2016 Pinkbike Awards - Component of the Year Winner

Dec 7, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  


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Component of the Year Winner


The last few years have seen a flurry of frame design changes – everything from wheelsize to axle spacing has been tweaked in some way, sometimes to the vexation of riders who thought the bike they'd just bought would last at least a few seasons before being out of date. That onslaught of new standards may be part of the reason why 2016 was relatively quiet as far as radically different components go – the dust from all of those changes was still settling, which meant that this wasn't the year the pipe dream of a light, affordable, and efficient gearbox came to fruition, or that a completely pinch-flat resistant tire casing was developed. Maybe someday.

There were still plenty of exciting and new products in the running for Component of the Year, though, and it was SRAM's Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, OneUp's drivetrain conversion kit, and Fox's Transfer dropper post that ended up as the final contenders. Without further ado, the winner is...





The writing has been on the wall for some time now, but by all appearances SRAM's Eagle 12-speed drivetrain will be the final nail in the coffin for the front derailleur. With a 500% gear range, thanks to the 10-50 tooth spread of the rear cassette, any remaining reasons for running more than one chain ring up front have pretty much been squelched.

Yes, the complete Eagle drivetrain is relatively expensive – after all, it's SRAM's flagship, highest end group – but the Eagle will be flying on 2017's hottest bikes, and it's surely a sign of things to come at a more attainable pricepoint. There's also the fact that SRAM's dedication to 1x drivetrains has created a thriving aftermarket accessory scene, with multiple small operations churning out conversion kits to allow riders to expand the range of their existing drivetrains. Without SRAM taking the idea of a 50-tooth cassette cog mainstream, those smaller companies would be having a much more difficult time hawking their wares. The end result? Riders have loads of choices these days when it comes to ditching the front derailleur, which is a good thing.

But let's not get too far off topic – it's time to shift the focus back to the Eagle drivetrain. The massive range is the biggest talking point, but as was mentioned in the long-term review, “it's the little things like the improved B-knuckle, the elimination of the narrow wide teeth on the derailleur's upper pulley wheel, and the revised chainring profile that help make this SRAM's best mountain bike drivetrain yet.” Those details serve to create a crisp shifting, very quiet drivetrain, one that can be called into action aboard everything from an XC race bike to an enduro machine.



Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesSRAM's Eagle group is the best off-the-shelf 1x drivetrain currently on the market, an achievement that earns it the title of Pinkbike's Component of the Year. - Mike Kazimer



Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards





181 Comments

  • 335 6
 Wait til they see my Pigeon 1x13
  • 42 0
 Its funny that we are talking about this. But I bet you that Sram is doing R&D on the "Pigeon" 1x13
  • 11 2
 thats a personal problem
  • 103 1
 I'm holding out for Dodo 1x15 with a 8-65t range
  • 40 6
 Nope, I've been saying this for a few months. Next step is fewer gears with the same range. eThirteen's new cassette is first to market.
  • 15 3
 @skelldify: SRAM ex1 could actually be in option in that regard even though it's made for e bikes. Huge range and bombproof 8 speed construction, it could actually work
  • 6 1
 @Nordicskier1: have you saw the price of it? not a change at 350 for a 8speed cassette
  • 21 2
 I wait until the cassette is almost as wide as a 29er rim.
  • 52 1
 @fantaman: You mean THE CASSETTE IS THE RIM!!! AND SPOKES!! It'll be so sweet: Just one big ol' mess o' gears with a tire around the outside.
  • 2 1
 @moefosho: bound to make everything else extinct
  • 3 3
 @moefosho: So many gears its that damn retarded. Just like the Dodo
  • 4 3
 They would love my duck 1x14
  • 7 3
 Emu 1x21?
  • 8 2
 @number44: can't wait to see three-foot chain tensioners hanging off the back of every bike like those kid trailers
  • 7 2
 Funny that everyone is complaining about having so many gears forgetting that at one point 3x10 was the standard with 30 choices.
  • 5 12
flag Earthmotherfu (Dec 7, 2016 at 11:35) (Below Threshold)
 Be nice to see SRAM do a front mech and fuck all this nonsense at the back right off..
  • 5 1
 @salespunk: doesn't really matter, I've always just slutted it all off to run single and a chain guide. I've even been so keen to change the set up, I once used the angle grinder on some XTR cranks, a frame & the MRP to make it all fit. 3 x 10 has never existed in my world!
  • 6 1
 Personally im hoping for Beagle 1x13
  • 4 1
 I see your Eagle 1x12 and raise you a Albatross 1x17. 9-69!
  • 8 2
 This shits dope. You know it. Grab it by the pussy.
  • 3 1
 Ostrich "whatever"X"whocares" and when you see its price you'll realise they meant to call it ARSESTRETCH
  • 2 0
 I propose a Fluffy-backed Tit Babbler 1x30, with a 1-89 tooth cassette
  • 68 2
 for those budget builds
  • 37 3
 no joke; the ethirteen TRS is 9-44, which is essentially the same range as eagle, cheaper than the cheapest eagle, and you can pair it with an XT der/shifter combo that costs $100
  • 6 0
 @MTBrent: I didn't mention that one because its $100 more, and personally I think the jumps between gears would be too much; 9-44 is pushing it as it is.
  • 2 3
 @hamncheez: "essentially the same" '> "the same"
  • 7 0
 @CaptainSnappy: 'essentially the same' meaning 'no one could tell the difference in a double blind test'
  • 10 0
 Same same, but different, but still same!
  • 4 5
 @hamncheez: Put it in the lowest gear on a steep pitch and tell us that. You might not need to do that much, but it is there. I don't really like Eagle much, but facts are facts.
  • 5 1
 @dugglesthemuddled: dude, 489% vs 500% . Thats a one tooth difference in the back. A 9-45 has the exact same range as eagle. Are you saying you can feel a one-tooth difference?
  • 11 0
 @hamncheez: When I has no teeth vs 1 tooth, believe me, it makes makes difference.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: I noticed a huge difference when your mom lost that last tooth—now it just glides effortlessly.
  • 57 7
 I fail to see what makes this so exciting/revolutionary.
  • 78 0
 My friend used to say the same thing about razor blades. Every 5 years they add another blade, and it's REVOLUTIONARY.
  • 18 1
 @Kramz: Dude have you shaved with anything less than 5 blades? Can't imagine my life without my 6 blade, two stroke hair scraper.
  • 26 1
 @allix2456: Try one single edge instead, like a straight razor or safety razor. You'll wonder how people ever got fooled into the 5 edge gimick, when one edge is doing the bulk of the work, may as well be a high end edge stropped to perfection instead of 5 dull edges made from crappy steel. Check one of those 5 edge replaceable heads *before* you use it, under magnification. Toothy edge is an understatement. - guy who makes edged things.
  • 7 0
 @atrokz: Haha, I'm 100% with you my safety razor with a fresh, sharp blade is a finer shave than any jumble of blades on the end of a stick!
  • 9 2
 @allix2456: Let me guess, you still ride a front derailleur and don't want to get rid of it?
  • 17 1
 its revolutionary because the cogs are circles turning circles
  • 3 0
 @allix2456: I thought I smelt facetiousness in that post! haha
  • 7 0
 @allix2456: There's a reason barbers use a straight blade. Never seen a barber give someone a shave with a Gilette Fusion.
  • 12 0
 @Schmittr86: no one is going to pay the barber 20 bucks to shave with the same tool they use at home
  • 3 0
 @atrokz: I've been using these rectangular safety blades for as long as I've been shaving (since 1995 or so). I actually tried Gilette Sensor (two blades) when I started, but these clog up way too easy and are horrible to get the muck out of. So I stuck with safety razors. It was actually getting harder and harder to get blades for these, until I discovered you could buy these over the internet. I thought I was the only old fashioned dude still using these! And yeah, just like with bicycle components, I like that you aren't stuck with a single brand.

