SRAM XX1 Eleven Speed Group - First Ride

Aug 17, 2012
by Mike Levy  
 
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SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.
  A novel derailleur, eleven cogs, and no chain guide. Is this the future?


DH Beginnings

While the XX1 group is aimed squarely at enduro racers and fit trail or all-mountain riders, the rear derailleur concept was originally conceived purely for DH use where the bikes use only a single chain ring. The thought was that current rear derailleurs must also handle duties as a consequence of having multiple chain rings: that is, take up the extra chain slack, or allow for enough slack to shift up to the big ring. Eliminate those two jobs and the rear derailleur can be optimized strictly for rear shifting. That early prototype featured a 'straight parallelogram' that moved directly across the cassette, unlike the angled, 'slant-parallelogram' design found on all modern derailleurs. The slant parallelogram is necessary to keep the derailleur's upper guide pulley close to the cassette cogs while the pulley cage is busy trying to reel in and pay out excess chain as the front changer is shifted between chain rings. It wasn't until a few years down the road that the Straight P concept was looked at again when SRAM began development of a single-ring drivetrain for all-around use.




The Straight P design will only ever function correctly when combined with a single-ring crankset due to its inability to manage the difference in chain length required by multiple rings, but the concept presented other challenges as well. In order to preserve shift speed and precision, the derailleur's upper pulley must track the cassette relatively close, a task that is accomplished on a standard derailleur by way of the slanted parallelogram. The same task on the XX1 unit is performed by a drastically offset upper pulley location that sees the pulley wheel move to the correct position as the cage is pulled forward by chain tension (in the photo above, notice the upper pulley's position well behind the cage pivot).



Techy Teeth

Much like how the XX1 rear derailleur originally began as a product for the DH world, the group's X-Sync chain rings also have roots in another realm: touring. The story goes that a unorthodox chain ring was developed for cycle touring that employed radically shaped teeth designed to hold the chain onto the ring as the bike was being ridden over rough roads, thereby keeping the casual cyclist from having to get themselves covered in grease when reinstalling the chain. Although XX1 uses the same concept, the idea has been taken to the next level. The design uses alternating tooth profiles; one with a thicker and heavily stepped shape, followed by a more standard looking tooth. 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, and 36 tooth rings, although odd tooth ring sizes will not be available due to the alternating pattern of the X-Sync design.


The 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 650 gram crankset (claimed, w/ BB) will be offered with both BB30 and GXP bottom bracket spindles.



XX1 On The Trail

We could go on and on about the features and technology employed on XX1 group but, this being our first proper ride on the new 11 speed system, we're more interested in how XX1 performs. Our four hour ride on the group doesn't add up to a review by any stretch of the imagination, although the rough and technical lap that we did (Top of the World, Khyber, and into some lower trails) was more than enough for us to return with some initial thoughts.

SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.
  Our group high on the mountain before entering the steeper pitches of Khyber Pass.


11 Cogs, Same Action

What does an eleven speed drivetrain feel like in use? As it turns out, a lot like a ten speed drivetrain - this is a good thing. The shifter itself has a slightly different feel to it, especially when pushing on the thumb paddle, that we were told is down to the combination of its X0 internals and the carbon fiber thumb paddle lifted from the XX shifter pod. The difference is very subtle, and shifting in either direction is very SRAM-like regardless, with a familiar 'ka-chung' from both paddles that offers a positive feel. If you like how SRAM's current ten speed shifters work, you'll likely be a fan of XX1's tactile action.

SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.
  Levy riding Whistler's new Top of the World trail on the XX1 equipped, 2013 Specialized Enduro.


Pushing the XX1 shifter's thumb paddle through its entire stroke moves the chain over five cogs, the same as on their ten speed shifters; the release trigger to drop to a higher gear is also the same, with it offering single jumps per push. Shift speed is quick, and we would say that it is slightly faster than what a well setup ten speed drivetrain offers, although this is to be expected given the tighter cog spacing. What did come as a bit of a surprise, though, was just how large of a range the 10 - 42 cassette truly offers. It's one thing to compare gear charts and speculate as to what it will feel like on the trail, but another entirely to shift through the massive cassette, from top to bottom, and actually feel the range for yourself. Our ride didn't include much extended climbing, but we did have to make our way up some seriously steep, granny gear worthy pitches. Shifting up to the pie plate-sized 42 tooth cog allowed us to power up all but the steepest of mandatory walk sections, and we feel confident in saying that most reasonably fit riders will be able to get by with doing just that. Keep in mind that our Enduro test rig was fitted with a 34 tooth ring, and that you could easily drop down to a 32 or 28 tooth option, lowering your entire gearing range to suit your terrain. Those near vertical portions of the trail did reveal one possible weakness of the XX1 system, though, in that getting surprised by a steep pitch necessitates that the rider shifts across the cassette to access the easiest gear. The same rider on a double ring setup only has to shift once, moving the chain down from the big to the small ring, in order to obtain a similar gear.

On the other end of the spectrum, dropping down to the ten tooth cog gives you a massively tall gear that we never came close to spinning out, and can't imagine anyone being able to do so on singletrack, even on Bend, Oregon's, mega-fast trails. More importantly, it refused to skip when we put the power down over rough sections. Conditions were about as dry and dusty as we've ever ridden in, so we can't speak to how the cassette, and especially the smaller cogs, will do at clearing mud that might otherwise prevent the chain from engaging properly, but we suspect that SRAM has spent a fair bit of time running the system through grime during the testing phase.

SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.
  Our 2013 Specialized Enduro proved to be the ideal bike for the rowdy terrain we pointed it down, making short work of some very rough sections. We are not exaggerating when we say that this 165mm travel rig outperforms pure DH rigs from only a few short years ago.



Chain Guide Optional

Our XX1 spec'd Specialized Enduro was, surprisingly, put together without any type of chain guide. It looks odd to see a bike of the Enduro's stature sporting a completely visible chain ring, almost incomplete in away. That wasn't the case, though, with SRAM confident in their chain ring's X-sync tooth profile's ability to keep the chain in check. The Type 2 rear derailleur is also an important part of the system, as its chain tension-adding clutch works wonders at keeping the chance of derailment to a minimum. Did we lose a chain at any point during the ride? Nope. Are we surprised? Yup. We came down some seriously chunky, stepped sections of trail, most of which we would expect to bounce a chain off on any bike not equipped with a guide of some sort, but we never once had an issue. Feeling somewhat defeated that we couldn't dislodge the chain from its home, we went so far as to make sure to be in the smaller, ten and twelve tooth cogs - the gears that offer the least amount of chain tension - when crossing over rough sections. We even tried back-pedalling over rough, fast singletrack. All of our efforts to derail the chain were stymied, with it staying put regardless of what we did.

This doesn't mean that all XX1 riders will be able to get by without a guide - some bikes seem to throw chains more often than others - but we'll say with certainty that we'd at least run the Enduro sans guide on our home trails without worry. Super-D and Enduro racers will likely still use a guide for rough tracks, but it looks like XX1's X-Sync design could eliminate a lot of guide-related setup headaches.

