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.