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The 1x was born out of the mtb world because of the many advantages that (a simple) 1x would give, and in some cases solve (or lessen) issues in mtb. All the posts above have listed many of these mtb related issues.

One issue that I have seen mentioned but not in great details is frame geo design. So let me expand on this. On a full suspension bike, there is a phenomena called "pedal kickback", and the position of the chain on the chainring affects the degree of pedal kickback. In a 2x or 3x chainring design, the frame design would have to make compromises on suspension kinematics to account for the different chain positions at the front. The compromises mean that the suspension is not optimal. But with a 1x system, the chain is fixed at the front, so now suspension design can be optimized for the chain in exactly one position and not have to make compromises (because the chain was allowed to shift to different positions). Now people do change out to different size chainrings (eg, from 30t to 32t), but this change is small compared to the change on a 2x or 3x system.

But on the road, using road bikes (with no suspension), 1x is just a dumb idea.
 

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My thought about 1X is while liking it for the type of mt. biking I do, I cannot understand why folks want it on a gravel or road bike. One argument I often read is 1X is more reliable, which is true, but not, as its not like 2x systems suddenly started to suck. Indeed, Shimano does a great job with its mechanical systems, the front shifting on my 2 year old 105 system allows near perfect front shifts with Di2 even better.
 

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I ride a 1x on the road. But, I ride a cross bike for all road, cross racing and gravel riding. I like it for my purposes. The gaps between gears don't bother me because where I live there's very little flat or constant grade terrain that requires being in one gear for long periods of time.
 

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While I'm in no hurry to try 1X, I can see why some like it for road or gravel use. One word: Symplicity. And never having to ever deal with a chain drop again. Granted that chain drops are extremely rare with modern drivetrains.

I still like 2x for road and I have no issues with it on my gravel bike. The compact 2x lets you drop or raise gearing with one gear change - which is nice to have at the bottom of a hill ready to go back up or vice-versa.

Both my mountain bikes still have 3x. They are older and both have SRAM which shifts quite well on both.
 

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I have a triple on my MTB and shifts quite well also. When riders make the statement that a triple is problematic, IMHO they do not know how to set it up.
RoadQue
Possibly. I still have an older road bike with a 3x. No problems shifting. Granted I have a chain drop more often (maybe every 500 miles) vs. around every 5000 miles with a 2x. In other words, pretty much a nothingburger.

And the end of the day, it all amounts to what you're used to.
 
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I have a triple on my MTB and shifts quite well also. When riders make the statement that a triple is problematic, IMHO they do not know how to set it up.
Even if your FD shift flawlessly every time, a 1X is still a better setup for technical MTB riding.
If you come around a blind corner, a rocky decent into a sharp steep climb, You don't have time to do a double shift front and rear to hit that climb.
It's infinitely easier to do with a 1x.

FWIW.. my MTB has a triple. And is shifts flawless.
And my friends on 1x kick my ass on technical terrain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
FWIW I am a lazy river MTB rider who is never too proud to walk around technical terrain. I just like a bit of an uphill to make it a bit interesting and enjoy nature.
You sound hard core, and I understand what you r saying about quick response.
Also, would it be easier to change gearing dramatically under load up a hill with a 1x? Seems like it would be easier.
 

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IMO, you can change gears faster on a 3X, think about it. I change one ring, drop 4 gears. Sorry!
If I drop 2, that is almost equal to your whole cassette.
4 gears for one front shift? On a compact double yes, but on a triple? Nope.
 

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IMO, you can change gears faster on a 3X, think about it. I change one ring, drop 4 gears. Sorry!
If I drop 2, that is almost equal to your whole cassette.
After 30 years using triples, then 3 using using 1X, I'd say this statement is false. It's faster and easier to bang thru gears on a 1X then doing double shifts on a 3X, plain and simple.
 

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If I was in the middle of the cassette, I think I could drop 7 gears faster on a X3 than you could on a X1. I use my X3 for gravel riding, so I'm not really shifting while launching off a boulder.
There is no way I could ride up/down the mtn with a X1 without missing some gears. I'm in 1 or 2nd gear for 1.5 hours, and top gear for an hour. If you ride a hilly/flat trail bike, great, go X1.
 

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If I was in the middle of the cassette, I think I could drop 7 gears faster on a X3 than you could on a X1. I use my X3 for gravel riding, so I'm not really shifting while launching off a boulder.
You think. :unsure: So you've never rode a 1x.... and you're arguing with the guy who said he's done both and knows which is faster. :rolleyes:

Of course if you're only noodling along on the gravel trail none of it matters.
 

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There is no way I could ride up/down the mtn with a X1 without missing some gears. I'm in 1 or 2nd gear for 1.5 hours, and top gear for an hour. If you ride a hilly/flat trail bike, great, go X1.
Yes, not the point, but agree that 1X systems eliminate those in between gears that can be useful on the road or on gravel, is why I 2x on a gravel bike.
 

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Here are the key factors IMO as to why 1x has prevailed as the standard for off-road(mtn/gravel) bikes:

1. Too many odd off-road frame/suspension layouts that overly complicate FD setup.

2. Current off-road cassettes/RD provide same/better gear ratios and without needing multiple chainrings and can shift faster/better on cassettes with large cog jumps between gears.

3. Off road riding has narrower speed range than typical road riding.

4. Fewer components mean less things to break and gunk up, especially with off-road riding.

5. Eliminating left side shifter allows for a logical dropper post control.

I chose 2x on my gravel bike simply because I also use it as my urban ride.

There are no right/wrong ways to go with 1x. The only wrong way is to do it just because others are.
 

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The bike industry has a way of reinventing the wheel when the collective cycling consumers' attention span begins to fade.

I'm confident we're just a few years away from the "revolutionary" 1x Biopace chainring debuting....again.
That, and anti-skid bike brakes, that will jack the prices of bikes up and people will be killing each other to get one, then all the buyers, bike shops, bike internet sites, and marketing people will show us just how bad the "old" brakes were just to fuel the hype. Sometime after that we'll all have to buy CVT equipped bikes, because Di2 will be so old-fashioned and horrible technology with all the reasons why. These "improvements" seem to be on a 10 to 15 year wave, they come out with something then 10 to 15 years later something new comes along, all designed to suck your money out of your bank account.
 

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I chose 2x on my gravel bike simply because I also use it as my urban ride.
I chose 2x on my gravel bike because......umm.....that's what the model I wanted came with.

There are no right/wrong ways to go with 1x. The only wrong way is to do it just because others are.
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