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  • Switching to a 1x?? Drivetrain
  • Premier Icon Kato

    Anyone here changed to 1×10 or 1×11 and regretted the decision. I know the broad spread of ratios are supposed to be similar at the top and bottom to my current 3×10, but I just can’t make my mind up. Think it’s the thought of losing gears!

    It’s on a stock Cannondale Trigger with 27.5 wheels


    Can always try it and go back if you don’t like it and make your own mind up..that’s what I’m just about to do.


    I’ve just switched from 3X9 to 1X11 in the past couple of weeks. I went with an XT cassette, rear mech and shifter and just kept my old 9 speed triple cranks with a narrow wide ring. 30t on the front, 11-42 on the back.

    The riding I do leans more towards the XC side of the XC/trail scale, primarily because that’s the sort of terrain where I live (Yorkshire Dales). I do love a good blast round a trail centre red loop though, especially Dalby and Gisburn. I’m more of a sit and spin kind of climber and I hate getting off the bike to push so will always try to clear steep, sustained climbs. A very low granny gear comes in handy for this. I also like to go fast downhill and on the tarmac so the large chainring on my triple setup got quite a bit of use.

    On paper, 1X11 shouldn’t be for the kind of riding I do, however I’ve been on three big XC rides with my new setup and the only thing I’ve really missed is the higher gearing of the triple. My climbing hasn’t suffered and I’m actually feeling the benefits fitness wise as I don’t have that ultra-low granny gear to wimp out with. I think with a 32t on the front I’d struggle though. The only thing I regret really is not going with a SRAM GX setup (for that 10t rear sprocket) but in the future if I buy a new wheelset compatible with the XD driver hub then I’ll give SRAM a go.


    Switched my 29er hardtail over late last year. No regrets. Less to go wrong / need adjusting with no front mech, easier to clean, lighter, etc. I haven’t felt that I’ve run out of gears, or even really noticed less of them (given the redundancy on a triple). Very glad I switched mine over.


    1-11 came with my new bike. Retrospectively if I had the choice I’d of gone 2-10 because….
    The chain line is awful – this manifests as a problem when back-pedalling e.g. At any of the many gates half way up steep climbs.
    I do miss the range – I see walking up any hill as a massive sign of failure.
    For longer rides I think the ratio jumps are too big – I feel it in my legs. Maybe need some shut up legs.

    But I haven’t dropped a chain since getting it. This used to happen quite a bit but was never a big deal as it almost always rode back on using the front mech.

    So if gravity orientated then yes but for general xc/light trail I’m not sure. I certainly would pay to upgrade to it. But Mrs p really doesn’t understand gears bless her and I frequently hear crunching noises followed by swearing up hill as she pedals through a front mech shift. So if your special maybe get it?


    First thing: It’s not for everyone

    You do lose a bit of range but it’s not as much as you think and you can arrange the gearing such that you lose most at the top end or bottom end or split it evenly. It feels hard work at first, I struggled for a couple of months but persevered and now I just don’t worry about it. Most of my riding is XC stuff in the Dales, Lakes and Scotland. As dumbbot says, you can always go back to 2x or 3x if it really doesn’t work out.

    My 29er has been 1×10 since I got it three years ago. Back then there were few dedicated 1x systems so I went with the then usual 10spd XT cassette, remove the 17T and stick an extender cog, in my case the 40T Hope TRex, on at the low gear end. I’m just about to replace the TRex after 8000Km of riding, it’s seen three cassettes during its life. I’m trying to remember when I actually last dropped into that gear.

    Originally I started with a 30T front ring but after about a year I switched to a 32T. I’m now on a 32T Absolute Black oval chainring. The gearing is about right for me, rarely in either 40T or 11T, mostly in the middle of the block.

    I’ve four bikes: 2 MTB and two road/commuter. Both the MTBs are 1x drivetrains and the commuter will probably go 1x when the drivetrain gets replaced/updated. The only one I’ll keep 2x is the full-on road bike.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Easiest option just to see if 1xN suits OP is probably to change your existing 3×10 to 1×10 with a sunrace cassette.

    You might get away with a wound in or longer B screw, you might need a Goatlink similar. Look for a sensible 30/32 tooth N/W ring and you can try it out on the cheap before committing to a full new 1×11 drivetrain…

    Went from 2×10 to 1×10 with a Sunrace 11-42 cassette, 34t ring. No regrets yet.
    I can get up anything local on this setup that I could do on my old setup, but may need to downsize the chainring for big days in the mountains. I have a 30t ring to try out when I can be arsed to fit it.

    Running 1×11 (XT) last bike 2×10 (XT).

    New bike (29’er HT) came with 30t front (?) Switched to 34t which is largest you can get from Shimano. Feels undergeared on flat at times, you tend to ride in same 1-2 cogs at rear promoting wear.

