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For those running 1x10 gears, a few questions

By bmar560 - Posted on 18 September 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

Do you miss your 2x10 or 3x10 setup ?

I'm thinking of going 1x10 (34t front and getting the 42T rear for my XT cassette), as I've had enough of the front dérailleur rubbing on my chain. I think I should be alright running 34x42 as the lowest gear, after playing with some online gear charts.

Any other downsides of going 1x10 except for losing a range of gears ?



I would probably go a smaller front like a 30T and make sure that you have the long tooth front and type 2 short cage rear, unless you are running a chain guide on the front.

I'm running 1 x 11 which isn't 1 x 10 but made the jump and had no regrets. You sure get fitter quicker and wonder why you didn't do it sooner. This coming from 3 x 9 where I thought I would struggle.

Your front derailleur shouldn't rub if it's set up correctly. Don't change your set up because of this.

I had to do an emergency convert to 1x10 and haven't looked back. I have been riding it since may with 32 front 36 back. I live in the blue mountains and I have only found 1 hill I can't make it up. I gave a 42 sitting in the garage but if I do put it on I may switch to a 34 or 36 front depending on the trail. I only missed 3x10 once and that was woody worlds I think in that situation a 36 front would have been just the pick. Go for it you won't miss gears that aren't there

Agree with Pete B regarding the front derailleur rubbing. Check to see if the arm is bent. Most can be straightened out pretty easily. I run a 3x9 and dream of going 1x10 or even 1x11 one day.


I like my 2x10. I was a bit concerned about losing range from my 3x9, but for practicality I'm fine with the twoby on the 29er.

I rode 1x10 for a few months back in 2012 with a 34T front and found it was not for me. Fine for crusing around Terrey Hills but for any seriously steep stuff it was time for walkies.

An FTP test session with a power meter a few weekends ago demonstrated why: I make the most power with the most comfort at around 115 rpm. I've been that way ever since I started riding a bike regularly, and it's not likely to change without a lot of training and exposing myself to risk of knee injury.

I'm a spinner not a grinder. I need the granny ring to get up stuff efficiently without destroying my knees. Hats off to you if you can get away with a 1x, but I'm unlikely to join this particular club.

What Hawkeye said - bah and humbug to a 1 x anything. Don't be ruled by fashion, test and see.

You can try what others have done and stick a 30 to 34 front ring on your 2 x 10 and try it out on the trerrain you ride.
Asking what other people ride and like needs some further information else any comparison is nebulous at best and probably misleading, as the answers to the following will differ.

What is the steepest grade you ride? What type of surface is on it? What weight are you? Do you spin or grind? What state are your knees in? What is your power output? what is your power to weight ratio? Do you have a sprinter, climber inbetween or 'unclassified' physique? Are you at your peak of fitness or still developing? How fast do you go on the fastest section of your rides?

A 1 x 10 is useless for me. But then I'm a 68 year old with screwed knees, bad back, 167cm and 70kg. If I was 20, 200cm, and weighed less, a 1x10 may suffice.

(PS I run a 20 granny and a 40 large rear cog which is lower than a 22 * 42 Laughing out loud)

Do you tend to grind a climb or spin them out?

I have/had 1x 2x 3x on a few bikes. (never a 1x1 though.. as that's just stupid)

A couple hours playing up Red Hill is a perfect example of where I would pick a 1x.

A lap around the Dam and I'm happy to have the 2x.

A longer ride that involves some sustained climbs and I'm loving the granny on my chain slapping 3x10.

Then again I'm known to be pretty lazy and don't like suffering so you'd probably find me with the 3x up Red Hill anyways..

As others have said, don't do it because it is trendy. Only do it it you won't notice the loss of gears. ie there should be no downsides.

I have been running 1x10 or 1x9 on my bikes for 3-4 years and would never go back to 3x whilst I remain in Sydney.

Making it work will depend on your personal fitness and the style of trail that you ride. It works for me as I like technical riding. If I was blasting down roads and fire trails, the gearing range may not be wide enough.

Test first. Gear tables are useful but real world it better. If you have a 3x system, ride your usual trails and see if you are happy to just keep it in the middle ring. Finding the correct lowest gear is most important as you don't want to ever have to push the bike up something that you can ride. I have never been bothered by the loss of the faster gears. When doing 40kph+, gravity is doing most of the work anyway.

You won't notice the loss of about 400g of weight but you will notice better clearance, better chain retention, longer lasting chainring, quieter running and a derailleur that is much harder to snag if you move to a short cage.

I converted i 1x10, 34 front, 42-11 on 29er 2 month ago. I hardly go over 40kph on flat sealed road. And only one chain dropped so far. Everything else is very good!

More importantly, the price of 1x11 has dropped. Need to do some math to work out the best for u.

I have 32T 11-40 1 x 10 on my 160mm trail bike (that's a lot of numbers Sticking out tongue)
It's great for single track descents and climbs and can ride it all day

But I went for an all day ride around Lawson and then down to the oaks
I took my 120mm 3 x 10 and I felt my other bike would have been a struggle in 2 ways
There was a lot of climbing on and off road and my puny legs would have blown on the final ascent into Glenbrook
And on the fast fire roads I would have run out of gears and been left spinning

I went 1x because 3x on my trail bike was clattery and noisy and too many gears (a frame swap)
I was going 2x because 3x wouldn't work with a clutch der
Then the front der and shifter seemed to be a bit pointless and I felt like an experiment
The quietness and simplicity is great - but again, I used my other bike for the Woody Worlds

Edit: Also, using a narrow wide front ring, I have never lost a chain

Wow thanks all for the responses.

