Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Gear Talk => Topic started by: HikeBikeCook on September 17, 2021, 06:47:53 am

 
Title: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 17, 2021, 06:47:53 am
I am sure that this discussion has been posted before, but I cannot seem to find a thread.

We are putting together a group for a TA next year and at least one person is looking at a new bike. Their bike of choice currently is a 1X front sprocket, electronic shifters, tubeless tires, and a carbon frame gravel bike.

I know there are a lot of opinions but does anyone have any experience touring with a 1X set up?

From what I have read here tubeless tires are not quite ready for touring, any experience?

Anyone tour with electronic shifters?

I think carbon is ready for prime time, so that was merely for background information.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 17, 2021, 09:44:44 am
I have a few bike with Rohloffs on them so they are I guess 1x.  As far as the answer goes, it really doesn't matter.  What does matter is that you have good spacing and usability of the gears.  In a 2x or 3x setup the extreme angles (small front & rear or large front and rear sprockets) should not be used.  Do a gear charge over at Sheldon Brown's "Derailer Gear Calculator" to see what the specific gear setup looks like.  A lot of 2x & 3x setups use the same (or very close) gear but on different sprocket patterns so they are in effect duplicates or wasted gears. 

That said, I would worry more about having a low enough low and not worry about the high.  My current low is about 14.5" and the high is only 76".  If I spin out on the high at 120rpms, I am doing 27mph which is quite fast enough for me when fully loaded.  For me, anything above 75" is basically wasted gearing as I typically start to coast above 25mph when going downhill. 

The 14" low is about as low as I can go and maintain enough forward momentum without falling over.  This gets me up the steepest hills if my lungs can keep up.  Due to a medical issue, the lungs are my weak link, not the legs. But with good legs and good lungs, you should be able to climb pretty much any hill (slowly) with a 14" low.

As far as electronic gears shifting, I would be concerned if it breaks/stops working on a ride like the TA as there are places where the next bike shop is 200 miles away.  Using the tried and tested systems if probably the best approach or be prepared to fix it yourself and/or wait a few days for parts.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 17, 2021, 11:54:47 am
Rider preference, build, and packing and pedaling style all might all come into play here.

Personally if starting from scratch I think I'd consider both 1X and tubeless, but that is for my UL packing style.  It might be less suitable for someone who packs heavier.

I was happy enough with an improvised ultra compact double on the Southern Tier.  My gear inch range was 25-88" and base gear weight was 14#.  It worked out well.

I'd love to try a carbon 1x with tubless gravel bike on my next coast to coast tour, but am too cheap so probably will use a bike I already own.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 17, 2021, 12:48:24 pm
Cross chaining has generated a lot of controversy over the years. As rear clusters have gone from 5 to 10 and 11 gears in the back cross chaining is happening no matter how many rings you have up front. Manufacturers like SRAM say is it no big deal with today's components while others like Campi say it is just not efficient. I the primary chain and cog wear on a touring bike is climbing and shifting under load - linear rather than lateral stretch.

I know the 1x became popular in mountain biking because of chain drop and one less component to smash into the rocks and trees. Gravel bikes morphed out of mountain bikes and most riders are not looking for top end speeds on gravel. Touring bikes have long relied on mountain bike components for low gear shifting and durability. While touring has been around forever it still doesn't have the sales draw of the latest fad styles of riding. How many companies really focus on touring bikes these days? When Americans were dominating the TDF, the Trek Madone was selling like hot cakes. For a while it was all about cyclo-cross, and now it is gravel and e-bikes. Touring just does not have the market share to get purpose built components and has to take the trickle down from other riding styles.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: ray b on September 17, 2021, 07:09:30 pm
...like they said.

The reason there's not likely a useful thread on this topic is that the choice among what seems like unlimited options comes down to one's personal preference for reliability and one's abilities as a mechanic. I'm a fair mechanic, but I prefer reliability as my current 37-pound bike attests.

I personally have not run a derailleur in years. My current chainline is perfect within a mm. My rig, equipment, replacement parts, tools and water for the desert weight 260 pounds, and I stand on the hill. Happy to say my Wippermann Connex 8SX chain was not overstretched on replacement yesterday with over 3000 miles - and I often stand going up hills.


I tour 1X with three options in rear - single speed, 19 mm-wide rim with a Rohloff (14-speed), or 24 mm rim with Rohloff.  (I write this from the Hachita Community Center on the GDMBR with the 24 mm rims.)

And for those who don't want all that weight centered on their rear dropout - there's always the Pinion gearing within the bottom bracket.


Happy to say - tubeless tires with sealant are now easily set up for any tour that might be associated with sharp rocks and/or thorns. (If risk of small holes and slow leaks is low, one might not want to run the hassle of the extra steps and weight of sealant.)

Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nelson on September 18, 2021, 01:16:07 am
The right answer for someone young and strong is not the same answer for someone older. I find that a 1x does not have enough range of gears for me. I want a low low, but I also want a high high for those long flat stretches with a tailwind. I don’t find it comfortable to spin at 120 for long distances.

I would normally prefer 3x for better range, but 3x seems to be going the way of the dodo bird, so I’d probably compromise on 2x.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 18, 2021, 06:44:10 am
I don’t find it comfortable to spin at 120 for long distances.
Why would you have to?