Stealth Mode

With no chain guide fitted, we expected our XX1-spec Enduro to make quite a racket over rough terrain, but we actually had the opposite experience. The bike was extremely quiet, even when the chain was in the smaller cogs and tension was at its lowest. Part of this is down to the lack of a front derailleur cage for the chain to slap against, but the clutch-equipped Type 2 rear derailleur and grabby X-Sync chain ring surely played a role as well. It has been said that a silent bike is a fast bike, and the Enduro's surprisingly quiet ride certainly added to the trail experience during our time on it.


Questions Remain

• Our first ride on SRAM's XX1 left us with nothing to complain about, but we still have a few questions that only time can answer. While we were blown away by how well the Type 2 derailleur and X-Sync chain ring worked to keep the chain on when crossing over rough terrain, we want to know how well the ring's radically shaped teeth will function once they start showing some wear. Will the fancy X-Sync technology be for not after half a season of hard use? And speaking of wear, keep in mind that XX1 users will be spending all of their time with the chain on that one ring, as opposed to a dual ring setup that sees the wear spread out between both rings.

• Many riders will consider the group's gearing range too tall for them, either for fitness or terrain reasons, which leads us to believe that SRAM will soon be offering a cassette with an even wider gearing range. Sound ridiculous? SRAM's Chris Hilton pointed out that the rear derailleur's upper pulley sits far enough away from the large 42 tooth cog to allow for yet a larger option. Will we see an X01 group with an even broader gearing range, or another XX1 cassette choice?

• Given that the XX1 rear derailleur has its roots in an unrealized DH-specific group, we believe that SRAM will debut a DH derailleur using the same straight parallelogram design as found on XX1 - it only makes sense given that the design looks to be ideal for use with a single chain ring setup. We don't believe that it will be eleven speed, though, more likely ten or less, but it will replace the current X0 DH derailleur that uses a shorter knuckle to keep the upper pulley close to tight-range cassettes. SRAM refused to comment when we posed the question, but they also didn't deny it.

SRAM XX1 at Whistler. Photo by Adrian Marcoux.
  Our time on XX1 included a good cross-section of riding conditions: rocky high-alpine singletrack, rough and fast trails, and even some exceptionally steep climbing pitches.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe XX1 group is certainly not going to be for everyone - its $1499 USD group price will make sure of that - but it could be just the ticket for a fit rider who is looking to simplify their drivetrain. No, it doesn't offer the same gearing range as a double-ring, ten speed setup, but that isn't SRAM's goal with XX1. What the group does offer, though, is a simpler drivetrain layout that is aimed at strong riders who know exactly what type of gearing they need. And we're not talking about only cross-country racers, but also fit trail riders out there as well. The single ring group should also have an impact on bike design - will we see frames built without front derailleurs in mind? We're betting that is exactly what will happen, especially in the 29er market where front derailleur clearance issues with the rear tire have been a concern. The final point to keep in mind is that SRAM is not trying to replace the ten speed drivetrain - XX1 will be one option of many that allows riders to choose what makes the most sense for them. - Mike Levy


www.sram.com
Photos by Adrian Marcoux

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201 Comments

  • + 26
 Great idea , weight saving through ingenuity . AM bike application is really pushing towards DH and XC . This new system helps the one bike do it all argument , the new Enduro will too .
  • + 1
 Couldn't have said it better myself
[Reply]
  • + 24
 i'll wait for 12 speed next year
  • + 2
 I can't imagine that adding the unsprung weight of more cogs to the rear axle does anything good for suspension dynamics. granted, it's still peanuts compared to the weight of the wheel and tire, but it'd be interesting to see if 1x9 vs 1x11 is noticeable on the downhills.
  • + 6
 The 10 - 42 eleven speed cassette weighs 260 grams... the same as a ten speed XTR cassette and only slightly heavier than an XX cassette.
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Speaking as someone who spends day after day fixing bikes, for me that rear mech is just asking to head for the spokes or a rock. Surely we need shorter mechs. The longer the mech, the more stress on it and increased wear, sram is bad enough for wearing out now.
Also, i can't ever remember anyone complaining about lack of gears but constantly here about gears going out of sync and rear mechs getting ripped off. And chains will break more, road riders run bigger gears to answer an earlier comment, when you change down in a low gear grinding up a climb, the thinner chain will snap quicker. Its obvious. Just hope Shimano don't follow this, its bad enough having 10 speed saint, when all you need on a dh bike is 6 gears.
Lastly, getting crap out of that casset will be a nightmare, 10's bad enough on a muddy ride.
9 speed is king, just improve that. And stop making the gear we just bought obserlete in months! Hell how do you spell obserlete? Lol. Not like that haha.
  • + 3
 my understanding is that because of the size of the larger rear cogs being so big to get the range they are after, the derailleur can not be any shorter then it is otherwise you would have no tension and huge chain slop by the time you shift down to the smallest cog, its all about having optimal chain tension through the derailleur in every gear, keeping the chain on and tight, making a chain guide unnecessary in this case
  • + 19
 To answer another point, chains aren't more likely to snap the narrower they get since they snap at the plates and it's only the bushings and pins getting narrower to accomodate the finer cassette shifts.

Also you're right, DH bikes don't need 10 speed, which is why SRAM have developed with Specialized the 6 speed system which you'll see on Sam Hill's bike featuring the 9 tooth smallest cog, enabling a smaller front chainring and therefore a lower BB and more stability.

But here's the thing I don't get, it's; why do half the readers/riders on PB assume that everything on here is for DH? It's simples, don't buy it if you're not interested, you can still buy 7,8,9 speed components, quill stems and threaded headsets, cantilever brakes and rigid forks if you want; these technologies haven't gone anywhere.
  • + 4
 and it's "obsolete" Smile
  • + 3
 exactly a DH bike you, but you need more for enduro, people complain about weight and the argument of dual chainring + derailleur vs. single chainring + guard, and whether their cassette range is large enough for them to get up hard climbs and also to not have their legs spinning helplessly when traveling at high speeds, this surely answers all of those doubts single chainring + no guard = lighter than dual chainring + derailleur vs. single chainring + guard also 11 spd allows for a greater range of gears + due to the derailleur not having to take up slack from the chainring is should in theory be simpler therefore less to go wrong.

did anyone read whether a grip shift will be made to be compatible with this?
  • + 4
 Yes. Grip shift will be offered. Can't believe I'm saying this but given its ability to move across the cassette faster it might make more sense with this group. I'm running triggers on my 1x10 and you have to plan ahead a bit more than I'd like. But they claim the new triggers are faster so hopefully that will be enough.
  • + 1
 @slamman : well said Brother !!
  • + 2
 Looks like a lot of thought was put into this new system... but why are we still using derailleurs with pie plate sized casette rings?! All the clutch systems and machined, one-piece cassettes help keep the chain slap and weight down, but it's being over-thought. It's all unsprung weight that can be moved to a low and central part of the bike... the BB! I thought the Hammerschimdt was just a taste of things to come from SRAM. Why not create a version with 6, 7, 9, 10 gears? That's what I'd like to see in the future.
  • + 3
 Ha. Just wait till shimano brings back ten pitch and runs an 8-21 cassette. Then there will be a lot of obsolescence out there. Pinkbike don't know about no ten pitch- yet.
  • + 2
 As much as this seems more complicated, it is keeping it simple, and I like it. I don't know about the need for 11 speeds, I would rather nine widely spaced with a wider chain so an 11-38 9 speed cassette. 10 Speed chains are finiky enough, sure they work great when they are new, but you can't stretch their life like you could with the older stuff, life span on all of these cool parts is getting too short.
  • + 1
 15 speed cassettes, awwwwww yeeeeeaaaaahhh!!!!
  • + 4
 @c25porter

not sure about the problem on durability on 10 speed systems?