For the questions:
I'm 183cm tall, weight ranges from 79-85kg depending on season and how much I excercise.
The bike is 2013 Specialized Epic.

On Kulhavy's facebook page he posted that he was using a 38T front ring on one of the World Cup round, what a freak!, but I'm definitely no Kulhavy.

When climbing I'm definitely a spinner.
My current middle ring is currently 26T, biggest rear cog is 34T. I hardly ever use the 24x34 combi on anything I've ridden so far(the only time I remember using it is climbing Awaba St, Balmoral).
I use the 26x30 sometimes, especially when trying to ride up the rock ledges on Manly Dam, the one right after the boardwalk before the Paris-Roubaix single track. Climbing up heartbreak hill in Manly Dam, I'm happy spinning away at 26x26.

PeteB, there's very little room for adjustment on this one. The front derailleur is a direct mount, that bolts straight to the frame.

I'm in no hurry to change, if I do change, I will wait until I need to change casettes and chainrings so still a few thousand clicks to go before I change(cranks are fairly new). The wolftooth stuff seems to be ones getting the best reviews out there.Definitely not doing it because it's trendy.
I like the simplicity, and the thought of being liberated from the front derailleur.

I've been running 1x9 (32 front, 11-32 rear) on one bike, and 2x10 on another bike for around 5 years.

Both bikes are about to become 1x10. I'll go to a 34 front and an 11-36 cassette. That will give me a slightly lower gear than the 1x9 currently, but won't mean I spin out as quick on fire roads or bitumen.

I've never had a problem on hills, but I don't tend to spin a high cadence and prefer to get out of the saddle.

Don't know about it being trendy though. I see bugger all bikes with a 1x setup. I just find that even with a dual ring up front shifting annoys me. 1x just simplifies things a bit while only loosing a few gears.

Switched to 1x10 a few years ago, never looked back.

No point discussing specific gearing without knowing wheel size.
The larger your wheels, the shorter the gearing needs to be.
I'm on a 26" and an 11-36 rear, 34 front is fine for me. The 'hills' in Perth are short enough to power through and keep cadence high, and there are no long high speed descents.

If you run the same on a 29er, you will probably push the bike up hills as the effective rollout is much longer.

Looks like I'm the odd one out here.

I went from a "3 x 10" to "32 and 11/36", and I miss those big and little gears.
I can still ride every thing I did before but....


I run 1x11 with 32t up front. Seems to do the trick for the rides I do.

Do you often use the biggest cog a lot ? Is it 42 on the Sram cassettes ?

I don't use it that much. On a ride like the Oaks/Ingar loop I need it on the first part of Ingar to the gate and some of the pinches on the Oaks. The gearing is 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42

I refuse to jump on the bandwagon, I ditched the front mech maybe 8 years ago, as soon as the trail got fun you were seconds from knee into stem or foot on the ground and the pedal in calf so I always ran chainguides on everything.

I am still a dinosaur 26 rider and if I can't ride it in 36-34 I get off and walk, the shame makes me want to get my fitness up. However I am a grinder, my legs refuse to spin.

I do the odd 80km plus road ride which does tend to flog out the two tallest ratios quite quickly.

I am super impressed by the narrow wide rings and clutched mechs, I can ride a DH track on my hardtail without worrying about dropping a chain. If it does start to drop off it is time to replace the chain, it's a great reminder.

I'm on a 32 front with 11-36 rear. Narrow wide chainring and XTR clutch mech.
Great for rides around the beaches.
I did put a 42 aftermarket rear cassette ring on with an extended limit screw but the shifting was absolutely terrible. I've now got a new mech cage that will give me more chain wrap around the smaller cogs which claims to get rid of the poor shifting.
I'm putting it on soon so will report back.

I've recently changed over to a 34T 11-36 on my 29er and am really enjoying it. The narrow-wide single chainrings make things pretty secure along with the clutch mechs. At some point, I'm sure I'll miss the additional gears at both ends, but for now, I'm loving it. No more hitting the remote lock out lever due to mid-race-exhaustion while trying to change into the big ring either!

On my 1 x 10 convert to the Bronson.

Went from a 40/28 with 11/36 and a long cage r/d to a 32t wolf tooth nw with mid cage Xtr shadow plus. kept the 11/36.

All good after my very extended Dam lap today.

Erred on the side of caution and went with the 32t because I was concerned about running out of up hill gears. Think this was good call with the 11/36. Now got a 40t one up granny on order which includes a 16t replacement. This might give a better spread and allow for a 34t up front.

But the best bit???? ... The silence. Smiling

Gotta love clutch derailleurs. I'm a convert Smiling

Yep i agree with that. Im running a shimano 11-36 cassette on rear and raceface 30t narrow wide on front that replaced my 24/36 double. Ive got a xtr medium clutch deraileur with xtr chain and xtr shifter. No chain guides and never dropped a chain yet after 6 months. I find this set up gerat for kalamunda even though its vety up hill down hill. Ive also put this set up on my 13yr old boys trek remedy and he has no issues with the loss of gears. You definately notice that you lose a gear or two but nothing unmanageable and you get used to it over time. Much lighter with the missing front deraileur/shifter/cables/chain rings etc. well worth the change. I wouldnt go the 42t on the rear until you try tje single on the front and see how yoy like it.

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