First of all just because you have a tail wind it doesn't dictate that you have to go as fast as you can.  You could just take it easy.  That said even with a crazy low high gear I didn't notice much of a problem even when riding with a strong young guy on the ST.  I was running na 87.8" high gear (39/12).  According to a gear calculator that means that I could spin a measly 80 rpm and go 20.88 mph.  At 100 rpm it would be 26.10 mph.  At 120 it would be a whopping 31.32 mph.  Heck you could even noodle along at 60 rpm and still do 15.66 mph.  This a tour after all, so if you aren't in a hurry that would be an option.

Also almost all of the newer bikes have an 11 or even 10 t cog and a bigger than 39 t ring.  Even the 1X bikes have a higher high and a wider range than I had on that ride.  Some of the gravel bikes have something like a 10-50 with a 42T ring that gives a decent high and a decent range (actually better on both counts than I had on my heavy triple touring bike).

I plugged in the numbers for the 10-50/42 of one of the new 1x gravel bikes and came up with a gear inch range of 23.2 to 116.  I don't find that limiting at all.  Granted some will find it limiting on the low end, but most won't have any trouble with using a little smaller ring given that it has a 10t cog.  You could get down into the mid teens and still have a decent high gear IMO.

Edited to add that gear spacing may be another issue, but the numbers look okay all around with some of the 1x setups given 12 speeds and really wide ranges.  Nothing is perfect, but they look pretty good to me.  Then again I never felt the need to find exactly the right gear. I can spin a little higher or lower cadence or go a little faster or slower, especially when touring.  A few gear inches one way or the other just isn't going to kill me.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 18, 2021, 08:38:33 am
I don’t find it comfortable to spin at 120 for long distances.


I don't either.  But my regular cadence is about 95 (down from 102 in my younger days).  However, occasionally, I will get a strong tailwind and a slightly ongoing 1% descent where I can spin at ~120 for 30 seconds, coast, spin, coast, etc. without tiring for an hour or more.  At 120, there really is very little resistance and ironically if I slow down, it is actually a bit harder to pedal while going slower. 

My point was, unless you are racing, a 100"+ high gear is a waste as it is rarely used.  I prefer to have more usable gears.

I know I am about at my fatigue limit when my cadence drops to 60 or below.  That is when my tank is on fumes.  It is definitely time to start looking for a place to camp.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nelson on September 18, 2021, 04:33:21 pm
You could just take it easy.
I find that that doesn’t work all that well for me. When riding all day, every day on a long tour, I get into a comfortable rhythm. If I don’t have a wide enough range, it makes it hard to stay in that comfortable rhythm as the terrain changes.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: ray b on September 18, 2021, 07:54:26 pm
FWIW - typically, the most physiologically efficient cadence for the average research subject is 50-60/min.

In order to push higher work loads for extended periods, we have to increase the cadence, and lose a little inefficiency - a trade-off many of us can handle. You can't push 450 watts at 55 RPM.

In view of this old research, I've never criticized the slower folks plugging along at 60 RPM. They're just being efficient. (Of course, they'll never catch up to well trained guys like John, who push higher loads through higher RPM.)
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nelson on September 18, 2021, 08:02:32 pm
the most physiologically efficient cadence for the average research subject is 50-60/min.
Interesting. I hadn't heard that. I thought the experts were always telling us that somewhere around 90 RPM was ideal.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: ray b on September 18, 2021, 09:53:19 pm
Right - if you want to run 20 mph unloaded, 90 rpm should get it done for the average cyclist. Pedal faster at that workload, and you become even less efficient. Pedal slower and you'll grind to a halt.

On the other hand, when sprinting at twice that speed, one will need to be in the 130- 140 rpm range to keep the pedals turning. 

(Efficiency can be thought of here as oxygen uptake/ watt. )
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 18, 2021, 10:06:58 pm
(Of course, they'll never catch up to well trained guys like John, who push higher loads through higher RPM.)
You are sorely mistaken that they will never catch me.  I may spin like a gerbil but I use a fairly low gear so if I top 12mph on the level without wind, I am a happy camper.  Usually more like 11mph. Now 40 years ago, yes I was a little speed demon, especially on tough climbs.  Getting old sucks.


Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: misterflask on September 20, 2021, 06:17:40 am
FWIW - typically, the most physiologically efficient cadence for the average research subject is 50-60/min.

I had seen this somewhere also, but can't recall the source.  Anyone help?
Lots of confusion on this point as everyone pays attention to maximum power which occurs at higher cadence, but apparently maximum miles-per-calorie is at the slower grind.  I can keep a good spin darting around on club rides, but on a tour I always end up down at 50-60.

Hey John Nettles, how'd you get to that 14.5" gear? I'm down near 20 like everyone else but there have been times...

When I was a kid I ran across a Cincinnati machinist who had married a 5-spd hub to a 5-spd freewheel.  He had 50 gears with an unusably wide gear range of something like 10"-150".
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 20, 2021, 06:38:35 am
Check out these articles:
https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/whats-the-most-efficient-cycling-cadence-and-how-cadence-drills-can-make-you-faster/ (https://www.trainerroad.com/blog/whats-the-most-efficient-cycling-cadence-and-how-cadence-drills-can-make-you-faster/)
https://usacycling.org/article/cycling-uphill-cadence-gearing-and-power (https://usacycling.org/article/cycling-uphill-cadence-gearing-and-power)
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 20, 2021, 07:05:09 am
FWIW - typically, the most physiologically efficient cadence for the average research subject is 50-60/min.

I had seen this somewhere also, but can't recall the source.  Anyone help?
Lots of confusion on this point as everyone pays attention to maximum power which occurs at higher cadence, but apparently maximum miles-per-calorie is at the slower grind.  I can keep a good spin darting around on club rides, but on a tour I always end up down at 50-60.

