The Trek-Segafredo rider suffered a mechanical on the descent of the Poggio at Milan-San Remo last Saturday, and bashed his bike in frustration as the front of the race escaped him.
The problem was an apparent dropped chain, an issue that has been linked with 1x systems in the past, notably when the Aqua Blue Sport first introduced them to the professional peloton in 2018.
On Friday morning, Degenkolb lined up for E3-Harelbeke in Belgium with SRAM's RED e-Tap AXS groupset, with a standard double chainring crankset.
Trek-Segafredo denied the switch indicated Degenkolb was unhappy with the 1x drivetrain.
"He needs a wider range of gears to handle the climbs here," a mechanic told Cyclingnews. "At Milan-San Remo you don't need two chainrings, but here you have steep climbs like the Paterberg."
However, Degenkolb's teammate Mads Pedersen was still using the SRAM 1x groupset after switching to the set-up at the start of the season.
The Dane finished on the podium of the Tour of Flanders last year and, along with Degenkolb and Stuyven, is one of Trek-Segafredo's three leaders for the cobbled Classics.
Both Degenkolb and Pedersen have custom dark red paint finishes for their Trek Madone framesets.
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