I have a Kona Rove ST, with a 40 teeth gear wheel and a 11-42 cassette. It's all SRAM. Here is the technical description.

It's ok for now, but I'm often using the smallest ratio (40x42) so I don't have any margin. Hence, I'd like to have a smaller gear ratio. To make it more complicated, I like my biggest ratio just fine, but I guess I'll have to compromise and lessen it.

But lowering my smaller ratio seems quite complicated and/or so expensive. So I thought I could just change the gear wheel for a smaller one. It seems straightforward to replace it with a 38 teeth one, but I'm not so sure for a 36 teeth one.

So my questions are: is it worth it to replace my gear wheel with a 38 or 36 one, and if so is it easy to do so? (especially for the 36 teeth) Or is there any other solution that would work?

2 Answers 2


Since it's a 1x setup you don't have to worry about the front derailleur, so it's definitely possible to swap in a smaller chainring. That will affect your highest gear too though, so you should bear that in mind.

I don't see any reason for there to be a problem switching to a 36t chainring, noting that 36x42 is only 10% less than 40x42. Maybe that's enough of an improvement; it's up to you to judge how much easier you need it. It will reduce your max speed - for a given cadence - by about 10% as well in your top gear.

The SRAM X-Sync chainring has a 5-bolt, 110mm bolt-centre diameter (BCD) mounting, (sample link only) so you need to find a compatible chainring. Again, not to make a recommendation, but a quick search found a 36t Wolf Tooth 1x chainring with a matching bolt configuration.

It is possible to find a cassette with a bigger range (though not a SRAM 11-speed) but that would require you to replace your rear derailleur as well, since the SRAM Rival 1 derailleur your bike comes with has a max of 42. This is almost definitely not worth it.


SRAM's page for the S350 crank lists 44, 42, 40 and 38 chainring size variants, so you can definitely swap in a 38 tooth ring with no compatibility issues.

The chainring bolt pattern is equally spaced 5 bolts. SRAM does not specify the bolt center diameter (BCD) but it's presumably a standard one, which means there should be third-party narrow-wide 1x rings available. With a bit of searching you may find a 36 tooth one that will fit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.