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Transmission pour vélos gravel : mono vs. double plateau The Cyclist House

Transmission for Gravel bikes: mono vs. double tray

Posted on September 20, 2021 

Thanks to its versatility, the Gravel bike meets a great success in recent years. It is halfway between the road bike and the Mountain bike Which allows it to adapt to a lot of situations and therefore to many people. This is what is that today it is under the spotlight!

Almost all bicycle manufacturers started in the Gravel. It's good news for you because it allows you to have a very large choice when building the bike of your dreams. 

But here you are, you compose your future excursion companion, to choose all the rooms to make it perfect in your eyes, and arrives the moment to ask the question: how to choose between a single tray transmission (X1) or double Tray (x2)? 

To choose the transmission that suits you must, at first,Know your fitness and have an idea of ​​the type of terrain on which you want to roll.

Then The Cyclist House helps you weigh the pros and cons between mono and double tray transmissions. Our experts are discerning for you all their fundamental differences (quantitative and qualitative). So if you still hesitate between a mono or a double tray, read this article!

Transmission for Gravel bikes: mono vs. Double Tray The Cyclist House

The number of speeds

With regard to the number of cycling speeds, you must consider the length and slope of the hills you climb, as well as the speed you intend to mount them (and down).

The first thing to take into account is the development range: how much difference do you have between your hardest speed and your easiest speed? With regard to modern transmissions, double trays generally win this debate.

In the family of SRAM Force AXS Transmissions, the easiest monoplateau is 36 teeth and the most difficult is 48 teeth. Combined with a 10-36-tooth cassette, a monoplalateau does not offer the development range of a 46/33- or 48/35 teeth 48/35-tooth pedals on the same cassette. You meet the same limitation with Shimano Grx, which only offers a 40 or 42 teeth monoplalateau. This can not compete with a double pedal of 48/31 teeth on a standard 11-32 teeth cassette.

VS double tray transmission. Mono Plateau The Cyclist House

Fortunately, you can get a speed range close to that of a double-tray configuration using a larger cassette. With SRAM products, you can opt for a force 1 mechanical transmission that uses a cassette from 10 to 42 teeth. For an even more extensive beach, you can also use an Eagle AXS ATV rear derailleur with a 10-50 teeth cassette and strength AXS joysticks - which is familiar with a "mullet" transmission. Shimano also offers an 11-42 teeth XT cassette that could operate with a GRX derailleur.

These wide development range cassettes all have a disadvantage. They have greater deviations between speeds. When you switch from one report to another, you will not always be able to maintain the ideal pace and level of effort, depending on the ground.

As you can expect, a SRAM AXS MULLET transmission will be heavier at the cassette and rear derailleur - 352 and 354 grams, respectively - compared to force AXS, which weighs 309 grams for a 10-36 teeth cassette. and 326 grams for the rear derailleur. However, if the mullet is compared to a double-tray configuration on the AXS force, this difference of 71 grams is compensated by the weight of the only front derailleur.


As for the road bike, Mountain biking or the cyclocross, the models of Gravel bikes The lightest are the most requested. 

As expected, a single tray transmission with fewer components is necessarily lighter than a double transmission bike. But how much?

In the case of SRAM AXS Force Transmission, the front derailleur weighs about 200 grams, and a double-tray pedal weighs about 46 grams more than a monoplalateau pedal. The GRX Group of Shimano, specific to the Gravel, also offers both options. Its double-tray pedal is 55-66 grams lighter than its equivalent at SRAM, and its non-electronic front derailleur weighs 96 grams. A GRX DI2 electronic front derailleur weighs 135 grams. So, in the worst case, a double-tray configuration adds 246 grams.

The 200 to 250 grams of extra weight do you worry? It's for you to see. If you are wondering what equals 200 grams in real life, know that a bottle of water of 600 ml weighs about 650 grams.

Simplicity vs complexity

Even for a dual tray follower you have to admit that there is some elegance in a bike in Monoplalateau. SRAM struggled to make the derailleur before, especially on the ATVs and the others followed: they did the same for cyclocross and Gravel bikes. 

Without derailleur before, the change of speed logic becomes simpler. It's a good thing for new cyclists who do not have the experience needed to know when you need (or should not) change speed with your front derailleur. In addition, without derailleur before, you have a tear piece less, a less adjustment to perform when developing a bike and one thing less that can go wrong when you are in the heart of nature. And that's not negligible!

In terms of maintenance, we can also say that the wear of the trays is distributed between two trays on a double transmission, which makes the problem twice as worrying than on a monoplalateau.

Mono tray transmission vs. Double Tray The Cyclist House

Cyclist's Experience

As you were told above, SRAM made the derail lovers before disappearing new ATVs. Shimano did the same. On the road, however, we still see a lot of bikes with double tray transmissions.

What is good with the Gravel is that it is a meeting place between cyclists who come from the mountain bike and those who come from the road. With the choice of transmission you can spot what type of cycling comes the person who shares your excursion. For example: a Gravel bike in Monoplalateau will be more familiar to a mountain vetist.

Chain safety

When talking about current groups such as SRAM AXS or Shimano Grx, it's like evidence that they all have a clutch rear derails. The clutch mechanism keeps the cage of the tight derailleur, which avoids the slamming of the chain on the difficult routes. It also helps reduce the risk of dropping the string = ends to always be the one or the one is expected because he / she must put his string back during your outings!

It is important to note that previous generations of transmission are not always equipped with clutch deraillers. There are Used Gravel bikes equipped with Shimano 105, Ultegra or Dura-Ace, or other equipped with SRAM Rival, Force or Red.

With one of these transmissions, you will not have so much security for the chain. In this case, your best option could be the SRAM Force 1, a unique chain group that has existed for several years and has always used a clutch rear derailleur. It also has a narrow / wide plateau, which is designed to keep the chain. Double pedals use trays designed to facilitate speed change using axles and ramps, which is not really conducive to chain safety.

If you ride on ground roads, it may not be a problem. But if you are more adventurous and you often find yourself on more bumpy forest roads, a clutch derailleur could be a good option much more reliable.

Because honest, we have all had a concern with our derailleur before. The mono tray allows to gain reliability because there is no possible derailment before tackling an unexpected climb or because of a ground too soft and muddy. It has become almost indispensable at ATV and Gravel bikes.

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