Hey John Nettles, how'd you get to that 14.5" gear? I'm down near 20 like everyone else but there have been times...

When I was a kid I ran across a Cincinnati machinist who had married a 5-spd hub to a 5-spd freewheel.  He had 50 gears with an unusably wide gear range of something like 10"-150".
I don't have a source, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case.  I think folks at some point over reacted to the lesson when they were taught that mashing a huge gear at 30 rpm wasn't ideal and super high cadences became some kind of holy grail.  Personally I prefer to use a variety of cadences depending on the conditions.  I tended to do that any way, but felt like it was a flaw until at some point in my riding "career" I realized that many of my heroes were noodling along conserving their energy in the pro peloton at 60-70 rpm for a major portion of the day most days in major stage races like the TDF and the Giro.

I personally will find myself riding at 60-70 rpm at times and as much as 120 or a bit more at others.  Probably the majority of the time I am at 90-100 rpms when I bother to check, but the times I spin up or bog down are the times I am unlikely to check.  Actually I really don't need to check at 90-100 because I know what that cadence feels like.  When I vary from that I usually don't bother to quantify it I just know that I am faster or slower and have an idea of whether it is by a little or a lot.  I used to use the cadence meter, but stopped bothering with that long ago.  Once I knew exactly what 90-100 felt like its utilty seemed to fade.

Btw, I imagine a lot of folks use the harder to quantify metric of how hard a given cadence is on their body mostly when it cones to knee health.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 20, 2021, 09:49:39 am
IN the CyclingUSA article, to me this is the key have decades of experience.  Unfortunately, as I get older the strength and the lungs have weakened. 

Here’s the magic: In order to be most efficient, you must select a gear that you have the strength to spin comfortably, while maintaining a rhythmic breathing pattern. Simple enough, right? Comfortable cadence and rhythmic breathing are your two keys to success when going uphill. This will insure that you’re managing both your aerobic and muscular energy output, which won’t leave you high and dry before you hit the hill top or the end of your rides. 
 
You just need to decide what is best for you and then work on climb training if it bothers you a lot.

As far as how I get so low:  I use a Rohloff with a 40t front sprocket and a 22t rear sprocket.  With 700x35 tires, Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator says I have a 13.8" low and with only a 72.5" high.  Again using the Gear Calculator, at 100rpms, my top speed would be 21.6mph (after which I am happy to coast) but as mentioned previously, I usually do a spin @ 120rpms, coast, repeat and get it increase speed on the flats when I have a massive tailwind.  My usual granny-gear-gasping-for-breath up-steep-climbs-at-60rpms speed is only 2.5mph (just above my usual 2.1mph walking speed).  Due to my lungs, I can maintain this for about 1/2 mile before the lungs give out.  Then I rest for a minute and do another 1/2 mile.  The high mountain passes can take me an entire day at times  :P .  For me, my lungs are the weak link (I have about 80% lung capacity) and since I can not improve the lungs, I have to do what I have to do to get up the climbs.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 20, 2021, 10:19:34 am
Try this calculator, I think it is better and more up to date. https://www.gear-calculator.com/ (https://www.gear-calculator.com/)
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 20, 2021, 10:29:00 am
Sorry, but with a Rohloff, your gear calculator is a bit confusing for my old brain.  I will stick with Sheldon's. 
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 20, 2021, 10:41:49 am
Sorry, but with a Rohloff, your gear calculator is a bit confusing for my old brain.  I will stick with Sheldon's.

Under Gears use the dropdown to select your Rolf Hub
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 20, 2021, 11:15:15 am
I did.  I did it correctly.  I just prefer Sheldon's list of numbers versus a graph where I have to interpret the numbers.  Your prefer gear calculator is not bad, I just prefer the other.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 20, 2021, 11:27:35 am
Try this calculator, I think it is better and more up to date. https://www.gear-calculator.com/ (https://www.gear-calculator.com/)
Pretty nice.  I'll bookmark it.  The ability to drag ring sizes and to visually see gaps are both nice features.  Otoh I am so used to generating several tables and comparing them.  Old habits die hard.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: driftlessregion on September 20, 2021, 08:20:15 pm
Gabe Mirkin on cadence https://www.roadbikerider.com/whats-the-optimal-cycling-cadence/
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: ray b on September 22, 2021, 10:31:34 pm
Reminder - everyone's different. In research, we talk a lot about results for the average subject. Might be a good place to start, but should not be mistaken for a goal.

Important heading in the second article -
"Proper... Cadence Depends On The IIndividual"
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 23, 2021, 08:53:35 pm
Depends on the terrain you'll be riding, if there is a lot of mountain roads and you'll be packing medium to heavy loads then 3x is the only the way to fly, unless you track racer legs than a 1x is fine! But you want to spin fairly easily and effortlessly (I know, nothing is effortless in touring), so to save your knees go with the 3x.  Heck even if you will not be riding in mountains a 3x is good go have just in case in the future you find yourself riding in mountains. 

3x is not that more difficult to take care of than a 2x, and they are both extremely reliable.  I'm sure you have a bike now with 2x gearing, so ask yourself when the last time that front derailleur went bad?  NEVER!!
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: dkoloko on September 24, 2021, 10:13:16 am
I weighed the difference between a 2x and 3x setup, 2 oz., the weight of an empty water bottle.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 24, 2021, 02:20:26 pm
I only own triples. I have not had a 2X in twenty+ years and I have never had a front derailleur fail (I have been riding over 50 years), only a rear break and that was after a "tune-up" at my LBS :( .
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 24, 2021, 06:22:28 pm
I must be unusual.  I have had several shimano front deraileurs fail over the years.  Not a frequent thing or a big worry, but it hasn't been all that rare.

