Full frontal on 1x setup?

I’ve been using Sufferfest since February using an old MTB 29er with a 1x12 setup. I’ve done Half Monty twice and would like to get to Full Frontal. The question is, since it is all done in level mode, can I really get an accurate set of measurements out of it with this setup? I am working to stash away enough so I can get a road bike that will probably be running a 2x setup, but not sure how long that will take. One thing to note is my training is not compatible with the wide ratio cassette I use on trails, so I have to use a close ratio on the trainer. Hence my concern with Full Frontal.

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Hi @Aikidoka. Welcome to the forum.

I’m ALWAYS doing Full Frontal with a 1x11 (42 → 11/28T) setup and never ran into trouble.

This doesn’t mean it’s ideal or I would recommend it. I just wanted to assure you that proper suffering is possible.

Are you using a smart trainer? You can change the “Grade” of level mode, which gives you plenty of fine-tuning in my opinion. Please check the article here:

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Hey. Welcome to the forum
Like @Pierre.Weikamp I have also tested on a 1x setup.

I had one issue: Level 9 isn’t enough for some MTB gearing (eg running a 30t chainring)

So - with a Kickr, I run a Bolt and set resistance via the Bolt to be (I think) 35%.
That ups the base resistance as a workaround.

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I can see two potential issues with a 1x setup:

  • as @Martin has said, you may not be able to generate enough power in your biggest gear for the NM tests

  • you’ll have less ability to fine-tune cadence for the AC, MAP, and FTP tests as the steps on the cassette are bigger than you would get on a 2x or road 1x setup. That may mean your test is slightly less than optimal, but it will still be a good representation of your ability.

Yes, running 1x11 (36T x 11 - 40), never had any issues.

I had the exact opposite and could only use level 0 for the 5 and 20min tests on my TT bike. That with a smaller chain ring than I’m using now too!

Thanks for the info everyone. I can actually fine tune as my cassette is 11-33. I think I misread something or found old info because I thought I could not use a wide range cassette on my Direto XR. However, it appears I can. That would give me the ability to more quickly adjust the difficulty, but then I will loose my fine tuning. Seems like I might be able to hit the NM tests depending on the gearing but I bet, like @way9e0 mentioned in his second point, the fine tune cadences would become harder. Except for the HR part of Half Monty, I just have been sticking to ERG mode.

My current trainer bike is also a ten speed 1x with a narrowish range. I had to spend some time playing around with which level to use, but it works fine. Issues choosing cadence during the 5 and 20 are negligible.

I do it on a 1x9 with a 34T chainring. All I need to do is start at level 7… I like to run on the larger cassette cogs to get a straighter chainline, but that’s all. Everything is fine, including the sprints (just over 1000W and I’m not using the smallest cassette cog).

Thanks all. It sounds like I should just give it a try and, if necessary, repeat it with different levels if I cannot complete it accurately.

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Try playing around first before you start and see what the various effort levels feel like. You can use any video, even just an open 30, and could do it any time before the test. You only get two chances at the five second so probably good to have some idea which level to use before you go for it for real