SRAM XX1 Drivetrain Review

May 29, 2013 at 11:00
May 29, 2013
by Mike Levy  
 
You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

SRAM XX1 crank GripShift Horizon Rear Der Trigger shifter Cassette 11-speed chain

Given that many riders say there are already a few too many cogs on our modern ten speed drivetrains, it came as no surprise that there was a sizeable group of detractors when SRAM let the cat out of the bag concerning their eleven speed XX1 group. The critics cited tight tolerances that might cause trouble down the road, possible excessive wear and the high cost of replacement parts, and especially the group's proprietary components that only function when working together as one. Truth be told, we had similar concerns of our own, especially because our riding conditions often border on what out of towners might refer to as monsoon-like. Yes, our first impressions were impressive: zippy shifting, gravity defying chain retention abilities, and not one adjustment required. But it is the group's performance over the longer haul that would either prove or disprove it as a contender. Five months and 70,000 feet of climbing later, much of it in those previously mentioned monsoon conditions, has shown us what XX1 is really made of.
XX1 Details
• Single ring, eleven speed drivetrain
• 10 - 42 eleven speed cassette and proprietary XD driver body
• Eleven speed XX1-specific rear derailleur w/ Type 2 clutch
• Carbon fiber crank arms
• X-Sync chain ring design
• XX1-specific eleven speed chain
• Eleven speed trigger or Grip Shift compatible
• XX1 group price: $1449 - $1573 USD



Group Overview


XX1 Derailleur and Shifter
The group's derailleur has been designed around the unique demands of XX1, and it can't be used with a multi-ring crankset. This is due to its 'X-Horizon' geometry, a reference to how its parallelogram is positioned to allow for movement only on the horizontal plane, whereas a traditional derailleur allows for both horizontal and vertical action in order to keep the upper pulley wheel close enough to the cassette. SRAM has managed to accomplish the same thing via a large offset between the cage's pivot point and the upper pulley's mounting location - as the cage rotates back and the chain becomes slacker, the pulley wheel shifts forward to stay close to the smaller cogs, with the exact opposite happening as you shift the chain up to the larger cogs. The result is a constant chain gap between the upper pulley wheel and whatever cog the chain is running on throughout the entire range. SRAM has also incorporated their Type 2 roller bearing clutch in order to keep enough tension on the chain to greatly limit chain slack and the potential for derailment, as well as their Cage Lock button that holds the derailleur's cage out of the way during wheel removal and installation. Both pulley wheels also use the same X-Sync thick-thin-thick tooth profile as found on the XX1 chain ring. The XX1 derailleur weighed 242 grams on our scale, and it retails for $305 USD.

The 94 gram shifter looks very much like that used to elsewhere in SRAM's group, with both a carbon fiber push lever and carbon top cover, and it is actually a hybrid of their X0 and XX models. We've always been fans of how SRAM has made accommodations for differing preferences when it comes to bar setups and the new XX1 shifter is no different: the push paddle can be adjusted fore and aft by 60°, and there are also two mounting positions for the shifter body that let you adjust where it sits relative to its bar clamp. MSRP $175 USD (w/ Discreet clamp)

XX1 Crank and Chain Ring
The $285 USD XX1 cranks themselves are actually the same carbon arms as used elsewhere in SRAM's lineup, but use a different aluminum spider with a more compact bolt pattern that allows for smaller diameter rings to be fitted. Interestingly, the crank spider is also offset slightly to allow chain rings to be removed and installed without having to pull the drive side crank off of the bike. The 513 gram (175mm, weighed on our scale) crankset is offered with both BB30 and GXP bottom bracket spindles, and in 170 and 175mm lengths. The matching ceramic bottom bracket retails for $210 USD.

SRAM XX1 crank


The XX1 chain ring design uses alternating tooth profiles; one with a thicker and heavily stepped shape, followed by a more standard looking tooth (shown by the graphic at right). When viewed from above, the alternating teeth match the inner profile of the male and female chain links. The radical teeth work with the XX1-specific chain to limit the chance of it lifting up and off of the ring. Size options will include 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38 tooth rings, with odd ring sizes not available due to the alternating pattern of the X-Sync design. Our 36 tooth ring weighed 63 grams, and retails for $115 USD.

XX1 Eleven Speed Cassette and XD Driver
With a 10 - 42 tooth spread, including a large cog the size of a big chain ring, the group's 264 gram eleven speed cassette stands out prominently. Except for its largest cog, which is aluminum, the entire one-piece unit is machined down close to its final shape (minus the teeth profiles) from a steel ingot, a process that takes place in a single, labour intensive step. The dinner plate-sized large cog is a separate aluminum unit that is held in place by way of pins machined into the backside of the 36 tooth steel cog that it sits next to, with the entire range consisting of 10 - 12 - 14 - 16 - 18 - 21 - 24 - 28 - 32 - 36 - 42 tooth cogs. SRAM also forgoes using a traditional lockring to hold the $425 USD cassette onto XX1's proprietary XD driver body, with a clever system where the tube running down the center of the cassette features threads on its inboard end that mate to threads on the driver. A standard cassette lockring tool can still be used to tight or loosen the cassette, though, and the XD driver body is now compatible with a number of different wheel manufacturers' offerings.

SRAM XX1 casssette and DT Swiss freehub design



Performance

Shift Action
We would be incredibly disappointed if SRAM's top tier component group offered anything other than lightening quick and hiccup-free shifting, which it does in a very seamless manner. Lever action is crisp and positive, just as we've come to expect from SRAM, with a very tactile feel to the shifter that leaves no doubt as to what just happened at the back of the bike, a great attribute for the racer who is often working the shifter paddles in the heat of the moment. Shift speed across the cassette is quite fast, with the ability to jump through five gears at a time if you are looking for a lower option, while dropping down to a harder gear is a one push, one jump affair with the single-release thumb paddle. Moving the chain up to the large 42 tooth cog is slightly slower than through the rest of the range, although that isn't a surprise given the six tooth difference between it and the 36 tooth cog that comes before it. At the other end of the range, dropping down onto the ten tooth cog also felt to take slightly longer than shifting through the middle of the cassette, but this is down to the lower cadence that the rider would usually be turning over when making such a shift.


Surely shift action must degrade over time given that there are eleven cogs stuffed back there? Not anymore than what you'd find of a ten speed drivetrain, with the system requiring only a couple of cable tension tweaks over the last five months, made via the barrel adjuster at the shifter, to take up any slack that developed as the shift housing settled in. We did manage to tweak the derailleur hanger on our test bike a very small amount, though, but it was enough to put the shifting out by a fair bit. While not at all the fault of any XX1 components, it did highlight the need for near perfect alignment as that very negligible twist in the hanger put the group's shifting well out of whack, just as you'd expect it to with any geared setup.

The cassette's gear ratios and jumps felt adequate enough for a rider who gets out on a regular basis, but the key to getting the most from XX1 will be choosing the correct chain ring to pair it with. Unlocking the group's performance for each rider will come down to them being honest with their abilities while choosing a chain ring size that makes sense for both how they ride and the terrain that they spend most of their time on - using too big of a ring will only result in tired legs and a frustrated mind, and going too small will add up to you spinning circles while you go nowhere slowly. So far, the large majority of our time on XX1 has been with a 36 tooth ring, a setup that some might find a bit tall but also
one that mimics a gear ratio that we are familiar with. The result was a range that allowed for some good top end speed when in the smaller cogs, but also an acceptable low selection for tractoring the steepest pitches in our 'hood. Having said that, we would likely drop down to a 34 or 32 if we planned to ride trails that we were unfamiliar with, just in case. While XX1 has been touted as a group for only the fittest of riders, that is actually far from the truth. Fitting the smallest XX1 chain ring, a 28 tooth unit, results in an easiest gear (28 tooth ring, 42 tooth cog) that is the same as what you would find when using a small 24 tooth chain ring and 36 tooth cog that comes as standard with many triple ring setups. You would, of course, be missing out on some top end range while using a 28 tooth XX1 ring, but when was the last time you spun out while in your large chain ring? So while the group is light and expensive, it does make sense for more than just the pure cross-country thoroughbreds out there.


Chain Retention
Many riders, us included, couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the early images of the XX1 group being tested on rough terrain without any sort of chain guide system. How the hell was the chain staying on, even with SRAM's Type 2 clutch derailleur? The answer lies in the ring's clever alternating tooth profiles; one with a thicker and heavily stepped shape, followed by a more standard looking tooth. When viewed from above, the tall alternating teeth match the inner profile of the male and female chain links. The radical teeth work with the XX1-specific chain to limit the chance of it lifting up and off of the ring. The design proved to be very effective in the real world, with us suffering from only a single dropped chain during our five months on the group, and that lone derailment happened while we were back pedalling on rough terrain trying to cause an issue. SRAM doesn't claim that every rider is going to see the same success without a guide, though, especially those that regularly hang it out on choppy terrain, and we would likely recommend at least a minimalist upper slider-only setup if you're using the XX1 group on a Super-D or enduro race bike of any kind.

One of the most impressive, and surprising, attributes of SRAM's eleven speed group is its ability to remain quiet as the bike is getting tossed about on rough trails. We're talking exceedingly quiet, even more so than many downhill bikes out there with full fledged chain guides. Some of this stealthiness will be a symptom of the bike the group is bolted to, but both the sticky X-Sync chain ring tooth shaping and the chain slap minimizing clutch equipped Type 2 derailleur deserve the most credit.

SRAM XX1

While visually hard to spot, SRAM's X-Sync chain ring tooth shaping plays a big role in the group's ability to ran sans chain guide. The photo on the right shows how the alternating thick-thin-thick teeth mesh with the inner profile of the chain.



Reliability
Five very solid months of riding, including roughly 70,000ft of climbing, much of it in the rain and mud, have shown that the group can stand up to the elements well. Our main concern boiled down to the intricate shape of the X-Sync tooth profile of the proprietary chain ring - would its chain retention abilities degrade as the teeth wore? The ring's wear rate has been impressively slow given that the chain is on it 100% of the time, unlike a double or triple ring setup where the rings share the work, and we'd say that it will likely last the rest of the season before needing to be replaced. The single dropped chain mentioned above isn't likely down to any wear, but rather a combination of the extremely rough terrain that we were on at the time and back pedalling. The chain itself hasn't failed during testing, and it now sits at .50 on our Park Tool chain checker, meaning that it's time for it to be replaced so as to not cause undo wear of the rather pricey XX1 eleven speed cassette. We've heard reports of increased pulley wear rates on clutch-equipped derailleurs, an issue that would make sense given the increased chain tension that helps to keep the chain in place, but this isn't something that we can complain about with the pulley wheels on our XX1 derailleur - they still look near new.

SRAM XX1

The cranks might look a little rough after five months of use but are sporting only cosmetic damage. Zero creaks or groans, and the bottom bracket is just now starting to turn rough.


