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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm building up a gravel bike. Will have a 650b x 2.1 wheel set, and a 700 x 40 set of tires. I'll replace my road bike, and do some real world road rides and some gravel and some bikepacking/light touring with hills.

It is 1x, with mostly GRX800 series parts.

I can only see Shimano selling the GRX810 cranks in 1x with 40t and 42t rings.

I see Wolftooth sells $85 rings at 36t and 38t.

Is wolf tooth my only option? I'm thinking 11-42 XT cassette and a 38t ring to start. I know for mtb there are many $10 aliexpress rings which would be great to tryout while working out what final ring I want. An $85 experiment is a little pricy.

Thanks.
 

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Ideally, what chainring do you think you will want? If you're really not sure, then yes, go with the cheap ones first. Many options are available:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thus far, I can find:

  • GRX 40 or 42 for around $70-75 if you can find stock
  • Wolf tooth 36, 38, 40 ... for $85
  • Absolute black for $100+

Looks like a wolf tooth is my only option for <40t. I may run a mtb crank which I have a collection of rings on to start. I'm surprised that aliexpress doesn't have lots of options yet, in fact the only "cheap" one there is $56 and it a 46t.

I'm leaning towards 38t, but suspecting that maybe I should do a 36t for bikepacking/hardcore gravel, and then a 40t for more road/smoother gravel.
 

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Thus far, I can find:

  • GRX 40 or 42 for around $70-75 if you can find stock
  • Wolf tooth 36, 38, 40 ... for $85
  • Absolute black for $100+

Looks like a wolf tooth is my only option for <40t. I may run a mtb crank which I have a collection of rings on to start. I'm surprised that aliexpress doesn't have lots of options yet, in fact the only "cheap" one there is $56 and it a 46t.

I'm leaning towards 38t, but suspecting that maybe I should do a 36t for bikepacking/hardcore gravel, and then a 40t for more road/smoother gravel.
There are Shimano 30T and 32T rings for MTB that are around $25. Not sure you want to have gearing that low, but just saying.
 

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The mountain ones seem to be 96 BCD, and GRX are 110, so they don't fit.

If I don't find a cheaper option this weekend, then I'll just order the 38t or 40t Wolftooth.

Thanks
How about a Shimano 36T subcompact ring? Does the BCD match?
 

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Newb here. I just did this same conversion on my checkpoint sl5. It came with a praxis crank (48/32 chainrings) and a shimano 11-34 cassette. The Praxis crank uses the sram gxp setup, and after doing some research I decided on a 40t direct mount chainring (wolftooth) and a 11-42 SLX cassette. I chose the 40t chainring because I wanted to make sure I had the same climbing gear with the 1x setup as I had with my 2x setup. The 40t chainring and 11 on the cassette still lets me go ~25 mph pretty easily.

Overall I'm pretty happy with the new setup, except I don't care for the cross-chaining as I'm usually cruising on the 15 or 17 cog on the cassette. I just got a cheap chinese 42t chainring to test and see if I like that better.
 

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The mountain ones seem to be 96 BCD, and GRX are 110, so they don't fit.
If I don't find a cheaper option this weekend, then I'll just order the 38t or 40t Wolftooth.
Thanks
If you haven't ordered the wolftooth yet, it might be worth ordering a few cheap chinese chainrings to try and make sure what size you like the best. I just took off my 40t wolftooth and put on a 42t and I definitely like the 42t better than the 40t for the typical gravel roads I ride. My chainline is much more straight with the 42t since I'm on a larger cog (more inboard) on the cassette. I still have plenty of climbing gear for where I ride. I decided to get a 44t and give that a try also ($20 ea). I was able to get a GXP-to-104bcd adapter for about $15 and then I can run the cheapy chinese rings. They actually look decent IMO and seem to work well. I'll prob run them for a while and see if I have any issues.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why do you want smaller chainring? Especially if you plan to do some road riding?
I want to get lower gears for climbs, particularly when I'll be carrying some light bikepacking gear at some point. I did get the Wolftooth 36t, which is great. I suspect I'll end up with a couple of chains and rings, and potentially a 2x setup option too.

Thus far, of the 150km I've ridden on the gravel bike, perhaps 30km was gravel.

I'm also going to be doing a cx race on it soon.

Fingers crossed that they'll be some aliexpress GRX bolt spacing rings soon anyway. As at the $10-12 they normally cost, I'd then get a whole range to try out.
 
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