Get married to your bike and put a ring on it...a 1x ring! Going with a single ring up front has many positives and very few drawbacks. We will clear up several myths and discuss several options to ditch your front derailleur and simplify your ride.
You are likely reading this post as you may be considering a drivetrain conversion from 2 or 3 rings on your crank to a single ring. You have seen all the buzz in every magazine, all over the internet, and even on some friend's bikes...what do you do and why should you do it?
As you can see by the chart below, the 2x and 3x setups have many redundant gears and several that are used very rarely. A 3x10 drivetrain has 30 gears, but not 30 UNIQUE gears. The 1x drivetrain has a better useable range of gears, and most chainrings are rather easy to change out. Make your daily rider a 32T ring and change out to a 28T or 30T before a ride with huge climbs. Yes, you lose your 24T granny gear and you may have to walk up a hill once in a great while...just ride more often and get stronger, enjoy the trails and the fact that you have the opportunity to be out there.
Everybody wants to lose weight...both at their waistline and on their bike. One of the best ways to do that is get rid of parts...difficult to do on your body, easy to do on your bike. You can go the extra step and replace necessary components such as the crank with a Race Face Next SL Cinch system, dropping even more weight. Many riders have lost at least a pound off their bike, and in some cicumstances over two pounds!
Simplicity is really the key to the conversion. Take away the front shifting variable and free yourself to enjoy the ride much more. Improper gear selection and cross chaining is no longer an issue, providing longer life to components such as chains and the rear derailleur. The missing shifter also provides a great spot for the remote lever on the increasingly-popular dropper post you also want.
The first myth to get passed is that the setup is unreliable. Several new technologies over the last few years have made the 1x drivetrain not only reliable, but nearly mainstream. Development of the narrow / wide chainring, the clutch rear derailleur, and the wide range cassette have made the 1x drivetrain a simple and reliable option for any rider. Nearly every high end MTB brand offers an out-of-the-box 1x drivetrain option and even some road bike manufacturers are playing with the idea on some models.
The second myth is that the expense to convert from a 2x or 3x drivetrain is very high. Yes, there are XX1 or XTR options from Sram or Shimano, or the all-carbon Race Face Next SL that can get the price tag over $1000. However, if you already have a clutch rear derailleur you can make the conversion for as little as $75 in parts. If you have a 10 speed cassette, you don't even need to change that...1x10 works just as well, and there are options from Wolf Tooth Components that can still get you some of the larger top cogs like a 40T or 42T.
Come visit our bike shop in Glendale / Phoenix to talk about a drivetrain conversion or tag along on a group ride. We can get a bike for any level of rider or budget from Pivot, Santa Cruz, Pinarello, Giant and more!
We also have the closest bike shop to ASU and the best bike shop in Tempe! Please stop in and see that we are more than just campus bikes Forgot your lock or in a hurry to replace a tube, please visit us in the POD at the MU on campus.
Do you live and ride in the West Valley, so do we! Great riding and a great bike shop is coming to the 303 and Bell in the Sams Club shopping center.