Square Taper Crankset 1x (Beginners Guide)

Square Taper Crankset 1x

Square Taper cranksets come in three forms, namely 1x, 2x, or 3x. The numbers 1x, 2x, or 3x tell you the bike’s number of chainrings.

Chainrings are the large sprockets towards the bike’s front end that hold the cranks together.

The square taper crankset 1x is one of the three square taper cranksets; the others are the double 2x and the triple 3x. It is easy to install and maintain.

What is a Square Taper Crankset?

Square Taper Crankset 1x

A square taper crankset or chainset, as called by others, is the most common type of crankset there is.

It is sometimes referred to as the cotterless crankset because it was the design that came after the cotter crankset.

It gets its name from the type of bottom bracket ( which is squared) its crank is mounted on.

The square taper crankset is widely used on the entry-level models of middle-range or end bikes.

Its interface is made of a spindle with a square tapered bottom that fits perfectly into the square holes in each crank.

However, not every square taper crank can fit into the bottom bracket combinations.

Although almost all spindles use a 2-degree taper, two major competing standards are categorized by the measurements across the flat at the end of the spindle.

The JIS size is used by Shimano and other Asian manufacturers, and the ISO is used by Campagnolo and other European manufacturers.

It is noteworthy that the cranks keep to the NJS standards (Sugino 75). Interestingly, there are a few manufacturers that make cranks and bottom brackets to both specifications.

Do Square Taper Cranks Wear Out?

Yes, the square taper cranks can wear out. Unfortunately, it is typical of any bicycle part to suffer wear and tear, especially from a lack of proper lubrication over a prolonged period.

The square taper cranks aren’t an exception.

Below are some indications that your square taper cranks are worn out:

  • A cracked crank arm
  • A bent crank
  • Damaged Pedals
  • Disfigured Chainring teeth
  • Grinding sounds
  • Wobbly chainring
  • Stiff gears

Can You Convert a 3x Crankset to 1x?

Yes, you can convert a 3x crankset to 1x.

However, swapping chainring sizes on a crankset can be tricky because specific chainrings are designed to function together, with tooth positioning and ramps on the rings there to help the chain shift smoothly.

 Here’s a step-by-step guide to converting your 3x crankset to 1x:

  • Remove your crank from the bike.
  • Next, remove the extra chainrings from the crankset, preferably the middle chainrings.
  • Tighten the derailleur, limit, then use the correctly sized chainring bolts to fasten them, that is if your crankset uses bolts. Ensure to use speed chainring bolts.
  • You can decide to completely replace the chainring with one which has the right BCD and bolt pattern, or you’ll need to insert washers. Bolt Circle Diameter is the diameter of the circle that cuts through the center of all of the bolts on your chainring.
  • Then ensure that you place the chainring in the middle. This position ensures that the lower gears do not experience chaining and foster wear on the sprocket chain and ring.

Note- Some larger rings designed for mounting on the outer position will not fit in on the middle since the ring’s outboard face does not have a flat shape.

Since you only need a single middle ring, a replacement chainring bolt will be handy.

This conversion will cost you around $40-$70 for the new parts you might have to purchase.

You can then get your money back by reselling the other parts of the three cranksets If they’re still in good shape online.

Is 1x Better Than 2x?

For its simplicity and user-friendliness, the 1x square taper crankset is better than the 2x square taper crankset.

But there are other factors, such as your riding terrain, that you might want to consider before choosing between the 1x crankset and 2x crankset.

These are the specs of both cranksets to help you decide which is best for you.

#1. 1x square taper crankset

The best feature of the 1x is its simplicity. Here you have just one rear derailleur, so you get to use it as a dropper lever when you create space on the handlebars a.

One hand remains free since one is sufficient to shift gears. This way, you get to give full attention to your ride and enjoy it rather than splitting attention to shift gears. 

You don’t need to worry about your chain dropping off since you have fixed it to a single chain ring. However, you get a smaller range of gears to choose from here.

So you have a hard time riding steeps and rocky places. This is because finding the optimal gear becomes hard as a result of the big drop between gears.

However, the 1x replaces the lost gears with wide-range cassettes drivetrains.

#2. 2x square taper crankset

The 2x is perfect for climbing experiences. Here the front derailleur provides a wider range of gears and easier transition between gears.

So you can easily climb steep terrains. Furthermore, the 2x square taper crankset works better than 1x because there is less friction in the system.

However, with a front derailleur, you have to worry about adjusting an extra lever constantly.

This can be tiring as it clutters and adds weight to your bike because you need a chain guide to stop your chain from dropping regularly.

So generally, you get a wider gear range from the 2x, making it easier to climb steep terrains. In contrast, operating 1x is easier; with it, you’re unlikely to experience chain failure.

The Best Square Taper Mtb Crankset

Mountain bikes are designed for really rough terrains. So not every crankset would be recommended for them.

The best mountain bike crankset is the ZTZ Bike Crankset, it has received a global rating as being equal to the task of navigating rough terrains.

These are what makes it the best square taper Mtb crankset:

  • It has a 104/64mm crank that can fit into all three chainrings 1,2/ and 3, respectively.
  • Its crank arm length is 170mm.
  • It has a crank hole distance of 74m and fits into 8-12S Chains 1x/2x/3x speed chainring.
  • Its Crank and Chainring are Made of an Aluminium Alloy, making them Lightweight and Stylish. With a High Axial Strength and Compatibility
  • It has a Square Tapered bottom bracket with a Pedal Size of 9/16″ Fit For Mountain Bikes and Road BikeCranksett.
  • It comes with 1PC mountain bike Crankset,1PC Mountain Bike Single Speed Chainring, and 4PCS Chainring Bolts.
  • Chainring -Snail Single Speed Narrow Wide Teeth ( 1.9mm, Wide Teeth: 3.7mm), Chainring with a 104BCD and a thickness of 4mm, and mountain bike hole sprocket 32/34/36/38T and weight of About 45g.


The square taper 1x is the most popular crankset among the three square-taper cranksets because of its simplicity and has enjoyed a lot of positive reviews.

The square taper 1x is your best option unless you navigate steep terrain. However, if it is not regularly lubricated, the square taper 1x can get worn out.

And if the need arises, the square taper 3x can also be converted to the square taper 1x.

Josh Matthews

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