bought a new bike in January 2012, still running the same chain, cassette, derailleur and chainring (all SRAM X-0 in 1 x 10 format on a 29er)


ride this bike 3-4 times a week doing XC rides with lots of steep climbing, descending and numerous gear changes, we've had terrible weather this year here in the UK with the wettest summer on record which means lots of mud


still showing no wear on the chain (regularly measuring with chain tool), and gears working perfectly, have changed the rear derailleur cable twice during this period.

never "wash" my bike or run the chain through a chain bath or cleaning machine, its always wiping it down and relubing, this could be the key to durability as "recommended" cleaning methods murder your chain, and then the rest of your drivetrain Wink
  • + 1
 If you need a taller gear than 32x11, you're going too fast! (or riding on the road)
  • + 0
 This isn't a DH drive train. It's and enduro/trail drivetrain. I'm sure the engineers at SRAM have put a lot more thought into this than you have so I wouldnt go off saying how it won't work when you haven't even tried it yet.
[Reply]
  • + 21
 I'm still satisfied with my 1x9 set up. I'm done with these shenanigans!
  • + 1
 Agreed. Been running 33t w/ 11-34 for a while, I don't mind walking out super-steep climbs anyways. 1x9 is both (very) cheap and simple.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 To all the haters always posting sh&*t on these forums, read the full article before writing stupid comments and asking dum questions.

If you think 11spd is for the unfit, and this is to many gears, buy a single speed and stop bitching.

If you are bitching about the costs of the new technology in mtbing, forget about it all and buy a single speed.

Problems with chains breaking due to poor shifts, ah, single speed.

Dont like all the new technology, fully rigid steel single speed!

But seriously, as Im sure most of the riders on this site have suspension and gears, then you obviously embrace change. The progression of our sport comes from, innovation and change, new tech costs money but we all benafit, if its not your thing, dont bitch about it and understand that it will help our sport as a whole.

It always amazes me at how people bitch about the reliabilty of products but never bitch about the lack of thier maintance or skill that probably lead to the original fault.

Bottom line stop bitching and ride.
[Reply]
  • + 14
 Its funny that this is making any news. Just shows how many people never tried a 11-36 with a 32T up front. Cheaper and lighter. Seems logical to me.
  • + 9
 The story here is the range offered by the 10 - 42 cassette, along with the cranks that allow you to fit rings from 38 down to 28. The result is a much wider gear range than the current 1X setups. Yeah, not nearly as cheap, though!
  • + 7
 I agree with mel22b, I don't want to be this guy, but I feel like someone should say riders need to harden up a bit and then you CAN push a 11-34 or 36 with a 32 up front. Awesome idea by Sram, but it just seems to water down a segment of the sport which I have a lot of respect for, the core all around rider who can shred down and pedal up.
  • + 5
 I dont see how a 42T rear cog with a 32T chainring can possibly be not a low enough gear. According to my dodgy maths, that setup is only marginally longer geared than a 24T granny ring with a 32T rear cog. Have to say I've never found myself or seen anyone spinning away in their lowest gears who actually rides enough to own a bike like that.
  • + 7
 I ran a 36t front and 11-26t rear for a couple of rides on my enduro. It wasn't that bad, but I had to stand up a lot on the climb. This drive train craze is a waste of money... Get in better shape!
  • + 6
 If you can't get up a hill with 42/32 they you must have wet noodles for legs really.
  • + 2
 i think you are all being a bit too generalist with these 'if you cant' comments... everyone's physical make up is different and good at different things. not everyone who rides regularly is under 200lbs and able to climb anything if they 'try harder'. that said, the gear range available here seems pretty broad - especially with that 28T front.
  • + 1
 The point I take from this is that with the money you could save going for a standard 32T single ring up front and an 11-34T, you could join a gym and get fit enough to pedal up in a normal gear ratio instead of making a bike adapt to you. Would make you faster on the downs as well!
  • + 1
 thestigmk - Who needs a gym membership when you have a mountain bike? Just keep trying up those hills and you will eventually make it. And for the record, Im over 200 lbs and run a 34/32. Let me tell you, it wasn't an easy switch but it was well worth it.
  • + 1
 its handy for strength stuff that you can't just pick up from riding the bike alone, but I was more searching for something the same price that would solve the same problem lol.
  • + 1
 I agree In principal that training will make you stronger and help get you there but for me stay fit enough to ride up 90% of stuff on a 34T x 11-32 I would have to train hard every day! I know because I've been there and life just doesn't allow that anymore. A broader gear ratio would allow me to ride a 1x11 and actually get out and ride rather than spend my life in the gym!
  • + 2
 Im not on a militant fitness rant. Im just saying that in an era where bike component prices are going through the roof, increasing R&D and manufacturing costs for another niche 'standard' (freehub changes etc) is not what I think 90% of riders really want (opinion). I know downhill and freeride probably only makes up 10% of MTBing if that, but I bet almost everyone who plods along on a 2x9 or a 1x9 would rather this expenditure was put into reducing costs for the masses rather than another leap over the already monumentally expensive options.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 I dig that SRAM is staying away from the norm and expanding into unchartered territory, after all why not? We only can gain with the industries R&D and while it might not be for everyone there may be those that fall in love with it and wondered why it took so long to come around.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I like the idea but hate the price. maybe three years away from buying. maybe

great article. It's be nice to see some of that tech filter down to the 10 speed line. Or maybe it's backwards compatible?
[Reply]
  • + 3
 best comment on here hands down.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Thin chain, thin cogs, front wheel with funny theeth waiting to wear and break. Shortlived crap. After one year - had to replace x7 and x9 rear derailleurs on dh-bikes because of bearing and spring wear. Shortlived crap. Sram this is getting annoying. Instead of fixing the inherent design fault of derailleur, cog and chain, faulty chainline - with a gearbox more shoddy material and more useless features are added. The latest and greatest bike innovation only exists in the imagination of markeneers. 11 is a nasty thing.
  • + 2
 I was a massive fan of SRAM for years. Now, I run an x5 rear mech on my downhill bike purely for financial reasons. I swear it has 90% of the performance of the x9 at 30-40% of the cost. My previous x9 rear derailleurs died of similar problems to you, and the occasional from a large impact which cannot be helped. I WILL be changing to Shimano when I can afford a full setup. They might not be any better, but you have to vote with your wallet. I've already done this with my brakes after years of riding avids. Short lived crap is definitely the way to describe it.

