I'm looking at the first stage of the Tour of California, which is on a flat course (around Long Beach, USA).

Since there's no real dénivelé (french, "difference in height"), there is no need for a lot of gears.

So, do pro riders sometimes use 1X configuration on their bikes, either on criterium races or on flat courses, or on flat time trial courses?


Yes, they sometimes do (or at least announce/intend to), here are two examples:

This is the 3T Strada that Aqua Blue Sport will ride in 2018, making the Irish-based squad the first pro cycling team to use a single-chainring drivetrain.


One ring to rule them all: Tony Martin's Canyon Speedmax 58x11-32 on the world champ's time trial rig


  • Yes on a TT it is possible since there is a car with back-up wheels and bike behind each rider. On a stage it's not so easy. Even if the team cars carry back-up, on a break-out there would be a neutral car or even motorbike with wheels and that one would have to carry many different types of wheels: 11-speed or 12-speed (some single ring are 12s) rim-brake, disc-brake ...
    – Carel
    May 14 '18 at 7:41
  • 2
    But changing the back wheel does not make a difference if 1X or 2X?
    – Max
    May 14 '18 at 12:56
  • @Max 1x systems typically use a cassette with a larger range of gears to make up for having only one chain ring. Also, 2x cassettes tend to be 11-speed at the pro level, whereas I think the 1x cassettes are 12-speed. Indexed shifting won't work if you have a 12-speed shifting system with only 11 cogs. Actually changing the wheel is just the same, but the problem is that neutral service might not have the wheel you need, if you're running some non-standard setup. May 14 '18 at 17:38

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