A Shimano survey of 85,000 mountain bikers undertaken on the componentry giant’s advice pages has concluded that an admittedly wide 1x range may not yet be the answer for everybody.
Undertaken at www.shimano.com/advice, the survey asked ten questions of riders around the globe in order to understand a rider’s habits and terrain ridden prior to making a recommendation of which drivetrain may be the best fit.
While loosely concluding that 2x is for the adventurer and 1x is better suited to those knowing their terrain well, the data return is nonetheless interesting. Very few riders were advised to commit entirely to considering a single ring setup (just 3%) or double only (0.1%)
Single ring setups tended to be most prominently recommended across the US, UK, Russia and Australia, while mainland Europe had a tendency to lean toward 2x and South America a near down the middle split.
Overall, global habits appear to show that 49% are still best-suited to both 1x and 2x setups, leading Shimano to take a different path than nearest rival SRAM which has thrown its weight heavily behind 1x, even issuing a tongue-in-cheek eulogy to the front derailleur in March last year.
Interestingly, the data also revealed that consumer understanding of small gear steps was lacking.
Shimano is still crunching the region by region data, but was able to tell us of UK habits:
- The UK has a very high share of trail riders at 49% surveyed and 28% cross country
- 35% don’t know how important small gear steps are. 43% do find them unimportant, a relatively high figure compared to other countries
- Some two thirds of riders choose 27.5 wheeled bikes
- 84% ride both up and down, 9% ride flat and 7% exclusively downhill
- 59% claim to climb over 500 metres on most rides.
- 73% ride between 15 to 45km per ride
- 59% ride at a top speed of between 30 to 45km/h and a lowest of 10-20km/h
- Over two thirds say they rain the same terrain on almost every ride
- Over half described themselves as having good fitness
Of those surveyed globally, 42% are riding 27.5″ full-suspension bikes, 20% 29″ hardtails and 19% hardtail 27.2″ wheeled bikes.