I agree with everything you say.
  • + 1
 just so as you know, What Mountainbike Magazine (don't know if I'm allowed to write that but what evs, will remove if asked) recently did a direct comparison between SRAM and Shimano, showing that Shimano components lasted a lot longer and the shifting quality lasted longer
  • + 1
 Thanks. I hope that is the case!
  • + 1
 I run full Shimano (Ultegra) on my road bike, and SRAM (X-O) on my mountain bike, there is a genuine quality difference between the two companies even when examining components from similar level groupsets between the 2 brands, with the nod in Shimano's favour (I work as a workshop manager fixing 100+ bikes a week)

something I would say from my experiences, is that the more expensive SRAM groupsets are generally very good, their cheaper groupsets not so...whereas Shimano's cheaper groupsets tend to be pretty darn solid?

seen too many cheaper SRAM rear mechs go "sloppy" in the derailleur hanger pivot in a very short period of time, or even "new" out of the box when building a bike (pre-delivery inspection) for a customer
  • + 1
 More than happy with the performance and longevity of my XO 10 speed kit. Bomber stuff. Crisp shifting. 10-42? Why not? This year? No. Next year when it's cheaper? Yes.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 That rock roll is insane, rode the trail today, no danger was I riding that with a 160mm rear rotor and a Nobby Nic out back. Maybe on the Dh bike, but the run out does not have a lot of grip to slow you down but not on the trail bike. The trail is mint, loved all of it, still smiling. As for this... thing... it is for those with too much money, I will stick with a chain device, for AM riding the bash guard is required, chain sets are not strong enough at the chainring interface to take a big hit, especially when they are that price for a drive train!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Really hope someone gets around to making a 6-speed cassette standard so we can start getting what we want on DH bikes, feel free to use the straight-parallelogram there though, that sounds interesting.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Key Questions for me are 1) how much will the special chain sell for. As an xc racer, I change my chain regularly to save wear on my drivetrain. It's enough to spend $50 on a new chain, but will the price of this chain make the regular chain-swap unreasonable? 2) I wonder if they will offer a package with no cranks (spider only) for those with existing SRAM drive trains that want a less pricey change-over. When I went from 3x to 2x10, I found a guy to swap spiders with and saved myself a few hundred dollars by not havint to get new cranks. Such an option would make it far more palatable. I think the questions already raised about drivetrain wear and performance in mud are also critical. I'm interested though, many of the fastest xc guys around my area run 1x10 and swear by it, but they get stuffed a bit on the steep technical stuff without a manageable easy gear.
  • + 1
 i don't think it's a ''special chain'' of sorts but rather a special chainring to better fit the chain's profile. nevertheless a valid question.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 why is sram's intended application for this only trail/all mountain? as a more casual collegiate xc racer, this seems absolutely perfect for a hardtail 29er. i run 2x9 now and can count the number of times i used my front derailleur all season on 1 hand. having the extra gears in the back is reassuring, plus i've never been a fan of the initial drastic change when shifting the front der. on a side note, sram/shimano, whoever decides to make a 6 speed DH grouppo with a clutch derailleur should be raking in the cash. x6 anyone?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 how does the chain stay on? i was done at 8sp but ive grown to like 9sp for the lightness compared to 8,also 9 shifts cleaner than 8, but the undespuditible ruggedness of 8sp is huge for me. 10sp 11 sp whaat are they smoking? extra cost extra, complexity, and potentialy more unsprung weight at the rear. nothing good can come from this except profits for the company. if you need such a wide range of gearing you just need to run another ring up front.
  • + 2
 There is plenty of info about chain retention in the article, and I would argue that XX1 is actually less complicated than a standard dual-ring setup with a front derailleur. Unsprung weight? The XX1 cassette is only slightly heaver than a 11-36 XX cassette, mere grams.
  • + 1
 Chains largely bounce off the chainring because of the "play" around the teeth with the female section of the links (the ones where its outer plates and pins holding the rollers together). This chainring design is optimized to eliminate that play however you do have to pay closer attention when installing your chain that the outer plates are fit over the wider teeth on the chainring.
  • + 1
 i did not do my research on weight. if were are talking less than an ounce that is impressive. i still would not trust riding with out a chainguide or front der for my riding style. when WC dh teams run no chainguide ill consider it. still dont see the need for 11 speeds 9 is enough
  • + 3
 @tdryan242 - Sorry, I didn't include the cassette weight in the article... it weighs 260 grams (claimed), which puts it in the same league as an XTR cassette, and only slightly heavier than an XX block.
  • + 0
 @tdryan242 - when the hell where u running 8sp?? 8 speed died off in the late 90's!!!
  • + 1
 That's a great point, deeeeeeeeight.
  • + 1
 MadMax: I was running seven speed until about 2004: all my parts still worked, and it's stronger than 8, 9, or 10.
  • + 2
 I still run 8 speed on any of my bikes that don't have some form of gearbox or gearbox hub. And for any rental bikes I have to work on I encourage the business to get 8 speed set ups, even to the point of changing components to 8 speed from 9, and now 10. So much more reliable. You really notice it when maintaining a fleet of over ten bikes.
  • + 0
 Groghunter - 2004 was 8 years ago...

NoSkidMarks - what are you even talking about... maintaining a fleet of bikes? This article is about Sram's new XX1 group not maintenance or gearboxes.
  • + 4
 I'm responding to the posts above mine. And in my eyes it's all very relevant. I'd like to see reliability, and less gears but with the same range if possible. It's Mountain biking, not road. I hate shifting all the time with small change per gear. and I hate having fragile shit that can't take a bit of a knock without going out of tune. Maybe XC riders need the perfect cadence for some corses, but for the rest of us, I think durability is more important.
  • + 2
 hankbrowne: Madmax was talking about 8 speed dying out in the late 90s, which isn't true, lots of people were still running 7 and 8 speed well into the 2000s. how long ago 2004 was is irrelevant.

NoSkidMarks is right: in 7, 8, and even at first with 9 speed, there was no options depending on what kind of riding style you did: no short cage derailleurs, no short range cassettes, nothing. basically, if you needed durability vs weight savings in your drivetrain, you went with something lower than top of the line, and hoped for the best. Now we at least have shorter cage options, and some DH specific parts, but there could be a lot of work done to make it even stronger by using less speeds so that you can have thicker chains, fatter rings and cassette cogs. This would be a huge boon to those of us who want parts that will last longer through wear and tear.

I'd still rather have a gearbox though, moving the chain out of the chain stay area and getting rid of derailleurs completely should increase durability of everything by a huge factor. When it comes down to it, derailleurs are a decades old answer that was engineered for road use.
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  • + 2
 I like the whole system but that last picture showing the chain in the easiest gear just shows the der. hanging down there waiting to get hit. Otherwise great idea, always nice to see technology in our sport moving forward.
  • + 4
 When you are in the easiest gear you are going to be doing slow, grinding climbs, the low gear is seriously low. Much less chance of the derailleur getting hit unless you pick a line which puts your rear wheel just to the left of a large rock. When descending the derailleur will be more out of the way.
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  • + 1
 As to Pinkbike's take: With all the respect, a fit rider will be more than fine on 34t x 11-34 cassette even on 6" enduro bike Wink Unfit rider will always need more stuff whether it is nr of cogs, teeth on cogs or more handlebar levers. But thanks for the honest review Wink Waiting for the long term one
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  • + 1
 I tried 9 speed for a while when it came out but found: 1. too many gears.. and 2. after a year the cable stretches, the chain and cassette wear and it won't shift properly any more and it costs a bit to replace all of that, I went back to 8spd after I got fed up with it and I've had the same 8spd Shimano XT mech thats lasted nearly a decade I reckon, albeit I have had to replace both rear pivots with split pins and replace the jockey wheels in that time as well as a new cable once.... but I never have to oil it, change or adjust the cable every 6 months or worry about faulty shifting and I've used the same cassette and chain for 6+ years, all because there's less gears and wider spacing so more reliable shifting and still the same 11/34 gear spread... albeit I lock the biggest gear out for dh so I can run my chain shorter for more tension and prevent the chain slipping into the spokes, I also removed the mount-pivot hardware for single chainring use as the mech doesn't need to swing if you only have a single front ring.