    Might switch to 2×11? The rear cassette though has very usable range with well balanced cog sizing giving good cadence across gears

    Premier Icon vincienup

    I took a punt when I got a good deal on a SRAM kitted bike (I tended to run SRAM 10sp stuff anyway). I took to it like a duck to water. I’ve since built GX/X1 drivetrains on other bikes with ovals and love it. The only low spot was when I cheaped out of swapping a freehub and put an XT 11-42 cassette on an alternative wheelset so I didn’t need to much about with chain length.

    The difference between the GX and XT cassette in a known transmission is obvious and not in Shimano’s favour. A bigger front ring (say 36?) and 11-46 would sort it out but bigger everything :/

    I’m just about to put a 2×10 bike back on the hill to see if I’m selling ot keeping it. I’ll be interested to see what I think of the drivetrain.

    Premier Icon P-Jay

    I think I probably did it the hard way, ditched a 24/36 for a 32 and kept the same cassette. First couple of rides were tough going but I soon got used to it and got a little stronger.

    32 with an 11/42 via XT now which is more than enough range for me.

    Whether it’s worth it is another matter though. I mentioned to my riding mates the other day that I still don’t really see the point of 1x drive trains, one of them said oh you wouldn’t want to go back to… and made the sound of a front mech with a chain rubbing on it and I thought no I wouldn’t, and rode off with the sound of a shit chain line like all 1x systems.

    I think if I had the money for D12 I’d go 2x it’s seems to be the best of both worlds


    I’m on 11-36 10sp with a 36t chainring, but I do live south.


    The comment about big jumps in ratios doesn’t make sense: the jump is less than when changing gear when you are in the big ring on either 2x or 3x and no-one complains about those being too big. The only “big” jump with the XT cassette + extender style setup is across the gap formed by taking out the 17T. This just happens to be around the point where I go from mainly off-road to mainly on-road. With something like the Sunrace cassettes it doesn’t really exist – I’ve a Sunrace on my fat bike and the jumps are fine, I get a very smooth run through the cassette when building up speed, certainly within my optimal cadence range.

    With a NW chainring dropped chains are a thing of the past, not had one in three years, even in some very testing conditions.

    Premier Icon wobbliscott

    I guess it will always depend on what type of riding you do but I didn’t regret it. i tested it first when I had my original 2x setup by just keeping it in the lower chainring – 24T I think. Over a few rides I assessed that the lack of range wasn’t hurting me too much and that the lowest gears were too low really so I reckoned that with the 10 speed 11 – 36 cassette married to a 28T chain ring should be about right for the terrain I was riding. I then picked up a second had x9 crank of eBay cheap as it was a bit battered, so I could get a spiderless narrow/wide chainring. So for less than £100 I was set up with a 1×10 and ran that happily for about 2 years before before going 1×11 with SRAM GX. I really don’t see the point in 2x or 3x. I guess if you’re an XC rider and want the short gaps between gears then you might stay 2 or 3x. The simplicity, lack of maintenance is a really benefit I think.


    My latest bike is 1×11 and I’m a total convert. 32 at the front and 42 at the back gets me up the steepest local hills (15%+). I don’t spin out on the descents. It’s cleaner, quieter, though perhaps not a lot lighter. I can’t fault it for the riding I enjoy.

    Premier Icon chestrockwell

    I wouldn’t change a perfectly good 3x or 2x set up but if it comes on a new bike it’s ok. Got both, don’t really have a strong bias to either.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi

    Bought a mega expensive fs XC 29er that is 1×11, but I’d prefer 2×11 or even 2×10.

    I currently have three front chain rings that I swap depending on the ride/race I’m doing. 28/32/36

    Premier Icon Rio

    I recently went from 3×10 to 1×10 as an experiment – my bike will need replacing soon and as most of the possible replacements come with 1x I though I’d better try it first. Bought a Sunrace 11-42 and a Superstar thick-thin ring, and after much chain slippage an S10 link. After reading what people say on here I expected my first ride to be accompanied by choirs of angels and herds of unicorns; instead it was like it was before but with fewer gears. I guess whether this matters to you depends on where you ride – I have no problem with the larger gaps but I use roads to get to the trails and between trails and I miss the higher gears (I used to silently laugh at the 1x riders on the road with their legs spinning round like a 3-year-old on their first tricycle; now I am one). I guess I could go to a larger chainring but then climbs would be harder and I’m already finding that places where I used to spin up I’m now having to slog up in a higher gear than perhaps I’d like. I’m sticking with it but my conclusion so far is that for me 1x is feasible but it’s a change rather than an improvement.

    Premier Icon tillydog

    The comment about big jumps in ratios doesn’t make sense: the jump is less than when changing gear when you are in the big ring on either 2x or 3x and no-one complains about those being too big.

