Are 1x Drivetrains The Future Of Cycling? | The GCN Tech Show Ep. 2

Are 1x Drivetrains The Future Of Cycling? | The GCN Tech Show Ep. 2


– Hello and welcome to episode
two of the GCN Tech show. Thank you so much for all your support and positive comments last week. We will again be bringing
you the latest and greatest from the world of bike tech. – And we tackle another hot topic: Is 1x a compromise too
far or is it the future? – Yeah and we will also be
inducting our first product onto the new GCN Wall of Fame. Find out what is deserving
of this honour later on. – I’m excited about that. And that’s not before
we show you what bikes are in this week’s bike vault. (alarm ringing) (upbeat electronic music) – What is hot in the
world of tech this week? (booming) – Well, Si, have you made the switch yet? – Not sure that I have, mate. – You have not made the switch? – No, I have not made the switch. – Well the Swytch is an Indiegogo project that in the first 24
hours smashed its target. Basically it’s an add-on e-bike kit. You can fit it to any bike. And some of the images
I’ve seen of bikes fitted, they’ve been pretty cool. – I know what you’re talking about, and yes, I too, have seen
the Penny Farthing e-bike. That is quite cool. Right, so it is a hub based motor and the battery is stored
in a handlebar bag. So the standard one gives you 250 watts. And you gotta say it’s
pretty neat, isn’t it? It looks like it’s about the size of the original PowerTap hub,
if anyone remembers those, but then there was also a
bigger, bulkier, turbo version that gives you 350 watts, but that apparently is
only legal in the U.S. – Yeah and apparently,
according to the manufacturer, it goes up to 50 miles, you can add or remove it in ten minutes, and it weighs only four kilogrammes. That’s impressive. – It is. You can start to see why it’s getting a bit of publicity. (upbeat music) And that is before we
tell you that actually it’s currently on sale for 400 dollars. (gasping) – You cheapened it, huh? – Yeah, you can imagine there’s a lot of people thinking well they could you know pimp their bike and
make it into an e-bike. But you also have to say, add in an element of caution, don’t you? Because it’s one of
these crowdfunding things so there are no guarantees. Now, Jon, how do you fancy a cycling jersey made out of old water bottles? – Honestly, Si, never
really thought about this. I’m all for cutting
down on plastics though. And up until recently
I didn’t really realise quite how bad for the
environment some clothing can be. – No, I didn’t either, but GRN Sportswear is
a brand that’s hoping to do a little bit about that. So it produced sustainable
and ethical sportswear. And in their range they
have a cycling jersey which uses materials from
seven plastic bottles. – [Jon] Seven? – Yeah, to give, apparently, a fabric that has all the
conventional properties that you’d expect from a cycling jersey. They also, and I particular like this, have a pair of shorts they have made out of old fishing nets and carpet. – Fishnet shorts? – Well, yeah, so imagine
you could have like obviously the actual
fishing net on your legs and maybe the chamois is the old carpet or something like that.
– Oh, sounds all right. – No, again, it’s completely recycled into a performance fabric. So that’s pretty cool, isn’t it? I gotta give a big shout out actually to a company trying to
do something about that. – Yeah, so make sure you
recycle your plastic bottles, and who knows maybe you’ll be helping make a cycle Jersey in the future. – That’s right, or better yet actually, don’t use disposable
plastic bottles at all. Shameless plug. – Oh. – Reuse. Buy something that’s
actually going to last. – Lifetime guarantee as well. – Yeah, it does, doesn’t it?
– Yeah. Right, well big news coming
through the tech world is coming from the annual
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We’ll have more news on that
though in the coming weeks. First up, is from Italian brand Hi Ride, who’ve just shown the endurance smart active suspension system, which apparently is an artificial intelligence controlled unit, a couple of buzz words that we’re starting to hear more and more of these days. – They say that it has gyroscopic sensors and accelerometers in there
that generate big data, and from that it can then work out what the riding conditions are and adjust the suspension accordingly. And oh, Jon, what suspension it has. – Hit me with it, come on come on. – 2.5 centimetres up front. – Oh, oh, oh. – And an almighty one point
one centimetres at the rear. – 11 mil? – Yeah.