It works flawlessly and silently year in year out! ... I find it kinda funny that they're only just catching up now with clutched cage pivots and fancy linkages. lol
  • + 1
 (removing the mount pivot stops that annoying derailleur knocking of the jockey wheel into the cassette, so it works silently)
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  • + 1
 The idea of 1 ring with no chainguide is awesome! If the chain ring holds the chain so well does it rely on the clutch derailleur to avoid chain suck?

Everyone seems to be complaining about the 11 cogs, but that is not the innovation here, and I agree that a 1x10 should be enough. I want to know more about the Straight P design. Is it necessary for the big cog, or does it just eliminate an unneeded function of the slanted parallelogram?
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  • + 1
 When are Sram just going to make a decent gearbox, and stop flaffing about with this perishable, marketing, consumerism BS?
Only thing that'd get me interested in a deraileur would be an 8 speed cassette with a 11, and 36tooth Granny.
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  • + 1
 Why does the Industry continuously give us shit we don't want/need/ask for, and at the same time refuse to develop those which every rider screams out for?

How much money for a system which you know is still going to need a chain device... and what happens when it skips out of sink with your fat and skinny teath?
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  • + 1
 I would rather see cluched mechs in nine speed and 6 speed cassettes avalable for down hill, rather than 10-11 speeds so please dont buy this so can go back to 9 speed with cluch to stop chain rattle, I think its fine to have choice of gears, but I still want a bike with sealed drive, so I am building my own one from Carbon fibre with 9 speed gears
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  • + 3
 1. wait for sram to do this kind of thing with a 10spd chain & chainring
2. acquire smaller range cassette
3. combine the two
4. ????
5. profit
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  • + 1
 I was wondering for am use isn't 1x10 low enough ? I'm finding that the front end is lifting way to easy even with flipped stem and nearly flat bars currently 32 36 lowest and can get up pretty much everything . Maybeif I was running out of high gears then I would go 36 an 11 speed . Good work anywa.
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  • + 1
 The Spinal Tap comment is the best, 'Why didn't you just give 10 speed greater range?' Sram: 'But it's got 11!?!?'

Ok, I'm old. Not that I want to go backwards, I'm as much a tech/bike junkie as any, but when I started front rings were oval and 12-28 was max. When you grannyied out it was 28-28; 1:1. So, we are getting weaker, as so many people have posted. I always felt like they were shrinking front rings for 2 reasons: 1) To advertise lighter weight and 2) To increase ground clearance.

What does 11 buy that 10 or 9 doesn't? Not much (to me), closer gear ratio yes, but overall range not a ton. The REALLY interesting thing I would like to see is what a FRAME designer could do with an extra 1" in the rear triangle, I think that will be the next revolution. This drivetrain, I think, is the gateway that will push us to the next level in the realm of pivot placement (to optimize for 1 ring as well as keep simple), as well as shorter chain stays (resulting from the lack of need to compensate design for the front mech)...
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  • + 1
 Can sram now put that in a gearbox please so that:

a) I don't have to look at that giant fugly cassette
b) that expensive looking mech doesn't get obliterated
c) I don't have that fugly giant cassette at the end of my swingarm
d) I dont cover my giant fugly expensive cassette with mud i can never get out
e) seriously that cassette is bigger than some wheels for christs sake
f) still can't get over the ridiculous size of that cassette
g) come to look at it, that mech looks like something from predators arsenal, ott much?
h) i've forgotten my original point that cassette's so big it blocks out rational thought, I'll stick to my 6 speed for dh, single for everything else
  • + 1
 Single for DH as well... Talk about having to be fit. Wink
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  • + 1
 Last year I went to a 1x9 with a xtr chain. I finished the season with 6 quick links in a 100 buck chain. I upgraded some stuff but stuck to a xtr set up with a kmc chain and it has been great. 1 x 10 scared me, thinner chain more issues, can only imagine what a 11 speed 100 plus chain could blow up into. btw I run a 12 x 36 shimano lx cassette. Super cheap and super strong and does the job with a xcx chainguide and a 32 single ring up front. dave
  • + 1
 I run the same cassette, I just change the 12T for an 11T.
Great for the hills, I just run either a 33T up front (normally with a 11..32 XTR out back) or a 36T up front with the 11..36 out back.
Cheap, but heavy, and can take out your mech hanger with the rear mech (XT in my case) hitting the 36T on very technical climbs.
  • + 1
 I run the same 1x9 with a 32T up front but on SRAM cassette... has done the job so far for me... hadn't thought about swapping the 12T for an 11T... will have to give that a go as that was the only niggle I had with it! - thanks!
  • + 1
 I wished they made a 12-36 9spd XT or XTR cassette ... The LX/Deore one is just sooooo heavy :/

edit :

