Gravel 1X or 2X, pro vs cons?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gravel 1X or 2X, pro vs cons?

    I'm a mountainbiker at heart for well over 30 years. I already have a "gravel" bike, it's my third mountain bike, a 1991 Trek 6000... which is actually too small for me (has been decades) so I really don't like riding it.

    I'm in the market for a gravel bike (next year) and my budget is $1500. No intention to race other than the occasional fun century and the likes but I want one I can take up on bumpy logging trails and steep hills.

    Last year I converted my 2013 mountain bike from 2x to 1x and it's been one of the best upgrades ever. So naturally I have been looking at 1x gravel bikes such as the Salsa Journeyman Apex1 or the Rocky Mountains Solo 30 but I also realize that most gravel bikes, including high end ones are mostly fitted with 2x drivetrains.

    The other criteria I do want for sure is the ability to fit "fat tires" so 650b/2.1+ wheels.

    So what are the pros and cons of 1x vs 2x on a gravel bike?

  2. #2
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    The list of pros and cons are the same as they are for mtb, but with different weighting. For example, 1x will have wider gaps between adjacent gears than 2x. This is less important on mtbs than it is on road/gravel riding. 1X has simplified shifting which is more important on mtb where you're more often in dire need of the correct gear than you are in road/gravel riding. etc.

    You said switching to 1x on your mtb was the best upgrade ever. Why?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    You said switching to 1x on your mtb was the best upgrade ever. Why?
    Basically for the reasons you mentioned. No need to think about two gears or adjusting the front before adjusting the rear and half of the time picking the wrong combination. With 1x I just go up and down all the time one handed as the terrain demands, it's so much simpler and faster (and a bit of weight saving too).

  4. #4
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    2x: potentially more range, closer gear spacing, less cross chaining
    1x: simpler to adjust, potentially lighter

    To me, the gear spacing makes 1x a non-starter for anything with drop bars. I actually prefer a triple (fewer front shifts because you're not between the two rings all the time), but since triples are going away, a 2x with both of the crank rings in a useful size (like 46/30) is what I would do now.

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    I'm a bit older but have had similar mtb experience-I love my my old 1x9 for simplicity and shifting performance. Last year I bought a Salsa Fargo with the 27.5 plus tires and a 1x drivetrain. I love that bike but wish it had double in front. I'm too cheap to convert it. I wish I had more top end gearing for the gravel. The roads in Iowa took abuse last winter/spring and are still not totally up to speed. The plus tires have been nice.

  7. #7
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    I'm one of those people for whom close ratio gearing just doesn't matter, though I 100% understand why people prefer it. But my other gravel/road bike is a SS, so that's as sub-optimal as you can get from that perspective. My geared road and gravel bikes are both 1x. I like the simplicity you mention, as well as having one less part to maintain.

    Replacement costs are higher, since cassettes and chains will wear out quicker. Not so bad if you're sticking middle range and standard cassette sizes. Can be significant if you have a love for light weight XD cassettes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer View Post
    Nice article indeed. I never found the larger gap in gears to be an issue on my mtb. At first if feel different but once you are used to it there is no coming back to 2x, but I can see it more problematic on a road bike. I never dropped a chain either since I ride 1x (Deore XT derailleur), while I do on occasion with my road bike (105 groupset) and it's very annoying so I dismiss gravel bikes fitted with compact road groupset.

    Hope we will see more bikes fitted with GRX in 2020, I'm still learning towards a 1x for gravel.

  9. #9
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    I just bought a salsa warbird with 1x 42, 11-42. Itís good enough 97% of the time. And on the granny side I have just gotten used to pushing a little harder up the hill. Gear spacing dose not matter to me, mostly range is a concern. SRAM already advertising the Eagle 1x12 with gravel bikes. Just right now the only compatible drop bar shifter is the Wireless axs. Hopefully a more economical ones come out. But those wireless ones do look sweet.

