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I am just starting racing cross this coming season in colorado. I am having trouble deciding if I should lose the weight and run just one front ring. Please let me know what you all think. Especially any of you Colorado riders. Thanks

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weight is not the right reason to go one ring...

just started racing? just race what ya got after a couple seasons when you know what you use then make the choice. Some really do well with one, others do well with two, often on the same course in the same race. Comes more to personal style/comfort than anything else.
I like the simplicity of one ring up front, with carbon guards. I have found as I have gotten older (race age 51 this year), that running a 40 up front is perf for me to get up the short steep climbs. I run it with a 12-27 or 12-26 and it seems to cover every situatuion I ever encounter....I am a Colorado racer as well. Weight is not the issue for me, it is all about keeping the chain on the chainring. With the single set up and the chainguards, I NEVER lose my chain to bounce anywhere on the course like I used to, which can be critical while cross racing. Trying to put your chain back on during a race can be both frustrating and time consuming and cost you big time...this is the main reason for running a single as I see it.
I think the weight savings will be negligible, but I love the simplicity of a single chainring setup. Put the weight savings of the derailleur and shifter back into chain guards and you have a setup where you will never loose your chain.

If you have a MTB background, then you are likely used to large changes between shifts, so they don’t mind riding 11 X 34. With a 42 up front, this is a similar range as a 38/46 double and 12 X 30 in the back.
11x34? Hmm, I think you must be a "brokenman" to need such gearing. :-) Does this mean the legendary FARTEO is making a comeback?
I also like the idea of the simplicity with one ring. Right now I am running a 36/46 on the front with a 12-25 (10 speed) on back. I was considering switching to a 44 and staying the same in the back. What do people switch out the shifter with?
I went to a single 42t last season. I never really shifted into the big ring, and the one time I did, I lost a place because of it. Likely just an experience thing.

I'm running an 11-26 on the pit/training wheels, and 11-27 on the race wheels. It's been a good setup so far. I'm running a jumpstop inside, and a chainguard on the outside, and I think it's great. I'm running an old 105 brake lever up front, with a little cork under the hood to bulk it up, so it feels the same as my shifter.
cork in the hood? that's a neat trick. cut up a real cork or use cork tape?

post a pic if you've got one...

the shape hasn't bothered me as much as the shorter length compared to the sti levers.
Cork tape. You can do a little experimenting and cut it to different shapes. I built out an old 105 brake lever out to "match" a 9-speed ultegra shifter. It's a totally different shape, of course, but it's a similar thickness. When I close my eyes, it feels the same :)

It beats the "wood screw through the lever" trick, too.
ALSO....if you go to one ring with carbon guards, you may have to do some grinding to the outside of the inner ring to deal with clearance issues on the chainstay, this is the case almost everytime so do not be alarmed if you have this problem when you first set up a single with guards....just dremmel it down and you will be good to go.
OR, if you don't want to grind it, and don't mind the weight "penalty", you can add an extra chainring bolt washer into the mix to add a bit more space.
Go with one ring if you 1) can't help yourself and must constantly mess with new setups and 2) have already spent your money to make the single most effective upgrade to your cross bike (tubulars).

While single rings can be lighter, most incarnations don't really save weight.

They are slightly more reliable in that you no longer have a front derailleur to gum up during a sloppy race.

Me? I run a 38/44 with 12-27. I stay in the 44 most races but have liked having the 38 on occasions. I have no plans to change. And I usually race in some sloppy conditions each season.


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