I want to convert my bike to a 1x drivetrain (and move to a dropbar). It's a Commençal Le Route from 2013, full specs are here: mostly a 2x10 SRAM Apex Groupset (34/48 at the front, 11/32 at the rear).

The parts I'm planning to buy are:

Are SRAM Apex parts backward compatible? How do I know if the angle of the chain is going to be fine? Should I just go for a full 1x crankset?


  • 1
    and move to a dropbar See bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/1136/… Note that none of the answers there addresses the fact that flat-bar frames have a different geometry than frames designed for drop-bar bikes. The top-voted answer there even incorrectly states "Road and MTB shifters are interchangeable (within the same manufacturer and # of speeds) so compatibility is not a problem." Umm, not true. Shimano road and MTB shifters are not fully compatible, certainly weren't when the answer was posted, and AFAIK never have been. – Andrew Henle Jul 15 '19 at 13:39
  • Thanks! My bike is already equiped with road components. From where I'm from these are called "fitness bikes": basically a road bike with a slighly shorter frame and a flat handlebar. – Simon Jul 15 '19 at 14:00

You should be fine with the parts you choose. Just be sure that you get a 10x Shifter as right lever and you are good to go.

You can adjust the chainline to minimize a too great angle. You should check if the chainline is better if the 1x chainring is mounted where currently the bigger chainring is mounted or where the smaller one is mounted. Chainline is good if the chain has minimum angle on the 5th/6th sprocket.

You can't mount a too big chainring on the inner position. But you could check how much space is left from the small chainring to your chainstay and buy one accordingly. Depends on how big of a ring you want to buy.

Otherwise you could optimise the chainline according to the sprockets you use most of the time.

  • 1
    Thanks! My reseller was selling a 11v SRAM shifter as a "10/11" shifter so your comment made me look deeper into it... Ofc they had made a mistake and I avoided spending money on something incompatible. – Simon Jul 18 '19 at 9:19

Switching to SRAM Apex shifters is probably be fine, although I would try to make sure that 2013 derailleur has the same actuation ratio as the 2019 Apex groupset. Both the current Apex 1 and Apex use SRAMs 'Exact' actuation ratio.

One thing you should be aware of is that drop bar bike frames have a different geometry than flat bar bikes. The reach as measured to the top of the head tube is significantly shorter, because drop bars move the actual hand positions much further forward relative the the head tube. You will need a shorter stem to compensate for this. Very often it's better to sell a current bike and purchase a new one if you want to make significant changes such as this.

  • Thanks for your answer! That's what I ended up doing... Couldn't find a matching pair of SRAM 1x10 shifters so I bought a new groupset with a new frame and I'll sell my old bike! – Simon Jul 18 '19 at 9:18

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