  10. #10
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    If you only have a mtb background, go for the 1x, you'll never know the difference. If you have any roadie background at all, you'll hate 1x on gravel as the gaps between gears are way too big. As mentioned previously....1x on a drop bar bike is a non starter.
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  11. #11
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    ^^^ some road pros have been racing 1x. Not sure why. I find I need close spacing mainly in fast group rides on flat terrain. When air drag dominates, power required goes as the cube of speed, so you need close spacing. Climbing, power required is linear with speed so wider spacing is fine. Also, on the mtb, I'm never in a gear that long, so if it's not perfect I'll soon be shifting anyway. In fast group rides on the flat, I might be in a gear for some time, so it better be the one I need to keep up.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manning View Post
    If you only have a mtb background, go for the 1x, you'll never know the difference. If you have any roadie background at all, you'll hate 1x on gravel as the gaps between gears are way too big. As mentioned previously....1x on a drop bar bike is a non starter.

    I ride quite a bit on the road with a traditional 2x and have no problem using 1x on gravel.
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  13. #13
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    My 2x setup was for a while a 1x, cause my 50t needed replacement. Replaced my 50t and back 2x and I prefer it way more for downhill gravel and for flat on-road surfaces.

  14. #14
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    1x11-speed on an MTB took me a while to get used to vs 2x and 3x 9/10-speed. Gears seemed too easy or too hard with nothing in between. One of the main reasons I went to 1x on the MTB was smaller chainring=more clearance to negotiate technical trail features (TTF's).

    Since TTF's are not so important on gravel bikes, I'd say 2 rings are fine- especially in terms of redundancy. Let's say you are on a multi-day excursion and waste your rear derailleur so that you are unable shift. Having two chain rings would come in quite handy.

    I run 2x10 on my gravel bike and shift with no problem between rings compared to 1x11 on the MTB (or zero shifting on my single speeds lol).
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  15. #15
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    I've had a 1x 42x10-42 gravel bike for three years now and the only time I want more gear selection is in a paceline at races where I don't get to choose the speed that suits me. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter. I do love the simplicity, easy access to all the gears without thinking and zero chain drop.

  16. #16
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    I rode my CX today on a mix of pavement and gravel, it's a 2x and I'm glad I had it as I used the full range, over and over. I really wouldn't mind a little lower gearing, I don't think CXes are really geared for some of the climbing I do.
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  17. #17
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    I have 2x on my road bikes, 1x on all my mountain bikes and gravel bikes. I frequently ride my 1x gravel bikes on road rides and miss very little. Only when I'm ripping a fast flat section @ 28+ mph do I really spin out. Love 1x for most any application.

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  18. #18
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    1x is great for both dedicated gravel and singletrack on drop bars, no doubt. It's when you venture into more road and faster group rides, 2x makes more sense imo. Close spacing is important in those instances when fast shift make a difference. If you plan on just easy going and solo gravel rides 80% of the time, then go 1x.
    I run a Praxis 32/48 crank with an Ultegra 11/34 cassette and rear mech 11 speed. So far, its been great for all around gravel and road group riding!
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  19. #19
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    I'll now answer my own question...

    I stumbled upon a slightly used 2019 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 Sus at the Pro's Closet and it was too good of a deal to let it go so I bought it. Not a big fan of the SRAM gear switching system, I think Shimano is much better but it works fine after a little getting used to.

    I think 1x vs 2x comes to speed vs dirt mostly.

    If you want a simple, more rugged system that's easier to maintain and will see a lot of dirty environment, the 1x is the way to go.

    If you want to go fast, the 2x is the way to go, hands down and the new Shimano GRX group looks awesome.

    Last night I went riding with a group of coworkers, they were all on road bikes and I took the Cutthroat. On flat sections I could easily follow between 18 and 22 mph but as soon as we hit a small hill they would leave me behind instantly without even trying. On downhill sections, above 27 mph I would run out of gears and could not push any faster.

    Other than on flat sections, I never had the right gear to keep pace with them, either my cadence was too fast and I was not moving or had to push too hard and I was not moving either, either way they were much, much faster.

    So 1x or 2x really depends on your expectations.
    For me the 1x is perfect because I wanted a gravel bike for confortable slower paced rides (the Cutthroat rides incredibly smooth) and I have a road bike if I need speed. For gravel racing on the other hand, a 2x would be the better choice, it's just way faster.