I don't think anyone would choose 1X for weight savings in a touring application, but maybe for simplicity.  It depends.  If the range is enough and the gaps between gears are close enough why add another one or two rings and a deraileur.  For me the range and spacing on some 1X setups seems adequate.  For some it wouldn't be.  Folks should choose accordingly.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: dkoloko on September 24, 2021, 08:08:40 pm
In a review of a bicycle in Bicycling Magazine, the reviewer knocked the "added heft" of the triple crank .
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 24, 2021, 08:41:35 pm
I can almost guarantee the reviewer was not a touring cyclists then because the less than 1 pound total difference (chainring, different  front deraileur, etc.) between a 2x & 3x is not a big amount when riders (Pete excepted since my shoes probably weigh more than his total amount of gear  ;) ) are carrying 30-60 pounds of gear and food. That extra range of gears or the additional gears between the 2x gears really comes in handy of touring cyclists.  Road or club riders or even credit card touring cyclists, sure you only need a 2x but a fully loaded touring cyclist doing a long tour over varied topograpy benefits from as many and as wide a range as reasonable IMO.
Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 24, 2021, 09:26:40 pm
I must be unusual.  I have had several shimano front deraileurs fail over the years.  Not a frequent thing or a big worry, but it hasn't been all that rare.

I don't think anyone would choose 1X for weight savings in a touring application, but maybe for simplicity.  It depends.  If the range is enough and the gaps between gears are close enough why add another one or two rings and a deraileur.  For me the range and spacing on some 1X setups seems adequate.  For some it wouldn't be.  Folks should choose accordingly.

I've never had any derailleur, front or rear, fail except one rear derailleur which was a Simplex with the black plastic body, what a piece of crap that thing was.  I have a front derailleur with over 150,000 miles on it without one repair or failure, but that is a Suntour Superbe Pro derailleur which is part of a Suntour Superbe group, and the whole group has the same mileage, and none of the parts have failed.

Geez there are crappy Schwinn Varsity, Continental, Traveller, Suburban, and Collegiate bikes out there with their original front derailleurs working just fine, I remember those bikes, the components didn't work all that well but they held up as their testament that lives on today proves
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 07:48:45 am
In a review of a bicycle in Bicycling Magazine, the reviewer knocked the "added heft" of the triple crank .
Yeah, a tourist generally wouldn't be worried about it or at least most wouldn't care much, but some other riders would.  Performance oriented riders, especially if they may be racers, may well care about the weight of 2 rings, a derailleur, a cable, and a shifter.

On the other hand.  The only way I got my packing list from 50+ pounds down to 8-12 pounds was to watch every ounce and to trim ounces sometines one at at time.  I am less aggressive about trimming weight on the bike mostly because I am a cheapskate and ride what I own, but if buying or building up a new bike, given the level of obscession and amount of money folks spend I can see someone caring about a few ounces.

I do wonder about your 2 ounce figure.  Afterall we are talking about two rings, a derailleur, a shifter (or the shifting portion of a brifter), and a cable.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 08:01:16 am
I must be unusual.  I have had several shimano front deraileurs fail over the years.  Not a frequent thing or a big worry, but it hasn't been all that rare.

I don't think anyone would choose 1X for weight savings in a touring application, but maybe for simplicity.  It depends.  If the range is enough and the gaps between gears are close enough why add another one or two rings and a deraileur.  For me the range and spacing on some 1X setups seems adequate.  For some it wouldn't be.  Folks should choose accordingly.

I've never had any derailleur, front or rear, fail except one rear derailleur which was a Simplex with the black plastic body, what a piece of crap that thing was.  I have a front derailleur with over 150,000 miles on it without one repair or failure, but that is a Suntour Superbe Pro derailleur which is part of a Suntour Superbe group, and the whole group has the same mileage, and none of the parts have failed.

Geez there are crappy Schwinn Varsity, Continental, Traveller, Suburban, and Collegiate bikes out there with their original front derailleurs working just fine, I remember those bikes, the components didn't work all that well but they held up as their testament that lives on today proves
Interestingly enough, the ones that I have that failed were all fairly "nice" models.  The cheap stuff I had way back in the day of junky bikes never failed.  I can't quite picture exactly where they broke, but they were similar failures.  I think it was the arm the cable attached to.  It seemed like Shimano tried to use less material, to keep weight down I guess, and it was a weak point.  I think one was a 105, one may have been a Dura Ace, and one may have been a Deore or Deore XT, but I may be wrong on the second two since it has been a long time.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 25, 2021, 08:16:18 am
When I was chasing weight on my Litespeed a fellow rider was amazed at what I had just spent to save an ounce. He looked over and said; "You fat F#$*, why don't you just skip a lunch"  :)

It is after all total weight, bike and rider, that you have to drag up that mountain.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 08:48:01 am
It is after all total weight, bike and rider, that you have to drag up that mountain.
Sure, but, you can change gear weight instantly, painlessly, and permanently with not much committment, body weight not so much.  So why not grab that low hanging fruit?  Also I have found that a lightly loaded bike is a joy to ride regardless of my current body weight.

Body weight is governed by many choices that have nothing to do with riding and we make those choices independent of our riding.  Should we maintain good general fitness? Of course.  Does success or failure at that negate efforts at maintaining low gear weight?  I don't think so.  I have started tours at different fitness levels and if anything when I am out of shape I appreciate my UL packing style more.