@Mattin Well actually I got rid of the front mech only a few months ago. Not because it was nagging me (it works fine with a grip shift, horrible with trigger shifters), but because I wanted to run an oval chainring. The granny is still on though, just no more front mech to actually use it.
  • 7 0
 @Schmittr86: Really people just pay for the rush of having a stranger run a razor sharp knife around there jugulars lol
  • 1 0
 @vinay: they work much better than regular ones, and you can get some really nice holders! Ive been debating making a safety razor, already started a straight edge from vanadis23, but got tied up with my regular stuff (see profile)
  • 3 0
 @atrokz: Yep, recently I invested in a nice brush and safetyrazor set from a German brand called Muhle. The weight and smooth edges (forged or cast metal instead of stamped steel) indeed makes it feel much better than the Gilette holder I've been using until now. And that one was already miles ahead of that horrible Gilette Sensor thing. Very often a better option is more expensive than the common/popular/convenient option. But there are a few exceptions, where the cheaper option is so much better.
1. Loose leaf tea over teabags
2. Shaving soap over shaving foam (also much less waste!)
3. Safety razors over these multi-blade cartridges
  • 3 2
 @Mattin: On the contrary; I've been running 1x8, 9, 10, and 11. However simply adding a gear to make it twelve niether excites me nor is anything different than we have been doing for years
  • 4 0
 @allix2456: It's not so much about the extra shift, but about the extra gear range. The 10-50 cassette is nowhere near comparable with your old normal cassettes and still makes a huge difference compared to other wide-range cassettes with 11-42. The Sram Eagle is the first 1x drivetrain that has the same gear range as you had with a triple crankset. Also the shape of the cassette has been renewed; the hooked shark teeth design should be an improvement to have even less chains falling off. This drivetrain puts the last nail in the coffin of a front derailleur. (in certain price classes)
  • 10 2
 Real man does not shave or need 50t cog!
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I sense a life cycles quote
  • 2 2
 @Mattin: Bear in mind that I have ridden eagle pretty extensively by this point and while I do think it has a place for the rider with extremely steep terrain/ a less rider with slightly less muscley calves it did not have an appreciable advantage for me here on the Shore.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: you mean a loose fig leaf over your tea bag?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I got a Muhle too. Very nice.
  • 2 1
 Revolutionary because it does in actual fact go round and round .... when you pedal
  • 48 1
 26 aint dead, its how big your cassette will soon be
  • 12 0
 Eliminate the rear tyre, ride on the cogs for extra traction.
  • 15 0
 @BrotherCraig75 That's why we had to get rid of 26, to make room for more cogs.
  • 4 0
 Get rid of the rear wheel completely and turn the chain into a caterpillar track with a gearbox in the frame
  • 36 4
 It's weird to see overpriced products with some characteristics that are incompatible with other brands win the component of the year title...
  • 10 7
 How do mountainbikers come to think every Part has to be compatible to another brands part? Is there any other industry where there is such compatibility? I don't think so.
  • 22 4
 @Muckal: PC computers is one. But even if there wasn't what kind of argument is that? The fact that parts from one car are not compatible with another is not a good thing. It's in fact quite horrible. And also not entirely true because for 90% of parts you can buy a cheaper replacement. The existence of standards in bike industry was a blessing. Until now. They added and erased so many of them that it's becoming really annoying. Most of the evil is done by Trek and SRAM. Two absolutely horrible companies. Trek with frames manufactured on the cheap (supercheap) side with bearings fitted straight to headtube (integrated hahahaha), pressfit bottom brackets and lots of other compromises to get the super low manufacturing price. But on the other hand introducing outrageously unnecessary standards like BOOST. SRAM is like an evil brother to TREK. Whatever they will come up together means that we loose.
  • 11 3
 @Muckal: Ever build a computer?
  • 7 1
 @guycharlesvalois: nice try troll
  • 3 1
 @fracasnoxteam: AMD and Intel don't use compatible sockets. Sure you can use video cards from one PC in another (with some caveats), but you can use handlebars from one bike on another too (again, with some caveats). Not sure what the difference is.

I tend to agree with @Muckal. I'll go further: we should consider the possibility that trying to adhere to standards might be stifling advancement in our still-young industry. Use standards where they make sense, yes, but not all components need to go back and forth among all bikes.
  • 2 4
 pinkbike makes money on being nothing more than a catalyst of hype. it wouldnt surprise me if the awards for the product based things are bought by the companies. innovation of the year is jsut another take on a dropper, not really an innovation and sram eagle is just another cog giving a less widespread and heavier cassette than the new e*13 46-9 cass
  • 1 1
 @fracasnoxteam: no. I tend to live in the real world.
  • 1 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: Motherboard and CPU are the only things tied together, All other parts are interchangeable and can be re-used with newer builds.

It's like saying you want a Trek front triangle with a Pivot rear end.
  • 2 0
 @laxguy: Not sure how far to go with this on a bike website, but ... not quite true. We sell Lenovo and Apple computers, pretty much exclusively. Both of them have proprietary stuff (at least in some models) that you'd think (or hope!) would be universal, e.g., power supplies. And then there's the fact that almost every new Apple computer has RAM soldered to the main logic board, so they can't be upgraded after the purchase at all!