The group has taken its fair share of punches during testing, and it is certainly sporting a few good scars and bruises to show for it. The ends of the carbon fiber crank arms have seen quite a few strikes in particular, with a number of deep gouges where they have made contact with the rocks, and impact marks on both the derailleur's cage and its parallelogram are evidence of direct hits. All of the above has resulted in only cosmetic damage, though, with performance not being affected whatsoever. We're also confident that the impacts have only caused superficial damage, and that none of them will have an effect on the group's long term performance.

We were curious as to how the drivetrain would perform in extremely muddy conditions, especially when the chain was on the small ten tooth cog. Would it skip under load when packed with mud? Would the small cog wear excessively fast? The answer to both of the questions is no. Skipping was not an issue, even when trying to put the power down on chattery terrain, nor did such a problem arise when the cassette was packed full of mud.


Issues
We've been using our XX1 test group since mid January of this year, with it seeing action on everything from Sedona, Arizona's, dusty and rocky singletrack to backyard epics on our muddy B.C. coastal mountain ranges. Given the amount of abuse that we've heaped onto the components, they have been relatively trouble free. We experienced a seized upper pulley wheel after two months of use, a problem that was solved by first running some thinner lube through the pulley's sealed bearing, followed by injecting a dose of grease, with it continuing to turn smoothly since.

SRAM XX1

Close contact with rocks has left the derailleur with some scars. It still functions like new, though, and its clutch system hasn't lost any of its tension.


One interesting phenomenon that we weren't expecting is how the X-Sync tooth profile used on both the chain ring and the pulley wheels seems to pick up more trail debris than a standard setup. It wasn't uncommon to see much more mud than usual packed onto on both during a sloppy ride, and we even found that the ring would grab and hold onto leaves that managed to find their way up onto the drivetrain. This may be a localized occurrence - our singletrack is often wet and littered with trail scraps - and it never caused any skipping issues, but it is worth noting regardless.

Our only other concern boils down to a very strange popping noise that would occur intermittently and only during high torque scenarios, once or twice a ride at most. Talking to a few other riders who have time on XX1 revealed that they too noticed the noise, although none of them, ourselves included, ever suffered from any mechanical issues related to it. The sound only occurs when the chain is riding on the large 42 tooth cog and while powering up a steep incline, leading us to believe that it is a result of the chain interfacing with the thicker and heavily stepped X-Sync chain ring teeth while at the acute range of the chain line. Again, there were no mechanical issues related to it.

SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.

Our first ride on SRAM's XX1 took place on Whistler's rocky terrain. The group performed well at the time, and we haven't been let down by it since.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt's expensive, it uses proprietary components that only function properly together, and, much to many people's dismay, it adds yet another cog to the cassette to bring the total to eleven. It also functions incredibly well, is very reliable (barring that troublesome pulley wheel bearing, a relatively minor quibble), and has also shown itself to be a remarkably versatile component group - barring freeride and downhill bikes, XX1's performance makes a lot of sense for nearly every type of mountain bike, from hardtail race rigs to 6'' travel all-mountain machines. The $1449 USD asking price for SRAM's single ring super group, while actually less expensive than some other high-end drivetrains out there, means that it simply won't be an option for many riders. That is a shame because we feel confident in saying that XX1 is well suited to how a lot of us approach mountain biking, and it also goes a long way to simplifying our bikes while adding performance. We chose the XX1 drivetrain as one of our favorite and most innovative products of 2012 and, after many months of use, we still stand by that choice. - Mike Levy


www.sram.com
Must Read This Week









299 Comments

  • + 162
 All I can say is that I'm sold. I can't afford it in it's mega high-end pricepoint, but SRAM, if you're listening, the MINUTE this goes to an X9 price point, I will be FIRST in line and ready with my wallet.
  • + 76
 X5 price point and i´m in too, ;-)
  • + 49
 Bike Radar checked with SRAM and confirmed that XX1 will go down to X0 and X9 soon.
  • + 23
 20 years this could be the norm and it might be at x5 price point.. fingers crossed
  • + 31
 Buy one of the knock-off chainrings now sold by a few companies with an alternating tooth profile, use a regular 10spd chain and a derailleur with a clutch and it will do the exact same thing.
  • + 6
 I'm running a single front 32, and 32 rear in the easiest 10speed, on my freeride bike. Works for everything and it's XT so pretty affordable.
  • + 8
 I personally own a S-works Epic equipped with XX1 and i have to say, Sram did very well with XX1. I have been a XTR fan for many years, so i was very skeptical as to how it would preform. It performs like a dream, and i would recommend XX1 to everyone.
  • + 1
 I just bought the cranks, super pumped
  • + 56
 They turned it up....... TO ELEVEN!
  • + 13
 i am still letting this pass by.. lets see what the future brings.. been running 36/38 with a 9sp 11-27/34 cassette for years now.. i dont miss anything. i dont want anything more.. the clutch is nice.. UNTILL i found out they dont make them with 9 speed mechs.. and the 10sp ones dont work with 9speed setups (what Shimano promised as first)
so to be honest and clear for everyone.. from now on SRAM AND shitmano kan kiss my ass
these companies are looking like governments these days.. giving shit about the little people.. Blank Stare 1500$ for a drive train.. gimme a break.. Whip
  • - 52
 Yeah, it's to expensive, to fragile, the shifting feels plastic-ish compared to Shimano, and that super-long derailleur is vulnerable to being hit by rocks or get trail debris caught up in it. Plus the poor chainline causes other issues, such as the strange popping sound. Once they bring this down to the X9 and X7 level, the lower quality will probably make shifting problems more likely. Also, the gearing still doesn't compare with what a double up front gives you. Nearly everytime I see someone walking their bike up a mountain in the steep sections they are on a 1 x 9 or 1 x 10 setup.
  • + 68
 Protour went full retard. Never go fu- nevermind, he always does.
  • + 30
 Everybody knows you can't go full Protour....there's no coming back from going full Protour. Tom Hanks...Forest Gump. Look full protour, act full protour, got braces on his legs....but he charm the pants off Nixon and won a ping pong competition. He's a god damn war hero....that ain't full protour.
  • - 12
 shimano knows whats going on its not another gear we need its a smaller cog on the back they can do 9t with a 14mm axle so they should be able to do it with 12 and 10 and 9mm axles aswell 10 speeds are enough i still run 9spd on my dh no xc but smaller driver in the back with the same everything else will hgive you the same availibility for stuff going up hills because you can have smaller front rings right? idk need to get an all moutain before i participate in these convos but i mean seriously cmon yo 11 is too many and ugly the chain rings do have a good purpose tho that being said
  • + 5
 a potential solution for this that I'm investigating: supposedly, shimano clutch derailleur + SRAM shifter = 9 speed compatible clutch derailleur system. food for thought, anyway.
  • + 2
 @groghunter: It works with a 5mm spacer on the deraileur under the cable.
  • - 10
 Knock Protour all you want, what he's saying is totally true but all you rookies don't know it yet. In true pinkbike fashion it's easier and more fun to shit on other people.
  • + 1
 ^ i can see that potentially working. the 1:1 ratio would even out the 10speed indexing to make it work with 9speed. even if its just a little bit off, it would be ok for most.
  • - 3
 Protour is just a negative nelly
  • + 1
 the casetes are like paper thin tho
  • + 2
 can someone elaborate on this 5mm spacer on the derailleur under the cable trick? TIA!
  • + 3
 Once it hits X1 price point I will be ready to hammer my pig bank.
  • + 4
 @cuban-b: Here you go...http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/9128726/
  • + 4
 What I don't understand is how ya'll get your ideas that it is 'fragile' and 'vulnerable' when these guys have had ACTUALLY RIDDEN it and you have sat on your chair type type typing away on your keyboard. Times change yo. Things aren't the same as they used to be and you need to change your thinking.
  • + 2
 I'm not quite ready to sip this koolaid so for now I'm just gonna HTFU > XX1
  • + 0
 Hate to burst your bubble sram.. XX1 is 20 not 11... Silly
  • + 1
 This will be a welcome addition to my Mach 5.7c when it drops to x0 level and my xt/xtr stuff wears out. No ISCG tabs ftmfl!
  • + 1
 @turqoise : xx1 is 19... in roman match anywayz.. Wink

@ donch15 : thanks for the idea of the 10sp Shimano mech and 9sp sram shifter.. will look into that !
  • - 2
 xx1 is the shitest drive train ever, no one should buy this rubbish.....because i can't afford it and im really jealous for anyone that has itFrown
  • + 1
 I run since 3 months 2x9 with X0 shifters and SLX Shadow+ (10 spd + clutch) derailleur without any kind of trouble. I'll recommend to open the clutch and un-tight the mechanism because it works a little bit rough with Sram shifter when clutch is engagged.

www.pinkbike.com/news/Tech-Tuesday-Inside-Shimanos-Shadow-Plus-Mech-and-How-To-Adjust-.html

My combo is 22x36 front and 9sp 11x34 rear on a SC Heckler wich has no chainguide tabs. No need for 5mm spacer at all.
  • + 0
 are grip shifters still really shit or do they work well now? ........
  • + 2
 @benbrooks1 that came out of nowhere, but ok: grip shifters always WORKED well, they just compromise grip, because every sensible grip solution for them has you riding with your hands partially on the shifters. hands get bounced around a bit on a downhill? you likely just shifted by mistake, because your hand is on the shifter.
  • + 1
 Maybe he's referring to using a grip shifter with this shadow mod?
  • + 1
 Maybe he's refering to SRAM as gripshift? they were known by that name once upon a time. to be clear, there is no reason why it shouldn't work with SRAM triggers or SRAM grip shifters.
  • + 1
 ^ that's more likely. in the late 90s i recall. sram was not a well known name, i used to pronounce it like S-ram.
  • + 3
 Been running XX1 on my 150/160mm trail bike for 6 months ish now. Ride 2-3 times per week and climb around 1800-2500ft per ride off road. It's awesome. Gives you the same low end gears as you get with a 2x10 and with a 34 ring up front I would say is slightly harder than a standard 2x10 set up.
Am running a chain device up front but am going to try without soon. It does make the whole bike silent. And looks awesome! Would definitely advise to any all mountain trail rider. Has defenetly help up against knocks too. Have a few big gouges out the rear mec and is still running sweet!
Take a look at my set up on the link:


m.pinkbike.com/photo/9234004

m.pinkbike.com/photo/9233970
  • + 2
 ^ it does look super clean even with the chain device.
  • - 4
 I don't see the point of really low gears for riding up hills anyway. If you need a lower gear than 32-28, either the hill is so steep that you'll be just as quick walking, or you're a pansy with noodles for legs and a tiny pair of lungs. I don't see the point of really tall gears for DH either. If you need a bigger gear than 32-11 you're either not spinning out top gear ever, or you're riding on the road. For real mountain biking, 9 speed with a 32t ring and an 11-28 cassette is all you'll ever need. Fact.
  • + 5
 Jamie, as stated by others here, it is a fact that it is faster to spin an easy gear up a steep fireroad than to hike it, and it's much better training for biking to actually pedal than to hike. Hiking is good exercise, but it isn't as good of a cardio workout, and pushing a bicycle up a hill isn't much fun. The only people I see with a 28 or 30 big cog on the back are the ones that I pass on the way up the mountain cause they are hiking.
  • - 2
 Plus hiking in bike specific shoes especially if you ride clips isn't exactly fun. All these people saying a 1x is the only way to go probably don't ride in an area with serious mtns. ( BC, Rockies, etc.) and massive elevation change. I've been riding 1x s for ten years but anytime time I'm in the big mtns. 2X is the way to go.
  • - 1
 I am one of these people. I admit that I have never ridden in real mountains. I do ride in areas with very steep hills though. I don't enjoy riding up, so I don't do it if I need a lower gear that 32-28. Like I said, I don't see the point. Walking up is much more relaxing. If I want a cardio exercise I prefer to swim or get on the rower. I was narrow minded. It's true that there is room for 1x, 2x and 3x on bikes, and dare I say it, even those ridiculous looking 42t back sprockets. I'd never get one, but I can understand someone might find them useful, even if they do look shitter than a big turd.
  • + 1
 Um... "...from Sedona Arizona to to backyard Epics in the Coastal Mountains of BC..." I'm guessing they saw plenty of "real mountains". And TONS of guys are running this here in OR where we've got tons of "real" elevation change everywhere you look.

