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One is not such a lonely number
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The use of 1x set ups has become common place on the MTB side and I am not sure I could imagine going back to the use of a front derailleur for my mountain bike. The simplicity, weight reduction and decrease in mechanical issues due to bad front shifts, makes for a no brainer, but I was more skeptical to go shed my double ring for road and gravel duty.
I set up my Niner RLT with Force 1x this season, with the expressed purpose of bike packing, specifically a trip from Banff, CA to Whitefish, MT.
I went with a 38t ring up front and a 11/42t cassette rear. This gear set up worked pretty well, but on some steep climbs, I had to really give her all I had, or it was going to be time to walk. Keep in mind, my bike packed up with panniers, gear, tent, water, and bags had to weigh around 60lbs. I have to say, I will be glad when Eagle 12speed makes it way over to the road side.
But, if you take all of the bike packing gear and equipment, the gearing would be more than sufficient for a standard road or gravel set up.
Force 1x is easy to use, simple and extremely reliable.