The big computer brands are moving away from standards in the name of performance. I don't see the harm in bike companies doing the same AS LONG AS they keep adhering to standards where it makes sense. That would be the stuff that most people do change over the course of the bike's lifetime. I don't want to see proprietary pedal interfaces on cranks, for example, but I'm interested to see where the engineering can go if we let frame designers run with non-standard suspension and (maybe) drivetrain. Specialized hasn't been able to pull it off yet, I know, but if done right I would consider rewarding an innovative company with my hard-earned dollars, even if it meant I was locked into buying their stuff for the lifetime of the bike.

I know not everyone will agree, but I think at some point it's where the industry has to go to keep improving.
  • 33 3
 I would have picked SLX 11 speed as this years product pick, only because its deadly cheap and runs like a champ.

Or are they considering SLX a 2017 component?
  • 7 1
 XT is the best product ever
  • 1 0
 I hope. As long as the brakes don't suffer from the pumping issue as the XT's, they are pretty much perfect to be the winner next year. I mean, it runs JUST as good as XT, with maybe a slight weight penalty, but at least those FLAWLESS brushed aluminium cranks won't get ugly after a couple rides like the plastic looking XT's.
  • 26 2
 Builds us up with the XT Value Award, then tears us down with this one...
  • 3 1
 At least they have kept the big two onside.
  • 26 6
 Got to satisfy the sponsors
  • 3 2
 given how long that SRAM Eagle banner was at the top of the PB main page, paying to keep the lights on, of course it won product of the year.
  • 16 0
 Eagle is awesome ...because it has made 10 speed components even cheaper now. Bring on 13 speed.
  • 2 0
 Yeah when you buy in euros...... have you seen the exchange rate for the pound lately, were getting raped in the UK for bike parts. no cheap stuff to be found since Brexit Frown
  • 23 11
 Who the hell needs a 50T? Man up and get fit! PB Training and Yoga articles are posted here for a reason!
  • 8 0
 The ratio isn't that much easier than a 42 or a 36, it's the 34/36/38 that people can run up front!
  • 7 6
 or buy a ebike....
  • 6 1
 @elibroccoli:
and most frames nowadays can't even clear bigger than a 32t on chain stays...
  • 2 1
 @tgr9: or you have to shim it out too much and the chainline is screwed. 2x really isn't that bad as the weight has to be similar to Shark, Range is similiar but chainline is way better with 2x
  • 4 1
 @drivereight yeah but what are you running up front? look at all these sad bikes coming with 28t chainrings on the front... @elibroccoli is right. Id much rather have a 34 or 36 in the front and a 50t than a 40 or 42 with a tiny 28 or 30t in the front. It makes much more sense. MAN UP and get a bigger chainring in front!
  • 5 2
 The advantage is running a bigger front ring for larger range overall, not about having an easier climbing cog...
  • 2 3
 @mikeserafin: do you mean running a bigger front ring for higher speeds while maintaining a relatively easy climbing gear? The size of the chainring does not affect the range of the cassette.
  • 1 0
 @Questlove967: 11-36/ 34T on my trail bikes, 11-32/ 36T on my DH.
  • 14 4
 Congrats to the 2017 Component of the Year winner : SRAM Falcon eTap wireless drivetrain
  • 5 2
 I actually think e-tap could be a valid winner when it's brought to mountain bike. Eagle, not so much
  • 5 1
 I would love a wireless RD and shifter so you only have to worry about brake hoses. Can you imagine if they made a wireless Reverb too, so that it's actually only brake hoses?
  • 1 0
 @Klainmeister: wireless droppers are coming, magura has one in the late prototype stages. I would love a wireless group, but it will be a while, the price is too high for me right now. If it ever makes it down to like SLX level I'm in
  • 1 1
 @j12j: SRAM have one up and running. But they worry about it being hacked! They worry about top end racers having their gears changed. I say fek the racers, the mere mortals want this now. We aren't worried about geeks sat at the side of the road on the tour de france hacking pros gears. They aint going to sit in the middle of my local woods messing with my cogs!
  • 1 0
 @yeti-monster: Eh, really? Seems like the wireless device would be such short throw and specific channels that that wouldn't be an issue. Heck, you could probably set up a simple encryption that the user assigns via USB and an App (thus avoiding common channels like Bluetooth) and if you break an RD, you can do the same process to re-assign.
  • 1 0
 @yeti-monster: are you sure? They seem pretty confident in the road system. The pro peloton has been using it for a few years now and no one has commented on that. I've heard people on the internet talking about it but not pro teams
  • 1 0
 @Klainmeister: frequency doesn't really matter, all your electronics (car fobs, phones, computers, etc. ) run on a small number of frequencies through encryption
  • 12 5
 So much meh.... I always loose it laughing when I see the advertisement banners on pinkbike with sram eagle and it says "pure functionality" "infinit freedom" hahhahahah. This thing is far from pure functionality, that would be XT. This is more like, excessive overpriced high end BS that was not designed for the masses in anyway.

