I have a 3x10 speed MTB. Will it be a upgrade or a downgrade to move towards a 1x10 and will I be able to easily ride above 60km per hour as I can with the 3rd gear in front?

  • 2
    What do you mean by "easily" ride above 60km/h? On a descent, you can easily achieve those kinds of speeds freewheeling; on the flat, that's faster than the pro roadrace peleton usually goes. – David Richerby Aug 22 '18 at 17:14
  • You should be comparing top speeds at sprint, not average speeds. But seriously, the answer depends on what size chainring you have and how fast you can spin. – ojs Aug 22 '18 at 17:28
  • @ojs - Also depends on how low the bottom gear needs to be for the rider. Normally for for MTB 1x setups you decide the lowest gear you need and sacrifice the high gearing if you cannot get the range out of available cassettes. – mattnz Aug 22 '18 at 20:19
  • Normally for MTB you don't really care if you can spin above 60 km/h. This is a special case. – ojs Aug 22 '18 at 21:21

1x drivetrains are a newer concept made possible by 11 speed rear derailleurs that can support an increased spread of sprocket sizes in the cassette. Most people would regard 1x as a upgrade over 3x. There are definite advantages: lighter, only one shifter, no cross-chaining. less chain slap and better retention.

You do have to be careful about gear ratio range and steps between ratios, especially with 1x10 as opposed to 1x11. With a single chainring you need a wider spread of sprocket sizes to get the overall ratio range, which gives you bigger steps between ratios.

You can use a an online gear ratio calculator tool to compare the ratios you have in your current 3x10 setup and what you can get in a 1x10 setup, and also see the speed for given cadences.



  • With the SRAM Eagle you get a 10-50 12 speed cassette, which has a wider range than most 3x MTB setups. – mattnz Aug 22 '18 at 20:14

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