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1x 11 setup, what are your thoughts?

BojangleBojangle Posts: 63
edited April 2017 in MTB general
Been looking at some new bikes this weekend and thinking of selling mine before it gets too old and out of date. I'm not sure if i'm convinced about the single ring set up on new bikes. I currently have a 2012 Trek remedy with triple chain rings and 9speed with 26" wheels. I use all three rings mainly becuse i hate climbing so use the granny a lot and when it gets flat or slight down hill i get into the big ring and ride flat out. so my main questions for you in the real world is 1, does a small single chain ring restrict your top end speed? 2, how does mud affect a 11 speed cassette shifting?

Posts

  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    I am a 1x convert ..... went 3x9 to 1x11 and wouldn't go back .. a 38t chain ring is fast enough on the road for 38:11 with 26" knobbly tyres and 38:42 is more than enough to get up hills around here

    mud, chain drop .. not had any issues .... if anything its been better behaved as less to maintain and no botched gear shifts from the front.

    for the REAL technical days, i.e. climbing up camcarn in the wet, then I'll admit my other 3x9 bike rules, but thats only because I went 38 on the 1x to help with 20mph on the road, if you went 32 or 34 on the ring it would be fine .... but for everything else, its 1x all the way
  • Angus YoungAngus Young Posts: 3,063
    I'm on 1x10 and would never go back to multiple rings. Getting rid of the second shifter transforms the riding experience. Having to not remember which ring you're in at the front is a joy. Now, you'll probably say you don't find it an issue and you're used to it and all that, and sure it's a small thing, but trust me, it's like the photocopier in the office - that low-level hum that you don't notice all day. And then someone switches it off at the end of the day and you suddenly realise it had been pissing you off all day without you noticing.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • It's not about the gears, it's about the ratios.
    So if we were talking about setups like these: http://gears.mtbcrosscountry.com/#26I2I5X29I14I5283
    you'll lose two gears - the first and the last one.

    I'm an XC rider. Converted to 1x10 and downgraded to 1x9. 30T chainring, 12-36 cassette range. Can climb just about anywhere with relative ease and can keep up with the cadence all the way up to 45kmh (+/- 28mph). After that threshold, the cadence get's pretty ridiculous. But I'm quite strong and use clipless pedals.

    Mud affects all drivetrains negatively - the more of it you have, the faster you wear down your components. Proper maintenance is necessary after each muddy ride if you want your components to last.

    And as for 1x drivetrains in general, I personally believe that front derailleurs will be quite obscure somewhere in the future. Not completely gone, but man, the simplicity of the 1x setup is such a blessing. And believe me, I was there, riding on a 3x and thinking "front shifting is absolutely no issue, what's the fuzz about 1x?"

    The main question really is whether you want to pay that money for cassettes and chains. Really comes down to how much you ride and how much money you have. Perspective of someone who needs a new chain after every three months or more is different than that of someone who eats them on monthly basis.
    The newest and best always comes at a price. So ask yourself whether you need to have 11 speeds and wouldn't rather just have the slightly cheaper wide-range 1x10 setup.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Just gone 1x10 with wide range casette from 2x10. Will be reverting back to 2x10 as I prefer the wider range and less gaps between the gears. I do a mix of everything, maybe 1x11 or 1x12 may be better. Not too fussed about front shifter, on long XC I leave it in the big ring at the front, on trails I leave it in the smaller ring.
  • BojangleBojangle Posts: 63
    Some good comments there, thanks. The thing that still puzzles me is that regardless of if you have 1x9 3x9 1x10 1x11 etc The smallest on the back is a 11 which i have now (i know 10 is now available for a price!!) and i have a 32t middle ring, This ratio is the same on all setups, (lets face it the sizes in between don't matter, it's about the climbs and top speed) i find that i 'pedal out' a lot at speed in that range so change up to the big ring (44t) which i wont be able to do on a single ring setup, my concern is no so much the other end (granny up front big ring on the back) because i could do with climbing better anyway, i don't like the thought of losing top end speed, which for me is why i ride ( for the downs not the ups!)
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    I have 3x10 on my 29er and I mainly use the middle front ring with the complete cassette range on the rear. Very rarely would I use the small front ring and only on extreme climbs. I use the big ring while on the road purely for speed but to be honest I could probably manage on the middle ring if I needed. I was out yesterday and done 42km on fire trails, gravel roads and tarmac roads, I never came out of the middle ring for the entire trip but used all 10 rear gears at some stage. I was thinking of converting to 1x10 speed but I'd probably regret it on some of the very steep (18%+) gradients on some of the trails I do now and then.