– That’s not much. – Now I don’t know
whether it’s just ’cause, you know, I come from a mountain
bike background originally, but 11 millimetres doesn’t
sound like a great deal to me, not when you can visibly
see more flex coming out of a modern carbon frame. So the jury’s out on that one, but anyway. – Yeah, and news just in actually, Peters Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe, his team have just been
spotted with a new power metre. At the Tour Down Under, yeah. – The kind of transmission unit that’s bolted on to the drive side crank is basically identical to a
4iiii power metre, isn’t it? Except for the fact that it’s
got a Specialized decal on. The left hand crank unit
is a little bit different to the standard 4iiii one. – It’s a little bit longer, isn’t it? – Yeah, so maybe it’s
not exactly the same. But you’ve got to wonder, haven’t you, whether or not the team have
just stuck Specialized decals on a standard 4iiii power metre, which if they bought it they’d
be allowed to do I guess, or are Specialised actually. – Are they making a power play? – (laughs) Yeah, are they
leasing the technology from 4iiii or maybe they’re gonna
buy it, I don’t know. – Yeah, I don’t know. I’m actually gonna be at the
Tour Down Under next week so I’m gonna get some shots of that and I’ll be updating you. Also apparently Specialised
have release a new helmet and also some new shoes. – Right on, mate. – So keep your eyes peeled for those. (booming) Right, then, 1x drivetrains. More controversial it
would seem than disc brakes or even sock length. – Yeah and that is pretty controversial. But we have strong evidence to
suggest that they really are. Last year on GCM we made a video where we tried to work out
how the Aqua Blue Sport team will use 1x on their new
3T Strada team bikes, that remember can’t be fitted
with a front derailleur, so they have to use
single-chainring setups and no left hand shifters. Now the comments section under said video went utterly ballistic. It really did light the blue touch paper. A lot of people seem to think
that they’re being sold an idea that’s actually a step backwards. – Is it a step backwards yet forwards, or forwards yet backwards? Because for a long time
more gears were associated with higher end groupsets. – True. – And close-ratio
cassettes, they’re also pro. – Pro. – So surely both of these go against 1x. – Well, that is true and like you said a lot of people seem to think so. Perhaps the most outspoken
commenter I could find was a man called Johnny Cab, who said that he felt
that 1x was the worst marketing meme in five years. And then he goes on to say that he thinks that with 1x
you get a worse gear spread, worse gear selection,
higher drivetrain wear, more drivetrain loss, and
more changing of cassettes. – Well, Johnny, next time
really tell us what you think ’cause you’re sitting on the fence there. – Yeah. Now I do disagree on all those points, particularly drivetrain
wear and drivetrain loss. But, the one thing I think
we should tackle right now with help from another
commenter, Seth Dolcourt, is actually the whole
thing about gear spread. So he points out there’s actually a number of gear overlaps on a 2x system. He said he’s got 20 gear combinations on his 10-speed groupset and
five are almost identical between the big ring and the small ring. So that leaves him with 15, or say four more than a standard 1x. But don’t forget that in order to get all those 15 gear ratios you got to change a lot between your chain rings, which most of us don’t normally do, do we, to get that kind of sequential system? – No, I mean if you are to use something like Shimano’s synchro
shift, I actually use that, I think it’s great. You’ve got about 15 gears depending on how you actually set it up. Now, Si, I don’t think you should tackle all of those negative questions or comments from Johnny Cab yourself. – Okay. – I think really the question needs to come from, why do we need it anyway? 2x’s great. It’s reliable, it’s bump proof. I think all of the negativity comes around what’s the reason for
it, why do we need it? – I do understand that actually because sometimes choice
is not a good thing. Personally bottom bracket standards drive me absolutely bananas ’cause there’s a gazillion of them and they don’t seem to
be improving matters. So I do understand. And 2x is great, but if you’re going
down the hole wanting a bigger spread of gears
and closer gear ratios you’d run a triple not
a double, wouldn’t you? You’d run by 3x not 2x. But yet most of us don’t. Most of us use 2x and that’s I guess ’cause triples are overkill for most of us. But I don’t think there’s an advantage to be had from running 2x over 3x, but yet, there is an
