I bought a bike with an SRAM Force 11 groupset a few years ago and my local bike guy says I'll have to replace the cassette soon. I only use the large chainring in front and that's apparently why I've worn the cassette so much with cross chain riding (if that's the term).

He suggested converting it to a single chainring instead by simply removing the front shifter and changing the front ring and the cassette. Does that sound viable?



2 Answers 2


I'd find a new local bike guy. Although the "evil of cross chaining" is a very persistent myth in the bike world, you might not be able to find any shop guy that doesn't preach this nonsense.

All you really need is a new chain and cassette and a chain wear checking tool so you can replace your chain before it gets worn enough to destroy the cassette. If you replace the chain often and keep it clean, your cassette will last many thousands of kilometers.

Switch to a single ring if you want, but doing so to "avoid cross-chaining wear" is complete nonsense. Seriously, do the math. Switching to a single ring crankset is going to move the chainring in about 3mm at best. The change in the widest chain angle is going to be 0.43 degrees assuming a 40cm chainstay.

  • 2
    Your bike store is trying to sell you more than you need. But it would also definitely be a good idea to learn how to use of both front rings on your machine and of the benefits of this.
    – Carel
    Apr 23, 2020 at 20:20

I don't know why cross-chaining would directly cause accelerated cassette sprocket wear. If it did it would obviously affect the largest sprockets the most. Usually the concern with cross-chaining is accelerating wear on the chain.

To convert to a single chainring setup you have to get a dedicated single chainring crank, as this positions the single ring more inboard than the position of the large ring on a double crank. As far as I know there are no double to single conversion chainrings that fit on the outer position of a double crank but position the teeth further inboard (although it seems like it should be technically possible).

Cranks are relatively expensive. It seems to me that it does not make sense to spend money on a crank to save money by replacing chains and cassettes a little less frequently.

  • There's the possibility of increased chain wear from cross-chaining leading to accelerated wear on the cassette (because a worn/"stretched" chain has a different effective pitch from the sprocket).
    – RLH
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:44
  • @RLH I Guess that is true, but can be mitigated by replacing the chain when worn Apr 23, 2020 at 17:46
  • Yes, replacing the chain more frequently will minimize the stretched-chain wear on the cassette. If the OP has been crosschaining if without changing the chain at an increased frequency, however, that could result in “cassette wear from crosschaining”.
    – RLH
    Apr 23, 2020 at 18:18
  • +1 for discussing the economics.
    – mattnz
    Apr 23, 2020 at 20:55

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