Sram Eagle reminds me of the type of shit some a dentist who drives a range rover Evoque would buy. Yeah it's sweat and all mighty, but end of the day, its an impractical polished pieces of gadgetry.
  • 16 6
 Di2 got robbed!
  • 6 1
 Can everyone stop crying about this!
It's another product to evolve and push the boundaries of innovation. Don't complain when there will be better for half the price soon. This is how we get better products later down the road. Expensive and new now, than normal prices for the same quality for us normal folk.
I myself am a Shimano fan. Look how expensive XTR brakes were a few years ago and we get the same quality out of SLX a few years later. The brakes are incredible for how cheap they are. I have tried this Eagle. It's incredible. Never afford it though. Shimanos M8000 isn't far off but a 1/3 of the price and a little less range. That would have never happened without Eagles talons on their ass!
Go technology, go!
  • 15 11
 Sram components are like German cars. Great when they work, problem is, they only work for a short period of time. And afterwards, you regret buying it because it's constantly pissing you off.
  • 5 4
 @Rocky-Urban agree with you there, I've only ever had SRAM when it came specced on a bike.

First experience of SRAM was an X9 mech and shifter on my old demo, the thing use to eat gear cables for fun, I would have to put a new one on about every three rides. Gave up after 3 months and got a Saint shifter and mech.

I now have SRAM NX on a brand new bike, I've done 5 rides at just over 70 miles in total and the SRAM NX is already failing, it will go up the cassette ok but doesn't want to release to come back down to harder gears. I swear they make their kit of a soft French cheese. It worked brilliantly for the first few rides and I'm quite anal about cleaning and lubing so I know it's not lack of maintenance.

@SramMedia Why is this?
  • 2 0
 Porsche owners disagree with you. VAG owners on the other hand.
  • 6 0
 @atrokz: Porsche is part of the Volkswagen-Audi Group...
  • 1 0
 @MtbSince84: True dat along with SEAT, Skoda and Bugatti
  • 1 0
 Also, Audi is #4 on the Consumer Reports list of most reliable brands. (VW, not so much.)
  • 2 1
 @MtbSince84: Correct, but they operate independently. I should have just specified Audi and VW and been done with it. #4 on the reports, sure, until you try working on one. Or gently love tap someone and coolant spills everywhere because they just had to stuff most of the engine in front of the axles.but that understeer....
  • 3 0
 @atrokz: Look up IMS bearing failure. Have you ever seen the coolant tank last on a boxster? Porsche cars are nice, but far from reliable.
  • 3 0
 Great when they work, then you come to servicing and realise that the mortgage on your house was smaller than the consumable parts bill.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: Porsche is part of VAG
  • 1 0
 @mountain-life: IMS was an issue with 996 cars and it got an updated design in 2006
  • 1 0
 @Rocky-Urban: correct. see above. they operate independently
  • 1 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Which is why Cars like BMW and Mercedes, especially the AMG versions can be found at bargain prices in the used market. People know they'll cost a fortune to keep on the road, so gotta sell them at a cheap price if you want to get rid of yours.
  • 1 0
 @Rocky-Urban: I've got 2 BMWs on the road, and because I'm a gear head (ie someone who works on their own car, including major service like motor rebuild, not a forza gamer who think's their a gear head), I picked the more reliable versions. So far, they are the most reliable cars I've both owned and very easy to work on, and it's a long list of cars including toyotas and RWD volvos. Most reliable motor, by far, was the B230FT, most reliable overall, my E91. Just gotta do preventative as with anything, and not go to the dealer. It's also a LOT in how they are driven, if you putt around in them stop and go, you'll run into major issues (due to PCV not getting burned up), but if you hammer on them when the motor is warmed up, they run like tops. I'm in toronto if you wanna see my rides, or where I do the work (Mississauga). My old 945T was into the 300hp range, all done in my driveway including major head service when I broke a valve spring and guide.

