4th July 2017

Why Choose a 1x (one-by) bicycle drivetrain?

1x drivetrain

Introduced by SRAM in 2012 for their top-end 1×11 mountain bike drivetrains, one-by (usually referred to as 1x) groupsets are growing in popularity for all types of bicycle, including road, hybrid and electric bikes.

1x drivetrains are now available in a growing range of iterations including 1×9, 1×10, 1×11 and 1×12, and not just from SRAM but from Shimano too. For all these variations, every 1x transmission offers the following benefits.

  • Thanks to its wide range cassette (typically 11-42 going up to 11-50t) you get a massive spread of gears to suit near-any terrain in a simplified format comprising a single shifter, a single gear mech and a single chainring
  • Doing away with the front derailleur, the LH shifter and one or two chainrings means less weight, less complication and less to go wrong
  • The 1x transmission delivers benefits any cyclist can appreciate
  • With a single lever, gear shifting becomes immediately more straightforward
  • No more ‘double shifting’ to get in the right gear
  • No more ‘trimming’ the front mech to prevent chain rub
  • The beginner will be spared learning what they have to push or pull on each lever to get into a lower or higher gear
  • Even experienced cyclists appreciate the simplicity of being able to select a lower or higher gear from a single shifter
  • The 1x chainring features alternating thick/thin teeth, which mesh more accurately with the corresponding wide space between the chain’s outer links and the narrower space between the chain’s inner links
  • The fat/thin chainring helps eliminate the possibility of a dropped chain as does the rear mech’s chain stabilising switch or clutch

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4 comments on “Why Choose a 1x (one-by) bicycle drivetrain?

  1. Paul on

    I’ve have a Cannondale Synapse SE 1x (with single drivetrain) for 9 months now and its fantastic : its just so simple and quiet. The top gear gives me a great ratio for climbing, and I dont notice the “jumps” between gears.


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