Over the course of a long tour my fitness level improves and I lose weight, but start to finish a light load is a joy.  I honestly don't think I notice the 10 pounds or so of body weight I lose, but I sure notice 10 pounds of food and water if I have to carry extra for a hilly section without resupply.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: HikeBikeCook on September 25, 2021, 09:09:22 am
I agree, but there gets to be a point where you have your gear weight down to what you either want, need, or can afford. After that accept your gear and start training. Buying lighter gear is not a substitute for training, although it sure can be fun and rewarding. I think getting packed weight down for some of us is like training - can you ride that hill faster versus can you get your packed weight a pound lighter. And sometimes, due to weather or schedule, your first weeks of your ride have to be your training.

Dumping bike gearing to save weight should be like dumping camping gear to save weight, Do you use it, do you need it, do you want it. If you never use your triple then dump it, but if you rely on it then the extra 1/4 pound is essential.  I typically don't need my first aid kit, but want it for peace of mind. Do you really need to carry that backup pack of Ramen just in case? You can go without food for days, and you could ride without lower gearing, but would you want to? For some people the answer is yes.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 10:13:43 am
Dumping bike gearing to save weight should be like dumping camping gear to save weight, Do you use it, do you need it, do you want it. If you never use your triple then dump it, but if you rely on it then the extra 1/4 pound is essential.
Yeah, the thing is that with the super wide range clusters available (like 11-50) so I don't find them necessarily 1X limiting in range so you may or may not actually be giving up anything.  On the contrary, some might actually use one to get a wider range than they currently have.  I know that I'd have a substantially wider range with some 1X setups than I did with the double I used on the ST.  There may be a little bigger jumps between some gears which I don't mind.  Some riders may.  For me the possible range of something like 20-94 gear inches is pretty close to ideal (a good bit lower than I had on the ST).  Someone who wants/needs a lower granny would have to decide if they could live with a little lower high gear.  Something like a 17.5-79.5 or 18.6-84.4 gear inches look like possible options that may or may not be acceptable.

A 1X setup certainly won't be the answer for everyone, but I can see it as a good answer for some.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 25, 2021, 10:25:03 am
I must be unusual.  I have had several shimano front deraileurs fail over the years.  Not a frequent thing or a big worry, but it hasn't been all that rare.

I don't think anyone would choose 1X for weight savings in a touring application, but maybe for simplicity.  It depends.  If the range is enough and the gaps between gears are close enough why add another one or two rings and a deraileur.  For me the range and spacing on some 1X setups seems adequate.  For some it wouldn't be.  Folks should choose accordingly.

I've never had any derailleur, front or rear, fail except one rear derailleur which was a Simplex with the black plastic body, what a piece of crap that thing was.  I have a front derailleur with over 150,000 miles on it without one repair or failure, but that is a Suntour Superbe Pro derailleur which is part of a Suntour Superbe group, and the whole group has the same mileage, and none of the parts have failed.

Geez there are crappy Schwinn Varsity, Continental, Traveller, Suburban, and Collegiate bikes out there with their original front derailleurs working just fine, I remember those bikes, the components didn't work all that well but they held up as their testament that lives on today proves
Interestingly enough, the ones that I have that failed were all fairly "nice" models.  The cheap stuff I had way back in the day of junky bikes never failed.  I can't quite picture exactly where they broke, but they were similar failures.  I think it was the arm the cable attached to.  It seemed like Shimano tried to use less material, to keep weight down I guess, and it was a weak point.  I think one was a 105, one may have been a Dura Ace, and one may have been a Deore or Deore XT, but I may be wrong on the second two since it has been a long time.

Not sure how old your 105 and Deore were, but I have a 105 from 2013 and a Deore from last year, so far so good.  I've always have in the back of my mind that if something fails I would upgrade it one, maybe two steps up but not to DA, DA doesn't last as long as the lower levels because it was intended for racing and not for long term street riding, so they made it as light as they dared. 

I haven't heard of any 105's failing, but I don't ask everyone in the world about it!  LOL!! maybe some that read this can respond if they had 105 fail, but I know in a internet search I came up mostly blank...there was one guy who's 105 front derail broke at the tabs that hold the side plates, both the front tab and the rear tap broke at the same time, it appeared in the photo to be poor casting, but his bike was so dirty I couldn't really be sure if it was poor casting or rust, but that was the only incident I could find on the internet!  Obviously it's not a common problem.

I could not find one incident concerning either Deore or XT breaking.

You could try finding incidences and let us know what you found. 

How did your derailleurs fail?
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 25, 2021, 10:35:58 am
I agree, but there gets to be a point where you have your gear weight down to what you either want, need, or can afford. After that accept your gear and start training. Buying lighter gear is not a substitute for training, although it sure can be fun and rewarding. I think getting packed weight down for some of us is like training - can you ride that hill faster versus can you get your packed weight a pound lighter. And sometimes, due to weather or schedule, your first weeks of your ride have to be your training.

Dumping bike gearing to save weight should be like dumping camping gear to save weight, Do you use it, do you need it, do you want it. If you never use your triple then dump it, but if you rely on it then the extra 1/4 pound is essential.  I typically don't need my first aid kit, but want it for peace of mind. Do you really need to carry that backup pack of Ramen just in case? You can go without food for days, and you could ride without lower gearing, but would you want to? For some people the answer is yes.

