While hub and axle standards do their thing and road discs get the green light, SRAM is not sitting around on their collective 1×11 laurels. Nope, they are busy pushing the 1x revolution deeper into the market. This time, that market is road, gravel and adventure riding.

I had the opportunity to see the new Force 1 and Rival 1 drivetrains in person and give the Force 1 kit a thorough first ride at the 2016 SRAM/Zipp global media launch. While 1×11 drivetrains are firmly the winner in MTB and cyclocross, going 1x for road and gravel riding is now also an option that will spark some debate.

A thorough run-down of the new road 1x drivetrains yielded some key take-aways:

  • Chain retention remains important for cyclocross, gravel and adventure riding
  • There are unnecessary gear ratios with 2x drivetrains on cyclocross and other applications
  • Simplicity of 1x can be appreciated for gravel, adventure riding, triathlon and criterium
  • The wide-range 10-42t cassette certainly opens things up
  • Force CX1 has been installed on over 10,000 cross bikes — not a huge install base, but solid for the cross niche
  • Entry-level riders, fitness riders, etc. will appreciate the simplicity of a 1x kit
  • SRAM is not advocating the elimination of 2x drivetrains — just that for the right application, 1x makes sense for road

2016 SRAM Force 1 aboard the Salsa Warbird

SRAM Force CX1 is Now Force 1

Dropping the CX1 moniker, the Force 1 drivetrain is the top-end 1x road kit for 2016. The complete kit is built around SRAM’s X-Sync chainrings that are optimized for maximum chain retention. And, the 1x-specific X-Horizon rear derailleur options (short, medium and long cage) ensure smooth shifting and quiet chain retention for the entire system.

Key Force 1 features:

  • Expanded X-Sync chainring options from 38-54t
  • Both 110 and 130 BCD crankset spider options
  • X-Horizon rear derailleurs feature 2.1 clutch mechanism and cage lock to facilitate wheel changes and eliminate ghost shifting
  • Wide variety of cassettes for traditional 11-speed and XD-driver bodies
  • Mechanical and HydroR levers and brake options with 1x-specific front lever
  • Perfect match with the new Zipp 30 Course Disc-brake wheels
  • Full Force 1 HydroR groupset will be $1387

2016 SRAM Force 1 Groupset

Aside from the expanded Force 1 groupset, the Rival 1 groupset will make going 1x an even more affordable option for riders looking to simplify. Rival 1 maintains all the same ergonomics and performance, but yields a bit of weight to the Force 1 kit while saving over $300 over the HydroR group.

As an interesting application, the new 1x kit also has a trigger shifting option for fitness bikes — something I think riders of all categories can agree is a good thing that should help ease the shifting learning curve for those who cruise the increasing miles of bike paths.

More Info: Visit SRAM.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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