  20. #20
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    I have the rigid Apex Cutthroat. Putting a 38T chainring up front makes a pretty decent difference on top speed before spinning out, FWIW. Relatively cheap and easy update that required no other changes (there's enough chain to accommodate the larger ring).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geotrouvetout67 View Post
    If you want to go fast, the 2x is the way to go, hands down and the new Shimano GRX group looks awesome.
    Your Cutthroat isn't the best example because it uses an MTB BB and the max chainring you can run on it is 42T for a 2x, and 38T for a 1x.
    Problem is, in the drop bar world we are kinda stuck with 1x11 and an 11-42 or 10-42 or something similar. I know there are some options to overcome that, but the MTB world has had Eagle at the lowest level for a while now. Let's look at what we could have with a nice 10-50 cassette, which is bog standard in the MTB world.

    42T with a 10-50:
    High gear: 4.20
    Low gear: 0.84

    46/30 with an 11-36 (aka 10spd GRX for example):
    High gear: 4.18
    Low gear: 0.83

    Basically, both systems have a 500% range. Of course you can go outside of factory specs and throw on an 11-42 with a 46/30. I'm super happy that GRX came out, but I have no idea why Shimano is still so conservative with gearing. Some of GRX is basically just last gen MTB stuff, and for example an XT M8000 rear derailleur can eat a triple with an 11-40 for breakfast (factory specs!)... But no, if you want a 2x11 GRX setup, you'll have to make do with an 11-34. I also have no idea why SRAM still hasn't released drop bar Eagle groups (that are cable actuated). The MTB side has Eagle at freaking SX level, and some of those bikes are much, much more focused on one single task compared to a gravel/adventure/whatever bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love Commander View Post
    I have the rigid Apex Cutthroat. Putting a 38T chainring up front makes a pretty decent difference on top speed before spinning out, FWIW. Relatively cheap and easy update that required no other changes (there's enough chain to accommodate the larger ring).
    But then do you have enough on the low end?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geotrouvetout67 View Post
    I'll now answer my own question...

    I stumbled upon a slightly used 2019 Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 Sus ....
    ....So 1x or 2x really depends on your expectations.
    For me the 1x is perfect because I wanted a gravel bike for confortable slower paced rides (the Cutthroat rides incredibly smooth) and I have a road bike if I need speed. For gravel racing on the other hand, a 2x would be the better choice, it's just way faster.
    Comparing the Cutthroat Apex 1 Sus to a typical 1x gravel bike is a bit apples to oranges, this is more like a hard tail with drop bars.

    They are beating you on the climbs because that bike alone probably weighs 26 lbs with that shock, wheels, 2.2 tires, etc.
    They are beating you on the descents because you don't have enough gear range with the 34T * 11-42 gearing.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geotrouvetout67 View Post
    But then do you have enough on the low end?
    For my use, it's not really a problem. I don't really do any trail riding with it and even 38/42* is a bit overkill for the local gravel roads. YMMV, of course.

    *still geared lower than my SS MTB.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperSprite View Post
    this is more like a hard tail with drop bars.
    It's not like a hardtail with drop bars, it is a hardtail with drop bars. I've even seen Salsa market it like that. Really, it's just an MTB frame that's a bit shorter. (And i'm not saying that as a negative, i'd absolutely love to own a Cutthroat)

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    Quote Originally Posted by HyperSprite View Post
    Comparing the Cutthroat Apex 1 Sus to a typical 1x gravel bike is a bit apples to oranges, this is more like a hard tail with drop bars.

    They are beating you on the climbs because that bike alone probably weighs 26 lbs with that shock, wheels, 2.2 tires, etc.
    They are beating you on the descents because you don't have enough gear range with the 34T * 11-42 gearing.
    Yes, there is some of that too, even with the same gear as a road bike it would still be slower, it has more of a hard tail mtb dna than a road bike indeed. Maybe in the future SRAM will figure out to how make a wider range cassette than 11-42 for that groupset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geotrouvetout67 View Post
    Yes, there is some of that too, even with the same gear as a road bike it would still be slower, it has more of a hard tail mtb dna than a road bike indeed. Maybe in the future SRAM will figure out to how make a wider range cassette than 11-42 for that groupset.
    The 10T makes a big difference which is already available. Just to give you an idea, 34x10 is about the same ratio as 38x11. But if you want really high gears, the Cutthroat is not the right bike for that. You can't catch your roadie friends when descending on pavement, but they can't catch you anywhere when riding offroad.

