Technical > Transmission

Going from 3x10 to 11x1

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Recently I've ordered a Nomad MK3. Wanting to spare myself the hustle of 3 chainrings, I asked for a 1x11 groupset. The chainring is 32t and the sprocket is 11-42.
Has anyone had any experience with such a rig? I haven't got my bike yet (due in April), but would love to hear other users' experience. Thanks.

I do not have any experience with a 1X system.  With that cassette, you have a range of 382 percent.

My road bike with a compact double has a range of 355 percent, slightly less than your planned bike.

But my rando bike with a triple has a range of 504 percent.  My Nomad Mk II with Rohloff a range of 526 percent.  My two derailleur touring bikes with triples have a range of 558 percent.

I would not want to tour with a range as narrow as yours, but if you want to tour with that narrow of a range, that is your call.

Your planned setup gives 11 gears from (about) 19" to 74".

My current touring setup is Rohloff with 14 gears from 17" to 88", but I rarely use gear 14, so 17" to  the second highest gear 78" would certainly be OK for me on tour.

On my last derailleur-bike tour I had a 3x7 setup with about 12 non-duplicated gears from 18" to 86", and I could easily have done without the 86", though I did use the second highest gear (76").

So I reckon OK for loaded touring, so long as you are prepared (like me) to do without high gears. And the rapid wear probable with an 11T sprocket and 32T chainring.

I have a Ridley X-Trail with 1x11 groupset. It came with a SRAM Apex-1 groupset and was fine for a while. Problems set-in after a few months. It was very difficult to set-up the gears. I could use either the smallest 10 rings or the biggest 10 rings. Never all 11. It wasn't just me, three of my LBSs tried and failed. In the end the groupset was returned to SRAM, under warranty, for replacement. The new one went the same way. The last LBS suspected that it was a problem with the spring in the derailleur and the comparatively big jump into the biggest ring. Also, the largest ring on the cassette is made of a different material to the rest of the cassette and an 'add on'. That may cause an issue. I now have a Shimano GRX 1x11. I frequently have to adjust the gears to make that last 'jump', but when indexed correctly, it is very slick. Another issue I had with the SRAM was that gear changes were all done using one lever. One click, or two clicks, depending on the direction of travel on the cassette. Hence my new bike having a Rohloff!

Having pointed out the pitfalls experienced I can say that, when set-up correctly, 1x11 works very well. Mine is 42 chainring with the 11 to 42 Cassette. The 1 to 1 at 42 can be quite challenging on some terrain but is a good multi-purpose set-up and meets my requirements.

Welcome to the forum, hope the new bike is everything you wish for.
Whether the gear range is wide enough for you will depend on your fitness, preferences, riding style and intended use, it wouldn't suit me, but it isn't my new bike!  We can't know the exact gear range without knowing the wheel size, though I expect the estimates above are a good estimate.  On one bike I'll spend a good bit of time in higher gears than you have, on another bike I'm sometimes in gears lower than you'll have - Other people have ridden round the World with narrower ranges (At one time the record was held by someone who used an Alfine 8 speed hub)
Getting the range you have on a 1X system has required some compromise, the ones I've looked at have big gaps at both extremes in order to get reasonable gaps with the most used middle section (Comparable to Rohloff's 13% steps, though still quite big compared to a road triple). I've had gearing like that, it's OK but often the gap between top and one down had me looking for something in between and at the other end once I'd dropped down to first, I was stuck there till the crest of the hill.  Those I ride with who have similar 1X 11 speed do like the simplicity, there's no issues with shifting, even under considerable load.  Durability has been compromised to get that to all play well, the chains are flexible to maximise the efficiency and wear accordingly.  Thankfully the price of big cassettes has dropped, but they're still not cheap, a good chain measuring regime would be worth establishing to preserve them.
Hope you've made the choice that suits you, but it isn't a disaster if it doesn't, it isn't like getting the bike wrong and the new Nomad is one of the most versatile frames around.


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