Do 1x11 Gravel Drivetrains Suck?

Single chainring drivetrains have taken a huge bite out of the mountainbike market, and now SRAM, the industry trend’s main backer, is pushing to put 1x11 on a variety of dropbar bicycles as well. As gravel bikes are akin to mtb for a number of reasons, it’s only natural that the growing market segment would be a ripe target for these products. A key element to getting the wide gear range out of a single chainring is SRAM’s innovative XD-style cassette, which allows a cog as small as 10 teeth to be used. Then the biggest cog is pushed to a startling 42 teeth, giving a total range of 420%. But as head Hugger Byron has stated, the 1x11 XD setup has some big jumps between the gears. He doesn’t like it, and said so in context of the experience. I’m a little more open-minded, probably because I’ve had an XX1 group on my MTB for the past two years. I am well-acquainted with how a 1x11 XD drivetrain feels. What I am going to do here is explain the difference in solid, quantitative terms. And that means dry-ass numbers, percentages, and figures. If you’re such a lightweight that you can’t handle some math, or if you’re not into um….deeper reading because you’re surfing the net on your smartphone while taking a dump, feel free to skip everything I’ve written down to the “summary.” No really, go ahead, I’m totally fine with it. Just know that I will punch you in the face if you want to object to my analysis without actually doing the reading. If you ask Mark V a complicated question, he gives you the fucking answer. I don’t have patience for those too lazy to read and think.

Riding in the Woods is Fun

Hurl is right and I saw this photo on Instagram, just as I was writing a post about Issue 35 Into the Woods, that dropped on Friday. Of all the words I’ve been writing about adventure, gravel, and roadies riding offroad on dirt

It’s really fun

are the most concise. We try to limit car sightings to one a hour, at max and sometimes don’t see them for hours. That’s what riding in the woods is about: no cars+fun. In the issue, I share stories about the Boone and Diverge, 1x11 road is reviewed too. The issue costs $3.99 or $14.00 annually. It’s available on iTunes and the Web.


One Day In April - Trailer

“One Day in April” is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the triumphs and failures of four collegiate cyclist teams competing to win the Little 500. The film is a bittersweet portrait of life in the midwest and the drama from training through race day.

And I don’t think we’ve seen any full-length media about the Little 500 since Breaking Away in 1979.

At a time when collegiate athletics is navigating an increasingly uncomfortable intersection of profit and competition, the Little 500 remains an example of pure sport in America’s heartland. Through the stories of the individuals who make up the Little 500 community, “One Day in April” is a testament to the virtue that sports build community and forge kinships rarely savored otherwise.

The expansive narrative of friendship, failure, and redemption plays out across a cast of characters that includes experienced veterans, accident-prone rookies, and alumni coaches who treat the Little 500 like it’s the Indianapolis 500. In a once-a-year event like this, there is no tomorrow.

They still race the Little 500.

New Belgium Brewing Bicycles

For the first time ever, New Belgium Brewing is producing its coveted special edition cruiser bikes in the U.S., using Detroit Bikes, a Detroit-based bicycling manufacturer and North America’s largest bicycle producer. Just in time for warmer weather the bikes are now hitting the streets through New Belgium fundraisers, giveaways and as one-year anniversary gifts to New Belgium co-workers. The partnership has created new manufacturing jobs in Detroit with the company doubling its workforce from 20 to 40 employees.

And, see our reviews of the Type B: Practical Transportation on Medium, Clueless Asks for Bike-Buying Advice.

Maybe we’ll have some of those bikes are our annual Mobile Social Interbike, which has been sponsored by New Belgium for the past several years.

Working on Issue 35


As I shared on Instagram this morning, this photo is from Issue 35, and a story about devotion dropping later this month. 34 Truth is available on iTunes or the Web now.

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