Genuine Question – What's the point of 1*10 or 1*11 setups?

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  • Genuine Question – What's the point of 1*10 or 1*11 setups?
  • Premier Icon miketually

    I briefly ran 1×9, before some scrote stole the bike. With a 32 chainring (because that’s what I had on the bike when it was SS), I found the lowest gear with a 11:32 cassette to be a little too low. I don’t think I’d need lower than a 1:1 ratio if I went 1x again.

    Perhaps it’s because I’ve been riding along time, so remember 28t granny rings and 11:28 cassettes being pretty standard?

    I’m considering going 1:9 on my Inbred, because I’m finding the SS far too spinny on the road now that I’ve got used to having gears on my cross bike.

    Premier Icon D0NK

    How do you get through axle deep filth on 1×10?

    this (and snow) could be more of a problem, it’s certainly a problem for SS, but as you have a much lower gear on 1by then I’m guessing it’ll be doable, you’ll just have to keep your momentum up, lose it or don’t attack with enough commitment and you’ll be off. Like SS it’s upto you whether the trade offs are worth it, either hit stuff harder and faster or get off and walk, but with 42T cassettes now available the trade offs are pretty minor.

    What pleasure is there in ‘riding’ through axle-deep filth anyway?! Sod that.

    with all the moorland riding round here my local trails are only a valley or two away from binners) if you want to keep riding over winter patches of axle deep mud are pretty much inevitable. obviously route choice will reduce it but if you want the good stuff and/or avoid roads some bogtrotting will occur.


    I find traction is easier to keep with a harder gear, I find if you use anything too twiddly the torque is often the problem and causes you to spin a wheel when a harder gear and a bit of body weight will keep it moving.

    As mentioned above too, you don’t lose the entire granny, you lose maybe the top one or two ratios, so when you say you were dropping into the granny ring, where were you on the cassette? surely not twiddling away 22×36?

    Glad you gave it a go to try it out though, and I reckon if you kept at it and developed a good pig-headed ‘I’m not using the granny ring!’ attitude you’d find yourself getting further and further each time.

    Perhaps it’s because I’ve been riding along time, so remember 28t granny rings and 11:28 cassettes being pretty standard?

    28/38/48 rings and 14-28 in six sprockets was normal when I started. A modern 3x set-up has lower gears in the middle ring than that did in absolute granny gear. I’d not go back to a 1:1 first gear but 32:42 is fine on 26″ wheels.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    I reckon I’ve got it 🙂 those of us who have gone 1x get it and like it have got the idea, the rest of you don’t so stop thinking about it 🙂

    Premier Icon binners

    amedias – you’re bang on. There are climbs I’m doing in my granny ring now (like bits of the big road climb last night), where I’ll be sticking pigheadedly in the middle ring from now on, and stop being a lazy sod! I was miles faster up there

    But with some of the sharper slippery climbs last night, they really are quite brutal. And I was using all the granny ring gears

    njee20 – like Donk said: round these parts, if you don’t like axle deep filth, then you’d better really really make the most of the 2 days a year you get to ride locally. I love riding whenever. Its only mud! 😀

    My 1×10 is missing about half a gear at the low gear side of things and missing several from the high gear side. For an off road optimised machine, this is fine, but if I was going to use my bike like binners describes above, I think it would present some limitations on tarmac.

    On the odd occasion I do use tarmac I’m happy to work with What I’ve got and tootle along. I not known for wasting energy on boring bits.

    Premier Icon tmb467

    But with some of the sharper slippery climbs

    its just a matter of technique

    Get out of the saddle and stand up – its harder to do when the torque is greater but you soon pick it up. Need a lot more control through your hips and its tiring initially but you get used to it


    Thing is, 1by is all about chosing a sensible front cog to put the “spread” of gears across the speeds at which you ride you bike!

    For example, lets compare a typical 2by in bottom gear, with a 1by in bottom gear:

    2by: 24/36 = 1.5 ratio
    1by: 32/42 = 1.312 ratio

    Now ratio’s don’t mean much to most people, so by way of comparison, here’s how many times you will turn your pedals around to travel around 100M

    2by = 70 times
    1by = 62 times

    Not exactly a big difference, and so far, i’ve been able to get up everything i could previous pedal up when 2by now that i am 1by.

    Of course, as mentioned a million times, if you want BOTH an equivalent granny AND and equivalent TOP gear, well, you can’t. (11spd xx1 of course helps this to some extent at a large cost penalty). But what i think most people are saying on this thread is that actually, they haven’t really missed having the large top gear in reality, as that is not really how they use their MTB.

    Premier Icon mick_r

    Up to a point, traction is generally better in a higher gear as you can’t apply sudden spikes of torque (like driving in snow or mud by setting off in a higher gear). This works OK singlespeed but obviously has a limit where you stall out and can’t apply enough torque to get up a very steep slippery slope which you could maybe manage in granny planted in the saddle and led flat to try and balance front / rear weight and traction.

    Coming to 1xwhatever is much easier if you spent plenty of time singlespeed. SS teaches you lots about conserving momentum, moving bike through and over stuff with your hips / bodyweight, rapid tactical back pedal to stay on the power stroke etc.

    I think weight also plays a big role in “acceptable” gears for big hills. I’ve been very glad of super low gears when fully loaded touring, tandem touring, towing trailer with 2 kids etc.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Genuine Question – What’s the point of 1*10 or 1*11 setups?

    This question is back to front. My experience is they work fine, in which case why run more kit on your bike then you need?


    I get on with mine, but then again I’m a fashion biker as I ride a Banshee.

    I run a 32 tooth chain ring with an 11-36 cassette and can get up most things willpower depending. There have been climbs that I’ve pushed up and kept pace with granny ring spinners so wasn’t really that bother. Place wise its pretty vaird – locally Cannock because its the nearest fun spot but lots of trips to Wales, the Peaks, Swaledale etc.

    Everyone is getting all huffy and defensive about their low ratios but is the high ratio enough? Do you not spin out going downhill?
    Why not MTFU and go SS?

    Not really because I tend to avoid fireroads! I’ve not ridden with a ring bigger than 36 teeth for years now.

    it was interesting. Yesterday I was asking about how you deal with gradient. After last night I have to ask: What kind of trails are you lot riding? How do you get through axle deep filth on 1×10?

    If you’re up to you’re axles in mud…how do you pedal? Sureln on the down stroke you’re feet will be under the mud? Sounds pretty grim to me.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    The spinning out is solved by the 10-42 really. 11-40 is still a compromise over 2x for me but worth it for the simplicity.

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