That is good advice.  I carry a first aid kit when touring/camping and just bandaids when not, but really any first kit you can carry is small and only designed for minor stuff, even moderate injury would be untreatable with those kits.  I made my own kit, it was cheaper than buying a kit, I used a clam shell water resistant case like those kits come with, and just used off the shelf stuff to fill it with.  Then I also carry superglue, if necessary I can close a deeper wound that a bandaid would not be able to contain with the glue since stitching would be out of the question on the road; then I would ride or hitchhike to a medical clinic some place and get it done right.

Don't laugh about the superglue, it does work.  I had a gash just under my eyebrow and the PA used superglue to close it up, she did such a good job it left no scar.  I asked her what that stuff was she was smearing on the cut, and she said it was nothing but superglue renamed for the medical field.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 12:43:35 pm
Not sure how old your 105 and Deore were, but I have a 105 from 2013 and a Deore from last year, so far so good.
Okay so I looked at my old parts stash since I often keep even broken stuff.  I was hoping I'd find something to refresh my memory.  Sadly I didn't find any broken derailleurs.  They would have been from the 80s or 90s.  The 105 would have been from my 1990 Cannondale Crit bike.  It has a newr model derailleur on it at present.  I did find one similar to the original in my used parts bin.  While this one is fine...  Looking at it I think I recall the point of failure being the nub where the spring is hooked on an arm.  The a bit of the casting cracked and the portion with the nub came off as I recall.  My memory is pretty hazy so I may well be wrong about models or vintages of other failures.  I say they are most likely to be Deore or Deore XT only because I owned a bunch of different mountain bikes in those years and that is what they were equipped with.  I don't specifically remember since I thrashed a lot of stuff hammering rough singletrack and that was quite a while ago.  I might even be wrong about the number, but it was definitely more than one including the 105.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: dkoloko on September 25, 2021, 01:26:56 pm
For me 2 oz.  total difference. Switched back and forth between 2x and 3x and did not change anything except add or remove a third chainwheel.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 25, 2021, 01:37:03 pm
For me 2 oz.  total difference. Switched back and forth between 2x and 3x and did not change anything except add or remove a third chainwheel.
Ah, okay that makes sense.  The difference is probably greater for going to 1X since you lose 2 rings, a derailleur, a cable and a shifter.  Also possibly a slighly lighter crank arm.  OTOH, probably some bigger cogs on the back to offset some of that difference.  In any case it still isn't a huge difference especialy to most tourists.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: Pat Lamb on September 27, 2021, 10:38:45 am
Not sure how old your 105 and Deore were, but I have a 105 from 2013 and a Deore from last year, so far so good.

Oh, so pretty new.

Quote
Obviously it's not a common problem.

I could not find one incident concerning either Deore or XT breaking.

How did your derailleurs fail?

Interestingly enough, I had a Deore break last summer after about 30,000 miles.  Old or only 5 years' full-time usage?

The lead mechanic at the bike shop, when I described the symptoms, hollered over, "You need a new front derailer.  The spring rusted out.  That happens a lot, and your symptoms are what happens when it does."  He was right!
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 27, 2021, 09:05:04 pm
Not sure how old your 105 and Deore were, but I have a 105 from 2013 and a Deore from last year, so far so good.

Oh, so pretty new.

Quote
Obviously it's not a common problem.

I could not find one incident concerning either Deore or XT breaking.

How did your derailleurs fail?

Interestingly enough, I had a Deore break last summer after about 30,000 miles.  Old or only 5 years' full-time usage?

The lead mechanic at the bike shop, when I described the symptoms, hollered over, "You need a new front derailer.  The spring rusted out.  That happens a lot, and your symptoms are what happens when it does."  He was right!

Obviously your mechanic never heard of WD40.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: OHRider on September 28, 2021, 04:35:57 pm
I had a 3X for years but my gravel (touring bike) and road bike both have compact doubles now.  I switched the rear cassette out to an 11x36. Mated with the 30 tooth front crank this climbs well on steep grades, even loaded.  The 2X tends to be much easier to keep from rubbing than the 3x was and I can't see going back with the wide ranges available with 2X.

I just bought a couple of new Specialized Robaix Pro 2BR 700x30/32 tires to replace the existing ones for a Southern Tier ride (maps 1 and 2).  These could be set up tubeless but I'm going to run them with tubes.  I've changed about uncounted flats over the years and am content with something I have full confidence in for a tour.  Plus, from what I hear, you can't get them reseated without a good air source.  I'll probably set my gravel wheels up with tubeless next time I have to get new tires but these have a lot of miles left on them.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 28, 2021, 04:43:34 pm
I just bought a couple of new Specialized Robaix Pro 2BR 700x30/32 tires to replace the existing ones for a Southern Tier ride (maps 1 and 2).  These could be set up tubeless but I'm going to run them with tubes.  I've changed about uncounted flats over the years and am content with something I have full confidence in for a tour.  Plus, from what I hear, you can't get them reseated without a good air source.  I'll probably set my gravel wheels up with tubeless next time I have to get new tires but these have a lot of miles left on them.
Two ways to look at that.  One is that the many thorn punctures you will get on the ST may be handled without even being noticed with tubeless.  The other is that if tubeless fails you may need to put in tubes.  I think I personally for the ST I'd run tubeless and put in extra sealant to deal with the many goat head thorns.  Good luck which ever way you go.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: misterflask on September 28, 2021, 05:38:32 pm
I have triples on bikes because they were rare in the 70s and I always wanted one when I was a teenager.  I would do just fine on my road bike with a compact double.  I think your gravel setup gives you a low gear around 26 which many (me, anyway) would find a little high for touring.  Tinkering around with easily available parts for a touring setup, if you set up a 48/34 double and an 11-50 cluster you'd have ratios from 120(!) to 19, with the possibility of going lower by tinkering with the crank cogs. 

