32T XO1 vs 30T XO1 vs 36/24 XT- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    32T XO1 vs 30T XO1 vs 36/24 XT

    I'm in the middle of speccing a new bike and am somewhat overwhelmed with the number of configurations you can put together. I've been debating between 1X and 2X setups.

    I've demoed bikes (Ripley and HD3) that come equipped with 32T XO1 and find it a bit difficult to make it up +14% grade roads. I'm pretty sure that it's me and not the bike

    I'm wondering if:
    • a 30T setup would help me.
    • the 36/24 XT setup would help me.
    • I'm screwed either way. I'll never make it up that hill.


    ?

  2. #2
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    Well, I'm sure an elite athlete could make it up on whatever you put 'em on. For the rest of us, there are gears that give mechanical advantage (at the cost of lower speed). I currently run 24/32 and don't mind that I'm not the fastest or have the 1x that some of the stronger riders can run. For me, it's about fun and trying to keep at least some level of fitness. If you got the XT, you could always get a Race Face NW later if you wanted to convert to 1x.

  3. #3
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    XT M8000 is out there in 11-42 11sp. Put on whatever front ring gives you the ratio you need for your terrain.

  4. #4
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    "difficult" or "impossible"?

    If just difficult, you'll probably train your way into it. Not real hip to the spec, but if X01 is a 42T, I can't imagine needing a 24T.

    30T vs 32T would change things a bit. Personally, I wouldn't want a front der...
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  5. #5
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    my low gear is a 28x42. VERY close to the same low gear you get on most 2x and 3x drivetrains. If I can't climb it in that gear, I can't climb it on any bike.

    You have to have a crankset that permits direct mount chainrings, or use the inner position on a multi-chainring crankset to go that small.

    I'm not a "strong" rider. I like to spin lower gears, so low gears are important to me. When building out my bike, I leaned heavily on gear calculators to identify which gear ratios I was going to focus to keep.

  6. #6
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    If you are riding steep terrain, the extra gear range from a double crankset it really helpful. Pick your drivetrain to match your terrain and fitness, not to follow trends. You have to start somewhere, how can you improve your climbing if you have to hike uphill?

  7. #7
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    I run a 1x10 with the one up 42t expander ring and a 32t oval chain ring on an XT double crank.
    What I've done leave my 26t granny chain ring installed.
    That way, I can manually shift the chain into the granny gears IF needed., say riding a new area, feeling beat down from the day before etc.
    Kind of like the best of both worlds, well, to me anyway.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillTheGreat View Post
    If you are riding steep terrain, the extra gear range from a double crankset it really helpful. Pick your drivetrain to match your terrain and fitness, not to follow trends. You have to start somewhere, how can you improve your climbing if you have to hike uphill?
    As per Harold, 28X42 is effectively the same as what you get with a double setup pm the granny end, albeit you lose the top end speed. However, you also lose about 1.5 lbs of weight, which is nice.

    Another nice thing about 1X is that you can swap out chainrings to suit the terrain. @OP, 32T or 30T up front may be too much for that specific climb, but you could swap out to 28T (or even less with some specialty stuff). You can always switch back as your fitness improves.

    Regarding the trend piece, I don't think 1X gearing can be considered a gimmick any longer. In fact, many new frames don't even allow for a front derailleur. You may recall when going to 2X gearing was considered a trend when 3X was the norm.

    I'm not opposed to a double setup by any means, but I would challenge your reference to 1X as merely a "trend".

  9. #9
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    The extra simplicity of 1x is well worth losing a few top end gears I never used, anyway.

    According to the naysayers of 1x gearing on the internet, more than half the mountain biking world should be pedaling over 120rpm at over 25mph AND aren't strong enough to push 32x42 uphill. That's bull$hit. If I'm going more than 20mph, I'm coasting downhill.

    I might believe that if you were a pro level racer doing a race with miles of sustained 20% climbs.

    Choose your chainring size based on the gearing that you actually use.

  10. #10
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    Its like riding a SS....you don't have a choice on the lower gear so you rise up and do what you need to clear the hills.....you will be fine. A 32t has worked great for me with a 10-speed 11-36t cassette..a 30t will give you a skosh more on the low side.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by phlegm View Post
    Another nice thing about 1X is that you can swap out chainrings to suit the terrain.
    Another nice thing about 2X is that you can swap out chainrings to suit the terrain.... on the fly


    Choose what works best but I have found no penalty in using 2 chainrings instead of one, except maybe about a pound.