    …but with a 2X or 3X set-up, one would normally shift the rear derailleur a couple of times at the same time as shifting the front to give a nice change in gear ratios (unless one was just dumping gears in a hurry).

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Sure, but the gaps on the cassette are pretty much the same as they would be on an equivalent 2x or 3x design- I was surprised by that, intuitively I just thought the gaps were bigger but when you compare a typical 9 or 10 speed cassette, 11-34 or thereabouts, with a typical 11 speed it’s very similar.

    Premier Icon jonnyboi

    SRAM X1 – 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42

    XT 10s – 11-13-15-17-19-21-23-26-30-34

    That’s the ratios on two of my bikes, you can feel that sram is clunkier in some of the shifts but it’s not detrimental


    @tilleydog – The point is that to work your way through the ratios in order (to get the small jump that is apparently so desirable) you have to do two gear, possibly more, changes every time. On my old road bike, changing the front ring was equivalent to 1.5 gears at the back, on my current road bike with a compact chainset it’s equivalent to 2.5 gears, so to get the next ratio I need to make either one, two or three gear changes.

    If the ratio between gears is less than that of your comfortable cadence range, which for most people is around 15% then you aren’t going to notice it.

    In my first post on this thread I noted that it (1x) is not for everyone. I should also have noted that many of the claims and disadvantages quoted for both 1x and 2/3x are largely irrelevant, weight, lack of range, etc.

    Premier Icon tillydog

    to work your way through the ratios in order (to get the small jump that is apparently so desirable) you have to do two gear, possibly more, changes every time

    Wasn’t what I meant: I would work my way fown/up the cassette after shifting on the front – a double shift on the back at the same time gives pretty uniform steps. (I guess that I shift the front about 2/3rds the way down/up the cassette).

    I suppose you could zig-zag between the front rings to get every possible ratio, but I don’t see the point – YMMV 🙂


    One other thought from a recent convert is that my dropper remote now make so much more sense (KS) as it can sit in a decent position with no front shifter. Just makes the whole control package feel much more logical in use to me. Did go for 1/12 to keep my gear range and don’t really ride tarmac so minor loss on top range doesn’t bother me.
    So no regrets so far after 25 odd years of 3x and 2 years of 2x.


    @tillydog – I know, I was being pedantic 😉

    A lot of people are using relatively rare use cases to justify their choice: “I’ll spin out on the five minutes of road to get to my usual trail”, and ignoring the fact that for a huge proportion of their riding they’ll be in the middle of their particular gearing range and there’s basically little or no difference between 1x, 2x or 3x in those circumstances.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    I still use the big ring on a 2×10 setup on a lot of Dales descents, and obviously on the road links. It’s only the top end that I’d miss on a 1x setup.

    But I’m gradually coming around to the idea that 32 and 11-42 might be enough. Particularly as I can’t seem to get rid of annoying front mech rattle at the moment. 🙂


    I wouldn’t change a perfectly good 3x or 2x set up but if it comes on a new bike it’s ok. Got both, don’t really have a strong bias to either.

    That’s what I assumed 10 years ago when I went 1×9 – but today I’d ditch any double or triple for a single.

    It has dramatically (no exaggeration whatsoever) enhanced my enjoyment of riding a MTB.

    I can’t see any way back unless perhaps I move to the high Alps, and even then…

    OP : you are not really “losing” gears and even if you do, it will be insignificant against the benefits.

    Premier Icon twonks

    I think if you do any long road / fire road sections as part of a normal ride, then perhaps 2×10 is the way to go.

    I recently bought a s/h fat bike that had gone 1×10 but changed it back to 2×10 to make best use of the grip offered. Sitting and spinning up virtualy any hill (until it toppled over backwards) was awesome, and I couldn’t have done that with 1×11 without sacrificing the big ring speed on fire roads and gravel etc.

    The 2x front system on the fatty (sram x5) also never put a foot wrong and went against all I thought I remembered about chainsuck, slapping and general faffing.

    However, on my main mtb I have just put a Sunrace 11-50 cassette on and still have the 30t oval chainring on a 1×11 (it used to be 1×10 with 42t lowest).

    At 45, overweight and not too fussed about out and out speed, I find this is now giving me the gearing I like and can use. On rides in the peak and local trail centres I get overtaken by much faster riders uphil so it clearly isn’t needed by everybody.

    It is ridiculously low geared but brings back memories of mtb’ing 20 years ago with 3x and silly granny gear races we used to have 😉

    I don’t ride many roads of have a need to pedal faster than 18 to 20mph on this bike, so the gearing is perfect. (edit. It is until I lose weight I’ve been trying to do for 3 years. Then I have 32 and 34t chainrings to go on if needed)

    Ultimately it depends what you want out of the bike and your riding.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

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