1×11 viable for road bike?

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  • This topic has 44 replies, 29 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by  pdw.
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  • 1×11 viable for road bike?
  • atlaz
    Member

    As I’ve had a bike nicked (from a “secure” car park no less), I’m in the market for a new bike and am considering a Mason Bokeh or Open UP. My preference defaults towards ultegra disc but perhaps a Force 1x will do. I don’t race so is the Force 1x usable for a day to day riding/training bike?

    downhillfast
    Member

    Usable? Yes perfectly.

    More down to personal preference I think. You may notice bigger jumps between gears, but it doesn’t bother me on my road/gravel bike.

    Just give it a go.

    steve_b77
    Member

    I reckon so, you get a decent spread of gears and if you pick the chainring right you’ll be able to replicate most of a compact & 11/28 set up.

    For example with a 42 front ring and a 11/36 rear

    50/13 at 90rpm = 44.7kph, whereas 42/11 at 90rpm is 44.4kph

    34/28 at 90rpm = 14.1kph & 34/32 at 90rpm = 12.4kph, whereas 42/36 at 90rpm is 13.6kph

    As you say you’re not racing so I don’t see an issue, I certainly don’t with a Force CX1 set up.

    prawny
    Member

    Aqua blue are using them in the pro peloton this year with discs so I’d say yes*

    3T Strada

    Something like 44T chainring with a 10-42 cassette will give you a very similar gear inches range to a compact 34/50 with 11-32 cassette.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/gear-calc.html

    Personally, I wasn’t happy with gear changes to the gear I wanted, when I tried the SRAM double tap system on a Boardman CX Team for the first time last year for the best part of an hour on a turbo in Halfords.

    Given I would need the lowest gear to climb ~20% hill gradients on tarmac, the shifting between the 36T and 42T sprockets didn’t thrill me (just as it doesn’t on the Wazoo’s default mega-range 26-34 jump)

    I also found the replacement cost of a 10-42 cassette rather eye-watering (~£80), over twice the price of a Shimano 105 11-32 back then. Which is worth thinking about given how 1x is generally accepted to increase “chain wear” rate.

    john_l
    Member

    Isn’t the weight saving of dropping the front mech and a chainring pretty much off-set by the weight of the boat anchor of a cassette?

    I get the simplicity of it and the improvement in mud clearance/lack of chain drops for ‘cross, not so sure about on the road though.

    taxi25
    Member

    Not for me, I think it would be awfull. The gaps between gears would be really noticeable on a road bike. Unlike a mtb I’m not seeing any attraction.

    JoB
    Member

    viable? yes

    in reality i find the gaps between the gears really bloody annoying and find a lot of my time wishing i was in the gear between the two options i have, YMMV obvs

    as an aside i wouldn’t be putting a Mason Bokeh or Open UP in a place i’d just had a bike stolen from, no matter how secure it was or wasn’t

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Well one of my main peeves with compact is the ring overlap – I find myself switching rings a lot.  1x would sort that.  But otherwise, I dunno.  It might introduce too big gaps.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Just have a play with a gear calculator and see what sort of ratios might work for you. You’ll end up losing a few teeth at top or bottom, or have a big gappy cassette.

    My TT bike is 1x and I put on a 52t with a 11-28 11sp cassette for training. 52-28 is small enough to grind over lumps and the cassette is close enough to not be annoying. If I had to have 1x on the road bike I’d probably look at 48t. Quite flat around here though and climbs are fairly short.

    Aqua blue are using them in the pro peloton this year with discs so I’d say yes*

    Be interesting to see how they get on with it this year. Fine for flat fast races where you just stick on a big ring (I think first win came running a 54t and 11-36 cassette). It’ll be interesting to see how they get on with big mountain stages.

    whitestone
    Member

    @molgrips – the old “standard” 52/42 road double was roughly a 1.5 gear difference between small and large ring whereas a compact feels more like 2.5 gears difference (I haven’t worked this out TBH) so when you swap between rings you need to also adjust by one gear at the back.

    The only one of my bikes that isn’t 1x is my road bike but we’ve a lot of steep hills round here (25% isn’t uncommon) and the compact chainring does let me get reasonably close to whatever ratio I need. My winter bike is 1x and a bit clunkier in this respect.

    on and on
    Member

    Been doing if for three years on a couple of road bikes.
    Works well for me. Xtr cassettes are your friend

    curto80
    Member

    I run 46 front 11-36 back.

    gaps are very slightly noticeable but I got used to it in no time.

    mrblobby
    Member

    Regarding AquaBlue, from CyclingNews…

    While Hansen ran a fairly standard cassette on stage 1 of the race, 3T produce cassettes designed to work specifically with their 1X drivetrains, with closer ratios at either the top or bottom of the cassette to suit the parcours. However, large jumps do remain if a wide range is required and the Aqua Blue Sport riders will have to choose their gearing carefully later in the week.