advantage to be had from running 1x over 2x because you obviously get rid of
your front derailleur, you clean up the whole chain ring area, you get rid of your left hand shifter, you get rid of the cable. There’s one less gear
system to worry about. And don’t forget although SRAM might have cornered the 1x market
on the road of late, I see people have been
running single chain rings for years, decades, haven’t they? – Yeah, I mean that’s right. David Miller and before him Bjarne Riis both of them infamously
used single chain rings on time trial bikes. – Yeah, thanks for
bringing that one up, Jon. David Miller and Bjarne Riis, who both had their chains come
off in inopportune moments during the Tour de France, didn’t they? Costing them dearly. – (laughs) Yeah, so if you
are actually gonna barge a 1x system, make sure you
use a proper chain ring, so a narrow wide one and a chain keeper, chain catcher that kind of thing. – Yeah, or do what’s Sven Nys did. This was super cool. At Cross Vegas a couple years back on his Trek Boone cross bike he had what looked like milled down Shimano Dura-Ace chain ring to act as a super slick chain guard. Then he just had this really minimalist chain key put on there as well. So he had 1x Shimano di2. And didn’t he look pretty
badass whilst he was doing it? – [Jon] Super nice. – Yeah. Understandably, an awful lot of support in the comments for 1x as well. For example Wisam Abbas said
1x groupsets are the future, simple, comparable
speed, easy to maintain, less shifting distraction. He’s not sure if it’s
lighter but he guesses so. It’s not cut and dry
actually I don’t think, depending on gear ratios, but you could definitely make it lighter I think it’s fair to say.
– Yeah, definitely. Eigil Mandrup, they say 1x
is definitely the future and simplicity is the way to go. – Yeah, I like that. Then this one I really
like from Judas Welke. He said 1x’s the future. He actually changed his
bike from 2 x 9 to 1 by 9. But get this, he’s rocking
a 52 tooth chain ring with a close ratio 11 to 23 cassette. But then he qualifies it and says I am German so I can stand
big gears like Jan Ullrich. – [Jon] There we go. There we go.
– Genius. – [Jon] Big Jan, he’s come into the game. – [Simon] He’d have loved 1x, wouldn’t he? – Oh, yeah.
– He pretty much had 1x. Right, now this one, this
sums it up for me, Jon. So D. Eldon commented
that he doesn’t believe that 1x is the future. He thinks it’s a future. And that is definitely
definitely the point. Because I’m not saying that
the front derailleur is dead. It’s definitely not. 2x is brilliant and it’s getting better and better all the time. But 1x is also great. It’s just another option
as we touched on last week when we talked about the
options provided by tech and how it changes the way we ride, I think it’s great to have that. For some people it’s brilliant. And I’ll put my hand up and say I like it. – Yeah, I mean I’ve actually
just started to use it on a cyclocross bike and
I absolutely love it. Off-road I think it’s brilliant, yeah. There’s one less thing to worry about. I mean admittedly I’m not gonna be the guy who changes gear you
know at the front a lot, but there’s one less thing to worry about. On my road bike, as previously mentioned, I use synchro shift. So I think, although I’m not in a hurry, but in the future I’m
pretty sure I will go to 1x on my road bike as well. – Right, now do you make
sure you let us know in the comment section what
you think about this. Are you on the fence like Johnny Cab? Or are you falling on
one side or the other? Let us know why as well
and get ready as well for another hot topic next week. It will be hot actually
if you’re in Adelaide. It’ll be like 40 degrees centigrade. – Hopefully no sunburn. (booming) – It’s time now for the first ever induction onto the GCN Tech Wall of Fame. We asked you for your
nominations last week and boy did you deliver. We had great fun discussing the relative merits of your suggestions. But ultimately we came
to a unanimous decision, and that was the first, the almighty, the Campagnolo quick release. That’s right, the first ever. To find out about its genesis we have to travel all the
way back in time to 1927. Legend has it that Tullio
Campagnolo lost a race on a snowy November mountainside because his fingers were too frozen to undo the wing nuts that were attaching his rear wheel to his bike, that would therefore allow
him to remove the rear wheel, turn it round and
therefore change his gear. So being a man like Tullio Campagnolo, he went to the drawing board and designed himself a solution. The quick release was born. It was patented in 1930. The first, incidentally, of a 135 patents that he filed over the course of his lifetime. So one imagines that this might
