SRAM knows a hit when it sees one. Rather than mess with a good thing, SRAM continues to bring wide-range 12-speed technology to lower and lower price points. This time it is all the way at the NX level. How low? How about $375 for a complete drivetrain? That is less than the cost of an XX1 cassette for reference.The $375 includes chain, 11-50 cassette, derailleur, shifter and DUB crankset. The bottom bracket is sold separately.
Let’s dig in and see how SRAM got the price point down this low.
Cassette PG-1230 – $100 – 615 grams
Unlike SRAM’s other three 12-speed cassettes, the NX cassette will fit the standard Shimano splined cassette bodies, not SRAM’s XD driver. The explains the 11- tooth cog, as that is the smallest that will fit on a standard cassette body. The NX cassette also uses all steel cogs with the four largest mounted to an aluminum spider. This keeps the cost way down, but at the expense of a lot of weight, almost 1.4 pounds of weight.
Riders looking to upgrade on a small budget will be glad to see there is no hidden cost to swap to an XD driver. But other than this small difference in cassette body standards, all levels of Eagle drivetrains will work with each other together, so feel free to pick and choose. SRAM also mentions this is the only Eagle cassette that can handle the drivetrain loads of modern e-mtbs.
Shifter – $42 – 112 grams
Crankset – $105 – 705 grams
SRAM trickles the new DUB spindle standard all the way down to the NX level. The chainring uses the excellent second-generation X-SYNC tooth profile. The new profiles last much longer than SRAM’s first-gen narrow-wide rings and run much more quietly when dirty. There is a fat bike options, and enough bottom brackets to fit just about any bike. The chainring is steel, which should last a long time, but it is heavy. The chainring interface is the same as the rest of SRAM’s cranks, so upgrades are easy.
Derailleur – $107 – 339 grams
Compatible with all levels of Eagle drivetrain, I can see this as the derailleur of choice for riders prone to derailleur smashing antics. It is heavier than the GX Eagle options by almost 50 grams, so it looks like more steel and less aluminum was used to keep the cost down. Although a quick check of the MSRP of the GX Eagle derailleur lists it at $110, which makes me wonder who is going to want to save $3 at the cost of 50 grams?
Chain – $26 – 278 grams
Not much to say here. It is inexpensive, still has a nice rust-resistant coating on the outer plates, and still uses SRAM’s excellent PowerLock connecting link.
As with the GX Eagle drivetrain, I would expect to see this widely spec’ed on new bikes, and robust sales for aftermarket upgrades on older bikes. The shifter and derailleur don’t offer much in the way of cost savings over GX, but the crank and cassette are substantially less-expensive.
I don’t have any ride time on these new parts, but I would expect there to be almost no change in performance versus its higher priced siblings GX, XO1 and XX1.