Posted September 30, 2014
1x MTB Setup
Since the release of the first Widgit single chain ring device many cyclists have converted to the wonderfully simple setup of a single ring crankset. The high profile take up of single ring setups by many riders at the London Olympics and SRAM's introduction of the XX1 and more recently X01 groupsets have proven the idea as a sound concept.
However, many riders simply don't want to spend the kind of money that is required to purchase a full SRAM XX1 or X01 groupset. And this is where the Widgit comes in. The beauty of the Widgit is that you can re-use your existing crankset (whether it be from a 2x or 3x groupset) and before you know it you're running 1x.
That said, even the fitest of riders may find that a single ring crankset ideally should be coupled with an extra large big ring on the rear wheel (cassette) to ensure that climbing is still manageable on big hills or rides with significant elevation gain.
If you're looking at taking advantage of your existing bike components for the switch to a 1x setup, then ideally you want a big ring that can work with your current groupset. So it has been great to see that options for this are becoming available. In particular we have become aware of OneUp components thanks to this BikeMag article which describes what they call the XX1 hack.
For many riders a similar setup using the Widgit single chainring on their front crank coupled with a 42 tooth big ring and a 16 tooth small ring combined with their existing XT/XTR or SRAM X5-X9 rear cassette will likely provide a very workable 1x setup at a fraction of the cost of a complete new groupset.