    Sunrace makes a 10-46 11spd cassette, but it also requires an XD driver.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    It's not like a hardtail with drop bars, it is a hardtail with drop bars. I've even seen Salsa market it like that. Really, it's just an MTB frame that's a bit shorter. (And i'm not saying that as a negative, i'd absolutely love to own a Cutthroat)
    Yes, I've seen that too.
    For speed they have the Warbird, the Cutthroat is a more relaxed adventure / endurance more rugged bike.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Your Cutthroat isn't the best example because it uses an MTB BB and the max chainring you can run on it is 42T for a 2x, and 38T for a 1x.
    Problem is, in the drop bar world we are kinda stuck with 1x11 and an 11-42 or 10-42 or something similar. I know there are some options to overcome that, but the MTB world has had Eagle at the lowest level for a while now. Let's look at what we could have with a nice 10-50 cassette, which is bog standard in the MTB world.

    42T with a 10-50:
    High gear: 4.20
    Low gear: 0.84

    46/30 with an 11-36 (aka 10spd GRX for example):
    High gear: 4.18
    Low gear: 0.83

    Basically, both systems have a 500% range. Of course you can go outside of factory specs and throw on an 11-42 with a 46/30. I'm super happy that GRX came out, but I have no idea why Shimano is still so conservative with gearing. Some of GRX is basically just last gen MTB stuff, and for example an XT M8000 rear derailleur can eat a triple with an 11-40 for breakfast (factory specs!)... But no, if you want a 2x11 GRX setup, you'll have to make do with an 11-34. I also have no idea why SRAM still hasn't released drop bar Eagle groups (that are cable actuated). The MTB side has Eagle at freaking SX level, and some of those bikes are much, much more focused on one single task compared to a gravel/adventure/whatever bike.
    Can a 42t work in the rear or is that with wolftooth roadlink? I have the regular GX and was told max is 36 in the rear.

  30. #30
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    Probably depends on where you live and what you ride a good bit. I use a gravel bike primarily in the mountains where I do 2,000 ft climbs on a regular basis. An hour and a half of non stop climbing on gravel sometimes pretty dang steep and I want some low gears. Consequently I do 2,000 ft descents pretty often sometimes on pavement and I spin out my big gear fairly often most of my gravel rides are more than 40 miles. I ride a double with an 11-42 cassette and 30/48 wolf tooth rings and that seams to suit my needs fairly well. a single ring would either make climbing unbearable for me sometimes or I would be spun out allot more often. I'm 100% down with single rings on mountain bikes and if I rode flatter trails or shorter rides a single on the gravel bike might would work.

  31. #31
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    I just got a new gravel bike with a GRX 2x. I REALLY love 1x systems. But, I think I will be happier with the narrower range of the 2x system. On the MTB, I rarely make one shift. But on road I am always hunting for that perfect cadence. On the gravel bike I will have a mix of MTB type singletrack and flat road like conditions. So I think I'll be happier 2x.

    Either way, I have 2x, and I don't see myself changing it.

    FYI, the GRX has been fantastic so far. I have already launched the bike on some smaller jumps (small by my big bike standards) at the local bike park and no problems at all.

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    I agree with it depends where you live and maybe if you are a racer. I ride by myself most of the time, ride hilly roads but not for a long amount of time. I ride a Apex 1x and changed the front from a 42t to a 40 t and do fine on the bigger hills but I'm climbing for a 1/2 hour at the most. It is nice with only one shifter but I don't want it on my road bike.

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    Right, as of now the 11-42 is just fine most of the time but when I'll race the Tour Divide it won't cut it. I agree I would not want a 1x on my road bike either, this is better suited for dirt.

    I've found that e*Thirteen makes 1X11 9x46 cassettes that are compatible with the Apex 1 groupset, it's a larger range and it is lighter than a SRAM Eagle cassette, though expensive, it's a lot cheaper than replacing the while groupset, that will solve this problem.

    However, it uses SRAM XD drivers only and Apex 1 is a Shimano driver so that requires replacing the driver or the rear hub, something to think about when upgrading the wheels.
    Last edited by Geotrouvetout67; 10-11-2019 at 05:58 AM.