That said, entirely correct on people dumping AMG and M cars that were neglected or issues ignored (like the rod bearings on BMW M V8 and V12 motors). I stay away from those. N55 on the other hand, great motor.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: The older German cars from the 80's and 90's were good, but afterwards, quality has really gone down hill. BMW did make some great engines back in the day, today it's a different story. The BMW N63 engine, their turbo V8 which is found in many models, is probably one of the most unreliable and costly to repair engines ever made by anyone. Anyone in the market for a used BMW, stay away from models with the N63 engine. Like Sram, great when it works, but it won't work for long Wink
  • 2 0
 @Rocky-Urban: yea the N63 is questionable and makes one wonder who gave that the go-ahead, with the exhaust in the center of the V overheating everything. It can make silly power with just a chip, but like you said, it's a nightmare. I think every company does silly stuff like this here and there, when you look into the details. Even the lauded Japanese motors have their Achilles heels. the N55 is a very, very good motor though, as are the new 4 banger turbos. N52 is very good in terms of reliability, but the electronic pump is annoying. Modern motors have a lot of constraints due to emissions so they aim for low friction this and that, electronic pumps that turn off when in certain conditions, etc. but it adds complexity. At least they are easy to work on compared to a lot out there that just cram the motor under the firewall (ford, looking at you). The M52 E36 we have is rock solid. Worst motor I've owned was actually the 3Y-E, which had to be replaced and was incredibly bad to work on, what a mistake..... still can't beat that redblock for reliability. over 300kms on it, with more than double the stock boost, running a larger turbo, 531 Marine motor head, ported and polished, 90+ manifold ported and polished, custom intake, large green monster bosch injectors, IPD cam, heavy duty valve springs, VTA PCV, Chips on EZK and LH2.4, NPR intercooler (ie, all cheap stuff). Was able to hang with E46 M3's for a few grand and probably had more fun in the process. Kept the motor, it's in line for a big power build running MSXpro (same recipe as buddy running well over 400whp). If you're around sagua at all, come see the 945 with a 1000whp LQ4 TT in it.... hush hush...
  • 2 0
 @Garpur44: you have a problem with the B screw setting. The top pulley needs to be very close to shift down well.
  • 1 0
 @Garpur44: time to visit a bike shop maybe?
  • 1 1
 @salespunk: It is the precisely 15mm as detailed in the user manual. Run it any closer and the upper jockey wheel comes into contact with the 1st and 2nd gears, obviously the cable tension and limit screws were the first thing I checked


@thebikings I don't need a bike shop to tell me how bad SRAM is, I've worked that out from personal experience
  • 1 0
 Don't mind me, I'm just here for comments about German cars...
  • 2 0
 Calling it now. A 1x ring that can slide left and right by 1-2mm on some sort of spindle sleeve or spider flex plate. Corrects for chainline issues with 13 gears (or even 12). Should be easy to do.

SRAM, put my check in the mail if you didn't already think of this.
  • 4 0
 Was excited to click on the story until I realized it said "component of the year" rather than "comment of the year."
  • 1 0
 XX1 was innovation-eagle is just an extension of this the way I see it... So not a great deal of innovation there? But saying that I haven't see it much or had a go on it. I like the look of EX1 more, but still wouldn't call it innovation-it's what the people want-less gears and more range-I reckon about 10-46 spread over 9 gears would be good for a non-ebike and 8 for an ebike
  • 3 0
 "...any remaining reasons for running more than one chain ring up front have pretty much been squelched. " Except, y'know, THE COST
  • 3 2
 I wonder how much money SRAM pays PinkBike? Even if one forgets the stupidity of giving a price to a glorified (and absurdly expensive) 50 tooth cog, it is amazing that the E-thirteen 9-46 (or the 9-44) cassette did not get the prize instead.

The E-thirteen cassette: costs enormously less, weights less, has a bigger range, it is modular, so you only need to buy the replacement section you need, and it is 11 speed compatible with either SRAM or Shimano shifters, so you do not need to buy a new shifter AND derailleur AND chain to gain a bit more range.

Amazingly bad choice: this is just a shameful payed commercial for SRAM, really!
  • 2 0
 This is meant to be a serious question, though i can understand if there is a pile on.
Are cassettes this size and their accompanying long cage derailleurs compatible with 26 inch wheels?
  • 11 9
 This is justice, it's incredible. So fast, smooth and quiet beyond belief. Never thought a drivetrain could stoke me out as much as this did. Way to go SRAM!
  • 1 1
 My only issue with Eagle (and most 11/12 speed 1x systems) is cassette wear. I wore out three XT cassettes in 2016 - and this was frustrating even with a relatively inexpensive cassette. A $400CAD cassette is just insane. Or at least, I'd pay it if I could reasonably expect it to last two seasons. I'd also be happy for a weight penalty if that meant longer life.
  • 1 1
 So I hear nothing but complaints about how hard it is to set up even when following the specific Eagle instructions and Pinkbike gives it Component of the Year!? Are you guys in touch with the real world users of this stuff?

