Go up to 11
We don’t have to convince you of the benefits or going to single ring setup. You’re reading this page so you’re already clearly up for making the move now.
Having said that, go 1x! Lighter, quieter, less to go wrong, looks cleaner and much else besides. Just do it.
You can bodge your current 10 set up into a wide-range 1x system with an expander sprocket but we reckon that you might as well bite the bullet and change your whole drivetrain. You’re only delaying the inevitable.
BE AWARE: For all SRAM 1×11 systems (apart from SRAM NX) you will require a rear wheel with XD driver body. So you’ll need to check if your existing wheels can be converted or whether you’ll need to budget for a new wheel as well.
Looking to trump Shimano the SRAM NX which comes in at a budget busting £251 RRP for a crank and chainring, rear mech, shifter, chain and cassette. That makes it one of the cheapest 1x system around and gives you almost exactly the same 11-42t range available on Shimano’s XT groupset. NB: Does NOT require a XD Driver rear hub.
Shimano XT M8000
Reliable chain retention, slick shifting, stiff cranks, powerful, easy-to-service disc brakes, shockingly good value for money.
SRAM’s new GX groupset brings 1×11 to a more accessible price point than ever. The new budget drivetrain fits neatly between the company’s X1 1×11 groupset and the 10-speed X5 offering, and manages to deliver significant cost savings without losing any of the features that made its single-ring system such a game changer when it was launched just over two years ago.
Shimano XTR M9000
XTR is Shimano’s flagship mountain bike groupset, and in 2015 it was been given a reboot. There’s a whole raft of changes and improvements including 11-speed shifting, an over-sized cassette, self-retaining chain ring, new disc brakes and revamped front and rear derailleurs.
SRAM took their original 1×11 genre-busting XX1 drivetrain and their heftier follow-up X1 and introduced something in the middle – XO1. Probably the most popular of all the SRAM 11 speed single ring drivetrains, XO1 is as light as most riders are bothered about going and isn’t too prohibitively expensive.
Video: SRAM Eagle XO1 groupset first ride
The groupset that started this whole 1×11 single-ringing revolution. XX1 is still SRAM’s flagship groupset. The fact that it has now been joined/superseded by the 12 speed Eagle version means that there are some bargains to be had in the original 11 speed version.