HG61 12-36 -> 419g
XT : 11-34 -> 292g

Cmoooon Frown
  • + 1
 Bah ... didn't see the Edit button ...
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  • + 1
 Looks impressive, although that cage looks like its going to get torn off and you'll have to sell a kidney to afford another new one.. Only just made the move up to 1x10 myself and with a 32 front ring and an 11-34 cassette it pretty much covers all bases especially with the new shimano clutch. Fair play SRAM this looks absolutely incredible but I'm just not sure if its worth the price premium for the full drivetrain
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  • + 2
 If your looking to simplify your drivetrain and know what gearing you want, get your self a Canfield Brothers Microdrive 9t hub. www.canfieldbrothers.com/components/9-tooth-rear-hub
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  • + 3
 1500 DOLLARS!!!!!!??!?!?1?1?!!???? looks great, solid concept, but my fantasies of this adorning my trail bike ended with the price tag.
  • + 2
 They're bound to put out a cheaper version. I wouldn't want this even if I could afford it because I don't like carbon cranks. Get rid of all the carbon and the price can come way down.
  • + 2
 whats wrong with carbon cranks? they're lighter and stronger than aluminum. costs more, but superior things always do... whats not to like?
  • + 2
 agreed, carbon is dope! but for 1500, i could get most of the stuff in the new shimano saint m820 groupset, even though the xx1 is in a different categorie
  • + 2
 carbon stuff mhm... they are like those hotties after plastic surguries - no man can say he wouldn't like one once in his life but they age terribly... 3D Metal printing might kill lots of CF components, if it comes to life in MTB, CF cranks will be one of the first to go
  • + 0
 On the rocky trails I ride my cranks take a lot of abuse. Its not worth a few grams to wind up like this www.bustedcarbon.com/2009/06/campagnolo-chorus-carbon-crankset.html
  • + 1
 im using sram carbon on two of my bikes. the other day i overshot a 30 foot gap, going more like 40 to flat with a 12 foot step down. i figure if the cranks wouldn't break for that then they have passed the stress test. maybe campagnolo is more for XC use, therefore lesser quality? i've never seen any press on broken sram carbon cranks. cranks are one of the few places that you can save close to a whole lb. on a single part. totally worth it imo
  • + 2
 I have no doubts about strength of SRAM cranks or many other CF components/frames, I meant that it tends to look ugly as the time goes buy when it starts to chip off after countless hits on rocks. But wel fancy shiny, coloured anodized alu jewelry isn't far behind. Campagnolo does stuff only for road bikes. I think it is wise to skip sites like bustedcarbon as source of info on how certain parts hold up, because you never know if it wasn't busted by a total morong.
  • + 1
 The whole kit is about $1150 on Universal (with an optional extra chainring) and the 15% discount. I'm sure the price will come down still too in time. I don't think the price is that ridiculous.
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  • + 0
 Who in they right mind wants to do more shifting while riding trails. If anything go back to 7-8 speed like alot of big dh teams are doing. Unless you do cyclocross 11 speed should stay in the display case. 10 speed was laim enough, next thing they'll have us riding road handlebars on dh bike with downtube shifters.
  • + 2
 You don't actually ride a bike do you? You just troll here to post illogical arguments. Road bikes haven't used downtube shifters for years. Big DH teams can do whatever they want, they're using hand-made prototypes/one-offs most of the time. Their usage is merely done for R&D. The whole DH world has always only ever been good to R&D things that benefitted other segments of mountain biking (and hell road biking as well). No major manufacturer is ever going to waste money and time tooling up for production of technology ONLY for the benefit of 1/10 of 1 percent of the entire mountain bike market.
  • + 1
 Ya i trolling on flatbush ave right now on my street sweeper. Looking at this railing hop onto a storm gate transition.
  • + 0
 Deeeight I agree with everything Shishka said. Constructive individual free thought logical opinion, not regurgetated marketing BS. As I said above too. I'd prefer 8 speed with wider range, less shifting, more durability, but luckily companies are producing gearboxes and bikes now that cover most of my ideals.
  • + 1
 Ya we all free to use any drivetrain. If you want a huge cassette and a million gears go for it. 7-8 speed is good in the real mountains. Has anyone considered how pathetic a 11 speed chain looks. Picture a 10spd but smaller.
  • + 2
 If you think half a millimeter less width matters in the great scheme of the universe, then you need to find yourself a new girlfriend.
  • + 0
 That's one of the most retarded comments I've seen in a while. We're talking about chains, and the difference that smaller tolerances make on durability. Not really much to do with the universe. If you can't bring logical points to the conversation then go find some other smack talking forum so people can at least gain from a wealth of knowledge via conversation.
I've got pussy on tap, always have nimphomaniac girlfriends, I'd say it's you that needs to find a girl, just take a fat one if you can't find a hottie. I hear they go harder anyway ;-)
  • - 1
 No mon, me no make friends just find pussyhole them. I obsessed with chains and different drivetrains. If 11 or 10 speed was worthy of my mountains would have them already.
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  • + 1
 Hey Mike, is the $1499 price tag for the drivetrain including brakes? Any idea on how much the chainring, cassette and chain will cost individually?Have to do my budget for next year :-)
  • + 1
 Nope, there are no XX1 brakes. The price is just for the cranks/bb, ring and chain, cassette, rear derailleur, and shifter. No individual prices at this point.
  • + 1
 and I'm guessing that does not include the special FreeHub that is required to convert your real wheel!
  • + 1
 true true...ouch
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  • + 4
 Damn!! I guess I will stick with the 1x10.
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  • + 4
 soooo expensive but sooo gooooddd
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  • + 1
 i have a habit of mashing any mech that isn't a short cage so im gonna be sticking with my zee 1x10 set up!, i find the 34 with an 11-36 cassette fine for anything if ridden so far . . . and its slightly cheaper . . . haha!
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  • + 1
 wonder if there is any increased drag due to running a compromise in chainline at either end of the block. I love chucking it in the big ring and feeling the boost in efficiency when I get to the smaller cogs in the block.
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  • + 0
 po jasny chuj komu jedenaście ?! ja jeżdzę na ósemce a używam może czterech, resztą się bawię
już widzę jak to będzie za 10 lat: 34 zębatki z łańcuchem szerokości 3mm i potrójnie wysprzęglona przerzutka, a kto nie ma ten nie trendy

ludzie tak czy siak trza pedałować
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  • + 3
 never been a fan of specialized bikes - don't ask me why - but dang. that enduro is naiiice.
  • + 2
 I like Specialized bikes, too expensive I think sometimes, just like Trek. But you are so right that is Freakn Sweet!
  • + 1
 my first specialized bike is the 2011 enduro EVO (coil shock). i thought i would snap it like a twig, but it has been the most impressive mid-travel bike ever. i dared to say it made the SX obsolete from how rugged and capable it is, and come to find out, the SX has been discontinued. with a coil shock i'm calling it unbreakable. i weigh 225lb and beat the piss out of it regularly. its truly mini DH
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  • + 1
 This is the only bike community on the internet who could complain this much about a new product..... XX1 is simply an option not a standard. Just FYI the Men's Olympics XC were won on XX1 Gold, silver, and bronze.
  • + 0
 Probably who didn't get medals and why is more important. and if there was an 8 speed option who's to say it wouldn't have won. XC racing is a tiny slice of the market. For everyone else I think reliability, toughness, and less clicks would be more bennneficial. The XC option will still be there if you wanted to use it. I'm just saying it'd be nice if The big Ss produced a wide range, nice shifting 8 speed set up, and some decent gearboxs.
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  • + 0
 Gonna be more brands spec'ing 1x10 or 1x11 on their bikes, maybe with some models specifically designed to run without a FD, able to get more room for tires in the back and the rear tire tucked in closer. There's the Spec Evo models and the Kona Honzo so far from big brands. Can't wait to see what Shimano and my fav brand, Yeti, has to offer,

What's keeping Shimano from making their internal gear hub tech MTB worthy? Too many existing patents?
  • + 1
 Shimano's number one concern is always product reliability. As a result, they've experience the least number of forced product recalls, and also have the least number of complaints on things like chains snapping of the major drivetrain makers. If they're not yet releasing a "mtb" internal gear hub, its probably because the reliability isn't where they'd like it to be. Its certainly got zilch to do with patents as patent law makes zero distinction between types of bicycles (road, mtb, touring, commuter, etc). If someone was gonna try and sue shimano over a hub patent, they'd have done so by now. As to 11 speed chains being "thinner"... that hasn't hurt Pro triathletes and road racers who have been running 11 speed rear ends on Campagnolo equipped bikes for about five years now. No mountain biker is going to subject a chain to higher stress loads than what professional road racers do already.
  • + 3
 @deeeight - All good points. I also believe that despite many PB readers always asking for some sort of internally geared hub, they wouldn't buy one if it was actually offered. I don't foresee any chain issues either. Chains don't snap from riders applying too much power (our meager bodies don't come anywhere near what it takes to snap a chain), they break from bad shifts where a tooth lifts an outer plate up and off of the end of the chain pin.
  • + 0
 I've only seen/heard of world class BMX riders or velodrome sprinters snap mtb chains and it happens very rarely, such that statistically it's mostly due to some faulty installation. The only guys that really snap chains very often are the crazy super fit tandem racers, when they think it's a good idea to sprint :-p
  • + 1
 @mikelevy- straight after writing the above coment you wrote this one a bit further down. ???
"I would have no concerns about an 11 speed chain because I know that I've broken loads of 7, 8, 9 and 10 speed chains - it doesn't have anything to do with it"
  • + 2
 To back up Mike's point about IGHs, when the Rohloff hub came out it was the same weight as the then XTR. It just didn't take off. It is very robust - Rohloff sponsored the FlowRiders many years ago and AFAIK they didn't break a one. They also outlast regular drivetrains by tens of thousands of miles and therefore pay for themselves in a few years. Plus you can run your steel cogs, rings, and the strongest chains money can buy.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy - i have broken chains riding up steep inclines without shifting gears anywhere on the hill... mid-high end SRAM and Shimano, same situation. mid-high end KMC have never snapped on me, anywhere. I'm not saying its my 'power' but it certainly isn't my shifting ability.
  • + 0
 I've snapped a few MTB chains, but like Mike said, it's because of my poor shifting (i.e. shifting under load while climbing).