On top of that, the value is ridiculously poor. Sure, it is Sram's highest end stuff but it costs way more than anything else produced.
  • 4 1
 Cue the gearbox and 50t granny arguments.
  • 3 4
 The 11 speed SRAM drive-train shifts the best. But because the cassette and chaining is aluminum these parts wear out very fast. Instead, i use an ethirteen cassette: first 8 cogs are steel. And an ethirteen cranks with a steel chaining. Also, I use a KMC X11SL DLC chain. The only thing that is SRAM is the derailluer and shifter. With this setup, my drive-train wears 3x longer and it shifts better with an ethirteen cassette and KMC best chain.
  • 5 0
 SRAM cassette 1195 is one block of steel + 1 chainring from aluminum. If the aluminum one gets used you have like 10 other companies right now which are producing substitutes.
  • 1 0
 I kinda like the Avid Rollamajig on the back of the RD...that is some sweet '90s tech right there. Had one on my LX rd on the Schwinn Homegrown...ah the memories...
  • 3 0
 At least it isnt Boost hubs
  • 2 0
 i misread the title as '2016 Pinkbike Awards - Comment of the Year Winner'
a bit disappointed tbh Frown
  • 3 0
 I already named the Shimano on my bike as component of the year. Pfffft!
  • 1 0
 Apparently "component" means "component group" the Transfer post should've won on this alone, the only single component nominated.
  • 1 2
 Eagle 12, one big marketing hype. First we had 1x11 which makes sense. Now you think that when they went 1x12 they design closer gear ratios in the cassette. But no they just put a pizza size 50T cog at the end. Which really is ridiculous. If you need a 50T to pedal up a hill. You better can get off the bike a start walking.
  • 1 0
 Why the narrow/ wide on the bottom jockey? Has anyone ever dropped a chain of the bottom cog? ha!
The narrow wide top jockey on my 11sp x01 RD is really noisy
  • 1 1
 I wonder when these bike manufacturers are going to figure out that, with more than one cog in the front, you can get way more range! And, even better—use fewer rings so that the system is just as light. Amazing.
  • 1 1
 Non sponsored Eagle riders are going to need that gearing to climb. Obviously they will be working so much to pay off cost of Eagle, they won't be able to ride often. That is unless they are dentists.
  • 1 0
 I was happy with 9 speed xtr but now it's worn out I've had to go 10 speed, xtr isn't what it used to be, can't see the 10 speed lasting as long.
  • 11 11
 Lol, it's component of the year not best value component of the year. You can't really argue with the innovation.

Argue all you like about the cost :-)
  • 12 2
 What innovation¿ It's the same thing they've been doing for the last 20 years; one more cog, slightly more range, higher price. Nothing new at all.
  • 5 0
 @scottzg: I like what the did with the chain atleast.
  • 3 1
 What innovation?
  • 3 1
 @scottzg: Well, in fairness, it's component of the year, not best value of the year, or innovation of the year (we can argue all about the innovation award, as that had its own issues). So yes, this thing certainly caused a stir. It's very high end, and has a reputation of stoking out the people who cough up the money to buy it. If history serves as a guide, here, then it's just the high-priced high-end pioneer of a whole lot of development and refinement lower in the price brackets. XX1 1x11 was ridiculously overpriced, but it worked really well, and made its customers very happy. And then every year you got an 11 speed drivetrain coming down into a lower segment than before, and here we are now with GX and even NX, and Shimano having answered with 11sp XT and now even SLX, and as a result really sweet 10sp drivetrains are the new entry level.

You could argue that 12 speed is a small incremental step over 11sp, and that is a minor evolution and not pushing the sport forward. But look at what it's already doing, with others bringing out solutions to get more range onto a 1x11 drivetrain. I personally don't need that much range (my 10-42 sees the 10T used no more than maybe five minutes per week if there's a big tailwind on the downhill section of the road back from the trails), but there are lots of people who want the range, in a 1x, or else you wouldn't have all that aftermarket stuff being made.