    So while everyone else just runs standard rings with 11sp 11-28 everywhere, the 1x guys have to carefully pick the right ring and cassette for a particular stage, even down to where whether they need the close ratios to be at the top or bottom of the cassette on that day. I guess pro teams have the time and resource to faff around with setup (and I’d not be surprised to see their riders swap bikes for different ratios during a stage) it does seem like an unnecessary crap compromise for everyone else.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I do notice the gaps when I take my gravel/CX bike on the road but that’s 1×9 with an 11-32 cassette. The range is fine it’s just the increments, so an 11 speed 11-32 would probably be a nice cassette for 1x Road use…

    Size the chainring according to personal preference.

    greyspoke
    Member

    I have thought about this for a road/fire road/ gravel bike.  But for the road bike, I came to the conclusion that one of the things I liked about it was the close ratios, which accentuate the difference from a mountain bike.

    Interesting stuff about AquaBlue there @mrblobby.

    Premier Icon akira
    Subscriber

    To be fair all the pro teams swap cassettes and rings to suit different stages.

    mrblobby
    Member

    o be fair all the pro teams swap cassettes and rings to suit different stages.

    Not so much these days with 11sp, most now just run 53/39 with 11-28 everywhere. Only exceptions tend to be stages with stupid steep climbs or bigger big rings for some of the classics.

    Trimix
    Member

    I’m looking at doing it.  The gear gaps are only one tooth different.  So it really depends on your riding.

    atlaz
    Member

    as an aside i wouldn’t be putting a Mason Bokeh or Open UP in a place i’d just had a bike stolen from, no matter how secure it was or wasn’t

    The bike was locked up in my office parking space. Sadly the building management are a bit lax so there are no functioning cameras nor records of people coming and going. The replacement will be locked into our store room whenever it’s at work and only 2 other people have keys for that. That said, I’m wonder how often I’ll actually WANT to go offroad and therefore maybe i will just go for a normal disc road bike.

    swanny853
    Member

    <span style=”color: #444444; font-size: 12px;”>Well one of my main peeves with compact is the ring overlap – I find myself switching rings a lot. </span>

    The gearing on my cross bike (also my road bike) used to really irritate me. 46-36 and I seemingly always wanted to be somewhere in between. 11-28 out back and I was always changing two gears at a time. I think more time spent on a MTB has me used to those gaps.

    Now I have 42 x 11-36 ten speed and it works very nicely. I wouldn’t complain about a bit more range (and when this lot wears out I’ll be going 11sp with a wider cassette) but realistically I can top 30mph on the road and generally seem to climb things on dirt, so it’s fine. Side benefits include clearing mud from around the BB much better, quieter chain off road (clutch mech too) and I think it looks better.

    As others have suggested, it’s definitely viable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like it- personal preference is a huge thing here. If you’re currently running a 12-25 or something to get the smallest gaps, then no. If you’ve got an 11-28 on and never thought about it, have a go- even have an 11-36 for road and an 11-42/46 if you wanted a touring/off road gear. If you have a way to try it for a bit without committing megabucks that would be a good way to go.

    “It’ll be interesting to see how they get on with big mountain stages”

    A fiver to #rideforcharlie says Sram will have launched Road Eagle 1×12 before Aqua Blue are racing their bikes in a hilly Grand Tour, which will have addressed most of the range/gap issues of 1×11 compared to 2×11.

    on and on
    Member

    Just back from a spin in the juras on my 1×11 S3
    https://s17.postimg.org/w8upxxde7/703_FCF52-9_F5_E-4072-_A3_D9-742_CA5_CD0_E58.jpg

    FFS, how the hell do you post a pic now?

    reggiegasket
    Member

    42 oval and a 11-34 on my commuter (10spd).

    Doesn’t do big miles so 34 is enough. I use 11-36 if I’m doing longer stuff. All my bikes are 1x now.

    on and on
    Member

    Thank you. What’s the secret to posting now ?

    reggiegasket
    Member

    if Sram did a 11spd 10-36 then I’d consider going 11 speed, from 10, but it seems – correct me of course, that all the 10-sprocket cassettes are 10-42….?

    on and on
    Member

    They do make one.

    legend
    Member

    A fiver to #rideforcharlie says Sram will have launched Road Eagle 1×12 before Aqua Blue are racing their bikes in a hilly Grand Tour, which will have addressed most of the range/gap issues of 1×11 compared to 2×11.

    They haven’t been invited to any Grand Tours this year, so Sram have a while to get it ready

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    The range is there but the jumps feel a bit odd to me. On a compact double I don’t drop to the inside apart from proper hills anyway, so don’t really see a benefit. Cross though, 1x all the way.

    Thanks for typing that out though steve_b77 interesting seeing the relative edges of range. As may of said, it’d work just fine, but for me I’d take the front mech to smooth the majority of changes out in preference.