XX1 is a great option for AM bikes IMO. Anything to get rid of the front der. is a good idea. I personally probably won;t ever run it unless it trickles down quite a bit, and I don;t care about the front ring and specially shaped chain as I prefer guides/guards for my style of riding, but it looks like a good bit of engineering to me.
  • - 1
 No bash ring, huge derailleur. cassette to get caught on sticks , rocks, etc, super expensive. Just get a 1x 9/10 and save $750 for a vacation I've been riding 1x 9/ 10 s for 10 years w/ problems ( just M.O. )
  • + 1
 Here's a Low Cost Alternative to XX1:

First they came with a Sram cassete version with an adapter replacing the first 4 cogs with 25-29-34-40T reviewd here in pinkbike:

www.pinkbike.com/u/mattwragg/blog/First-Look-General-Lee-Wide-range-Cassette-Adapter.html

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271216037463?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

Now they have just been released the Shimano version with 28-33-40T

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271216037463?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1561.l2649

and they have more,,, as Shimano didn't come up, they DID IT ! 29-35-42T

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271217436481?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
  • + 2
 232$ gimme a break Eek
[Reply]
  • + 65
 Kill the front derailleur, kill it!!!
  • + 18
 with fire!
  • + 16
 and holy water
  • - 4
 The front derailleur is absolutely necessary for all day rides with huge climbs, which are my favorite type of rides because I like long descents. Some of the fireroad climbs are very steep and have long sustained sections of climbing. I don't like to get off and hike, I like to pedal as much as possible, even on the 3rd or 4th trip up the mountain when I've already climbed over 4000 feet. Front derailleurs rule!
  • + 8
 I agree Protour that running 1x hasn't really worked for me for the same reason, but with the 42 in the back, you don't really need a second ring.
  • + 2
 Oh, there will always be one, and it has to be Protour!
  • + 4
 oh protour..
  • + 3
 Protour is simply too weak for the 1x11.
  • + 10
 People will negative prop me all day long and that is fine but they will never effectively counter the valid points I make about the inadequacies of 1x set ups. Instead of concentrating on getting rid of the front derailleur, they should be working on eliminating both derailleurs and actually bring something progressive to the market like Zerode has instead of reinventing the outdated technology of the ever-problematic rear derailleur.
  • + 11
 get rid of the rear one while you're at it.
  • + 3
 Protour stop getting off on the climbs and you won't need a granny anymore Wink
  • + 2
 Oh, I never said a gearbox was a bad idea, but you never said the word "gearbox" up there, so why exactly are we on that now? I'd love one myself!

And no, if you have a properly shimmed drivetrain that was set up by a competent mechanic (or yourself, if that's the case), then there is not one single chain management issue in the world that the clutch system or a good chainguide can't PERMANENTLY fix.
Short of destroying your bike, there's not much you can do to disrupt a truly taut 1x10 or 1x11 drivetrain on a good bike.
  • + 7
 I'm a climber myself and 90% of the time I use my middle chainring. Actually, for better leg strength and resistance I do a lot of road cycling with a single speed fixed gear that has a 48 on front and a 16 on the back, it is hard to climb with it, but when you hit the woods it pays you back. So I will agree with WAKIDESIGNS, Kill the damn thing, and make it simple, less weight, less hassle, better focus on the riding.
  • + 5
 I actually did an experiment recently. I run 32x9 (11-34) on my XC bike. I climb with it all day but when racing it on certain courses I felt like I was pushing too hard of a gear on the steep climbs. So instead of buying a new drivetrain 1x10, which would give me a 36 in the back and likely solve my issue I re-installed my front mech and shifter, granny cog and a bash ring and I raced it like that the next weekend. What i found was this: I didn't use it. I tried once or twice but spinning really fast is tiring and does not move you along at race pace. And so what I would have to do was shift into a pretty low gear out back just to get a slighly lower final drive ratio. Too much shifting, pain in my ass so I took that stuff off that same weekend. What Im getting at it is that 1x systems are a great thing. Now for simplicity's Ive been doing this forever, even on my xc bike. I used to wish for bigger cassettes but just sucked it up, and on certain climbs that i couldn't hack I would just get off. They were so steep it was not a huge deal anyways. Now with 1x10 im very content I will switch to that on my XC as soon as budget allows and my Shimano SLX 9speed dies. Bigger cassettes open a world of possiblities. I don't even need a dinner plate sprocket. Give me like a 38 and I don't know what I couldn't climb.
  • + 0
 Protour, when you are in the bottom of a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.
  • + 1
 agree w/darkstar63- unless its a trials exercise certain gradients in low gears get your heart rate up needlessly and it's faster and more efficient to hike sections like that. but i hate climbing so...
  • + 1
 It's great training to just stand up and put the power down on those climbs!
  • + 1
 they make 11-36T 9-speed cassettes. run a simple guide and you're good. bash ring + chain catcher would work also for low weight and simple design. chain catcher: www.pricepoint.com/Brand/K-Edge/K-Edge-Cross-Single-XL-Chain-Catcher.axd
  • + 1
 Im not aware of a 11-36 Shimano 9 speed. I run a top guide only on my XC. No clutch and no problems. 32x11-36 10 speed on my all mountain rig with a full guide. But it doesnt need it with the clutch I just like the skid.
  • + 2
 I agree, kill the front derailleur, I've been yanking them off my bikes for years.
  • + 1
 I've been riding XX1 for many months now. Love it. Did a 113 mile 16 hour epic ride last weekend with endless climbing and no trouble. Ok, I admit I pushed my bike up one really steep hill 12 hours into the ride that I could normally climb, but it was 12 hours into the ride! I'm no SRAM fanboi, but they nailed it with XX1.
  • + 4
 Shimano CS-HG61 12-36T 9-speed. ok i was off by one tooth at the top end.
  • + 3
 i've spun past macho single ring dudes pushing their bikes up steep climbs many times thanks to the trusty granny ring.
  • + 1
 For me There is only one downside of 1x9 or 1x10 and that is, if you are running a 32 or 34t chainring, and you bike really a lot on asphalt on the way to work or to trails, you will wear out your cassette really quickly, because on those transportation bits, you will use mostly the snallest cogs. If I was to buy an 10-42t cassette, I'd go for 38t chainring up front. Something for nerds: bigger rings are more efficient than small rings at the same ratios Big Grin
  • + 2
 ^ i see what you're saying, if one was riding 50% asphalt and 50%trails. It being a mtn bike i would see the bike spending more time - maybe 90% - on the trails, where the bigger rear cogs are being used, so it'll even out. if you're riding a ton of miles to work, get a cheapo commuter.
  • + 1
 cuban-b - I ride at least 50% on asphalt everytime I go to the woods, because even if I should do 10 miles one way, it's not worth to take the car out, as I will spend same time packing the bike and drivign out of garage, then through the traffic out of town, then do the same stuff on the way back. if it takes up to 1h to get to where I want to enter the woods, I go there by bike. It is an awesome warm up while jumping into 140-180 heart rate out of the car isn't exactly gonna make you fast and confident. And riding on asphalt spares me more energy for the most juciy bits of the trail. I take asphalt over fire road anytime - so I use small cogs a lot
  • + 1
 Good point Waki, I like ride the road to the trails also, and I would be spun out on the XX1 with a 32 on the front alot of the time. But if I put anything bigger on the front then I wouldn't have an easy enough gear later in the day for the steep climbs.....it's a compromise either way and I'm not interested in making those kinds of compromises that force me to walk my bike instead of pedal it, or having to coast on a downhill because you don't have a proper big ring to allow you to pedal. Essentially what you are saying Waki, is that XX1 and other 1x set-ups do not provide for adequate all-around gearing, and I agree with you 100%. There are simply too many compromises.

All of those compromises just to save a little weight of the front mech and to avoid having to click your front shifter one time at the top of the climb and then at the bottom of the downhill....not worth it for my type of all-day, all-around trail rides.
  • + 3
 Id be more concerned with my rubber than drivetrain commuting into the woods.
  • + 2
 Protour - I do not compromise much when I get to 34t by 11-36t cassette or 36t by 11-36t cassette. Even on well rolling tyres like Schwalbe RR and NN combo, I can't outspin a 36t chainring. I uphill absolutely anything comfortably on 34t /11-36 and on 36t I have to put it together nicely. Steep tech, long uphills - bullocks, at an average riders fitness level, you'll easily sit above 160 pulse all the time, with peaking near your max pulse everytime there is really hard feature, meaning you'll be out of fuel after half of an hour at best, meaning you went up 1500 ft at best...

It's not about little weight saving - It's about reliability, front mechs do not shift well, I had XTR and XT on XTR shifters and I am yet to find a front mech that shifts well enough to cope with terrain I have around. Then chain retention is a problem, no matter what you use.

Now XX1 needless to say, is a bloody luxury - With 36t chainring you can do anything anywhere, and about the downhills, I have nothing more to say but the fact that most DH pros run 36t chainrings.

