Could the simplicity and low weight of a 1x set-up outweigh its flaws? Quieter, more secure, lighter — these are just some of the praises our dirt-riding brethren have been singing about single-ring set-ups
First 10-speed, then 11… and now 12 is becoming the norm for our knobbly-tyred cousins.
But now on the road we’ve seen Aqua Blue Sport race the single ring specific 3T Strada aero bike to stage victory at the Herald Sun Tour as well as duke it out in the break aways of the Tour of Dubai.
So, here at Cycling Weekly, we’re starting to get interested in the potential of just one chainring on the road. Straight away, there’s an appealing simplicity to a single-ring set-up. Losing the front derailleur is one antidote to that poisonous, acidic road gunk that gets flicked up and clogs the mechanism.
Second to that, it removes the bother of gear fettling and cable replacement, meaning less garage time and more ride time.
Plus, if you take SRAM’s 1x groupset out for a ride and you’ll find the system noticeably quieter than a normal double. That’s because the rolling bearing clutch mechanism in the rear derailleur “eliminates derailleur bounce and chainslap”, according to SRAM.
However, discerning road riders will object, citing a loss of gears and too large a jump between those that are left. Indeed, a common complaint by folk out