not be the only Campagnolo product we get to see on
our Tech Wall of Fame. Now fast forward to the present day, and the modern quick release bears a striking similarity
to that original one. Yes there are various different ones with external versus internal cams, but one like this definitely
bears all those hallmarks. So a worthy, worthy first
invention for our Wall of Fame. Now do make sure you let us know in the comments section what you think should be product number
two on the GCN Tech wall. – Now we’ve been taking a
look around on social media to try and find any
spy shots from the pros of new bits of tech that they’re using. – It’s also known as stalking
in some circles, isn’t it? – Yeah, but don’t tell
the police that stuff. – No, the first thing you
flagged up to me actually, Jon, was from the BMC training camp in Spain. The team seemed to be using the new Giro Vanquish helmet, don’t they? Particularly Greg Van Avermaet there, who’s got a slightly
blinged out gold tinged one. – Yeah, that’s pretty pimp, isn’t it? However, down in Australia the riders are still using the Synth model helmet, which presumably is to
give them a little bit of added ventilation where it’s pretty hot down there right now. – Yeah, good luck again
with that one, Jon. – Ugh. – Now scouring those photos actually, something that Matt first noticed was the cut of the sleeves
on the new Assos jerseys. Now sounds like it might
be a little bit odd, but have a look and you
can actually see that the outside of the sleeve
drops down considerably more than the inside. It was particularly noticeable
at the Aussie Nationals. – But check out this though, Si, Greg appears to be
training on tubular tyres. He’s got a cut off bottle
zip tied under the saddle, and there is, stuffed
in there, a spare tub. – That’s pretty classy. I don’t know many people
that train on tubs. I was thinking about this though, because the dude he’s riding
next to, who I can’t recognise, actually is also riding on tubs. So maybe they’ve got a team car behind, but the reason Greg’s got a spare is ’cause he’s doing extra training. – Ah, yeah, getting in those kilometres.
– I wouldn’t put it past him, sneaky little Greg. Well let’s not be afraid
from stating the obvious, Jon, about that bike. – What do you mean the obvious? – He’s got no rear brake calliper. He’s riding disc brakes. Greg Van Avermaet rides disc brakes. – Yeah, well hold the
front page there mate, because he’s been riding them for a while. I was stalking, sorry I
was doing some research on Greg,
(laughing) and I went back through his Strava page and actually he’s been using those since the 9th of December, at least. – Really? – Because translated, that
means riding on disc brakes. – How do you say it in Flemish? – I don’t even want to attempt because I’ll get killed in the comments. – You should do as well
’cause you lived over there. – I know. Maybe next week. – Did he get any KOMs by
the way, on that ride? – No, he didn’t, no. – Crikey, so disc brakes
are actually slower according to Greg Van Avermaet. – Ooh. – Well you can’t argue with
the Strava stats, mate. – Yeah, Olympic champion,
you can’t argue with that. Also worth mentioning though as well, as well as physique
Movistar have actually got a footbed sponsor so that they can fully customise the shoes to each rider, because obviously the foot is a very important contact point for a cyclist. – Yeah, and actually it’s hard for a team to have all riders using one shoe. Not many teams do it, do they? So yeah, it will be interesting to see how that one pans out. – Now I don’t know about you, Si, but it was always easy to
recognise who was running Vittoria’s Pave tyres, wasn’t it? – It was?
– The green sidewalls, black centre tread. You could spot them a mile off
during the Cobbled classics and particularly in bad weather too. – You still can, presumably. – Yeah, well they’re gone now, mate. – What, gone where? – Well they’ve actually
gone from the range. But don’t worry they’ve been replaced by a model called the Corsa Control, which is going to be available in a 28 millimetre width in clincher and 30 mil in tubulars. – Is it green? – No, it’s all black. – I have a feeling that we might still see some of those black and
green ones in the pro peloton because teams often have bought
those tyres, haven’t they? And they rock ’em out every year at the same time for Paris-Roubaix. For one very good reason
in particular I see is the fact that the teams now know exactly how they’re going
to perform, in particular, how much pressure they lose apparently between the start line at Roubaix, or start line in wherever it is. Compiègne.