As someone wise said some time ago - "if I can't uphill on 1:1 ratio or close, I'd be faster walking" I have that thought with me anytime a terrain runner passes me by, when I spin circles like a sissie
  • + 2
 Waki, I know for a fact that it is not faster to hike up the steep fireroads, because unless I intentionall spin a little slower, I gain ground on my buddies who are hiking up the steepest parts of the climb on their 1x setups. But for me it's not even about being faster, it's about being on a bicycle ride and wanting to pedal my bicycle all the way to the to top comfortably, I like the feeling of spinning easy gears on a long climb and it is a way more efficient way to pedal versus slowly grinding harder gears, and it doesn't destroy your knees, in fact spinning is good for them. Not everyone rides what you ride. If you are climbing 2000 feet in 3 or 4 miles, and doing it more than one time in a day, the 1x setups aren't adequate.
  • + 3
 I've read that, more recently, road racers have learned that spinning at a higher cadence on climbs increases endurance because it puts the strain on the cardiovascular system, which can handle it better than the big leg muscles.
  • + 1
 Absolutely, and it's just a much more comfortable way to pedal, especially if you are trying to hold a conversation with friends as you pedal up the mountain. Nice try Waki, but the front mech isn't going away anytime soon. All of your points have been countered, dismissed as irrelevant, or outright demolished with factual evidence.
  • + 1
 Chain retention isnt really that big of a problem, Waki. But I think it is mostly personal preference and you guys are both getting a bit pissy about it
  • + 1
 You cant just sit 'n' spin during a race. You gotta huck up that hill and back down. This is for people who are ok with a little less granny gear. I ride with guys who are running this set up, they say there is a little sacrifice on the climbs. Meaning they have to stand up and chug hard sometimes and keep the wheel speed up. You dont see any compromise in their times though, in fact they are faster because they arent spinning for days on a slope. They work a little harder and in return get stronger. Soon they wont see any sacrifice because they are conditioned and strong enough to handle the climb ratio.
Regardless if you like it or not, it is lighter, faster, and for the competitive riders.
In my honest opinion, those who dont get on this train will be getting passed up and down by it.
I am using my grandma gear less and less and its becoming more of a CrUtCh to rest.
@Protour keep riding longer, harder, and faster. You will get stronger and you wont need that TiNy bit of extra ratio.
  • + 1
 with a 32T front ring and 36T big cog in back, you can pretty much climb anything. i was using 22T front and 34T rear a while ago and i'd rather walk than putz up the hill spinning like a retard.
  • + 2
 just to clarify, road bikers spin the golden effective 90-110RPM all the time regardless of the gradient, unless it gets so steep they run out of gears which happens very rarely oneven on hardest tours. MTBiker can't achieve that on even slightly rocky fireroad and in steep tech terrain it is a no-fkn-way as you would wheelie out. Such RPM requires steady asphalt and is not possible in situations where balance is needed, also requires pedaling technique, known as pedaling in circles, also unachievable in terrain. MTBers push more over the top of the stroke to generate more power per stroke. And roadies ride double as fast on 110RPM than we on 60, and roadies do double the distance on same energy reserve as you do on a steady MTB ride. You probably burn more during an all day ride than a roadie does on TDF stage. Use roadie techniques in MTB and you can go teach golf by making the client swing a baseball bat. You hit a ball with both don't you?
  • + 0
 I don't track my cadence, but I know I can spin alot more comfortably and more efficiently with a granny on the steep climbs than I would with a 1x setup.

Waki, you are dead wrong about your claim that spinning that fast on a fireroad climb would cause you to wheelie out. These types of claims make me wonder if you actually ride a mountain bike, no way are you gonna unintentionally do a wheelie while spinning up a steep fireroad climb. And with a plush full suspension bike it doesn't matter if you are on asphalt, the shocks smooth out the roughness of the road and allow you to spin efficiently in your granny gear.

This thread reminds me of the time Waki claimed nobody needed long travel dropper posts cause it's not necessary for him. Meanwhile, nearly EVERYONE I ride with has a long travel dropper post and uses all of it. Any more stupid claims, Waki?
  • + 1
 I couldn't agree more. There are all sorts of physiological advantages to mixing up your cadence from spinning to standing and grinding, this over geared rear cluster marketing race is expensive, fiddly and predictable. It's a bit sad watching so many people scurrying to fall in with this sheep race.
Although they can provide an all over body workout, single speeds have limitations. I look forward to progressive bike designers who introduce very wide ratios with limited cog counts; four, say.
  • + 1
 Robes - I want a CTD cassette! 7 crisp gears from 11-38
[Reply]
  • + 27
 Awesome review, I really like long term tests like this.
Well done Big Grin
  • - 1
 It was a good review but had they done a full year I bet that rear derailleur would likely have more issues than just the occasional popping sound.
[Reply]
  • + 19
 The sooner this trickles down to the rest of the SRAM range the better. Great idea. Good work SRAM.
  • + 1
 Indeed. I'll never be able to afford X9 or higher. I've been running X7 or X5 with no problems for the past couple years.....if this 1x11 comes to the X7 price range, Hell I'm sold.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 I've been running this for 5 months now and would concur with most things said in the report, it's a fantastic group set. Not had a single dropped chain on mine and haven't had the 'popping noise', but the x-sync teeth do pick up mud more than normal teeth so a tooth brush is employed every clean to get the crap out of the grooves. Price wise I got mine for less than an XX or XTR groupo would cost, so I consider that good value.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 For shits and giggles why don't you run a 1x10 XT setup for a few months then compare the two. I fail to see what exactly is so "innovative" about the XX1. The clutch is what's keeping the chain on and Shimano were the ones who pioneered that.
  • + 10
 Actually, the front chain ring has a lot to do with it, even if it isn't really super innovative.
  • + 0
 Its more the mec that is innovative, only one designed specifically to only work with one chain ring.
  • + 16
 And e*thirteen have made a chainring similar, so im kinda putting together a much cheaper sorta version of XX1, except 10speed not 11, and a whole lot cheaper.
  • + 4
 In the aftermath nobody but few nerds, really cares who released what first, Apple anyone?

Sram released clutch so fast after Shimano did their, so they must have worked on it before Shimano released their. You can't R&D, produce and market such product in a year after you saw that your competition made something you want to "copy".
  • + 25
 I am running an xt 1x10 right now. It is reallly not that great honestly. I was trying to go with the compromise of climbing and decending without having to run a front ring. In my opinion having one front ring is the best possible situation for reliability but you loose a huge amount of climing ability. I am honestly going to have to go back to a 2x10 because I am not able to really grind up the super steep climbs. Call me a pussy or whatever but realy it is such a pain in the ass. That being said, the problem with my 1x10 is that the chain angle in the high gears is really wack which results in a lot of grinding on the chainguide. This actually caused me to loose my chain in the first 10sec of the sea otter DH(no refunds).
I went down the street and borrowed my neighbors carbine, equipped with xx1 and took it up the hill. WOW, all I can say is that I am blown away. It went from uphill pedability(without any chain grinding) to downhill appropirate gearing with such precision. Now that doesn't mean I need to have 11 gears, its just that it works so damn well. I mean they really pulled this idea off. Ya the price is high and I can't afford it but none the less, it is still awesomely smooth. Sorry about the jumbled thoughts, I should be going to bed
  • - 21
 Casums - anyone before their 60s can train and get used to running 1:1 ratio on climbable bike. It is marketing holding people back making them believe that they need something. alsi wrong bike setups like running too heavy wheels/tyres. The only person excused to run a front mech is a guy climbing 1000ft+ on dual ply tyres. That's about it.
  • + 5
 I've been running 1x10 with zee on my mojo hd and i have to say its been pretty flawless, once i got my chain line/chain guide setup perfect i was set. Also i don't live in a flat area, quite the opposite(wellington nz).
  • + 5
 I am running a XX1 crank (32T) with a 10 speed chain, cassette (11-36), X0 shifter and derailleur (Type 2). Works perfectly, no chainguard needed ;-)
  • + 2
 Running a 1x10 with 1:1 min ratio. And also I did some really gnarly climbs. And never felt the need to go any lower. I barely run it in 36 to 36, only when I'm really tired.
  • + 2
 The way I looked at it, My road bike can offer 53,39x11-25 (1:1.56 ratio) so i don't see why i would need more than a 1:1 ratio, I still wanted a gear to put power down on the descents. So I used a 36x11-36 sram X9 set up on my slayer. It's been fine for me going up the climbs and I'm no whippet at 85kg.
  • + 0
 @WAKI: Rumour has it SRAM employed Chinese hackers to steal Shimano's IP, probably for mates rates since there is no love lost between China and Japan ;-)

Yes yes I jest and am looking forward to SLX or X9 price levels as the tech trickles down to us plebs.
  • + 2
 Your climbabilty, depends vastly on wheel/tyre choice then geometry of the bike (head angle, cockpit height, then seat angle). I will just put a stick into the ant hill and say that 29ers need either front mechs or XX1 for steepest climbs or long ones unless you run really light wheels and tyres which will compromise your descending. There is simply more weight to move on bigger radius. They might climb better on calmer gradients and they might grip where 26ers would spin out, but in the long run you might not ride them up on 1:1 ratios as you would a 26er
  • + 5
 1x10 with a Wolf Tooth Components chairing, SRAM 10spd chain, 12-36 cassette, X9 type 2 derailleur, MRP upper guide. Haven't dropped a chain in 4 months, bike is dead silent.
  • + 4
 Running 1x10 XT, 32 front and rear in the easiest. Freeride bike so dual ply tires, and no lifts in Africa Razz . You quickly gain any muscle you need on the climbs.
  • + 0
 noone should need an easier ratio than 1:1 ive got 1x9 on my bike because im poor Razz and it works just fine, i can climb anything that can be climbed on my setup, anything easier than 1:1 i find spins out, with 1:1 you get real feel for the terrain. i would like 1x10 so that i can run some harder ratios and still get 1:1 such as a 36t chainring and 11-36 cassette. at the moment ive got 34t with 11-34. xx1 would be great to get similar ratios, i would run a 40t chainring and still have the ability to climb like a boss, but have epic ratios at the other end of the spectrum... bring it on i say, but please make it cheaper.
  • + 1
 I just purchased a Zee 11-36 derailleur and I'm running a regular 32t chainring up front. It's perfect for me so far. Even on steep climbs I haven't really needed anything bigger in the rear. I haven't needed a chainguide either, which I was considering buying if it turned out to be a problem. I have been looking out for the new Raceface narrow/wide rings just for increased security, although I know about the Wolftooth ones that are already available. I bought the derailleur, shifter, chain and cassette for $153 from www.bike-discount.de . I couldn't believe the prices, but I went for it anyway and everything worked out perfectly. If one of the companies offered a 11-38 or 11-40 cassette, I would definitely be interested as it would be nice to have a larger ring on the front for bikepark days.
  • + 1
 I have been running 1x9 and 1x10 shimano zee/saint with a 34t chainring on both of my 30lb enduros and can climb and descend anything, xx1 is great if you have weak little legs and you need a 42t in the rear lol. For normal strength people, it is not necessary and I mean a $425 cassette?!?!?!
  • + 4
 Mr WAKI why does your bike have two rings then? www.pinkbike.com/photo/4502989
  • + 3
 @ waki, pejay and Matt etc, I am always a bit amused by people's blanket statements about required gearing for all riding. The required gear ratios are very dependant on where you ride but even more so on fitness level and physical size. For example, I live on Vancouver Island and much of my riding envolves very steep and technical climbing so already I need lower, tractor type gearing. Add in to this the fact that I am an ex rugby player and power lifter and weigh in at around 120 kgs and a 1 to 1 gear ratio is fine for the fire roads but near use less when things get steep and tech. Oh yeah before you trolls get started, I have been mountain biking since there was no such thing as suspension so my technical skills are fine.
  • + 3
 Mr Wakidesigns, professing to know what it's like to be old is not smart unless you're old. Don't tell other people what their bodies can do.
  • + 4
 42 in back makes you have a 7:6 ratio if you run a 36 up front. 36 in rear gives you a 1:1 (7:7 or 6:6 if you like). You can run a 36 in rear for $84. Is it really worth the difference? Consider this: 32 up front and 36 in rear gives you an 8:9. That is pretty darn close to the same. What your really need to ask your self before buying a 1x11 is this: do you need the middle gears? Because that is what you are buying. In fact every time they add another cog they are just making the change a little smoother and giving you a little more choice about your cadence at any given speed, an option that is important to roadies, but means absolutely nothing to most non-xc racer mtb riders.