I'm with you on touring tubeless.  I tinkered with road tubeless for a while and finally quit it and threw tubed tires back on the bike.  It was the exact same feeling of relief I felt getting off graveyard shift where I could quit lying to myself about how well it was working out for me.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: OHRider on September 29, 2021, 01:35:57 pm
I just bought a couple of new Specialized Robaix Pro 2BR 700x30/32 tires to replace the existing ones for a Southern Tier ride (maps 1 and 2).  These could be set up tubeless but I'm going to run them with tubes.  I've changed about uncounted flats over the years and am content with something I have full confidence in for a tour.  Plus, from what I hear, you can't get them reseated without a good air source.  I'll probably set my gravel wheels up with tubeless next time I have to get new tires but these have a lot of miles left on them.
Two ways to look at that.  One is that the many thorn punctures you will get on the ST may be handled without even being noticed with tubeless.  The other is that if tubeless fails you may need to put in tubes.  I think I personally for the ST I'd run tubeless and put in extra sealant to deal with the many goat head thorns.  Good luck which ever way you go.

I agree that there are many benefits to tubeless and I've heard about the thorns.  Hoping that running new tires will help a bit- just don't want to deal with a learning curve for tubeless on a big trip.  The saving grace of course is that you can start tubeless and just add a tube when needed.  I'll report back to the forum how it works out!
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 29, 2021, 07:51:36 pm
Of course there is a tire made by Schwalbe called the Marathon Plus HS440, the anti flat guard can withstand a thumbtack without hitting the tube.  This tire is used extremely successful on touring bikes, plus the tire lasts around 6,000 miles of loaded touring miles, and Schwalbe built the tire with lower rolling resistance than some other touring tires even though tire weighs 1,000 grams people say it feels a like it weighs a lot less when rolling dragging along using 25.5 watts.

I go bike camping, touring will come later, but I use Schwalbe Almotion tires with a ultralight Mr Tuffy liner only in the rear tire, and so far no flats, a lot people tour on the Almotion's too, and they have the least rolling resistance of any touring tire/e tire at 17 watts, and it only weighs 490 grams.  I would rather roll on a lighter tire with less rolling resistance and deal with a flat or two then a heavier tire that doesn't roll as good, though the heavy one isn't bad.  But I don't think flats are going to be an issue especially with the flat liner.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 30, 2021, 08:35:47 am
Of course there is a tire made by Schwalbe called the Marathon Plus HS440, the anti flat guard can withstand a thumbtack without hitting the tube.  This tire is used extremely successful on touring bikes, plus the tire lasts around 6,000 miles of loaded touring miles, and Schwalbe built the tire with lower rolling resistance than some other touring tires even though tire weighs 1,000 grams people say it feels a like it weighs a lot less when rolling dragging along using 25.5 watts.
The Marathon Plus is pretty flat resistant, but it does still get flats.  I wouldn't advise running over goat head thorns with reckless abandon and not removing them when you pull off the pavement at stops.  Also I'll add that if you like a lively feeling supple tire with a flexible sidewall this is the absolute opposite of that.  Some don't mind that.   I know that when I tried a pair I hated them and took them off after a few hundred miles and sold them.

The weight has already been mentioned, but it is a couple pounds when you consider that there are two tires and it is in the worst possible place.

One other thing some people report that they have been totally unable to get them off the rim to fix a flat when they do get one.  I didn't have that issue.  They were harder than most to get off the rim though.  I would suggest being sure that you know how they are for you so you are prepared.  It would be a shame to find out you couldn't get a tire off the rim when you were in the middle of nowhere, so practice at home first to be sure.  How they are may depend on your tire, rim, rim strip combination.  Some combinations aren't bad and some can be pretty tough.

Quote
I go bike camping, touring will come later, but I use Schwalbe Almotion tires with a ultralight Mr Tuffy liner only in the rear tire, and so far no flats, a lot people tour on the Almotion's too, and they have the least rolling resistance of any touring tire/e tire at 17 watts, and it only weighs 490 grams.  I would rather roll on a lighter tire with less rolling resistance and deal with a flat or two then a heavier tire that doesn't roll as good, though the heavy one isn't bad.  But I don't think flats are going to be an issue especially with the flat liner.
Just a note to say that the flat liners themselves can cause abrasion flat in the tubes, so be super careful in installing them smoothly especially at  the ends of the strips.  I do't run them myself, choosing a tire with a built in belt, but I like the idea of them better than an overbuilt tire like the Marathon Plus. I care about the weight, but perhaps even more I like a nice supple sidewall and the road feel and lively ride that it gives.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: misterflask on September 30, 2021, 09:21:42 am
<<if you like a lively feeling supple tire with a flexible sidewall this is the absolute opposite of that>>
Oh gosh, I'll second that.  I describe it as feeling like you're riding in mud all day.  I have a set of 35mm Schwalbe Almotions on a commuter/shopper and they're pretty spry.  They'll eventually find their way onto the tourer.

<<totally unable to get them off the rim>>
Like Staehpj1, I haven't experienced this with the Marathon Pluses.  I do think Schwalbe has some variability in manufacturing and I don't doubt that there are some tight ones out there.  But I can't imagine them being worse than tubeless. 

