Quite a few people are using 1x now. Whilst it is gaining popularity, many people still go for the 2×10 3×10 3×9 and indeed ss applications. There are pros and cons to each drivetrain option no doubt and this is where i think individuals can choose their drivetrains to suit.
For me the reason why i chose the 1x configuration is a few little but important points. I weighed up the pros and cons and found the pros to be overwhelming and hence why i have ran 1x systems exclusively when possible.
First of all a 1x system is cheaper to setup. You only buy one shifter and one derailleur and the crankset quality really isn’t too important. A lot of the premium cranks offer either better shifting up front or better weight. Better weight helps but better shifting up front is useless to a 1x system (obviously). I find it cuts out $100-300 on a drivetrain setup depending on what spec you go for. It makes buying highend drivetrain’s an easier to swallow proposition too.
Secondly, the system is lighter. You will always lose around 200-450g of weight if not more depending on your upgrade path. Less weight for more money is a no brainer pro.
Thirdly, some people say it is easier on the brains as there are less things to shift. I do notice this point but it isn’t a huge pro for me. Chances are you will get used to whatever setup you run.
Fourthly and most importantly are the extra securities offered by the 1x setup. Because you have a lesser range to cater for in terms of gearing, you can greatly cut down on the chain length you run. This in turn offers a quieter and a tighter tensioned drivetrain which helps keep your chain on in the rough stuff. I think running a 1x setup has a clear advantage on carbon bikes also and that is due to its anti chainsuck properties. I have had chainsuck on pretty much 2x and 3x setups and it sucks for a carbon bike. The potential damage that can be done is massive (write off) so this is a big point for me. If you are running a 1x guide with a bb mount the whole plate acts as a kind of anti chainsuck plate. On the occasion that you drop the chain up front (it happens mostly if you make mistakes of pedaling backwards slightly over bumpy stuff) the chain will become captive between the 1x guide and the chainring ensuring it does not drop and wreck havoc. Priceless. This point alone is enough to convince me going to 1x. Chainsuck is usually caused by rider faults, i admit, but in racing conditions rider faults become that much more pronounced. This is an excellent way to prevent a stupid mistake from potentially ruining your bike under racing conditions.
There are however bad parts about the setup though and one of them is the lack of a limp home gear. Under 95% of situations you are fine but in the event of a 100km marathon event or a 4-8hr event, 1x setups could stuff you up majorly if you don’t have the power/strength to ride it. The dropping of the chain is also a probamatic affair in certain cases. I have found that in the event of a dropped chain up front (where it has gotten stuck between the guide and chainring) i have had to loosen the guide to free the chain out on 90% of circumstances. A lot harder than picking up your chain and putting it back on your 2x 3x setups for sure and a deal breaker for some under race conditions (ask kev).
This brings me to the main point of my post (what a freaking long winded way to get to the main point eh?). The mrp 1.x devices and most 1x devices people use are 1st generation technology. They are pretty unrefined and pretty simple and many people notice chainline issues and grinding noises aplenty. Today, whilst browsing the net, i found the instruction manuals to the newer xcx seat tube mounted guides and it seems to be that much more refined.
You can adjust the chainline and also wear plate so there should be no excuses for rubbing chains. On top of that it will be much easier to recover a fallen chain because all you have to do is loosen one bolt and you can raise the guide (unlike the bb mount solution). This guide does however lose the bb mount plate which acts as a anti chain suck device so that’s kinda a con.
So yeah, if you ever thought the first generation guides were a little lacking in adjustability, you now have a choice. Albeit a choice that costs double the price and weighs more :p