It's not worth it to me, but of course, I'm the guy who says give me a climbing, a cruising, and a descending gear and I'll be happy. A 3 speed gearbox in the BB and I will go without a mech in the back at all. KISS principle keeping my bike awesome for years.
  • + 1
 Casums, I know the stuff you ride because I ride it too. I run a 1 x 9 11-32 i believe. anyway, I have no trouble climbing gold hill, blythdal ridge, etc. with my bike, even if it means standing up.
  • + 2
 @ WAKI, I'm going to go ahead and say that SRAM licensed the clutch design from Shimano.. Shimano has a lock on that technology and SRAM needed it to make the XX1 system come alive.
  • + 5
 The whole point of XX1 isn't the gearing. It's the idea of no longer have to compromise on frame design(suspension pivot and linkage placement) because of the front derailleur and chain guide placement. Boom! End of discussion!
  • + 2
 Right, because you can't drop the front derailleur and run a 1x9
  • - 2
 @thrown - link to reference or BS.
@mtb4matt - I'll put it this way, yes there are situations where the front mech helps, like being overweight, if due to fat or muscle mass, irrelevant. But for majority... If I can do it on my trails, anyone can.
@gomers - hes, pic taken in spring 2010, days before I got myself 1x10 drivetrain. Way to go A-hole!
  • + 1
 @tbrown21: The same way SRAM has a lock on the alternating tooth chainring design?
  • + 0
 And I alsi find it disturbing that people buy big forks to become better riders, to get something confidence inspiring. But when you are told thatditching the front mech will make you a stronger and thus better rider guaranteed, so many are: oh I don't know...
  • + 0
 Pushing big gears might make you stronger but if you have bad knees it just makes your knees worse...which prevents you from riding.

I will happily take my front mech everyday of the week versus all the compromises of the 1x set ups. At least 4 or 5 people on this thread have admitted they have had to hike instead of pedal up because of the inadequacies of their 1x gearin, I thought the point of having pedals on a bicycle was to allow you to pedal it???

The whole 1x thing is just a fashion trend, a way for trail riders to make themselves seem tough cause they don't need a wimpy front mech, and a way to make their bikes resemble DH bikes....1x setups have very little real world practicality, especially for all day real worlds riders who keep it real by pedaling to the top of the mountain...and then do it again.
  • + 2
 We don't talk people with injuries. Last time I spoke about them someone was implying that it is the best thing about commuter cycles with electric engines: people with problems, then after I fried him a bit, he went down to businessmen wanting to bike but not wanting to come sweaty to the job or to a meeting - why do I see mostly perfectly normal people riding those? Who rides fkng mopeds?! Statistical people are fkng lazy asses. And you might truly need a front mech but majority doesn't, just as nearly no one ever needed a chain-ring bigger than 38t, because vast majority cannot pedal with bigger one on flat - so tripple chainsets were always fkng stupid. If you really like front mech, be my guest, if someone just has 1 chainring to look cool, and can't uphill anything - ditch the basterd off the cliff. What's wrong abut prejudice and stereotypes? They´re true way too often and people can't deal with them. Want to tell people the truth? Make them laugh or they'll kill you
  • + 1
 In the midst of his angry craziness Waki makes a valid point. Most people could be happy without a front mech. If you are crazy for climbs look for a smaller ring for the front. A 28 to 36 gets you a 7:9 ratio. You lose some of that top speed, and you are not able to go full granny, but when does that really help? Mostly you will wear yourself out and burn out too much anyway. There are sacrifices with going to 11 on the back as well and this one is a lot cheaper, and gives you good clearance, simple cockpit and less to go wrong, and you can get away with a shorter cage derailleur in the back.
  • + 2
 I run 1x9 at the moment because im too poor for 1x10. I run a 38t chainring to a 11-34 cassette and it is algood. I ride at Rotorua all the time and cuz im too poor for a shutttle card i ride up. And granted the shuttle road isnt the steepest in the world it does have some steep sections, but i still manage to get to the top everytime. My point is that people get caught up in all the marketing bullsh*t, and dont just get out and ride. Pretty much what i just said was a really long way of saying run what ya brung and do it more often. Rant over.
  • + 1
 @taletotell Actually the opposite is true: the granny gear allows you to pedal more efficiently and keeps you from wearing yourself out like you will with the 1x setup on steep climbs,
  • + 1
 Protour you are only parroting roadie science, having no use for MTB, from a simple reason, that rugged terrain does not allow you to spin 90-110 RPM, for nr1 you can't maintain such cadence, even on fireroad without being thrown off the rhythm by a random stone every now and then, and nr2 you can't even apply pedaling technique (turning in circles) to achieve that. Then compare gradients and speed on which they are cranking it up, because them riding smallest cogs on the back and on the front, are going much faster than a person on 36t MTB. It is an utter bullshit to bring any roadie science to MTB, nobody in WRC uses shit from F1, there might be some of the factors that are the same for both in the equation but they have completely different values. Top XC racers always rode on big ring and use granny only to regenerate, now the ones riding for SRAM will all go for XX1 and once Shimano releases their stuff of this kind, they will go for that too, with pleasure, not because of marketing department pressure.

Front mechs are for people with problems or dealing with very particular trail conditions. Other than that, for people who are just simply unfit for various reasons, like lack of time for training. If you have time for training, you are perfectly fit and still use that, sorry mate you fall into the basket with "lazy" label on it. There is NO excuse to not be able to ride up anything for any length on 32t front and 34t back. No excuse - Super wide range XX1 or General Lee cassettes covers everything anyone can ever need, even the unfit people on heaviest wheels.
  • + 1
 1x definitley is not a fad. SRAM/SHIMANO are just now catching up to what a large contigent of bikers have been doing for a long time.

I personally have been running a 1x9 and now 1x10 set-up on my "little", "trail", "all-mountain", or whatever you want to call it bike for years. Long before all the new 2x guides and clutched derailleur were available, given the terrain I have to ride and how aggresivley I like to ride it, the only way to keep the chain on the bike was with a full-on DH chainguide. It had nothing to do with my desire to look like a tough guy or push a big gear up hills. A 2x set-up with a front derailleur was not nearly adequate enough to keep the chain on the bike.

Having ridden a 1x9, 34 front/34 rear set-up for years, I would definitley say I am strong enough to push it up almost anything. I now run a 1x10, 34 front/ 36 rear on a 29er as it takes a little more effort to get the wagon wheels rolling.

My daily ride requires me to do a 1,110' / 1.6mile / 13.4% climb just to get to where the trails start. The ride is then anywhere from 8-30 miles and another 1,500 - 5,000 feet of elevation depending on how much time the real world allows me to escape for.

When people start riding our home trails for the first time, they think the climb is damn near impossible even with a granny gear. A year later, they're almost all running 1x set-ups.

No one is calling you a pussy for having a granny gear, but your defensiveness and attack on anything 1x sure makes me think they might be on to something.
  • + 1
 The near 1:1 of the big to big of my 1x9 is too easy to maintain a cadence. I know to what you refer and keeping it easy is totally a good idea, but that doesn't mean you need a granny gear unless it is a very steep incline, such as the type you have to stand for to keep the front wheel down on most AM bikes, meaning you would have to be a super hero to keep a high cadence up since it is way more work while standing.
granny to 34 or 36 is too easy to be useful for more than a few feat for a guy like me, and more and more people are discovering the same thing is true for them too.
  • + 0
 More bullsh*t from Waki, and now I see where he borrowed the stupid idea about easy gears causing people to do wheelies on climbs. If you can't keep your front wheel planted to the ground on a climb maybe you should consider a new hobby.

Riding up a fireroad isn't "rough terrain", and spinning is absolutely more efficient on an all day ride than grinding a hard gear. Ned Overend always attributed alot of his success to the fact that he would spin his granny on the climbs and pass alot of riders
near the end of the race who were worn out from pushing harder gears.
  • + 1
 there are easy enough gears to spin without going to your 22. I found myself climbing in 22 and whatever 4th was and then I realized it was about the same as 36-34. You only lose 3 gears effectively, all of which are too easy to use for a realistic cadence unless you are climbing an insane steep all day. Look at your cassette. Which teeth are wearing out and from what combinations? could you match those ratios without a 22? I bet you could.

I found that with my 1x setup I can climb every hill in the woods I could before.