  12. #12
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    As a relative newbie, I am glad I went 1x on my new 29er. I started out with 32T but on days that I'm really tired and still drag myself out to the trail, I find myself wanting another gear on certain sections. Therefore I grabbed a 30T and find it perfect for an average leg strength guy on a 29er. 1x10, 30T x 11-36.
    I liked the idea of 30T versus a 40-42T expander because some of those 40-42T rings are pretty heavy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Another nice thing about 2X is that you can swap out chainrings to suit the terrain.... on the fly


    Choose what works best but I have found no penalty in using 2 chainrings instead of one, except maybe about a pound.
    and about a hundred bucks (deraileur, shifter, and cables)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    and about a hundred bucks (deraileur, shifter, and cables)
    True, but $40 xt cassettes are nice, I can go through 5 or 6 of those for the price of one X01.

  15. #15
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    At some point, the gear range of a 1x just doesn't justify itself and a 2x makes more sense. Remember, on a 1x you are getting more extreme chain angles and the chain/ring DO wear faster. I got ~800 miles out of my last Wolf Tooth NW ring and chain before they were hosed. Jsut something to consider. Great set up, but it is a compromise. Personally, I never feel like I need any taller of a gear for roads but on occasion have wanted a lower gear when I am tired/worn out. A 10-speed XT cassette was $55...much cheaper than the 11 speed stuff.
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  16. #16
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    I'm on and HD3 running a 2x 24/32 up front with a praxis 11-40T in back...

    The granny is nice for long grinding climbs. I use the 32T front ring for more tech climbs.

    One factor for me is that the DW link on the HD3 is designed around a 32-34T chainring. The antisquat ramps up with smaller chainrings. I wanted a chainring that was in the sweet spot for tech riding and downhills, so I didn't want to drop down to a 28T 1x set up.

    The 2x is nice, my 24T ring is like a climb switch with the extra antisquat.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Another nice thing about 2X is that you can swap out chainrings to suit the terrain.... on the fly


    Choose what works best but I have found no penalty in using 2 chainrings instead of one, except maybe about a pound.
    Ha, good catch, although was never suggesting 2X was fixed. Probably awkward wording on my part.

    Also, we (I) should be clear that a 1X is absolutely a tradeoff. I aim to lose all the high end speed which, for me, gives away nothing to a 2X on the trail. However yes, I will spin out earlier on the asphalt hill back home.

    BTW, 1X10 was great for me in my region, and is far cheaper than 1X11 - great option for anyone wanting to give it a try for less cash.

  18. #18
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    I have a HD3 with a 2x10 with a 40t rear. Then I swapped to the XTR 11 speed 1x with a 32t front and a 45t one up at the rear. Steep climbs my heart rate was pumping, so I switched to a 30t up front and climbing steep hills are manageable. The 45t is huge, but glad I did it 👍

  19. #19
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    A rider has to decide what gear range they need or want. I ride Whistler valley trails so I have no need for high gears. A 30 by 11 is fine. I do spin out on occasion but it's rare. A 30 X 42 is low enough although a 28 might be better but I'm old. 57. Not all riders can push a gear that high up steep hills. Personally I have poor experience with SRAM derailleurs. Creaks, mounting bolts loosening, creaking, clutches getting really stiff, creaking. I switched to XTR and XT cassette works well.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    my low gear is a 28x42. VERY close to the same low gear you get on most 2x and 3x drivetrains. If I can't climb it in that gear, I can't climb it on any bike.

    You have to have a crankset that permits direct mount chainrings, or use the inner position on a multi-chainring crankset to go that small.

    I'm not a "strong" rider. I like to spin lower gears, so low gears are important to me. When building out my bike, I leaned heavily on gear calculators to identify which gear ratios I was going to focus to keep.
    Just to quantify how close a 28t chainring mated to a 42t rear cog is to 2x or 3x low gear: My 29er wheels roll out to 88.6" circumference. If I use that on my gear inch calculator to compare, I show that a 28t/42t granny hear yields the same (18.81 gear inches) as a 22t chainring with a rear 33t cog. Since cassettes come stock with as much as a 36t rear cog (and the second cog on an 11-36 cassette would be a 32t cog), it would be like losing 75% of that last gear (almost a full gear).

    In some places, on some bikes, with some riders, that could be overcome with little impact. Maybe it could be overcome in many or most instances. But, in some cases, it would really suck to lose that last bit of relief when climbing loooooooong steep hills.

