1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

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Alex Simmons/RST
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:23 pm

My comments to date have been specific to use in cycle racing.

For general cycling market, sure simpler isn't a bad thing if it helps someone ride more than they might otherwise do. My old 5 speed bike had some pretty big gaps between cogs, I still had fun but I wasn't racing on it.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby MichaelB » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:25 pm

We also still need to remember that we don’t have to buy them.

Then again, that’s why we have marketing people etc. we also don’t need 22sp bikes.
I still remember riding to the local jetty about 15km one way with fishing gear and 3 speeds and not dying .....

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby P!N20 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:53 pm

MichaelB wrote:I still remember riding to the local jetty about 15km one way with fishing gear and 3 speeds and not dying .....


But you had disc brakes, right?

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby MichaelB » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:15 pm

P!N20 wrote:
MichaelB wrote:I still remember riding to the local jetty about 15km one way with fishing gear and 3 speeds and not dying .....


But you had disc brakes, right?


I went with discs as they are a better proposition from an engineering view, not marketing

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:23 pm

WyvernRH wrote:The main thing that puts me off 1x with huge rear sprockets is the need for a 'clutched' rear derailleur. Now that is unnecessary added complication and point of failure if you will.

The clutch in the derailleur has nothing at all to do with the rear sprockets. It's entirely about compensating for not having the front derailleur acting in its other capacity of keeping the chain from bouncing off the ring. Narrow/Wide tooth profiles (alternating thicker & thinner teeth to tightly mesh with the inner & outer chain links) help grip the chain a lot, but when the ring and chain begin to wear, the fit gets sloppy and becomes more prone to bouncing off. By resisting forward movement of the derailleur cage which causes chain slack, the pivot spring is better able to keep the necessary tension on the chain.

ldrcycles wrote:A workmate's carbon Trek mtb has 1x and he hates it so much he's going to convert it to 2x, and he's far from alone there.

2x on MTB is worse.... You wind up hunting front rings a hell of a lot more. Go 3x with a tighter cassette; sit on the middle ring 90% of the time where you get a sweet mid-range where you need it most, then have the granny ring for the hills and the big ring for the open stretches. It's like a 1x with extensions for when you need them. ;-) (I've ridden 1x11 & 12, 2x10, and my own MTBs are 3x10; I'm not in any hurry to change them from that).

1x has its merits to a point, but like any drivetrain setup, it's not the ultimate solution that will suit every rider, all the time.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:32 pm

andrewjcw wrote:Well, there's no 'major advantage' for them on mtb/cx bikes, but that hasn't stopped them becoming very popular there. I do agree that there seems even less argument for them on road bikes though.

There is something of an advantage on MTBs, particularly with 29ers. Big wheels with fat tyres take up a fair bit of space, which dictates pushing the rear wheel further back, lengthening the frame, which affects handling. Front derailleurs and fat tyres kinda don't like running into each other, so having a FD limits how much the rear stays can be shortened. Going 1x allows the rear end to be tightened a bit more, which improves the bike's agility. There are also effects on rear suspension (1x and multi-ring both have positive & negative effects on suspension, but they're getting even further off topic than the merits of different brand shifters, so I'll say no more on that here, and go & throw a few words at the shifter debate instead. :mrgreen: )
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 pm

ValleyForge wrote:I can't help but think this is driven by companies that cannot make a working FD.

Sorry - A company. :lol:

To be fair, that company has improved their front shifting a great deal in recent times, but earlier attempts were truly dreadful - you know it's bad when even their own techs couldn't tune it properly! I have previously expressed the similar sentiment that the company in question began pushing 1x because it seemed to be the only way they could fix their front shifting issues..... :-P
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:50 pm

Excuse the string of posts, but I can't scroll back far enough to pick out all the necessary bits & condense them into one!

uart wrote:I was wondering about chain alignment. Aren't you going to be cross chaining most of the time on one of those setups?

A dedicated 1x crank will have the ring placed between the relative positions of a 2x system. If you look at a 2x, when you're on the small ring, there's a little bit of flex when you're on the big rear sprocket, and a lot of flex when you're on the small one, and the opposite is the case on the big ring. With the 1x ring in a centralised alignment compared to the 2x, the flex each way is more even. This becomes more crucial on bikes with shorter stays, because for a given cassette width, the closer it is to the chainring/s, the greater the angle of flex.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:01 pm

Kronos wrote:I have more issue with Shimano using both the brake lever and the shifter to shift. It's about the most ridiculous implementation I can think of. Oh hello misshift say hello to your face plant. It's relatively easy to grab your brake lever during the shift process. Shifters should never be on brake levers, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

One day you're gonna panic and go arse over tit. To be honest I can shift proficiently on both systems but the double tap mechanism is so much safer and more efficient than the Ultegra one every time I even slightly grab some brake lever as you will do occasionally I swear at my Shimano bike.

