Lasse Norman Hansen’s victory at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour was the first for the Irish-registered team aboard the unique 3T Strada bikes. The disc-brake only, 1x drivetrain aero machines are a first in the modern professional peloton.
1x drivetrains have risen in popularity in mountain biking and other off-road disciplines in recent years, and while the effectiveness of the system has proved a success in these areas, it is suggested that more of a compromise will have to be made in the top level of road racing.
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Removing one of the chainrings at the front of the bike can massively limit gear range, and for Hansen’s victory on stage 1 of the Herald Sun Tour the Dane — an omnium gold medallist at the London Olympics — chose to run a 54-tooth chainring with an 11-36 cassette.
Although a slightly rolling finale, the 161.6km stage didn’t require an inner chainring and Hansen’s choice of gear combination proved to be perfect for the slightly uphill, reduced-bunch sprint finish.
While Hansen ran a fairly standard cassette on stage 1 of the race, 3T produces cassettes designed to work specifically with its 1x drivetrains, with closer ratios at either the top or bottom of the cassette to suit the parcours.
However, large jumps do remain if a wide range is required and the Aqua Blue Sport riders will have to choose their gearing carefully later in the week.
The remaining stages of the Herald Sun Tour feature far more climbing than the opening stage of the race. The five-lap circuit at Kinglake on the final day of the race will further test the suitability of a 1x drivetrain at the top-level.