    I have never had a problem with the front shifter, it works faultlessly everytime and so it seems a shame to do away woith it for no real reason, If it were playing up and constantly needing adjustment then I think it could be something I'd consider.
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    Bojangle wrote:
    Some good comments there, thanks. The thing that still puzzles me is that regardless of if you have 1x9 3x9 1x10 1x11 etc The smallest on the back is a 11 which i have now (i know 10 is now available for a price!!) and i have a 32t middle ring, This ratio is the same on all setups, (lets face it the sizes in between don't matter, it's about the climbs and top speed) i find that i 'pedal out' a lot at speed in that range so change up to the big ring (44t) which i wont be able to do on a single ring setup, my concern is no so much the other end (granny up front big ring on the back) because i could do with climbing better anyway, i don't like the thought of losing top end speed, which for me is why i ride ( for the downs not the ups!)

    The sizes in between matter for me, I have a preferred cadence and I use the gears to maintain a comfortable cadence.
  • I'm no weight weenie, but removing the front shifting and chainrings can be a rather substantial weight reduction. In some cases 500g or more, especially if the bikes had 3 heavy steel rings.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Bojangle wrote:
    This ratio is the same on all setups, (lets face it the sizes in between don't matter, it's about the climbs and top speed) i find that i 'pedal out' a lot at speed in that range so change up to the big ring (44t) which i wont be able to do on a single ring setup
    Sounds like you need to learn to pedal at a higher cadence, when I was running a 32/11 combo I certainly couldn't spin out on the flat and on smooth downhills was getting over 25mph, any real mountain biking and beyond that speed you can't really pedal anyway as it's too rough.
  • BojangleBojangle Posts: 63
    The Rookie wrote:
    Bojangle wrote:
    This ratio is the same on all setups, (lets face it the sizes in between don't matter, it's about the climbs and top speed) i find that i 'pedal out' a lot at speed in that range so change up to the big ring (44t) which i wont be able to do on a single ring setup
    Sounds like you need to learn to pedal at a higher cadence, when I was running a 32/11 combo I certainly couldn't spin out on the flat and on smooth downhills was getting over 25mph, any real mountain biking and beyond that speed you can't really pedal anyway as it's too rough.

    It's more a combination of having big legs and prefering the efficency of crank rotation to wheel rotation in a big chainring. I agree with the pedaling in the rough (black runs), but on some trails (blue runs) with long smooth fireroads i like to get max speed which according to gps i'm getting well above 35mph. Saying that i'm going to try a ride at my local trail centre at the weekend and only use the middle ring and see how i get on.
  • mark~pmark~p Posts: 52
    I went through triple (24 32 42) with 11-34 at the back. Changed that to a double, (28, 40) with 11, 36 at the back and that was not bad. Once the singles started to appear I then tried the 11-36 with the expander taking it 11-42. That was a a pain as it really was never low enough or high enough. I know the arguments about will just get stronger legs but there comes a point when it ceases to be enjoyable. At that point I went back to the double. The next change was on my son's bike where we fitted Praxis 11-40 with 32 at the front. That was not bad, at least it changed properly but you do lose a lot of the top end. Last summer I then fitted the Shimano 11 speed with a One-Up shark and a 36 ring on the front. This is in my opinion finally makes it usable without a huge compromise. It changes really well and you still get a reasonable top end without sacrificing climbing ability. It is not cheap but as much of the drive train was clapped out anyway, it was not a huge issue.
  • YellaBellyYellaBelly Posts: 130
    I love it for racing on. I'd be happy with 1x or 2x for a trail bike, but probably 2x as outside of a race I'd take the gears over the weight saving. An extra gear or two at the low end makes a big difference on a long steep climb.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    The advantage is the simplicity and the reduced weight but i dont like them for the below reasons

    1)Smaller gear range, you dont have enough gears, especially if you do marathons (50-70km off road) like me

    2)More deterioration given the angles that chain works

    3)Much much more expensive

    The ideal for me is 2x10 as i have on my felt seven thirty
  • Don BDon B Posts: 122
    I went from a 2x10 Sram X0 setup to a 1x11 Sram GX setup, with a Sunrace 11-46 cassette and Superstar front chainring.