– Compiègne, yeah. – And the Arenberg forest. So Roger Hammond actually, he was third place in
the Paris-Roubaix once, told me that one year the
team swapped tyre sponsors. They had to use a different one. The tyre didn’t leak air at the same rate as the Vittoria’s which
meant that his tyres were too hard when he hit Arenberg forest. He said it was an absolute nightmare. Ruined his race. He basically just bounced straight off into the trees at 60 ks an hour. So there you go. I have a feeling that those Vittoria’s might still be knocking around. – [Jon] Nearly went into orbit. – Before we leave new tech for this week we’re gonna go back to eyewear briefly, Ace Eyewear in fact. – Yeah, but not actually cycling eyewear, more like casual you
know every day glasses. – Science glasses, Jon. – No, they’re the ones I use for working in front of a computer. He’s blind now. You won’t be able to see a
thing after wearing those. – No, they don’t make science any easier for me, that’s for sure. – (laughs) But these
glasses from Ace Eyewear, they actually take photos
of up to 8 megapixels and record in HD and
allow you to livestream, get this, to YouTube,
Instagram and Facebook. Now that’s impressive. – That is impressive. 40 minutes of continuous footage that it can record they say. But this bit has really blown me away, they’re on sale for 99 dollars. That is bonkers!
– Yeah, that is cheap. – That seems a lot of tech
for not very much money. – Yeah, I’m interested to see those. – I think we should try
and get you a set, mate. Imagine cruising around the
pits at the Tour Down Under. Jon cam. (booming) – So last week we put
two bikes head to head for the first ever bike of the week. We had Team Sky’s Pinarello Dogma f10 up against Aqua Blue Sports 3T Strada. – Love that bike. – And the results, well, they were pretty close actually. – Go on then, what are they? – Well coming out as a winner with 53 percent of the votes. – Oh, that’s tight. – Yeah, very very close, (drums rolling) was the Pinarello Dogma F10 of Team Sky. (cheering) – Fairplay, a deserved winner
that is a beautiful bike. I mean it doesn’t tick more boxes I guess than that, does it? This week two more bikes
on which you needs to vote to decide your favourite. First of all we have this one. Both of them in fact come from the women’s pro peloton this week. This one well I’m gonna go with the paint job first, Jon, is my favourite colour
scheme in the world. It’s the Canyon SRAM team bike. – Don’t let it influence you though. That’s his favourite. – Well it didn’t work last week, did it? It’s the Canyon CF SLX
Ultimate ridden by the team. It’s got disc brakes, it’s got
SRAM Red e-tap HRD on there, Zipp 404 wheels, Quarq power metre, and I don’t know whether
I’ve already mentioned that paint job. – Yeah, and in the
turquoise-y coloured corner representing Trek drops
is the Trek Emonda, again in a custom coloured paint work and I like that myself personally. – I do actually, now you bring it up, Jon, I love that one as well. – Yeah, and they’ve got a
Dura-Ace 9000 groupset on there. – Can’t argue with that. – And they’ve got some
Bontrager wheels and rim brakes. – There you go then. So that is your choice. You need to now decide
which one is your favourite. Which is the bike of the week? Let us know by voting just up there. (booming) Right, it is time now for the bike vaults. You have been sending in hundreds, literally hundreds and hundreds of bikes. – So many. – It’s been brilliant to see. Jon, do you want to get us started, mate? What have we got first? – Okay first up Darren Polly from Bristol. Look at this. He sent in this Basso with
Campy Bora Ultra wheels, cranks that are horizontal. – [Simon] Bonus points for that, remember everyone.
– Bonus points. Straight away from me super nice. – Super nice from me as well.
(alarm blaring) Whoa!
