I bought a beginner bike with a 2x 8-speed Shimano setup a year ago. I am looking to upgrade, now that I am getting more in to cycling then expected. Since I live in a really flat area (when I go on 3-hours rides, I climb less then 100 meters during the entire ride), I was wondering if I could manage with a 1x drivetrain? I would prefer this for the simplicity of it: price, weight and the reason I have never used my small chain ring outside (I do on Zwift, but I might dedicate my current bike to the indoortrainer).
I notice that when I ride outside (on my 2x 8-sp setup), I only use about 3 or 4 gears, and about 90% of the time I ride in the same gear. I do shift on intersections or when I encounter a serious headwind or a small hill, but that is only for a few seconds..
Could I enjoy a bike that has a1x 11-sp setup? And if so, how do I choose what casette configuration that I want? I am a beginner so I don't know what I need. I honestly don't understand all the 'calculators' online for gears. I THINK I want to have a few (maybe 2) low-low gears for hills and headwinds, and then maybe another 2 really high ones for (small) downhills or tailwinds. The rest should be closer to the middle, around where I ride now.
Would it be ok to have big jumps in gears on both ends of my casette, and smaller jumps in the middle? Or isn't this possible or a smart thing to do? How would you advice I make a smart choice?
I don't have the means to buy a few casettes and experiment with them, funds are tight.