    I sold the old 2x10 parts on eBay for more than I paid for the new parts, so the idea that it's too expensive isn't really true if you're willing to spend a bit of time listing old parts for sale.
  • yiannism wrote:
    1)Smaller gear range, you dont have enough gears, especially if you do marathons (50-70km off road) like me

    2)More deterioration given the angles that chain works

    3)Much much more expensive

    The ideal for me is 2x10 as i have on my felt seven thirty

    Gear range is everyone's preference and should be the only deciding factor, if everything else on the bike permits a 1x.

    I've been on a 3x10, then on 1x10, now on 1x9. Did not notice any notable decrease in lifespan of my chain. Chain angle makes only a very small difference in terms of power transfer and clearly, the effect on longevity has been way overblown by past generations of riders. The most important factor is conditions during the ride, lubrication and cleaning.

    Narrow-wide chainring from china will set you back about 20 euros. The only expensive part about 1x11 is the 11 speed cassette and chain.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    yiannism wrote:
    especially if you do marathons (50-70km off road) like me
    Seriously? 30 miles/50Km is my normal weekday evening ride, I used to use a 1x9 with an 11-34, I only went wider for much longer rides (100km+) but that was to a wide range cassette, I still get the same low end gearing as an old 3x7 (which worked for decades) and only lose 2 gears at the top end.
  • This is merely a matter of one's fitness. Some can ride 80km worth of trails and climbs and go at it again the next day smiling, while some will be killed off by a single 6km long tarmac climb.
    And also depends on the pace.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Indeed, look up Steve 'Doris' Day, 2 years back at Mountain Mayhem he did 320miles in 24 hours on a 1x, that's 1x1.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,252
    The Rookie wrote:
    Indeed, look up Steve 'Doris' Day, 2 years back at Mountain Mayhem he did 320miles in 24 hours on a 1x, that's 1x1.

    Or have a look at all the singlespeeders that do the Tour Divide every year. That's 2.7k miles with 18000m of climbing in sub 20 days.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • YellaBellyYellaBelly Posts: 130
    The Rookie wrote:
    Indeed, look up Steve 'Doris' Day, 2 years back at Mountain Mayhem he did 320miles in 24 hours on a 1x, that's 1x1.

    Steve wraps up a lot of the the solo 12 + 24 races throughout the year, often posting similar lap times to the higher end of the teams and pairs on his rigid singlespeed.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Yup, really nice guy though!

    He did get pipped to fastest lap time at Mayhem last year though.....by another single speeder, remember the name Jack Monkhouse he'll be the next Doris and a really nice lad to boot.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    The Rookie wrote:
    yiannism wrote:
    especially if you do marathons (50-70km off road) like me
    Seriously? 30 miles/50Km is my normal weekday evening ride, I used to use a 1x9 with an 11-34, I only went wider for much longer rides (100km+) but that was to a wide range cassette, I still get the same low end gearing as an old 3x7 (which worked for decades) and only lose 2 gears at the top end.

    I didnt say that it was on road but off road. Ups and downs throughthe forests, with elevation 1300-2000 meters, its that a normal ride for you?

    On my road bike my usual Saturday's ride is from 80-150km, but thats a deferent thing, we are talking about MTB rides here.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    As usual, it is whatever suits your riding. Are loads of gear combos and set ups out there - and loads of prices, and it may be the latter that swings it for some people. Off the peg bikes today are more likely to come with 1x systems as the price rises.

    SRAMs 10t cog expands the range of the cassette significantly, but you do have to sometimes pay more for the XD system. As for weight, well it depends on the system, is some overlap. High end 2x systems can be lighter than some 1x systems for the same gear range - I am currently experimenting with a 9 speed 11-32 XT cassette (260g and £35), Dura Ace rear mech (166g and £50), 36/22 rings, XTR shifters (215g), XTR front mech (126g). I like the feel of older Shimano stuff, and I am very much XC only nowadays. However with no clutch mech it is not for everyone.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    To give the counterpoint to SS, I'm running 1x10 having run 1x9 with just an 11-34 cassette for 3 years, I've gone ten speed to get a little more range as increasing age meant monstering climbs with a 32/34 combo was taking too much out of me on longer (35 mile plus) rides.