As for the front wheel staying down- some bikes have a sufficient seat angle to make a big difference to climbing steep stuff, but always at the cost to something else. I have found that by sliding my saddle forward enough to make it a really top notch climber I have to go to a longer stem or my cockpit is too small, but by going forward I lose some of my descending capability, and I'm not willing to make that trade, so instead to keep the front down while in a really easy gear I must stand. i imagine Waki is in the same boat. Many of us are, so as you can see, it is not BS.
  • + 1
 I coulda see the front wheel coming off the ground on a technical singltrack climb where traction might be an issue and you have to grab the bars tight, but not on a long, steep, and steady fireroad climb, which is the kind of climb I'm typically doing when I'm in the granny gear.
  • + 1
 Protour if your front wheel comes off the ground on uphills you should dig a bit more for Ned Overend in pre-Jurassic MTB journals. You'd find his tip about putting your holy canyon at the tip of the saddle while uphilling.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 make a cheap front ring and 42t rear then i will be happy. but 425 for a casset jeez.i could get so many other things for that money.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 how much does a liver go for in the black market these days?
  • + 32
 you need that so beer doesnt kill you, try a kidney..
  • + 23
 I was planning on saving that one for the Fox 40 Air
  • + 1
 Bahaha that cracked me up good.. Nice
  • + 2
 screw the body parts... first born anybody?
  • + 6
 annndd too far bro
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I've had xx1 since December, and it blows away my previous X0 2x10. I do a ton of climbing and the 32t Front with the 10-42t cassette is all just about anyone could need. It feels like my old 2x10 setup, but instead of dropping down to a small front ring and have having a bunch of redundant gears, you have the 42t in the back for the big climbs.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 had a XTR before, put XX1 on my commencal meta, bought a 29'r with xtr, rode the xtr, thought..wtf is this shit?, bought new xx1 for 29'r...there we go!

truly a freacking amazing group! once you tried it, there is no going back!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Call me a lunatic but i have one of thèse. And it work really well. Got it for under a grand. Which is still a lot, but you only live once. What i like the most is how quiet the bike runs, i only hear the tires friction on the dirt, that just transforms my rides into an almost spiritual expérience : )
[Reply]
  • + 8
 The difference for me on 1x11 to 1x10 is the cassette range 10 - 42 compared to 11-36 - that's a big change. I'd love one on my Voltage.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Wait for shimanos answer for prices to tickle down. (over here shimano products are way cheaper than sram anyways) Or if you can't wait you can build that stuff yourself with a spare chainring.
  • - 6
 you Sir have nothing to say about pricing of XX1 due to the fact that you live in the country of Bike-discount shop, which has those at the price of XT groupset, around 60% of CRC price.
  • + 25
 i don't need friggin 11 gears, just give me a 9 or 10 speed cassette with the same range... that's all i want!
  • + 4
 then go on and order at bike-discount.de or bike-components.de and do not use crc ever again
  • + 0
 I rather meant that most people are blown away by MSRP. As a "consumer" I like bike components. As a shop owner I would be saying that it is f*cking unfair that German stores get shit at such low prices while others in Europe, like Sweden, pay naearly the same while ordering to the store! Where's the margin, tax, profit? Oh Swedes and Norwegians are dumb and wealthy, right? I can't get shit so cheap even in Poland and it all relies on the mood of European headquarters in Netherlands
  • + 1
 Take a chill pill waki
  • + 3
 meh it is expensive
  • + 1
 @waki: i dont see where bike brands are cheap in my country. or maybe im just fckin poor.
  • + 3
 Designed in germany ja das es gute. Can't wait for the xx world cup brakes review. Might not be soo positive. I dont care what they say I one on those riders guarateed to make the chain jump off on the rock coast. Would never build a bike without guide so no worries.
  • + 3
 Right ill give you my review of the xx brakes (latest set ) they are a great pair of brakes that are great for light use like Xc or dirt jump / 4x but they don't have the stopping power as say a hope tech x2 brake . They are stupidly light but try get them bled before you use them for the first time , they come a little squishy . The rotors seem to like to bend / loosen themselves alot too .
  • + 2
 Ya couldnt have said better myself. Great xc brakes or for dj rear would be stupid light. They the lightest brakes ever made that I know of. Stopping power is decent in dry conditions with the right tires. Wet conditions, mud, leave these xx brakes at home. They are race style brakes so more for scrubbing speed then lockup power which works for me. Right now using them on a 150mm trailbike with 160 rotors. On dry days they strong but wet mud boggin fuggetaboutit. Like to try with 180 front 160 back rotor and see how strong that is but on this bike I a weight weiner/ 28-29lbs.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Check out Wolftoothcomponents. They are making front chainrings with the same wide/narrow profile and you can run them on any crank setup. Great for 1X10 without a chainguide and you can get them as low as 30t for the 104bcd.
  • + 1
 I've been running a 34 tooth Wolf Tooth chainrings for a couple of months with a 10spd X9 Type 2 derailleur. It works like magic with a standard SRAM chain and 12-36 cassette.
  • + 1
 Just got my wolftooth in the mail. 30t. 1x10 is all i need. Poor mans xx1....
  • + 1
 Unless you're doing enduro races in Europe and climbing 12,000ft per day, nobody needs the XX1 cassette. A 30, 32, or 34 up front with a 12-36, spd cassette is more than enough gearing.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 BTW I'm running a prototype 42t cog with shift ramps from a guy in Germany. It fits behind a regular 11-36 cassette, you just have to remove one of the lower cogs to make space. Works like a charm, and 11-42 isn't bad at all.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 has anyone found a alternative (10 or 11 speed) that is nearly covering a 2 x 9 that i can use for 1000m uphills alpstyle?

there is a really massive thread going on on mtb-news.de (xx1 diy) but i will need an other 5 days to go through the 99 pages ;-)


less chainrings upfront would be great, but i need a proper gearing in the back


any hint is more then welcome
  • + 2
 hab den bling ring von mrp 28tooth mit 10fach hi (36-11) für innsbruck und region. zum normalen 2x9 verlierst du nach oben und unten 1.5 gänge. bin begeistert.
  • - 1
 I don't know how steep are the uphills you are taking yourself up with but I did a fair bit of ridden climbing in Poland (1500m in one day, with highest ascent made in a row 800m) on fireroads of variable steepness on a 15,5kg Nomad with 500g rims and 900g tyres run tubeless on 32t front and 11-36 cassette. It took me 4 months to get used to it after changing from 2x9. I say crank it, because you can...
  • + 0
 1x10 XT 32 front 32 rear easiest, mrp xo chainguide. Climb every mountain descend without ever losing a chain.
  • + 3
 @listery There is no alternative for a front derailleur if you are doing 6+ hour rides with lots of steep climbs.
@Waki, 1500 m is just my warm up, not everyone has a wife and kids to get back to, some of us like to ride all day, and if you are doing it 2 or 3 days in a row, the easier gear the better. 36-24 w/ mrp up front, 11-36 in the rear. I never lose my chain, have better chainline than a single ring, and am quite content to take the weight penalty of a front derailleur for the ability to have longer adventures.
  • + 0
 @Protour. As I said above, I recently did a 113 mile, mostly single track ride with 1x11 (and about 12,000 feet climbing). Yes, after 12 hours, I would have liked one more lower gear, but it wasn't all that bad. Do the math on the gearing range with a 42-10 rear cassette vs a typical double with 11-36 rear and you will see that the gearing range isn't much different. I'll admit I'm in great shape (ride 15 hours+ a week year round), so this gearing isn't for somebody off the couch, but for those who are a bit stronger, it works well for any type of epic climbing day.
  • + 1
 @Protour: 1500m/4500ft climb - just a warm up, man you should be on World Enduro Series right now. I'm riding for too long, and with too good people to believe that it is a kind of "daily routine" for anyone writing so much on Pink Bike Smile The amount of energy needed for that is huge, you would burn like 5k calories if you were to climb 10k feet in a day. Not impossible, but after two rides like that ina a week you'd not be able to move for two weeks at best, and probably overtrained greatly after depleting reserves in muscles and burning tissue instead, even if you ate sugar like a pig while riding

@wheel-addict - I envy you such rides. But one lower gear after all day riding, hmm... wasn't it one more bit of food that wasn't yet another energy bar? Then I will get spanked for that, but shouldn't people "right off the couch" not get involved in mountain biking at all as it improves only their cardio and fks up bones and makes muscle clots? When cardio and ventilation can be improved by much simplier and cheaper activity like... running? You can't just sit in the office for hours, then watch TV at home, and get into interval ride or a weekend of bike parking, and say it's a sport, a "reacreational activity".

I mean how long are we going to pretend that MTB is all jolly good and everyone should try it? I don't fkn want to swim, jump on bungee, drive dragsters or play football. Sure I can do it once 3 years, but I don't want anyone to nag me to do it... If I'm into something I want to do it well. If you plan to spend 5000$ on the bike then be at least an above average rider, or fkn forget it. Ride a 500$ one and save money for better things in life as you are obviously not committed enough, why fool yourself? It is the damn exact scheme as people buying gym equipment to their homes, then it lies there unused after a year at best, if not after two months. What's the point of such waste? Because we can?
  • + 2
 @wheel addict You yourself said you had an easier gear on your big ride, that's all I need to know to know to know that XX1 gearing isn't for me, and there are other situations where I know I would be spun out with a32 on the front.

Waki, you always make assumptions that are completely full of holes. I'm no pro, I just like long rides with long steep climbs, and I also like to spin a comfortable gear versus grunt up in a 1x and destroy my knees. It does require lots if fuel and water, but it isn't the effort you imagine if you have the proper gearing and time.
  • - 2
 Destroy your knees? Wait, do you have destroyed knees or you are affraid of doing it by riding 1x? Because if option 2, then you better not walk stairs because that puts much bigger strain on them than standing pedalling. Then... are you using clipless pedals? Because if you do, and you care for your knees, ditch them right away. How's your back during climbing, you sure you aren't too cramped and bent, pushing verbetrae against verbetrae, or straining your lower back muscles too much by not hinging at the hips? What's your cockpit height, how's your neck and wrists? You know, there are hundreds of issues that can screw your body on a mountain bike, other than standing pedaling - like crashing

Then wait again why would someone sane ride XX1 on 32t?! 32-42?! You will be faster pushing your bike. It is pointless to ride a bicycle with such ratio. Buy a DH bike and push it up to have fun on downhill if you suck so bad at climbing, if you want to ride 32t on XX1. Also, start hiking as your hobby directly, I do it every now and then and it is a great way of experiencing the nature
  • + 2
 Spinning is faster, more efficient, and easier on your knees, these are facts. It is also a fact that it is faster to pedal up a steep fireroad than to hike it. You mainly have issues with facts, Wak.
  • + 1
 @all
hi guys - thanks for all the reply´s and tipps. looks i need some time on the computer to figure all out and then decide what to do.

...these are mainly quality reply´s and that is not always the case on other sites - THANKS!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The best solution is to save your money and ride what you've got. If you constantly drop your chain, learn how to tune your bike or find a good shop to adjust your derailleurs, maybe remove a link, replace worn gearing if necessary but, most importantly, learn how to shift gracefully by letting up a little on the pedal force for a split second until the chain is fully engaged.

I can see running single rings and chain guides for DH, but I do some pretty gnarly all-mountain riding and chain drops are never an issue for me with my "old school" triple-ring setup. SRAM is catering to racers at one end of the spectrum and wealthy noobs at the other. This is not a practical drivetrain, based on technical merits alone. I don't care how great the reviews are. The system is technically flawed and no amount of engineering can overcome the fact that a single ring setup will wear out faster and have more drag than a double or triple ring setup when used in the high and low gears. It's not like SRAM came up with some brilliant idea no else had ever thought of before. These are well-known limitations that have prevented other companies from doing this before.
  • + 1
 Great thoughts, that is probably why Shimano hasn't gone 1x, they have higher standards and probably see nothing but weaknesses and compromises with the 1x setup.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yep, just waiting for an X9 level version. I ride where there are too many branches, sticks and rocks to have a $300 derailleur hanging off the bottom of my bike!

