1x BuildsEleven speed cassettes have convinced some that a single front chainring is a realistic choice. With cassette ranges going as big as 11-36 (road) and even wider for mountain, a single 46, 48, or 50-tooth ring up front is usable on even varied terrain.
|From Sram's website.|
The most lovely road 1x that I know is Specialized's super-sweet Allez.
|Allez 1x11. Is that a bike -- or is it a bike?|
I keep the Neuvation full-time in Indianapolis where a hill is what an ant makes in loose dirt. If I'm really mixing it up I may go through four or five gears in the rear, but I never, and I do mean never, drop down a chainring.
So what the hey.
|Sram's 52-tooth Force X-Sync Crankset, 172.5mm arms|
Two ways to achieve a 1xSam gave me the options when I first went down this road.
First is to replace the existing double rings with a single 1x ring, keeping the same crank. You can find a 1x ring, even a Sram ring, for a reasonable price online. The downside, of course, is that you lose the benefits of the centered chainring for chainline purposes.
The second option is to replace the entire group. I was able to piece together the entire Sram Force 1x group for about $700 with parts from different sellers.
There is a non-option:
Cheap but not that cheapI took a different, third, tack with the Neuvation. Instead of a wholly new group, I kept the 10-speed Shimano rear derailler, which works like a charm, and simply replaced the chainset with the Force 1x. I kept the 172.5mm crank-arms, because I like to really spin it up in the stoplight sprints. I went with 52 teeth front. I mean, if you are going in, go all in.
|Sram 1x on the bike.|
|Brifters is brifters.|
Producing a clean buildGoing 1x means no front derailleur! That permits you to pull the derailleur cable as well. In my case I left the housing, trimming it at the end of the handlebar tape.
|One day I will remove the tape and pull the cable.|
|In an ideal world I would have a real chain tool. That world is not this one.|
|Bolt-on mount going in the bin. Probably the parts bin for a while before, ultimately, the trash bin.|
|Nice tight tolerance with the centered chainring.|
Interesting factoid about the Sram X-Sync chainring: it has an intimate fit with the chain. I am accustomed to simply laying the chain over the ring and its meshing with the teeth, ramps and all. With the X-Sync I had to guide the chain onto the teeth. I almost thought the warning "Sram Chains Only" printed on the ring was accurate. Of course, it is not.
Then I put the quick-link in place and prepared to step on the pedal to tighten. (The link needs to be engaged with maybe 30-50 lbs of force, more than I can apply by gripping the chain and pulling.) I accidentally turned the pedals before the engagement step, running the chain over the ring. Lo and behold, the X-Sync ring engaged the link on its own (see picture). I may find on the road that the engagement was not robust, but it sure looks fine to me.
|May need a new chain if I go with a larger cassette!|