    Sunrace MX3 11-40 cassette (358g and £50 new), short cage M970 XTR (9 speed) rear mech (212g and £25), Tiagra 10s shifter (135g with an alloy clamp bolt and £25) and a Gamut 34t narrow wide ring. The NW ring is slightly heavier than a conventional single but lighter than twin rings. The lack of a left shifter means the remote for the forks is easily accesable as I run the lockout with minimal threshold so it's effectively a 2 setting suspension rather than a lockout.

    The mech has no clutch but I've never dropped a chain.
  • BojangleBojangle Posts: 63
    Just a little thought, One of the 'pros!' of a 1x set up is weight saving, which is logical. After todays ride i thought i would weigh my bikes, never got round to doing it before. My hardtail ragley with 3x9 slx components, big DH rims and other cheap components is 12.2 kg. My Trek Remedy with XT 3x9 components and mostly standard parts (except stem) running dh casing 2.5" high rollers sis 11.5kg, looking at most 1x9 new bikes they are around 13 kg!!!!!!! What are they doing to these bikes to gain the weight???
  • JGTRJGTR Posts: 1,404
    If I as that bothered about weight I'd just stop eating mars bars
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I used to have triples then doubles for a long time. I had 1x9 because the FD or was it the shifter stopped working but that bike became a single speed. Because I ran single speed for a long time I cam to the conclusion I do need a wide range of gears so when the XTR chainrings I had wore out, I changed to 36T with a 11-32T cassette. I have no issues. It is not mega hilly in suffolk but as I did the south downs way on a 61.5" geared single speed it would not matter is suffolk was hillier.

    Simply pick the rear cassette that suits your terrain and fittness levels. for me thats 11-32T but for other riding proper hills that maybe a 11-40T, 11-42T, 11-46T or the new sunrace 11-50T. Can't imagine what hill someone is climbing to need that gear but there must be a market. There is no right or wrong here just gearing that allows you to keep riding and not get off and walk.

    1x? is simply better in my view. Chain life is barely affected you dont have the inner ring to clog up with mud when charging arouns in the big ring (that has happened to me in a race and that when I thought why is it even there I dont use it anyway and I cant even if I wanted to). Gear range is huge with 1x11 now and cadnace changes should not be a problem as the big cogs are bail out gears you use them when the no other choice like the granny ring.

    1x1 rocks and really we dont need a rear cassette. 320 miles off road on a single speed. That is impressive. Doing a 24hr TT later this year and on my road bike I am targeting 400 miles. does Steve Doris do a 24hr TT if he doesn't he should he could win it. 1x1 would be perfect for Tour divide less to go wrong and on that kind of tour not have to carry a spare mech, cassette e.t.c saves weight and space for other stuff.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    oh clucthed mech and normal chain ring for 1x10 equal dropped chain even in suffolk. With a narrow wide ring the chain never drops. I can believe rookie does not drop his with his set up. I have 1x11 on my road race bike and I used that off road on the strada bianca this year and chain retention was perfect with a road mech and no chain suck. For a course like paris roubiax 1x11 would be very useful.

    That is the other other advantage of narrow wide rings. No chain suck.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • GarethSGarethS Posts: 2
    I started on a 3x10 26" hardtail then went full SUS 650b on a 1x11 and have never looked back. I recently converted the 3x10 to a 1x10 with a 42T extender cog for the cassette and a 36T chain ring as I hated going back to the 3x setup. Once you've ridden a good 1x setup you will not go back as it's so much easier to ride, never getting caught out on the wrong chain ring. I run mainly a 34T chain ring and 10-42 cassette on the 650b and find that perfect for my area. I do have the ability to easily change to a 32T chain ring without swapping the chain for events which have a lot of steep climbs. If the 1x12 setup was cheaper I'd happily go for one to get the 10-50 cassette and that would allow for a 36T chain ring for more top end while not sacrificing the climbing gear. With suspension lock out controls on the left thumb and gear changing on the right it becomes very natural and once you've ridden 1x for a few weeks you will be converted, trust me!
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