the look of a massive cassette at the back, so I'm gonna keep my FD for a while yet :-)

    That said, for trips to the mountains in Europe, I think I'll buy a 32 and pair with a 36 on front.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,990 ✭✭✭Stone Deaf 4evr

    nothing to do with the thread, but thats a super nice bike.

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