Back to overview

How riders decide

Nowadays the choice for the right drivetrain is a hot topic in MTB land. Single front or double is the question. Here is what to do!

With six exclusive videos, Shimano presents all new rider stories featuring the personal choices from both professional and amateur riders. Since there is no single truth Shimano created in addition an interactive and easy-to-use Drivetrain Advisor to let you find the setup that’s right for you. Here is part 1 of 2 in which three of the six riders will explain why they ride a certain drivetrain.

Julien Absalon’s choice

In one of the videos you can see two time Cross Country Olympic champion Julien Absalon talk about his choice for 1x11. Julien always uses a single ring because of the weight and ease of use. For him it’s important to have no big steps between the gears so that’s why he always rides an 11-40 cassette. Julien says he doesn’t have to think about shifting in the front with the 1x11, which saves him crucial time in the short Cross Country races. Plus you always have the perfect chainline, according to this champ.

The truth for Fiona Petersen

Enduro fanatic Fiona Petersen from Laguna Beach California rides a 2x11 drivetrain. Once a week she rides with a group of guys and it’s hardcore for sure. There is a lot of really steep up- and downhills that she rides and climbs. She loves the double drivetrain, and believes it keeps her heart rate lower on the climbs. It is much better for downhill, plus it gives her many more trail options. So she knows she is always covered.

Paris Basson on his 1x11 choice

Fanatic mountain biker Paris Basson has raced XC and Enduro. Nowadays he pretty much goes out and trains as much as possible. In his video you can hear him say: “To run a 1x11 you've got to be fit. You need to be able to push the single chainring in different terrain.” He makes sure he has the lightest possible body weight and is as lean as he can be. And of course he runs his bike to be as light as possible as well. The 1x11 really adds up for Paris. He is convinced his drivetrain saves valuable grams.

Shimano is here to advise

The right drivetrain is all about the right choice. So the only truth about a single or double front drivetrain lies within yourself and your trail. That is why Shimano created an interactive and easy-to-use Drivetrain Advisor. Check what's the right choice for you at

Watch all videos and get to know the details on the choices of experienced riders.

Related article