Elle Goes Full Time 1x
On an overcast winter’s day, Strava-SRAM pro cyclocross racer Elle Anderson reflects on her My1x Journey and feels gratitude for the sights, smells, and simplicity of riding.
It’s a gray and rainy day in Europe between the last few cyclocross races of the season, and what better a way to spend the time then staring at the gray sky in reflection? It feels only natural to dream of the sun-drenched routes and short-sleeved jerseys of my summer training. These days, I battle the rain, occasional hail, mud, sand and bitter cold on the famous European ‘cross courses. As different as the circumstances may seem, what links them all together is my trusty SRAM 1x drivetrain system. In a way, 1x has followed my adventures and my journey these last three years, covering such a wide variety of terrain, from smooth paved roads to deep, thick mud. Just like riding a bike is a lifestyle, so has my 1x set-up become synonymous with competition, adventure, travel and the simple freedom offered by cycling.
All summer I trained with the Force 1 system on my cross bike. Previous years, I would have doubted this choice, being hesitant to believe that 1x would be versatile enough to cover my riding outside of the cyclocross course. Now it’s my go-to setup: I’ve always run an 11-32 cassette and switch between a 40t and 42t chainring depending on the steepness of the terrain (I’ve reserved the 38t chainring only for the steepest of ‘cross courses). I’m beginning to find it hard to imagine riding without this amazingly simple drivetrain.
When I think of my best adventures spent with 1x, I smell the hot pine needles around the Lake Tahoe fire roads, see the red dirt of the Marin Headlands singletrack, and feel the damp jungle-like pathways of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. 1x is the obvious choice here, like it is for any ‘cross course, but not so obvious a choice when I head out on the paved roads for base miles, intervals or a sprint workout. Less glamorous, for sure, but for standard road riding I haven’t missed a double front chainring yet.
Back to the current gray and rainy day. It’s easy for me to slip into the trance-like state of remembering the warm summer adventures, weaving together the memories linked by my love for the bike and my SRAM 1x. On the start line of a cyclocross race, I channel this energy and remember to grin through the cold, mud, sand, and stiff competition.
So thank you SRAM 1x for always being simple and reliable, and for accompanying me on so many adventures. Here’s to more of the good stuff to come.
For more on Elle and her approach to this past cross season click here.