That is it. The rumored 1×12 speed drivetrain from SRAM. Actually that is one of two. Above is the new XX1, which is aimed at cross-country racing. Below is X01, for enduro racing and trail riding (we didn’t get a nice drivetrain shot of this one).
Crank – $425
The cranks get the lighter and stiffer treatment and a new tooth profile. The updated narrow/wide teeth are designed to retain the chain better as the chainring wears, and run more quietly. Chainrings options are 30-38 in two-tooth increments.
Cassette – $420
The one-piece machined cassette now has 11 steel cogs, with the big 50 tooth cog out of aluminum. It certainly isn’t cheap, but now you can show off your blingy cassette with the optional gold finish. Tooth profiles are revised to go with the new chain, and promise better shifting. The 10-50 range is 500%, which covers the same range as most 2×11 drivetrains.
Internal improvements promise better feel, durability and precision. You want Grip Shift? You can have it!
GripShift – $148
Derailleur – $289
A new mounting system, improved clutch and a 14 tooth lower pulley keeps things compact, smooth and tight.
Chain – $60-85
There is a single chain for both X01 and XX1. SRAM covers this well:
“It might look normal from the outside, but the engineering inside this incredible new chain design that makes possible a gear range previously found only in 2-chainring drivetrains. And it’s also the biggest contributor to the Eagle™ drivetrain’s ultra-smooth, precise, durable and quiet performance. The Eagle™ chain’s links have a smooth radius, with no sharp edges or chamfers, which yield a significant reduction in noise, friction and wear on chainrings and cassette cogs. This design also allows for a flatter plate, which means more consistent chain riveting and greater overall strength. HARD CHROME™ technology extends the chain’s optimal performance life, and a Titanium Nitride coating on the Gold and Black models decreases corrosion and further reduces friction.”
Other than the foam core in the XO1 crank, there is little functional difference between the XO1 and XX1 groups. All parts interchange, and as stated above, they even share a chain. The foam core in the crank claims to increase impact resistance and prevent pedal pull-out. The XO1 crank is tested to SRAM’s downhill standard, so going big should not be a problem.
Crank – $390
Cassette – $360
Trigger Shifter – $127 Grip Shift $118
Derailleur – $220
Does this really mean the death of the front derailleur for mountain bikes? Not really. It probably does put another nail in the coffin. Trying to cram suspension pivots, 3 inch tires and two chainrings into the same spot, something had to give, and the front derailleur was the most likely candidate. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get all the bits needed to keep your double or triple crank drivetrain running for years to come, but when it comes to high-performance mountain bikes, the front derailleur is going the way of the dodo bird.