And I agree that I don't think the internal geared hub will take off either, despite everyone's whining. With suspension evolving the way it is, no one wants more unsprung weight. And with chain growth, you would still need some kind of tensioner. Why not just let the derailleur do the tensioning and shifting jobs?

I don't know why everyone complains so much about derailleurs. Mine have worked fine for the past 20 years I've been riding. Sure, I've broken a few mechs and snapped a few chains here and there, but not enough to make me think it's a flawed system.
  • + 1
 The only chain I've broken while riding, EVER, was a SRAM 9sp chains that came stock on my first 29er. I stood to pedal up an incline, in a gear I was already in (it didn't happen during a shift), and one of the pins sheared which led to the outer plates spreading outwards. I don't think it had anything at all to do with 9speed chains being weaker than say 8 speed chains, because none of my KMC 9sp chains have broken, nor have any of my KMC 10 speed chains. Nor any of my shimano 9sp chains. I simply think it was because SRAM makes shitty chains.
  • + 5
 @Ride-More - Yes, I did. The point is that all chains break, but not because they are getting thinner.

@lemonhed - The chain broke because it was damaged previously, not because you're putting out so much power on the climb. It isn't your 'shifting ability', though, just that one of the teeth happend to lift a plate up. It's not rider error.
  • + 1
 Could well be the case but still I have never snapped a KMC so I'll be sticking win them! Agreed its not whether its 9, 10 or 11 speed though an it's certainly unlikely to be my power output... then again I'm not small and by necessity do put some out!
  • + 2
 I think the reason Shimanno don't release more internal geared huns is not from lack of reliability, but the opposite, to much reliability. There's no need for any unsprung weight to be added with gearbox's, and Shimanno could easily do what Pinion etc have a make a standard inboard mounting system. In efficiency is the only negative about gearboxs, but it's outweighed by being able to be in the right gear, when you want, without grining it through, and with much more durable chain etc as it's running straight. All the other benneifts like being able to shift without pedalling you really notice when you go from a gearbox bike back to one with a mech. There doesn't need to be a tensioner on some gearbox designs, and a tensioners not that bad, and can be inboard anyway.
  • + 1
 Efficiency aside, I think it's more because it doesn't work optimally due to all the sudden changes in terrain pitch that might cause high torque situations, as internal geared hubs and gearboxes have an issue with not shifting smoothly under load. They work best shifting with as little of a load on it as possible. Needing to let off the power, in order to just shift, is a peeve that will prevent many from going that route. The crunch sound you get when you shift under a modestly high load can do a number on your psychological state, severely affecting your ride--you can go from having fun with ambitious high pace hammering drive through a section you want to do your best on, to one that's more cautious, meek, and passive, at a cruising pace, worrying about if that sound is gonna lead to failure. I'd rather have a quiet drivetrain that simply works and is simple and affordable to maintain. XX1 is really costly. If it comes on a new bike that was specifically designed to take advantage of it, I'll go with it, but I see no reason to go up from my current setup. Just like that there's innovation that might lead to some other good things.
  • + 2
 I have a Zerode. There's pretty much nothing quieter. You can shift under load, and it feels no worse than shifting under load with a mech. It does shift a lot easier not under load. The important thing to remmeber though, is that you can shift any time, so once your brain digests that and makes use of it automaticly, your already in the gear you need before you need it. You only have to back off for a mili second while you shift, and it's in that gear, no grinding it through like with a mech. So realisticly it takes about the same time under load. Grinding through under full power with a mech will dramaticly wear your chain. Not with a gearbox.
I also have a Nuvinci, and have had a Rohloff gearboxed Lahar. Both also shift similer to the Zerodes Alfine. The Nuvinci is just harder to shift under load. I've also run an 8 pseed Alfine in my hardtail for XC, and same results. Once you've ridden a gearbox for a while, you'll never want a mech again. On the local DH track with a mech I'd shift once or twice. With the Zerode gearbox I can shift several times, and it has a bigger jump between gears, so it's not because I need to, but because it's not an inconvenience like with a mech. On said track, there's only a few places where there's enough time/distance to pedal through a gear change with a mech.
For All MTN riding, being able to change gears at the bottom of a gully, or mid corner when you realize there's a huge climb is invaluable IMO. But to each their own. I just wish there were more gearbox options.
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  • + 0
 11 speed is almost un neccesary, nothing you cant do on 9 thatl you will be able to do on 11, maybe useful for serious xc racers but its getting very complicated, mountain biking used to be getting out on your bike and riding and not trying to one up everyone else at the track with kit, 11 speed will be very expensive and unneccesary upgrade, first gear on a 9 speed is big enough for any climb, any bigger than that is too slow to surve a real pupose other than making your bike look expensive, not saying it isnt amazing what SRAM are creating, the engineering is fantastic but as mentioned urlier they should focus on making 9 speed better before adding more complication to it, just my opinion
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  • + 1
 $1499?????