I'll buy a X9 level XX1 day one SRAM, day one. Make it happen, the money is waiting to be spent. I've broken too many derailleurs over the years to buy the highest end ones. I just can't justify it. But X9 level, again, day one.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I am using xx1 cranks with a 1x9 and a zee derailleur on 1 bike (Kona Honzo) and a wolftooth components drop stop ring with a saint shadow plus on another (Transition Bandit) with no dropped chains so far. I used straitline silent guides before with good luck but I've ridden some rough stuff with no guides on both setups and I'm extremely happy with them.

My plan was to add an upper guide or go back to the silent guide when I dropped a chain but it hasn't happened!

I don't need more gearing than 11-34 with a 32t front ring so I'm sticking to 1X9 running SRAM 9sp shifters with Shadow Plus derailleurs.
  • + 1
 Absolutely right! That s all you need!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Just saw this which gives you the low gear of XX1, but a whole lot cheaper:

www.ebay.com/itm/41-Tooth-Cog-for-Mountain-Bike-Cassette-41t-Sprocket-/251243702528?pt=US_Cassettes_Freewheels_Cogs&hash=item3a7f4aa900

Match that with one of these:

www.wolftoothcycling.com/collections/all

and a clutch-type derailleur, and you've got poor man's XX1!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 70000 ft of climbing, wow. That's like, 2-3 weeks of riding in the hills around Vienna. Have you been shuttling all the time?
  • + 2
 @cathar - I was thinking along the same line. I average 6 rides a month and climb roughly 2000 feet each time. So in 5 months I would probably climb close to 70,000 feet. BUT, the point is, I barely get out to ride and they are short 90 minute rides so their testing doesn't seem that intense to me...
  • + 1
 Dang! One of my favorite trails I ride routinely(the 4 months of the year it's open) here in Utah climbs 2000 feet in 3 miles. Well worth the effort to bomb back down it though!
[Reply]
  • + 6
 XTR and general lee all the way
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Long time ago that I'm riding with 2 chainrings, after changed to 1x10 for some year and now to this few months ago. I'm very happy with it, climbing to some places where I could not with my previous set ups. Expensive? yes, worth it if you like the simple and confidente set up? yes, for any type of riding? no, for the XC in mind? no. I liked because it filled my gap in Enduro riding of all my year aboard in MTB.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm running 1x9 with a 36 up front and 11-34 in the back. It works well for enduro style riding for most applications. It is x9 in back with an x0 shifter and I feel no need to change a thing. It works well and is easy enough for most climbs. If I find myself struggling I could probably go to a 32 up front and not feel like I lost much for speed on the descents. If I was really wanting to stretch I think I've seen a 11-36 cassette. With 32 in the front that would be more than easy enough for almost everything.
More gears is hype. It reminds me of grade 7: "Man, I got a 21 speed! That is 3 more than yours so my bike is better!" It means nothing. Your legs can make up the difference.
Don't be afraid to ditch the granny. If you really need it for those super technical climbs then okay, but you'd be surprised what you can do without it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can we just kill derailleurs that clunkily hang precariously off the side of our bikes that are meant to smash through boulder-strewn fields? Why can we not find a better solution than just adding more gears to an already shitty idea?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't understand how anyone is complaining that there isn't enough gear range with this setup... my 29'er is a 1x10 and I run a 30x36 climbing gear. That'd be the same as a 36x42 XX1 setup but with WAY more top end speed. Sounds like a win to me.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Protour... shame. Don't comment on a drivetrain lack of performance or usability if you don't actually own it! I do own an XX1 drivetrain, got it on my full suspension 29er 5" bike and it's GOLDEN. I switched from an XX 2x10 setup, and it's lighter (nearly a pound), simpler, quieter, and cleaned up my bars (no front derailleur). The gear ratios are GREAT for me (32T crankset) and I don't feel that I'm missing out on any gears what so ever. It's got more climbing gear ratios than you might think... and rides great.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Back in the day, a dropped chain was a sign of an unskilled rider. We didn't blame it on the equipment. Yes, 1 x 11 is simpler to use and lighter. It may shift great, but so did 3 x 6 if you knew how to unweight your pedals while shifting - no fancy ramped cogs or skinny chains required. You might love 1 x 11 personally, but you are making a lot of compromises. That might not bother you, but it bothers me. It is a poor technical solution to a nonexistent problem, as far as I'm concerned.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 that popping noise reviewer mentioned is chainsuck from the driving face of chainring teeth lifting the chain rollers as the chain leaves the ring to go to the rear mech. it is due to the square profile of the teeth, and as the reviewer wears the ring more it will trangess to all the other cassette cogs. this is a major flaw and can be remedied by filing off the square front corner of the c/ring teeth. my c/ring is a bit more worn than the one in this pic and is unrideable when under any load.and its only 30 hours old. not impressed.i have had xx1 for 5 months, ride 3-4 times a week, have only had 6 wet rides, always stay seated when climbing and am on my 3rd chainring already yet chain is only at 50% wear
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Put me in the satisfied pile. But note that the cassette can slide right off the axle when you remove the wheel and turn the cassette to face the ground - there is NO lock ring c clamp gizmo to hold it on! So if you take your wheel off on the trail beware! I was dealing with a tubeless leak and the cassette, one of the drive gears and a spring flew out onto the trail and into the leaves ...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been running XX1 now for about 4 months. Had a 2X10 26/39 with an 11-36 previously. The range of the gearing is slightly narrower than the 2X10.

To me, there isn't a single "point" of the system, versus running a 1X10 or even 2X. Rather, everything is an incremental but noticeable upgrade: the shifter feels better, the deraileur shifts better and is quieter, the clutch doesn't affect lever effort, the chainring is reliable, the spider is stiffer, it saved me a half pound over my previous setup.

There are a bunch of stand-out features of the group, but taken as a whole it simply performs exceptionally, with no hiccups or weak links. And really, that's what I want in a drivetrain.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone comment on any wear of the aluminum cog? Curious how long that holds up? Sorry if dumb question I haven't really been that worried about weight before. Generally favored durability. Seems like the newer lighter stuff is holding up better now so I am thinking of making the switch. Any insight is appreciated.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I CAN afford it but WONT. It is up to us who can afford things to make manufacturers charge fair prices. 2 by 10 is great and so is 2 by 9.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 On cost effectiveness way:
Sram idea....A+
A good cranks in pinkbike buy and sell....90.00usd
A good 9 speed cassette....50.00 usd
A good shifter .....50.00 usd
A new chain ..35.00 usd
Total...225.00 usd
That means----------------
1, 225.00 for...
Gas for my pick up
A case of beer
A bag of ice
Sandwich bread
Doritos ( try a Dorito sandwich...just put doritos between bread)
A few friends
100.00 usd to my wife ...for a peaceful weekend ride!
Still have $1, 000.00..in my pocket!

Two years ago y waste 600.00 on a Hammersmith...idea..A+
on the trail...a piece of junk..wasted money.
  • + 1
 Dorito sandwich idea .... A+++
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Five months and 70,000 feet of climbing later, much of it on those previously mentioned monsoon conditions, has shown us what XX1 is really made of".

Let`s put sense into it...
30km going up, less than half a year and it was a bit wet. Already the chain is on its last links. Very visible wear on cogs and chainwheel, pulley seized.

Hardly what I call quality and most likely only halftruth mixed with spin.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I went the cheap way and got just the crankset with a shimano XTR rear deraileur and a 11x36. It's really a game changer. works like a charm, really silent and shave one pound. I could not believe the chain would stay on even on really rough trail. I was already running a 1x10 and really nobody needs a granny gear, if you used it you are probably lazy and it makes you lose traction...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been running this group for the last few months. I am nothing short of floored by it. Nicest drivetrain I have ever used. I even gave the derailleur a nice whack on a rock last week and my Intense G3 dropout(beefy as hell) bent before the derailleur took issue with it.

One thing I didn't see mentioned in the review was the group's greatest benefit. The lack of the front derailleur will not dictate how frames and suspension linkages are designed. As soon as we eliminate the front derailleur and chain guides completely, frame designers and engineers will no longer have to compromise on pivot placement, chainstay length, ect because of said front derailleur and or guide mounting.
  • + 1
 And thanks to dropper posts designers are no longer constrained by the need for full length seat tubes either.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Like many of the guys here I'm running 1x10 with a 32t (my bike won't fit a 34t) XX1 crank and 10 speed chain. I raced it XC for the first time this last. Flawless.

In a race situation not having to think about front shifting was a very welcome simplification allowing greater focus to be placed on the picking lines and riding fast. The weight reduction was noticeable as well.

Also, I've tried to drop a chain, to no avail. No need for a chain guard for Ontario XC racing.

Moving to a full XX1 setup would be nice but cost is prohibitive. Especially considering I normally replace rear d, cassette and chain every year or so.

I'll save you the research: the XX1 cranks are the best option for single chainring crank setup. Price point is great (better than XX or X0) and performance is stellar. Weight is pretty good too.
  • + 2
 But you live in the flat lands- the biggest concern for trail riding in the mountains is whether or not there are enough gears for climbing the steepest bits, especially after a long day in the saddle.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 One point not addressed here that I'm curious about - the chain retention is supposed to degrade over time, as the thick/thin profile on the chainring wears - have heard it suggested that muddy conditions would see the ring degrade in a couple of months. Did you see any evidence of that happening?
  • + 5
 They said that that was a concern but they did not notice it over the length of the test. 5 months in the conditions they ride in is a pretty savage test.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Our only other concern boils down to a very strange popping noise that would occur intermittently and only during high torque scenarios, once or twice a ride at most." I had this popping sound on my SLX Shadow Plus rear der.(2013 Kona Cadabra) It went away after a cable tweak.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Haha the carbon crank is $285, but the cassette is $425?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 285$ for cranks isn't that much from my Croatian perspective as we pay our dealers 250$ for a shimano xt cranks... And average salary here is below 1000$.

Not to mention whole groupset...
  • + 3
 "The matching ceramic bottom bracket retails for $210 USD."
There is the catch...
I was thinking the same thing, just get the crank which seemed like a bargain. I suppose a set of standard non-ceramic cups would do the trick.
  • + 1
 When it comes to cranks shimano still has sram beat.
  • + 1
 Just buy any other good BB, I installed a Chris King on my XX1 and was cheaper than the SRAM, I choose to avoid ceramics after some experience in year and failures
  • + 1
 I hate the bolt on design. i haven't tried the carbon cranks, but the steel to aluminium interface always wears out on their aluminum cranks. I have only had new fire x cranks and used stylos actually, but they were crap. SLX has been flawless.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 $425 cassette. are you kidding me? Sure it would be great to have but man with how many bbs and cassettes i run through in a year, that would be expensive!
  • + 4
 The only riders who should be "running" through cassettes every year are professional athletes who put in excess of 25 hours a week on their bike. I can assure you a 10 speed chain will easily last ~900 miles and a cassette will outlast several chains. My XTR had over 3,000 miles on it before being retired.