Bull. You have to try bloody hard to grab a fistful of brake while you're shifting, because as pointed out in several successive posts, the two functions work on totally separate planes of movement. It is however, with a practised touch, entirely possible to deliberately brake and and shift simultaneously, and that unique feature of Shimano shifters is what actually makes them so awesome. The Double Tap system is far more prone to mis-shifting, especially when you get tired, because if you don't push the paddle far enough, you upshift instead of downshift (changing to a larger rear sprocket is downshifting, because you're going to a lower gear ratio, going to a smaller sprocket is an upshift), and when you hit the low gear & test just to see if you've got another gear (we all do it when we're battling up a pig of a hill) the system chucks a wobbly & dumps you in the next gear up instead. That's if it doesn't just break the lever off.....
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:09 pm

Duck! wrote:
WyvernRH wrote:The main thing that puts me off 1x with huge rear sprockets is the need for a 'clutched' rear derailleur. Now that is unnecessary added complication and point of failure if you will.

The clutch in the derailleur has nothing at all to do with the rear sprockets. It's entirely about compensating for not having the front derailleur acting in its other capacity of keeping the chain from bouncing off the ring.


Yes, point taken, I get that, the clutch is there to prevent chain slap/bounce and keep the chain on the rings. BUT it really is only required (on the road anyway) because of the huge amount of extra chain needed for 1x11-44 setups and is still a (unnecessary?) mechanical complication. I really don't remember any chain problems way back with a Suntour VX running 44x13-34 7 speed or even when I acquired the 32t inner :P

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:43 pm

There isn't actually that much, if any, extra chain though. The derailleur geometry is different to enable it to fit under larger sprockets, but the actual chain wrap is about the same. A 2x11 system with compact or mid-compact rings, which have a 16T difference (it's the diffeence between rings that matters, not the size of the rings themselves), coupled to an 11-32 cassette has a chain wrap requirement of 37T worth of chain. A 1x with a 10-42 cassette only has to wrap 32T worth of chain.

In a roundabout way, I do actually agree with you in that a clutch is not actually necessary, viewed from an entirely technical point. It's just an added measure of security, which is not always absolutely effective, because 1x can still drop the chain, even with a clutch (by comparison, I've also ridden a 1x MTB with the clutch switched off - which is possible on Shimano derailleurs - and while it was rougher, the chain never dropped).
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Kronos » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:27 pm

Duck! wrote:
Kronos wrote:The Double Tap system is far more prone to mis-shifting, especially when you get tired, because if you don't push the paddle far enough, you upshift instead of downshift (changing to a larger rear sprocket is downshifting, because you're going to a lower gear ratio, going to a smaller sprocket is an upshift), and when you hit the low gear & test just to see if you've got another gear (we all do it when we're battling up a pig of a hill) the system chucks a wobbly & dumps you in the next gear up instead. That's if it doesn't just break the lever off.....


Dunno about that... Once you understand the simplicity of the double tap system its painfully hard to grab the wrong gear. You can also shift and brake at the same time with double tap, whats more you can keep shifting particularly while going fast on the drops without ever touching the brakes. The SRAM shifters are also shaped differently. It makes it more comfortable riding with your arms on the tops.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:45 pm

I am fully aware of how the things work. The fact is it needs a considerably longer stroke to perform a downshift than either Shimano or Campag, and if you're getting fuzzy late in a long ride, a too-short push on the paddle will dump you a gear in the wrong direction.

I am with you on the ergo though, that is their big plus (but not the hydro brake versions; the taller peaks have a very square cross-section which sits uncomfortably in the hands).
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby ValleyForge » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:23 am

Duck! wrote:I am fully aware of how the things work. The fact is it needs a considerably longer stroke to perform a downshift than either Shimano or Campag, and if you're getting fuzzy late in a long ride, a too-short push on the paddle will dump you a gear in the wrong direction.


I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Just like 1x.

And in case anyone is wondering, mid to lower level SRAM FDs still are atrocious.
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby bychosis » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:53 am

I quite like the SRAM derailleur setup on my bike. Shifting is great, haven't had any issues... but it doesn't have a front derailleur :twisted:
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Duck! » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:55 am

ValleyForge wrote:I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Just like 1x.

The problem that existed, from SRAM's technical POV, was that the other manufacturers had/have patents on various design features to stop others completely copying them. In order to enter the road component market SRAM had to come up with something different.

And in case anyone is wondering, mid to lower level SRAM FDs still are atrocious.