<<I wouldn't advise running over goat head thorns with reckless abandon>>
Someone mentioned the Southern Tier in relation to goatheads.  I saw them for a day on the TA and picked up one.  I gather that I'll see a few more on the Southern Tier?
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 30, 2021, 10:04:16 am
<<I wouldn't advise running over goat head thorns with reckless abandon>>
Someone mentioned the Southern Tier in relation to goatheads.  I saw them for a day on the TA and picked up one.  I gather that I'll see a few more on the Southern Tier?
Yeah, I would say you will see lots of goat heads.  Take great care when you pull off the pavement and check when getting under way again removing them first.  That will elimiate a lot of the flats.  That said I think you can expect to still pick up quite a few especially while riding in Texas.  I'd recommend taking two spare tubes and plenty of patches.

I have no experience with road tubeless, but with fat tires on my mountain bike I got at least 1 thorn flat per week with tubes and when I went tubeless I never got another flat other than a very slow loss of air when the sealant starts to run low and I get another thorn.  I did find that I like to run extra sealant, about twice the recommended amount in my Stans setup.  That was for local riding mostly on trails here in Tallahassee.  I don't, know if skinny tire road setups are similarly effective, but for those who tour on fat tires any way I really see tubeless as a great setup, but would carry a tube just in case.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: misterflask on September 30, 2021, 10:49:54 am
<<experience with road tubeless>>
I was using Continental GP5000 TLs on a velocity offset rim.  Seating the tire always splattered sealant around the shop and it took a lot of pressure to keep it seated.  Since the 25mm tire had so little volume, it was a real challenge to screw the valve stem back in before the tire unseated.  Finally one of the unseatings peeled the rim tape off of the spoke holes and I gave it all up.  To be fair, when I pulled the tire off there was a piece of wire stuck through the tread that I never knew about.

Currently building a mountain bike with tubeless and have the wheels set up already.  Mounting and seating those is a much less stressful affair. 

If I was a racer and someone else was setting them up, I would definitely want road tubeless.  Hassles vs charms is on that continuum where everyone picks where they want to live.

I investigated putting tubeless sealant in tubes and apparently they are not chemically compatible.  Anyone have experience with 'Slime' in tubes? 

I also picked up a 'thorn-proof' tube in goathead territory - tremendously heavy.  Are they worth it?
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: John Nettles on September 30, 2021, 11:02:51 am
Yeah, I would say you will see lots of goat heads.
Pete,out of curiosity, when did you ride this?  When we rode between Phoenix to the west coast in late October/early November, we hardly saw any.  Maybe it was past its seeding period or maybe we were lucky.  The big thing to remember is that when you pull to the side of the road, look for the plants beforehand.  They are pretty easy to recognize.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 30, 2021, 11:15:27 am
Yeah, I would say you will see lots of goat heads.
Pete,out of curiosity, when did you ride this?  When we rode between Phoenix to the west coast in late October/early November, we hardly saw any.  Maybe it was past its seeding period or maybe we were lucky.  The big thing to remember is that when you pull to the side of the road, look for the plants beforehand.  They are pretty easy to recognize.
Mid February to Mid March W-E.

Edit to add, that most of the thorns were in Texas.  I don't remember exactly, but probably much of the way from Las Cruses to Del Rio.  I think I remember it being especially bad from Marfa to Marathon and maybe beyond.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: staehpj1 on September 30, 2021, 11:19:42 am
I investigated putting tubeless sealant in tubes and apparently they are not chemically compatible.  Anyone have experience with 'Slime' in tubes? 
Super messy and not very effective was my experience.

Quote
I also picked up a 'thorn-proof' tube in goathead territory - tremendously heavy.  Are they worth it?
I didn't think so.  YMMV.
Title: Re: 1X, 2X, or 3X
Post by: froze on September 30, 2021, 07:50:25 pm
The Marathon Plus is pretty flat resistant, but it does still get flats.  I wouldn't advise running over goat head thorns with reckless abandon and not removing them when you pull off the pavement at stops. 



Just a note to say that the flat liners themselves can cause abrasion flat in the tubes, so be super careful in installing them smoothly especially at  the ends of the strips.  I do't run them myself, choosing a tire with a built in belt, but I like the idea of them better than an overbuilt tire like the Marathon Plus. I care about the weight, but perhaps even more I like a nice supple sidewall and the road feel and lively ride that it gives.
[/quote]

I use to live in the Mojave Desert of California where goatheads breed far faster than rabbits, there was times during certain seasons I would be riding with a dozen thorns attached to the tire going around and around...but I was using Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires and NEVER got a flat in the 7 years I was there using those tires, before those tires I tried all sorts of tires and they all failed to stop those thorns.  Now if Specialized Armadillos can protect the tube from goatheads I really sure the Marathon Plus tires can survive since they're built to be more flat resistant then the Armadillos were.  Also don't forget I mentioned the Marathon Plus not the Marathon regular tire, the Plus has 5mm of flat resistance built into it than the regular Marathon which has only 3mm.

I'm aware of the flat liners causing the abrasion problem you spoke of, but I found two ways to deal with that, one is to sand down one edge that will be against the tube so that it's really thin; the other stunt is to use liberal amounts of baby powder.  I never had a problem with abrasion flats doing that stuff.

Weight of the Marathon Plus does concern me, but a ton of people use that model for touring so I guess they don't seem to care, but I think it would bother me.  The tires that came on my touring bike were Kenda Drumlin tires, those darn things weighed 1,600 grams a piece, what all that weight did for the tire I have no clue because they didn't last long, about 2,500 miles but only about 1,000 of that was loaded, and I got one flat.