Regular lubrication and casually checking your chain for stretch are an easy way to extend the usable life of a cassette.
  • + 20
 Regular lubrication and checking of the chain...? Why would anyone do that when they can just let it all wear out, and then take it into the bike shop because its slipping on them, and then get upset at the shop when they're told how expensive it is to replace everything, and not just a chain if they had performed maintenance?

End rant of burnt out and bitter bike mechanic..
  • + 3
 @connerkuhns I hear you man, i hear you :/
  • + 3
 Lol, it's so common it's not even funny.

Even better when the whole bike is rusted to sh*t because they kept it at the batch by the sea with out a drop of lube, and it's still your problem.
  • + 2
 I clean and lube the chain after every ride, and replace them as soon as they reach 0.75 wear, yet I tend to get through a cassette almost every 6 months. This isn't meant as one-upmanship, I just want theories as to why this is happening. Cheers!
  • + 1
 yeah im with speedisyourfriend. i do the regular maintenance and still ride a lot, but i still have to at least get a new bb and cassette once, if not twice a year. I am still on a 9 speed set up so maybe the wear would be less on an 11 speed.
  • + 3
 Since I switched from oil to wax, chain and ring wear are a non issue. Wax lube doesn't hang on to the dirt. Dirt + lube = very abrasive grinding paste. Wax your chain, and don't clean it unless it's covered in mud. Even then, only use a garden hose. Cleaning the chain washes dirt into the pins and rollers where it just causes wear. My chains and rings last 3 to 5 times longer now, and interestingly haven't broken a chain since the switch. (knocks on wood)
  • + 0
 No surprise that the two guys who say that it takes 3,000 miles for a cassette to wear out are from California. Let me guess, brake pads last months as well? Over here you will be very lucky if you get 1500kms out of a chainset. Rain makes everything wear way faster. The mixture of sandy ground and rain destroys stuff where I live. Rain alone will do it.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 You didnt add there are numerous problems with clicking sounds the derailleur has when your suspension activates. We only have two bikes with XX1 here, from different retailers, and both of them have that issue.
  • + 1
 Thats the clutch letting it go Wink same problem here. Its actually drives me crazy. Ive replaced chain slap noise with cluch poping noise :/
  • + 4
 A classic example of trying to fix one problem but only creating another in the process. Rear derailleurs suck.
  • + 1
 The only problem the tester could find with this system, in five months, is that it gets dirty…
I just can't believe that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I use a 10 speed setup 11/36 cassete with 36 single ring seems to do the job just fine. Ok ok it hard on the steep up but I get their . Made me a stronger rider . Plus this new gear is way to over priced . Come on over £200 just for the cassette . I say spend your cash on the parts that really matter frame forks rear shock get the right bike for your needs and gearing should not be a problem . That's what I think anyway .
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I run 32t to 36t-11t (36t-12t replace the 12 with the 11 job done ) 9speed about a year now and it's great might be a little heavy compare to xx1 but light enough in my pocket
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Three things you can guarantee in life... - You'll pay taxes - You eventually will die - Protour will complain
  • + 1
 And your drivetrain will eventually wear out!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 There's nothing wrong with whatever your current bike setup. It's you! So get to work,train, get strong, lose the fat. Believe me, you'll enjoy the ride even more.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think the gent reviewing needs to grow a pair. Nice writing... But stand by your comments with out trying to spare feelings. This review lacks objectivity where you need it.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 you guys trip me out hammering on @protour... he is totally right about the drawbacks...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Mike

Two questions:

1. What is chain stretch like after your test? Perhaps using the Park tool measurements?

2. Have you bashed the ring on wood or rock and if so what was the outcome?
  • + 1
 curious about the second question as well, they didn't have a bashguard on that bike
  • + 2
 You must have missed it in the article:
"The chain itself hasn't failed during testing, and it now sits at .50 on our Park Tool chain checker,.."
  • + 1
 I did - thanks krsh.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 SRAM... Coming up with new shit every day.
  • - 1
 taking shimanos clutch design and forming proprietary parts so you can't fit cheaper competitors parts on is nothing new...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Waaay too expensive ....lets wait and see.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Remember the days of the 8 speed cassette?

I didn't clean my bike for months after muddy/wet/sandy/whatever rides and it still shifted like a champ!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Fuck that, I'll stick wth 1 x 8, Less gears, more money for beers !!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Look at this:

fotos.mtb-news.de/p/1371762

42 tooth Cog to create a 11-42 Ratio on 10 Speed Systems. Works really well, light and affordable!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 well done to the genius at sram that decided to name a 11 speed mountain bike 21......
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I saw a guy at my local XC race series had XX1. They gave him the number "1" race plate because he said he would be the fastest on the course due to his new bike. He lapped me. Buy XX1, become fast.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 SRAM must sell us 10 speed 10-36 cassettes for XD driver, compatible with current line of deraileurs.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 XX1 is an awesome setup, but a little pricey. I saved over $1000, running a leonardi general lee, X9 rear derailleur, X9 shifter, sram 10 speed cassette, and a kmc chain.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 man, that baby is so cheap. I'll buy even 3 sets.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 for that kind of cash your a fool for buying it over a gearbox.
  • + 1
 oh I heard they were giving gear boxes away for free... bitch about the latest and greatest gear out there and just wait till a gear box releases for similar prices
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've had my XX1 for almost 3 months now, and this review matches my experience exactly. I will never go back to a double-chainring.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "See, when we need that extra boost, we turn it up to eleven."
"Couldn't you just make ten louder...?"
"...this one goes to eleven."
[Reply]
  • + 1
 while it may work, the price and concept are plain wrong. if i were to shell out this much cash i'd go hammerschmidt.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm buying as soon as this makes it down to the X-3 level for my town bike.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 can the chain, crank & chain ring be used with regular X9 derailer and 9 speed cassette?
  • + 1
 nah, the chain itself is slightly narrower and the teeth on the caseette and chain ring are designed for that chain only. at the very best, a 9 speed cassette and derailleur would accelerate chain wear, but i guess the chain would jump.
  • + 1
 but it looks like the cassette and puleys are regular... no?
  • + 1
 it cant be that the cassette has special teeth. becouse you cant control the chain when it shift from one gear to another.
so it will probably work with regular 9 speed cassette and regular X9 deralier :-)
  • + 1
 Pulleys not, they are one big one thin texto, same as the chainrings.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Would I be able to use the XX1 crankset with a PG-1070 10 speed cassette and SRAM 10 speed chain?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I know I'll be pitting this drive train on my AM bike in the future! Good write up with lots of info!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It's crazy to me to have what is essentially a "Kamikaze DH" front ring mounted in the cassette...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wish they would make a 9 speed version with the same mech/clutch design.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 11 speed? ain't nobody got time for that!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How's the new SF100 treating you?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How bout 11 speeds up front and no rear derailer. Ill buy that set up.
  • + 1
 Yeah, it's the rear derailleur I have passionate hate for, not the front.

How often does a ride get ended because a rock or stick destroyed someones front derailleur?

And now with these super long derailleurs necessary for the ridiculous 42 tooth cassettes, destroying your rear derailleur through contact with rocks, roots, stumps, and sticks is even more likely. Oh well, at least a replacement XX1 rear mech isn't very expensive...

The 42 cassette also makes rear derailleur alignment more crucial and more likely to be a problem if your hanger is even slightly tweaked.

Overall, this group almost seems like a last dying, desperate gasp for Sram to finally develop something that beats Shimano and before some type of gearbox system or internal hub takes over the market.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just give the competition a while...
  • + 1
 to do what? pull further ahead? Add to the hype? stop producing 9 speeds so we have to buy crap we don't need so we can skip more gears we don't use?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Have it, love it. Best upgrade to my bike by a LONG shot.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Do a X91 and X71 and we are all in!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want this real bad for my asr5c. Will this work with my i9 hubs?
  • + 0
 (I cant help myself) iflow you are the 1%
  • + 4
 Thanks for the link Circes. I love that it is lighter than the old free hub too, double bonus. Thumbs up Doyglas123 - Thanks, I think. I spend most of what I make on my bikes, back country backpacking, camping, etc. I am by no means rich with money. But I do feel rich with experiences and hope to become richer.
  • + 1
 (I can't help myself) Doyglas123 get another job if you want an asr5c and i9 hubs and cannot currently afford them.
  • + 1
 iflow well said, that is the best way to spend money.
  • + 2
 @Doyglas123 - thanks bud. glad you came around on me. Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 long life to shimano x9!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great review! Can't wait for the price to go down.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Damn. That's expensive.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 best on a enduro bike set up
[Reply]
  • + 0
 why. just why would someone need 11 gears?
  • + 2
 Q. Why didn't they make ten bigger?
A. This one goes up to 11.
  • + 1
 Because when you have a 10-42 cassette you need all the intermediate steps you can fit.

Back in 1980 people said '7 gears? Why would anyone need 7?'
  • + 4
 You actually have more gears in your 2x10 or even 2x9 setup.
  • + 2
 I get the step up thing, needing more interim steps to get from the 10t to the 42t, but even with my 2x9 11-36 setup with 36t front ring, i rarely use either top or bottom gear.
  • + 1
 Well that's because you have a 2x9. The whole point of XX1 is that it's a single ring up front, with a comparable range of gears to a 2x10.
  • + 2
 A comparable range...but still not quite there. I'm keeping my front mech.
  • + 2
 No, robin is right. This just gives you more gears to skip while you shift. Fortunately you can jump 5 gears at a time so it won't feel like you have to jump a lot. I run 1x9 and I use 4-5 gears max. Look at your casettes. You do too. You can tell by which cogs are the most worn. This is hype. This is way more hype than 650b ever was and people are eating it like popcorn. No one needs more than 9 for AM, FR or DH applications. More gears gives you more cadence options which is great for roadies and rail trails, but is useless.
  • + 1
 I'm glad i have a 10sp cassete with 1 tooth increments (not in the last 3 gears though) because for sprinting in DH racing, optimal candence is important. Generally, better downhillers shift more than bad ones imho, so for them more gears is better (up to a point). Not saying that I'm one of them, but I'm actively working on improving my shifting, amoung other things. Same thing can be said for Enduro and XC. Bear in mind that XX1 is a top tier group set and it's made for the pros and not the average Joes.
  • + 2
 I am not convinced the pros would run 11 or even 10 if they weren't asked too. It isn't that different from 9. Also, your shifting likley cuts pedaling time. You might want to adapt more to the terrain so your drivetrain doesn't have to. You might improve your time. Just think of the guys running custom 6 speed cassettes for DH.
  • + 0
 Pros run what suits them most. Some used to run maxxis minions without brand name on them even if they were sponsored by a different tyre company, because they used to be so much better. Shifting cuts pedaling time - yes, but that is why you have to know shift points, shift at a point where you don't have to put much power on the pedals, so when you get in the straight you're already in correct gear, putting the power down.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 they are the best
[Reply]
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2014. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv16 0.106310
Mobile Version of Website