  34. #34
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    I've thought about rebuilding my drivetrain on my gravel bike (1x11 / 40T - 11>42) up to a similar configuration as my MTB (1x11 / 28T - 11>47).........I would go up to a 42T front ring with a custom built 11-47 rear, keeping a single ring.......I'll wait until next spring to build it this way - sort of hard to change everything when I just bought the bike (the wife would be livid).......
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  35. #35
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    Gravel 1X or 2X, pro vs cons?

    I personally don't understand why anyone would go 1x for gravel. I'm guessing it probably depends on your terrain and what you will use the bike for.

    A gravel bike is about versatility to me. It's got to handle everything from pavement to occasional light trail duty (or more likely extremely rough double-track that can hardly be considered a road). You need high gears for the road and low gears for climbing in rough terrain.

    Furthermore, the area I ride, the Driftless Region of Wisconsin and Illinois, has a lot of grueling, fairly steep (10-25% grade), climbs that are about 1/4 to 1 mile long. You need some really low gears to tackle those, and then if you want to pedal at all on the descent, you need some pretty high gears.

    The tight gear spacing allowed by 2x, first of all, keeps you at the right cadence on those climbs, and second of all gives you just the right gear for the more shallow grades in the valleys or when you're getting pushed around by the wind on the ridge top roads.

    But other people in different terrain likely have different gearing requirements. As they say, YMMV.
    Last edited by FishMan473; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:28 PM.
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  36. #36
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    A 40t front with a 10-50t(or that new 10-52t) could be a good 1x setup for gravel. On a budget that's a bit harder to achieve as it requres a rd that works with gevenalle mod since DI2 can be expensive. 40t with a 10t rear could be great for those who want to speed, while 40t with the 50 rear could be good for the climbs.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    I personally don't understand why anyone would go 1x for gravel. I'm guessing it probably depends on your terrain and what you will use the bike for.
    Yep, my terrain can make sense for a 1x drivetrain; my bike is designed so I can add a front derailleur (some aren't) but I enjoy dropping the extra hardware; that said, changing my gearing ratios would give me a wider range while still keeping it simple......I've only had my bike a few days and I've ridden it in a few different types of situations, and it's done well but I can see limitations that I think can be addressed if I make some simple changes.........
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  38. #38
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    It's a matter of preference. I like the 2x because it allows for a wider range of gearing, particularly in areas with lots of climbing. And you can get the power for the flats.
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    Gravel 1X or 2X, pro vs cons?

    I went with a 44T NW Chainring and a 11-36 cassette on my Gravel bike. I installed new GRX cranks and a GRX 400 clutch derailleur and it works great.

    With road tires....


  40. #40
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    Read all the good input.
    Every mtb in my garage is 1x.
    My week old Revolt Advanced 0 has 2x. I ruminated forevvvver whether to get 1x for the road/gravel.
    Zero remorse going 2x for my terrain and fitness level.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by j102 View Post
    I went with a 44T NW Chainring and a 11-36 cassette on my Gravel bike. I installed new GRX cranks and a GRX 400 clutch derailleur and it works great.

    With road tires....
    I would have died with that gearing this past weekend, I barely made it up some of the climbs with 32-34, got some good skills work with my steep climbing technique. lol

    Def 2x for me, but as many have mentioned, it depends on what you're riding.

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    I am sorry for hijacking the thread, but just wonder if anyone could advice - I am planning "a universal" bike, both for road and gravel riding, with two different wheelsets. So I was pretty much was settled on SRAM 1x12 AXS mullet setup, with Force and Eagle mix, to cover the range. However, just recently Force AXS wide came up with longer rear derailleur and 11-36 cassette, which makes full Force AXS 2x12 setup attractive again. Range is pretty similar, but jumps between gears must be nicer (not sure if that is really a problem). On the other hand, is very tempting to loose front derailleur for simplicity and some weight too.

    I am planning to use a bike perhaps more on the road, at least at the beginning, then switching to gravel too, but nothing too serious or MTB trails (MTB is for that). The area where I live is pretty mountainous, but am not a fast rider on the road, especially going down

    Any thoughts or advices? Thanks in advance!