You can buy a really nice bike for that kind of money. Or, just buy a fancy drivetrain, and dream about having a bike to bolt it to.
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  • + 1
 why wont they do a transmission with belt instead of chains?? like motorbikes? no lubrification needed, and the gears inside the rear hub... no mud!
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  • + 1
 My dream drivetrain. Super wide range all in one front chain ring. I was thinking of something like this before it even came out. Too bad its $1500...
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  • + 1
 i dont care what anyone thinks, Sram is no where near as good as Shimano. Shimano shifting and reliability is 10 TIMES greater than sram.
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  • + 1
 I'm building up an AM/Enduro rig now....this looks like it will be the perfect drivetrain to match my Revelation WC fork (the only part of the bike I currently have.)
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  • + 2
 A 1x10 or even a 1x9 version would be even more appealing than this xx1 already is.
  • + 1
 I'm going to wait and see how many more "standards" come out before my 1x9 wears out.
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  • + 3
 The logic is irrefutable. The price though is alarming!
  • + 2
 Wait a few years and they'll likely be an X5.1 group. It only took them TWO years to trickle the ten speed technology from XX down to X5.
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  • + 1
 It does look pretty good , but still needs a taco or bash guard because all it takes is a flying rock to knacker that chain and chainring, game over!
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  • + 2
 Great. An even narrower chain. I'll stick to my 1x10. Maybe I'll even regress to my 1x9. Cheap and dependable.
  • + 2
 Classic wives tale that the chain getting thinner in outside width somehow makes it fragile. Pro roadies subject their chains to much higher loads (peak and sustained) than any pinkbike member does, and they're not whining over thinner chains.
  • - 1
 So you would rather have an 11 speed chain dangling from your bike up at Whistler than a 9 speed? Far out.
  • + 5
 I would have no concerns about an 11 speed chain because I know that I've broken loads of 7, 8, 9 and 10 speed chains - it doesn't have anything to do with it.
  • + 1
 Having broken a 10spd chain on a rock in the final of the MOH I got chatting to one of the SRAM R&D guys about things which led to talk about how the XX1 had been fairing. It seems that because the chain is designed specifically for XX1 they've been able to eliminate certain features normally required for multiple front rings which actually makes the 11spd chain stronger than their 10spd offerings. Most premature wear comes from either incorrect gearing (cross stressing) which should be minimized on XX1 or a lack of lubrication and cleaning, neither of which are down to a product and rather it's the owner causing that issue. I wouldn't have any qualms about running 11spd, just as I never found any issue when moving from 7/8spd to 9spd and most recently to 10spd.
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  • + 1
 I love my 1x10 setup on my fuel ex, I'll keep an open mind for the technology but I won't invest in it just because I'm a die-hard Shimano rider.
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  • + 1
 So IF I had $1,500 to spend on a drive train, could I just put this on my existing bike, or are their different hub / wheel / clearance requirements that my bike will need?
  • - 2
 It will fit your existing bike, no new standards (minus the smaller crank BCD that allows for the smaller rings).
  • + 3
 No It also uses a special free hub body that you may or may not be able to retrofit onto your current hub. More crap you gotta buy to get into this tech. I'm not sold, yet.
  • + 3
 You will need to have a compatible hub for that small 10 tooth cog on the cassette which only SRAM and DT Swiss currently provide. SRAM has supposedly provided details to hub manufacturers to get more brands on board. I read that SRAM calls the hubs "XD". But hey, I ride 1x9 so what do I know.
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  • + 3
 I'm more interested in the Enduro.
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  • + 1
 For 1500$ I would get a Roloff and would be done with it...and hey, it got two more gears too!! Wink
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  • + 2
 Make an xo1 for $1200, then an x91 for $900.
  • + 1
 yeah seriously...i see no need for all carbon on my AM rig atleast. I'd love to try it, but 1500 is just way too high.
  • + 3
 I wouldn't bet against seeing X01 within a year.
  • - 1
 this sounds pretty lame
[Reply]
  • + 1
 1x10 does the job , even so a 2x10 is perfect ... bring that price down and then maybe people will consider it .
  • + 2
 Depends on the job. If your job is to only ride DH, then 1x3 to 1x6 might be all you need. Ride 1500 meters of elevation up and down, then maybe 1x11 might be better than the 2x10. It's definately not something everyone needs.
  • + 1
 Many riders are beginning to ride as part of loops on trail bikes what would only have been done with shuttles and DH bikes a short time ago such is the capability of a modern 6" bike in the hands of an average rider. What this means is that drivetrains on trail bikes are beginning to go the way of their bigger brethren; single ring. But while 1x10 is currently fine, you generally have to pick a ring size for your local terrain. Generally I run 1:1 as the minimum but there this means you can't easily spin up the steepest climbs and frequently spin out on faster stuff. The XX1/11spd idea brings a wider range of gearing into the mix which means either fitter riders can get more top end or less fit riders are able to keep the gearing they want for the faster stuff while also introducing easier gears for climbing. Evolution works, and providing XX1 lasts the distance there'll be a lot of Enduro and All Mountain riders looking to jump on it, myself included.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Way fewer components and way more money? Hmmmm.....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 They're riding a 2013 specialized enduro s-works. Just so everybody is aware.
  • + 2
 And it looks like a rad bike
  • + 2
 The cane creek dbair just looks sick on this bike! I think they shouldve stayed with the 2x10.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Does it take a different freedhub body?
  • + 1
 it uses a freehub body that's only available on a few DT swiss hubs I believe, if what my SRAM rep at my store told me is correct. There aren't any other hub options at the moment, which kind of restricts a lot of rider personalization. Eventually this should become a more common freehub option. But in short, it is not your normal freehub for your 9/10 speed setup.
  • + 2
 If I'm not smoking crack, i believe they were able to avoid making the chain narrower by going with a custom freehub. It's late, i'm tired, so grain of salt with this.
  • + 1
 Sorry, I didn't include any freehub info in the post. It does use a different F/H, but a number of wheel makers have signed up for it for their upcoming wheels. Here is a (bad) photo of the F/H: www.pinkbike.com/photo/8530325
  • + 1
 That just killed half my enthusiasm for this new system.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It looks great, but the price.. not so much.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I don't even use the 9 gears I have now... Pointless, for me anyway.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All new parts are for money not for bikers f...g chief Accountant rules
[Reply]
  • + 1
 No chainguide on it it seem s chain will flew out on descent
[Reply]
  • + 1
 ill stick to my 9 speed shimano, works just fine
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice kit! You guys going to do a review on the 2013 enduro too?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 for when a version in x0, x9, x7
[Reply]
  • + 1
 a 42-tooth cog on the cassette? Crazy!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 a "FIT" trial ride does not need a 36-42 gear option, i mean a 28-42 you couldn't even keep you balance you'd be going so slow... i'm un-fit and a 38-36 does the job, if you cant push a single ring... then run a double... plus if shimano isn't doing it then its probably not a good idea
  • + 4
 Don't forget that people ride in other places of the world, not just your local trails. There are plenty of climbs near me that make local XC racers, very fit ones, resort to the granny ring. A 28 tooth ring and 42 tooth cog, on the other hand...
  • + 1
 I agree man I hate innovation too! Wink
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The more expensive the better it is sometimes but not always!!
#Jrevy22
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm shocked the chain doesn't drop on the front ring without a guide!
[Reply]
  • - 2
 This seems just like a a way to try squeez something out an outdated system.
When will SRAM and Shimano make internal gears like the pinion.eu ???
THAT is the future, not 1x11 gearing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 $1500 for a drive train is disgusting!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what is next. SRAM XX2 (12 gear ) or SRAM XX9 (19 gear) ???
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Will the Power Link be removable? If not, why? Thanks.
  • + 1
 just got bit by this on the first ten speed chain i bought. was not pleased.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 11 gears? really? i only use 4 on my 9 speed. lol
  • + 0
 Exactly! I'm running 1x10 and never use the small cogs. I hope Shimano comes out with a 13/38 or 13/36. Even ML said they got nowhere close to using the 10 cog on this overkill setup. It's a great idea to make the FD and chain guide obsolete, but we don't need new freehub standards and eleven speed to do it. I'm really looking forward to the new 29er bikes that are designed without a FD. Is there really a market for this group at $1,500? If it's for experienced and fast riders, they don't need the "granny gear" that this offers.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Hows the chain tension on this system? Is there a lot of chainstay slap?
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Eyyyyyewwww that ugly drivetrain just gave me hardgas. Nice bike with a mountain drive, send that 11 crap to a spandex roadie you know.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 12-36*3*9=BLISS!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 im a saint kinda guy! but sram does make nice stuff.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I want to be Mike Levy
[Reply]
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