It's really hard to argue with this thing being very expensive and of interest only to a small slice of the market. But it's also really hard to argue with this thing being a pretty big deal in the marketplace, and the harbinger of good stuff to come. Is this whole cassette expansion thing hitting seriously diminishing returns? Sure - but this iteration still seems to make a fair bit of sense, and I'd argue that the point about killing off FDs is pretty damn valid.
  • 2 1
 Innovation? SRAM Eagle is the embodiment of the 'not the best we can do, but what we had last year +1' mentality that so many accuse the cycling industry of. Hard to argue with that assertion either when XX1+1 is being handed awards.
  • 1 2
 @scottzg: why the fuk didn't you come up with it then genius?
  • 1 0
 @Axxe: 10speed cluster machined from 1 piece of metal?
  • 1 0
 @y9pema: why does it matter, except for exorbitant cost?

It is a cassette. Incompatible with everything else. And using SRAMs freehub that is engineered without thought about supporting budget options. Meaning it will never take over as a universal standard. Thus it is a dead end. Accommodating 10t or 9t can be done with a better architecture. Once Shimano moves there, with their typical measured approach, it will be obsolete.
  • 2 0
 @Axxe: I kinda doubt shimano will move below 11t, it's not their style.
  • 1 0
 @scottzg: Maybe. There is a reason small cogs are bad for chain.
  • 2 0
 I'll pile on: What innovation?
  • 3 5
 Man, that front cog is destroyed, I hope that's the result of hundreds of miles of hard cranking and not the extremes of stretching a chain across that wide-ass cassette. I've never had a front cog look that bad after years of riding. Hope they throw in a couple extra with the kit knowing it's made out of anodized butter.
  • 6 1
 My sarcasm meter might be off, but that chainring still has plenty of life in it - the teeth have that pointy, hooked shape to help with chain retention.
  • 5 1
 ? Are you refering to the image above? It looks fine to me. Eagle front rings have a different profile than traditional narrow-wide rings.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: All I see are hooked teeth... don't think that's a standard profile, especially since they are all a little different. The few around 10:00 position look like claws, which makes sense in relation to the crank arms as they would be getting the most torque, while the ones around 12:00 are very stubby and worn both sides. The triangle-shaped teeth on the cassette are normal for shifting but there's no shifting going on up front.
  • 1 0
 @skidrumr: They have an alternating hook profile on them, not a single tooth looks more worn than the other. The whole point of the new profile is to make them last longer. That is nearly exactly how they look brand new

sram-cdn-pull-zone-gsdesign.netdna-ssl.com/cdn/farfuture/TueqrF_MUC9CZJcFGNr-u0W_fvqucTEPMKu5ulZ5eY8/mtime:1457977167/sites/default/files/images/products/accessories/sm_eagle_chainring_38t_front_l.jpg
  • 1 0
 @skidrumr: here's a photo of a brand new Eagle chainring that shows the profile a little more clearly: www.pinkbike.com/photo/13296598.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: looks like we are replying at the exact same time ha
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: The close up stock pic shows it more clearly, the light background of the story pic makes it harder to see.. still looks really odd to me, that kind of shape used to mean you need to change your ring & now they come that way.
  • 5 4
 Widest range does not equal the best. Overpriced payola. Like all internet awards.
  • 2 1
 pfffft, wait till there is a 7-80t option. I want a turkey platter for gear options on my bike.
  • 2 0
 No way, they added another gear!? #innovation
  • 1 0
 Im devolping a reverse drivetrain 1 in the rear and 13 up front, I call it assbackwords
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer how come you pick this over XTDi2?
  • 1 0
 Didn't take an Eagle-eye to see this one coming...
  • 3 2
 Marketing bs being shoved down our throats, cmon pb
  • 1 1
 I voted Trump and I buy expensive bike parts which ends up keeping prices high. So sorry but not really!!
  • 2 0
 screw you, I'm a mixed race Chinese/Mexican rapist and I feel victimised by Trumpers. Build your wall/ fence so cheap bike parts cant get in!!!!
  • 2 1
 Well deserved....SRAM Eagle is fantastic
  • 5 5
 My eagle setup is now ordered for my mondraker! Wahoo!
  • 1 1
 ur gonna love it!
  • 2 2
 Not a single positive comment was posted... does Pinkbike get the cue?
  • 1 0
 XTR 2 x 10.
  • 2 3
 Less gear range and higher cost than 2*11
  • 1 1
 Exactly, if my 1x11 doesn't have the range, I either don't need it or I need to go back to 2x
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