    Looks shite and you end up with a sub optimal chainline in the low or high gears. Perhaps in a cx where yo front mech is clogged with mud it makes sense, but on a road bike it solves a problem that doesn’t exist. The industry knows gullible MTBers will buy anything, guess they’re seeing if they can get away with it in road cycling.

    on and on
    Member

    Dunno about sub optimal. Mine is a bbright which was god aweful so a chainring on the inside of the larger ring actually improved things.

    swanny853
    Member

    Never entirely sure if you’re serious or winding people up DTF, but I’ll bite because I did think about the chainline point in particular before changing over.

    Chainline wise, get an appropriately sized chainring lined up with in the middle of the cassette so you spend most of the time there and I’ll take an educated guess that your cross chaining isn’t much different to a double. You’ll get a bit at each end but nowhere near as bad as the person on a double who’s sticking in the big ring for everything except for ‘proper hills’ and wandering right up the cassette. Given SRAM are happy for people to cross chain on a double anyway and have apparently designed around it, I can’t really see the problem, even in theory. In practice I’ve seen no difference on MTB (where I was a long time triple hold out) or road.

    As far as wide range drop bar, that seems to have come from the bottom up as much as anything- see genevalle shifters, wolftooth tanpan etc- so hardly a marketing thing. I was abusing a 105 mech to get me to 1×11-36 for some time before being able to add a MTB rear mech.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Really just depends on you, mine is 1×9 with a stupidly big ring and an mtb cassette, but it’s never going to do a race, a century or an alp, and I couldn’t care less about ratio gaps (it used to have 12-25 or something on it, I double shifted most of the time). It’s absolutely fine for Edinburgh hills though. It’s entirely possible most people would hate it but it’s spot on for my riding and my legs.

    nre
    Member

    I’m running a sunrace 11-40 11 speed which just narrows the gaps between gears enough Vs a 10-42 whilst maintaining enough range. Works for me on a GT grade with a 42 ring upfront, you’d probably want to go a good few teeth bigger on the front for a road focused machine!

    mattsccm
    Member

    Depends on how you ride. Not for me personally. My CX bike yes, but 45 minutes round a field doesn’t need many gears so a 12-18 is fine. Maybe its because I am an old fashioned roadie at heart not starting cycling coming form MTB but I find gappy gars annoying. My nice 13-17 TT block was nice and I still like close ratios on the road and on the gravel.  I doubt you will need to go silly low if you do opt for a single chain ring. 42/ 28 should get you up most hills so stick a 32 on and you’ll be fine.

    I wouldn’t worry about reliability. A front mech is possibly the most reliable thing on a bike that’s made of more than one part and moves. They weigh bugger all as does a chainring.

    pdw
    Member

    I accept that the numbers do just about work: if you’re prepared to accept bigger gaps and a dinner plate sprocket on the back, you can get the range, but it really does feel like a solution to a non-problem.

    Dropping chains really isn’t a problem on road bikes, so chainrings shaped for shifting aren’t an issue. Front shifting is very slick these days, and with shifters on the brake levers, simultaneously shifting front and rear to get a one-sprocket-equivalent jump is pretty simple (Di2 will even do it for you).

    And of course, multiple chainrings are actually quite an elegant solution to getting good chainline across the whole range of gears.

    I have 1x on my CX bike, where I’m happy with a 20mph top end, and on my MTB, but on my road bikes I regularly use both 50/11 and 34/28, but have no desire for bigger gaps between the remaining gears.

    Chainline wise, get an appropriately sized chainring lined up with in the middle of the cassette so you spend most of the time there and I’ll take an educated guess that your cross chaining isn’t much different to a double. You’ll get a bit at each end but nowhere near as bad as the person on a double who’s sticking in the big ring for everything except for ‘proper hills’ and wandering right up the cassette. Given SRAM are happy for people to cross chain on a double anyway and have apparently designed around it, I can’t really see the problem, even in theory. In practice I’ve seen no difference on MTB (where I was a long time triple hold out) or road

    Ok I’ll bite aswell 😉

    I never seen a road 1x setup, but I’m presuming the chainline is a bit ropey as road bike chainstays are a good 20mm shorter than on mountain bikes.

    11 speed doesn’t wear aswell as 10 speed IME and 1x will only exacerbate that.

    How efficient is the drivetrain when you’re at either extreme of the cassette? Obviously not as efficient as a straight chainline. Given that “early adopter” types who lap up this bullshit are also the same ones who’re into saving two watts with aero stems and seatposts etc, it seems it a bit arse about face.

    Of course it’a viable for a road bike, but personally I wouldn’t bother with it. It’s a fad, much like electronic shifting, plus size tyres, 650B, disc brakes (maybe 😉 , tubeless tyres, indexed gears etc. etc.

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