    The other factor with 1x systems where you have 10 or 11 gears to span the entire range of gear choices with one chainring, is that there is a relatively large leap between gears. When riding solo, and/or just for kicks/fitness, it isn't as big a deal. But, if you are riding with others, sometimes finding the right gear to be able to match the pace of others can be challenging.

    If you're not willing to give up something off the top, and bottom of the gear range, 1x may not be for you. Even 2x cranksets give up something to 3x setups in some conditions. The trick is knowing if it is something you can live harmoniously with or not.

    If someone made a 22/38 crankset/derailleur setup, that would be the ideal 2x setup for me. It may be do-able, but I'm not aware of any drivetrains designed that way. I'm currently running a 22/30/40 3x drivetrain, and that covers plenty of range, and all that I would need 99% of the time. I could even do with a tad less top end if I had to. A 38t chainring works for me, whereas a 36t chainring leaves me wanting more top end too often to want a 36t to be the most chainring that I have.

    However, my situation, is just that. . . . my situation. Anyone else's situation could be different. Be who you are. Get the right gear for you, your bike, and your rides.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by zameericle View Post
    I'm in the middle of speccing a new bike and am somewhat overwhelmed with the number of configurations you can put together. I've been debating between 1X and 2X setups.

    I've demoed bikes (Ripley and HD3) that come equipped with 32T XO1 and find it a bit difficult to make it up +14% grade roads. I'm pretty sure that it's me and not the bike

    I'm wondering if:
    • a 30T setup would help me.
    • the 36/24 XT setup would help me.
    • I'm screwed either way. I'll never make it up that hill.


    ?
    Do you like having 2 chain rings in the front?
    If yes do a 2x10 or the new 2x11
    If you want 1 in the front.
    Do a 30t , 1x10 with a oneup cog or 1x11 it.
    run a 30t if needed.
    14% grade huh? how rough?
    I just did a race that had a few 19% grades on my SS 32/20 and made it up.
    You will get stronger the more you ride.
    also need to see what your legs and lungs like. Spinning ( high ratio) or not spinning ( lower ratio)

    I personally hate spinning
    Too Many .

  22. #22
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    I have no vested interested between 2X or 1X setups, however I did want to address a couple of things:

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Just to quantify how close a 28t chainring mated to a 42t rear cog is to 2x or 3x low gear: My 29er wheels roll out to 88.6" circumference. If I use that on my gear inch calculator to compare, I show that a 28t/42t granny hear yields the same (18.81 gear inches) as a 22t chainring with a rear 33t cog. Since cassettes come stock with as much as a 36t rear cog (and the second cog on an 11-36 cassette would be a 32t cog), it would be like losing 75% of that last gear (almost a full gear).
    ...
    To start, I used an online gear-inch calculator, and selected a tire size that yielded 18.8 for a 28t/42t combo. While it may be off slightly, it should be in the ballpark for your calculations above.

    Looking at the OP's first post, he was referring to a 36/24 XT setup. If we take that small chainring, and apply the full extent of the cassette you reference (36t), the gear-inches shows as 18.8. This means that for the scenario cited, those 1X and 2X setups are virtually identical on the low end.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    ...

    The other factor with 1x systems where you have 10 or 11 gears to span the entire range of gear choices with one chainring, is that there is a relatively large leap between gears. When riding solo, and/or just for kicks/fitness, it isn't as big a deal. But, if you are riding with others, sometimes finding the right gear to be able to match the pace of others can be challenging.

    ...
    With all due respect, I'm not sure I buy this. Correct me if I'm misinterpreting your meaning, but it seems to suggest that all riders with identical gearing will ride the same course at the same pace. Even if all riders in the pack were "equally fit" and "equally skilled" (impossible to measure this), surely some would prefer higher cadences/lower gear-inches, while other may prefer the opposite at varying points of the course. In addition, I'd expect gear changes at different times, as well as countless other factors (missed changes, different lines, etc) that would add some randomness.

    Similarly, you also seem to be suggesting that a 1X rider may have difficulty matching the pace of a group of 2X riders. While I agree with you that their corresponding ratios could be completely out of sync, at worst rider "A" would be midway between what rider "B" is set in. I would anticipate that this could be easily overcome with a reasonable adjustment to cadence.

    Theory aside, I ride with varying groups of people in both recreational and more serious settings. We've all had varying gear setups, and I've never encountered the type of scenario you are suggesting. I'm thinking that the overall variability in skill, fitness, preference, bike type, and cadence comes into play.

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