  43. #43
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    Well, my advice would be a 2x drivetrain road and gravel versatility. Barring that, I would look into a spiderless crankset such as RaceFace's Cinche system so that its pretty easy to switch between chainrings of different sizes.
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  44. #44
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    1x40 w/10-42 is a pretty potent combo. My plan for my Devinci Hatchet was to use the E13 9-44, but they've apparently stopped making that
    I might try the 9-46 (I have two of these on different MTB wheel sets) on it for extreme climbs and a little more top end, but honestly when I'm graveling I just don't need the "perfect" gear, and I don't need to top 50mph like on my road bike.

    Generally, pertinent to the original question in this thread, I use 1x on dirt and 2x on pavement.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rides4beer View Post
    I would have died with that gearing this past weekend, I barely made it up some of the climbs with 32-34, got some good skills work with my steep climbing technique. lol

    Def 2x for me, but as many have mentioned, it depends on what you're riding.
    Yes, it depends on where you are riding. A 40T NW chainring might work better for your terrain. 40T with a 11-36 cassette is a common choice for 1X setups.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babas View Post
    ... I am planning "a universal" bike, both for road and gravel riding, with two different wheelsets.
    One bike garage, with a couple of wheelsets.

    2x, 46/30, 11-34 on both 700c wheelsets. Routinely use the bike for 5-6,000 ft road days and 4,000 ft gravel days (using fattest tires I can fit for these rides), with occasional 8,000 ft mixed days.

    Long road descents with 46-11 are alright; I occasionally spin out, but when I do gravity is keeping me fast enough. That said, I would struggle to hold a wheel on a long descent if the guy ahead was hammering; wasn't a priority pre-pandemic, non-issue now.

    My regret is getting a second 700 wheelset instead of 650. The fire roads I ride have a lot of 15%+ pitches, and big tires on 700 wheels make the effective gearing bigger, and it's already challenging with a 30-34 granny. A 650 smaller diameter would have made more sense for trails. But it sounds like you're keeping your MTB, so I think I'd suggest staying with one wheelset with 38mm slicks, and using the MTB for riding where that's not enough tire.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Shamus View Post
    One bike garage, with a couple of wheelsets.

    2x, 46/30, 11-34 on both 700c wheelsets. Routinely use the bike for 5-6,000 ft road days and 4,000 ft gravel days (using fattest tires I can fit for these rides), with occasional 8,000 ft mixed days.

    Long road descents with 46-11 are alright; I occasionally spin out, but when I do gravity is keeping me fast enough. That said, I would struggle to hold a wheel on a long descent if the guy ahead was hammering; wasn't a priority pre-pandemic, non-issue now.

    My regret is getting a second 700 wheelset instead of 650. The fire roads I ride have a lot of 15%+ pitches, and big tires on 700 wheels make the effective gearing bigger, and it's already challenging with a 30-34 granny. A 650 smaller diameter would have made more sense for trails. But it sounds like you're keeping your MTB, so I think I'd suggest staying with one wheelset with 38mm slicks, and using the MTB for riding where that's not enough tire.
    Great input. I have a 48/32 with 11-34 and 40mm. My first GG. Toyed with idea of putting my 50/34 power meter on even before first ride. Uh, not happening, ha. I have a carbon 29 HT 1x Eagle, yet thought about putting 650b on my 2020 Giant Revolt Advanced 0, but decided to keep it 700c because it's my road bike replacement (Scott Addict 15 di2). I wanted a 1 bike/do it all, but then feared having too much "middle ground dualsport" and losing too much on the road or gravel by making it a pseudo mtb; plus the cost was an issue, I'd rather buy a power meter for the gg. Can't be everything to everyone, is the old ad agency cliche.

    For me (160 pounds, Cat 1 mtb endurance racer without a big road engine), I'll only bring out the mtb when it's a real mtb ride in terms of rough terrain and gearing. I'm so over trying to be the fast guy on the road that having a heavier lower geared gg is 100% fine.

  48. #48
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    Probably most people have seen this, but it's not mentioned yet in this thread. Bikepacking.com's overview for using an 11-40 cassette with Shimano's RX815/810 2x rear derailleur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRgLG1uP_uo.