– Sorry, mate. – ‘Cause he’s got the same
coloured gear housing, gear cable housing sorry, as well as the frame, that’s just a super neat
touch there I think. – Attention to detail, bonus points. – Right. Whoa, a Black Mamba. – [Jon] Devon Sales from
London sent in his Black Mamba. – [Simon] I’m not sure I’d like
to ride a Black Mamba, Jon, but that does look very nice actually. I’ll give him that.
– That is a nice bike. Nice one. – [Simon] I think a Black Mamba
should have black bar tape. Don’t you think?
– Yeah, yeah. – Yeah, so I think that’s a nice from me that one as opposed to a super nice.
– Yeah, nice from me too. – But try with black bar
tape, you might nail it. – Who knows. – Oh! That is so nice! I’m gonna say super nice.
– Fiona Morris from Australia. Fiona Morris from Australia. Yeah, super nice for me too. – Pro cyclocross racer
so this is her team bike. But look at that! She’s also, she points out, she’s got a prototype Dura-Ace 46 tooth chainring on there, MV wheels. Speedvagens I absolutely love. That’s a super nice. – Super nice for me too. Go on, Si, press it.
– I get to press the button. (alarm blaring) – Steady on.
– Sorry. Whoa!
– Here we go. – What are they? – Curveball. Throwing in a curveball.
– With a lizard helmet. – Johnrunfatboyrun10 from
New York has sent in these. They’re Ventum’s, aren’t they? – [Simon] They are, yeah. – [Jon] Oh, look at them. What is that? Is that a dinosaur?
– That is one seriously tricked out bike. It looks like a, maybe it is, it’s a T. rex with a T. rex helmet. I’d like to see him
actually riding that thing with his T. rex helmet. Lovely Rotor cranks, oversized ceramic speed
jockey wheel on there. They are quick bikes, aren’t they? – [Jon] You know what
it’s getting from me? Super nice.
(thudding) – Go on then, mate, press your buzzer. – Hey, aren’t you giving
it too, super nice or? – Super nice! (alarm blaring) – Super nice. Right, here we are. – What, Jon? – The final one, I’ve
chucked in another curveball. – You have indeed. – Simon Head has sent in his Hummingbird, which can only be described as
a monocoque carbon commuter. – [Simon] It’s a folder presumably, is it? – [Jon] With a seat pin
that big, I hope so. – [Simon] Cheeky little mudguards. I’m open to new things, Jon. That’s a super nice from me.
(thudding) – Super nice from me too. Well that’s it. – Right, if you want to submit your photos do so on social media and also
we’ve got an email address. You can send them direct. – Exactly, yeah. It’s there on the screen right now. Send them in. (booming) – Unfortunately, we are nearing the end of the GCN Tech Show for this week, but before we go let’s give you a little bit of insight as to what is coming up on the channel over the next week. – Yeah, on Friday we’re going into the GCN Tech clinic for the first time where we fix a lucky viewer or unlucky, depending on which way you
look at it, their problem. – What are you doing,
Jon, what are you doing? – They’ve got poor shifting
of their front derailleur. – Have they really? And let me guess you’re gonna fix it by telling them to go 1x. – No. – Oh, okay, alright. Sunday is our first
ever GCN Tech unboxing. This is gonna be an absolute bell so make sure you check it out. Unfortunately, I am dressed
as a ninja for some of it so apologies in advance for that. – A ninja?
– Yeah. – Then on Monday I’m gonna be showing you on how to remove rust just
using household products. – And then you gotta hightail it all the way to Australia
to the Tour Down Under which I cannot wait for. Make sure you let us know in the comments if there’s anything
specific that you’d like Jon to check out using Jon cam. And again we need your help
for next week’s show as well. The hot topic: metal versus
carbon, which is better? Oh, yeah, I know there’s a lot of fans on both sides there so go for it. I’m gonna comment on both sides, Jon. I like metal and carbon. – So he’s gonna be on
both sides of the fence. – Absolutely. It’s painful but someone’s gotta do it. – (laughs) Remember to like and share this video with your friends. And do remember to subscribe
to the GCN Tech channel click on the logo right here. – That’s right and if you want
to watch a couple more videos then well you can check out
my Orbea Orchid Disc pro bike. That one is just down there. Or last week’s maintenance Monday video: How to level your levers. That one is just down there.