Shimano 1x vs 2x | Which Drive Train Is Better For Mountain Biking?

Shimano 1x vs 2x | Which Drive Train Is Better For Mountain Biking?


– The last few years have
the seen the emergence of 1x drivetrains. Many riders have ditched their front mech, and now rely on just one single chainring and a wide-ratio cassette. – But, there is still room
for that 2x drivetrain, and in this video, we’re gonna take a look at 1x versus 2x. (intense music) – My bike is set up as as a 1x system, so a single chainring, no front mech, no shifter up on the bars. I’ve just got a little chain device keeping that chain nice and
snug on my 34-tooth chainring. On the rear, I’ve got a 1×11,
and that’s an 11-46 cassette, so really big, low gear there. A couple of years ago, a
36 would have seemed large, but now, I just need to
rely on this cassette to get me around that terrain that I ride. – Okay, so this is my bike, and the first thing that you’re gonna spot is this front derailleur. What this allows me to have
is that 2x system up front. I’ve got a 26-tooth chainring
and then a 36-tooth chainring. On the rear wheel, the
cassette, you can see that’s a little bit smaller than Neil’s. It’s 11-tooth all the way up to 40-tooth. The 2x system gives me
a wider range of gears with less of a jump between them. (airy music) – So what has driven the
rise in popularity of the 1x and the wider range cassettes? Well, long travel trail
bikes have become popular, enduro racing has gained in popularity, and mountain bike technology
means that these bikes have become much more capable, all around, from descending to big
days out on the trail. They’ve actually become the
one-bike-does-it-all choice for many riders, myself included. (intense music) (bike rattling) (tyres squealing) So, let’s take a look at the advantages of running a 1x system. Simplicity is the first. Without a second chainring, you can ditch the front
mech, shifter and cable. There is a weight advantage to this, but more than that, you can
just rely on your right thumb to do all the shifting for you. This has the added benefit
of now being able to get your dropper post remote onto the bar where the front shifter was. Another advantage of running the 1x system is you’re much less likely to
drop your chain off the front. You can run a mech with a
chain stabiliser or a clutch, you’ve got that front chain
device keeping it on there. You can also get specific 1x chainrings. Another advantage is
that bike manufacturers have a bit more freedom
to design their frames, specifically to not have
to use a front mech. So, they can free up a little
bit of space, down here, to fit things like linkages, or even really shorten the chainstays. (energetic music) – Okay, so far, so good
for the 1x drivetrain. Why would you want to go for that 2x then? Well, the big disadvantage for the 1x comes with the fact that there’s some massive
jumps in the cassette. Sometimes, three, four,
five or even nine tooths separate a gear change, making it really hard to
keep consistent cadence when you’re climbing. With a 2x, because of
that 2x ring up front, you’ve got a wider selection of gears, meaning that when you are climbing, you can keep that consistency, and you can get absolutely dialled to make sure that you
keep your legs spinning, you’re gonna get maximum grip, and it’s gonna be easier for you to climb up to the top of the trail. (upbeat music) (tyres squealing) Well, fancy seeing you here. How’s your 1x? – Uh, yeah it’s good, I am
a big fan of the 1x system. I think you’re right, though. Because of the big jump in the gears, I think, often, you have
to pedal up the hill in a slightly harder gear than you’d like. So, I think it probably suits the strong riders a bit better. – Shall we head up to
the top of the hill then? – Let’s do it. (intense music) (bikes rattling) So, when it actually comes to a winner in the 1x versus 2x debate, I don’t think there is one. It’s a bit like every
other component choice, it just comes down to the
type of riding you do. Personally, I ride 1x most of the time. – Shimano have actually been launching a bit of a campaign around this, called the No Single Truth, and they put a poll out and actually found that it was almost 50-50. So we want to know, what do you guys run? What would you buy if you
were buying a new groupset? Click right up there to cast your vote. – Interestingly, on the
Enduro World Series, where you think most people would ride 1x, there’s a couple of people, there’s Tracy Moseley and Nico Lau, that actually choose to run 2x. – Yeah, the 2x system is still great, and for me, it just saves my legs on those really big, long rides. – Click on this GMBN logo
to subscribe to the channel if you haven’t done already. – And click down here to
see a cross-country bike versus a cross-country high tail. Which was faster? – And over here for enduro
versus cross-country. – Don’t forget to give this video a Like, share it and leave all
your comments down below.