The Ideal Tour Divide Drivetrain? Ultra-wide Range GRX 2×11

In this video Neil walks us through his ultimate Tour Divide drivetrain, a 585%, ultra-wide range 2×11 using an 11-42 cassette with a Shimano GRX 815 or 810 derailleur. We tested three different cassette ranges and the limits of the GRX derailleurs in this how-to video…

In 2015, I lined up for the Tour Divide with an 11-speed drivetrain consisting of an 11-40 cassette paired with a 34-tooth chainring combo. Albeit pretty narrow, it was a workable setup for the mostly well-graded gravel route. However, there are a few steep stretches where having an extra low granny gear would be great, and a solid high gear is a must when racing. While preparing to take on the Tour Divide again this year, I made wide-range gearing a priority. The ideal rig I envisioned would have a 2×11 drivetrain consisting of a 46/30-tooth chainring combo paired with either an 11-40 or 11-42-tooth cassette. That would enable a slightly better granny gear and the high gearing would undoubtedly make for better sprint speeds. All that said, the Salsa Cutthroat is a drop-bar bike and its stock GRX drivetrain is limited to an 11-34T cassette. So I started tinkering. In this video, you’ll find out how I setup 11-40 and 11-42T cassettes to work with the GRX 815 and 810 derailleurs…

  • Wide Range GRX 2x11
  • Wide Range GRX 2x11

Wide Range GRX 2×11 Variations Tested

46/30 chainrings + 11-34T cassette: 474% range / 25.58 granny gear inches with 29×2.2” tire
46/30 chainrings + 11-40T cassette: 558% range / 21.75 granny gear inches with 29×2.2” tire
46/30 chainrings + 11-42T cassette: 585% range / 20.71 granny gear inches with 29×2.2 “tire

Do you have an ultra-wide range 2x drivetrain that works for you? Leave it in the comments below. Committed to 1x? Check out our Guide to Mullet Drivetrains for an in-depth look at how you can get the most out of your setup.


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