XDr ? Are you making the switch to 1x? or going for more gear range?

You may have heard of this thing called XDr, So what’s all the hype? I decided to lay down some practical XDr knowledge.

The bike world is all about engineering and how this can drive new features, making better for the user. The terminology “XDr” refers to how your rear gears connect to your wheel (specifically the cassette to your hub) XDr is specifically Road, (XD is a similar thing but for mountain bike). So we are talking about that interface where the gears sit on your back wheel. Another thing to note, the manufacturer SRAM invented this technology, so there is no Shimano XDr, its a SRAM thing.

More gears give you more choice, but also more variety in gear sizes gives you different ease /speed of pedaling. This is key, and this is what XDr does. XDr allows you to use a very small cog on your cassette all the way to a very large cog. In the past it has been standard to use 11t to say a 32t cassette or less gear choices, so dropping to 10 and going up to 42 is a large range change.

new XDr – 10t – 42t
the less new Shimano HG – 11t-32t

Practical Use

Do you have a gravel bike? – because gravel bikes have drop bars, most gravel bikes use road shifting systems, some have one chainring and others two. For the cases with one chainring (1x), with XDr you can use an 10t to 42t cog which allows you to go fast down hill and have an easier spin uphill. Thus easier to explore more terrain.
In the cases of two chain rings you now have even more range since you have 2 in the front and better range in the back.

Do you have a road bike that you want to simplify? – now you can convert your road bike to a single chainring setup and have more gear range that 1x before. In fact SRAm say you can have a very similar gear range as a 2x chainwheel. Here is a propaganda article for 1x for the road here


  1. Will I need a new parts for my hub/ wheel? yes – you will need the XDr part, as seen in the picture.
  2. Will I need a new wheel / hub? – probably not, XDr supports a lot of manufacturers, they engineer their own XDr compatible version – see list below. The best way is to contact the manufacturer of your wheels / hub.
  3. What about XDr compatible gears, are there choices? – yes a lot check out these options here
  4. Will XDr work with shimano road shifters? – Yes
  5. Can I use normal Shimano HG cassettes on my XDr setup? – No, the two are not compatible.
  6. Can I use a Shimano Chain? – yes, the chain standards are no different.
  7. Are XD and XDr Cassettes the same thing? – Yes and No – they both use a similar screw on system, but XD cogs are spaced out from each other to work with mountain bike components, XDr are spaced out to work with Road shifting components. So you will need to decide what shifting system you are using.
  8. What are Shimano going to do? – there has been Shimano’s solution called Microspine in the works for a while to get to 12pds and 10t gears. This was rumored to work on both MTB and Road/Gravel and the only Microspine to see public light has been in conjunction with DT Swiss here and Industry 9 here -maybe in the future it will go wider, but the rumor mill has been going for a while now.

Tech Talk

Straight from SRAM: The XDR driver is 1.85mm longer than an XD driver. Made for Road specific 11-speed rear wheels; it occupies the same space as an 11-speed HyperGlide road driver. The XDR driver allows XD cassettes that are part of SRAM’s 1x road and MTB groups to be installed on a wheel that is spaced and dished for 11-speed road HyperGlide freehubs when used with a 1.85mm spacer behind the cassette.

  • 1.85mm longer than XD Driver to properly fit on 11-speed road HyperGlide hubs
  • More stable hub connection means better axle and bearing durability
  • Improved cassette/driver interface: cassette will not cut into aluminum driver over time
  • XDR Driver is 6-8g lighter
  • 10-tooth cog compatibility allows for expanded cassette range
  • Licensed to more than 80 wheel and hub manufacturers
  • Cassettes are still installed and removed using standard tools and practices.


DT Swiss XDr Adapter for DT Swiss Road hubs
A White Industries hub (142x12mm Centerlock) with an XDr adapter fitted.
Zipp XDr Adapter

Shimano Micro Spline on DT Swiss

What are you planning on doing? let us know in the comments below…

2 thoughts on “XDr ? Are you making the switch to 1x? or going for more gear range?

Add yours

  1. I’d go 1x on the gravel bike but I’d never switch my road bikes over. I like having gear options for club riding. Too much “in the wrong gear for the group’s speed” with the 1x.

    1. Me too, I actually like going fast on my gravel bike also, which means having the right cadence for the right terrain, the more gears ie 22 or 24 is great for me.

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