Over the past couple of years, the 1X (pronounced "one-by") drivetrain has become pretty popular, especially on mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes. In case you're wondering, a 1X is a drivetrain that utilizes a crankset with a single chainring. So the drivetrain could be 1 x 11, for example, meaning one speed on the crankset in front with 11 speeds on the cassette in the back.
Tag Archives: Drivetrain
Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM are the primary drivetrain manufacturers in the cycling industry. They also produce other parts, but the drivetrain components are what cause the most questions and what we're here to discuss.
First things first: All three are fantastic groups and make top-notch products. You aren't getting a lesser product by going with a different brand among the three, generally speaking. They all have pluses and minuses -- most of which are subjective. Many people would be happy using any of the three component groups, but shifter ergonomics are usually the deciding factor for people. The next deciding factor is the feel of the shifting action.
Today, lets learn about the crankset: one of the more important component systems on your bicycle. Cranksets are made up of one or more gears, called chainrings, and the cranks or crankarms -- the arm-like parts that the pedals attach to.
Your crankset is attached to the bike frame via the bottom bracket, and connected by the chain to the rear cassette to provide the driving force that moves your bike forward.
Like most other bicycle components, there is a wide variety of cranksets on the market that cater to different riding styles and different needs. This article will go over some of the basic crankset choices that a rider has to make, whether they are upgrading or purchasing a whole new bike.
The chain is one of the most critical components on your bicycle. It is responsible for transferring the power generated by your pedaling feet to the rear wheel, and from there to the ground to give you your forward momentum. Without a chain, you ain’t goin nowhere -- unless it is downhill.
The earliest bicycles didn't have chains. The pedals connected directly to the wheels, so one turn of the pedals would turn the wheel one revolution. Though simple, this setup required massive drive wheels (we've all seen pictures of the old Penny-farthing style cycles with a huge front wheel) and only had one gear, making hills a problem. Luckily, the development of the chain and the geared bicycle in the 1880’s made riding much safer and more efficient.
Modern bicycle chains generally are usually constructed of plain steel, although some lightweight -- and expensive -- titanium models can be found. Chains are designed in a loop that wraps around your crankset (which is the forward set of sprockets - also called chainrings) and the rear sprocket or sprockets (often called a cassette or cogset).
Let’s dive into some of the basic information about chains.