The really rotten ones were actually the titanium-caged early Red ones. The fact the chainrings were made out of soggy pasta was a huge contributor to the dreadful shifting. Their newer rings are a lot stiffer.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby CXCommuter » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:06 am

Still have a titanium red FD- works fine, also have/ have had SRAM rival 10 and 11 speed FD's both work fine.

Compared with a 6800 Ultegra FD- which also worked fine.
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby baabaa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:12 am

Duck! wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Just like 1x.

The problem that existed, from SRAM's technical POV, was that the other manufacturers had/have patents on various design features to stop others completely copying them. In order to enter the road component market SRAM had to come up with something different.

And in case anyone is wondering, mid to lower level SRAM FDs still are atrocious.

The really rotten ones were actually the titanium-caged early Red ones. The fact the chainrings were made out of soggy pasta was a huge contributor to the dreadful shifting. Their newer rings are a lot stiffer.

Yup not a sram-fan here, any bike mechanic who has seen how quickly Red stuff turned into playdoh did the company no good whatsoever. I just don't know why they didn't pick up the rights and design for FSA energy front derailleurs when FSA stopped making them, they are simple, strong, work very well and you can repair them.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby kb » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:53 am

Duck! wrote: (changing to a larger rear sprocket is downshifting, because you're going to a lower gear ratio, going to a smaller sprocket is an upshift)

Yeah, there seems to be a frequent confusion over that terminology. Same with high/ low for visual folk, unless you specifically mention gear.
Duck! wrote:, and when you hit the low gear & test just to see if you've got another gear (we all do it when we're battling up a pig of a hill) the system chucks a wobbly & dumps you in the next gear up instead. That's if it doesn't just break the lever off.....

That’s my gripe :-)
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby kb » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:58 am

ValleyForge wrote:I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Nah, patents definitely exist ;-)
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby kb » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:59 am

kb wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Nah, patents definitely exist ;-)

Edit: doh! Duck! got there first :-)
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:15 pm

Duck! wrote:The problem that existed, from SRAM's technical POV, was that the other manufacturers had/have patents on various design features to stop others completely copying them. In order to enter the road component market SRAM had to come up with something different.



Same with Microshift, their solution being to put 2 levers behind the brake lever. If you want to talk about crummy ergonomics that's a great example. They do work well, but the placement of the small lever in particular is very poor compared to SRAM or Shimano.
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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Comedian » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:24 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
Duck! wrote:The problem that existed, from SRAM's technical POV, was that the other manufacturers had/have patents on various design features to stop others completely copying them. In order to enter the road component market SRAM had to come up with something different.



Same with Microshift, their solution being to put 2 levers behind the brake lever. If you want to talk about crummy ergonomics that's a great example. They do work well, but the placement of the small lever in particular is very poor compared to SRAM or Shimano.


I argue that's one of the reasons Shimano pushed so hard to electric shifting. Their mechanical system was difficult or impossible for people with small hands to push that big lever, and to use the brake lever effectively. They couldn't really change it, because there was nowhere to go, so, di2 was the fix. I'm sure you'll all be along to tell me how wrong I am shortly.. :mrgreen:

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby Kronos » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:32 pm

baabaa wrote:
Duck! wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:I always thought 'double-tap" was a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Just like 1x.

The problem that existed, from SRAM's technical POV, was that the other manufacturers had/have patents on various design features to stop others completely copying them. In order to enter the road component market SRAM had to come up with something different.

And in case anyone is wondering, mid to lower level SRAM FDs still are atrocious.

The really rotten ones were actually the titanium-caged early Red ones. The fact the chainrings were made out of soggy pasta was a huge contributor to the dreadful shifting. Their newer rings are a lot stiffer.

Yup not a sram-fan here, any bike mechanic who has seen how quickly Red stuff turned into playdoh did the company no good whatsoever. I just don't know why they didn't pick up the rights and design for FSA energy front derailleurs when FSA stopped making them, they are simple, strong, work very well and you can repair them.


Never had an issue with SRAM and my Rival groupset is now about 10 years old. My brother who is a bike mechanic also has a CAAD10 with SRAM red mechanical. Not sure about this comment.

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Re: 1x for Road Bikes - is it real?

Postby WyvernRH » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:02 pm

Comedian wrote:I argue that's one of the reasons Shimano pushed so hard to electric shifting. Their mechanical system was difficult or impossible for people with small hands to push that big lever, and to use the brake lever effectively. They couldn't really change it, because there was nowhere to go, so, di2 was the fix. I'm sure you'll all be along to tell me how wrong I am shortly.. :mrgreen:


Who are all these people with small hands who have such problems? None of the ladies of my acquaintance have had any shifting or braking problems with Shimano mechanical levers once setup (nor braking while shifting Mr Kronos :wink: )
Maybe I only know women with big hands? :P

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