    Basically: 11-40 works with a simple adjustment of the b-screw; 11-42 works, but puts more stress on the stop.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    I personally don't understand why anyone would go 1x for gravel. I'm guessing it probably depends on your terrain and what you will use the bike for.
    This is what I'm thinking too and for what I wanted a 2x gravel setup is exactly what I needed. I just picked up a bike after not having one for 6 years. In the past it was strictly mountain biking and at the end I was riding a built up SC Heckler for pretty technical trails and a 1x made perfect sense.

    At this point in my life I want to focus on fitness while still making that pursuit as fun as possible. So far I'm doing about 80% road, 20% trail (roughly) and I'm running a 2x GRX drivetrain. The tighter spacing between gears and the ability to be able to hammer the big ring on the way to and from the trails and still have a granny to grind on the way up without making too much of a compromise for either road or trail is pretty much what I wanted when I first started getting the bug to get back into riding.

  50. #50
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    Hi folks, I just got a RM Solo 50 and it has a 42T crank along with an Apex1 10-42 cassette. I am used to having much less than a 1:1 granny ratio. My Thunderbolt 750 and Blizzard 30 (has wider-range Sunrace cassette) are right near a 0.75 granny ratio, so I am a bit concerned. I am 68 and live on top of a big hill just over a mile ASL😀 I was about to order the 38T Absolute Black oval, but now wondering if I should make a more incremental change to the 40T. The 38T would change the low ratio to 0.9 before the Ēoval advantageĒ. The 38T would still give a top gear ratio of 3.8 and the 40T gives 4.0. Most other bikes that I considered, 1x or 2x, topped at 4.2 to 4.4, so even the 3.8 doesnít seem too bad. I just talked myself back into the 38T oval, because spinning out going downhill wonít leave stopping on the side of the road to help get my heart rate back below the theoretical max for my age😀
    Cheers!
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  51. #51
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    and why sram and shimano doesnt have 1x12 with 50t cassette or 2x11 with 42t or 46t cassette??
    or they are waiting to everybody had 1x11 or 2x11 with lower range to reliase it

  52. #52
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    I have a 2x11 on my gravel and 1x11 or a SS on my Mtn-bikes. Personally Iím fortunate to live near my foothill local trails and only use my gravel bike on long mixed rides with mostly pavement. I want to enjoy the descents on my local single track and still enjoy the challenge of doing this on my fully rigid SS. I donít have the desire to go on a fast descent over single track or fire roads on my skinny 700x38c gravel tires. Heck, I stopped using 2.1,2.2 and very rarely use a 2.3 on my Mtn-bikes.
    My point is a 2x has a longer range and if your planning to do all day 6-8 hour rides itís nice to have that range. If youíre not and want a dedicated gravel for PRís up your local dirt roads maybe a light weight 1x set up is for you.
    FYI, since Iím close to Los Angeles and see many new trail riders on my local trails, I see lots of people that love to ride their gravel bikes on loose fire roads and technical single track. Personally I can only see the benefit for climbing faster and canít imagine enjoying the descent but thatís me. To each his own and Iím happy that more people are enjoying cycling on the trails.
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  53. #53
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    same here - 1x11 is perfect for my 150mm trail/enduro bike, but want to keep 2x on my gravel bike. Need that range for long-distance ride with lots of climb.
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  54. #54
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    If you look at a 31/48 drive and 11-34 cassette, you have a really good top speed at a 80 cadence (about 28mph) as well as a .91 ratio as your lowest hill climb choice.

    With 1x and a 10/50 cassette, you would need a 46 drive to get a similar spread In ratios but that comes pretty close. So the choice comes down to choices of ratios in between top and bottom and that really is a no brainer. Riders that are trying to maintain the optimal wattage or heart rate (people who arenít at their physical peak maybe?) are going to benefit greatly from the 2x drivetrain.

  55. #55
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    With some drivetrains one could have a 2x 50/34 with a 9-39 e13 cassette to have both a climbing gear & a fast gear. Just need to have a Sram driver.

  56. #56
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    https://www.velonews.com/gear/gravel...ng-for-gravel/

    ... answer is pretty simple: SRAM for 1x, and Shimano for 2x set-ups...

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