SRAM's new X01 eleven-speed ensemble looks and performs like XX1 - but at a significantly lower retail price.
SRAM released its second-tier eleven speed group this summer and it's called X01. While the release was anticipated by most in the industry, the trickle-down of XX1 to SRAM's more affordable ensembles has taken much longer than expected. We saw X01 at the Lapierre 2014 product launch in Chatel, France, where SRAM said that the official X01 release would be announced within a few days.
The aluminum X-Sync crankset uses a 94-millimeter bolt circle and will fit many bash guards. Like XX1, X01 chainrings use SRAM's profiled teeth that interlock with the chain's side-plates and help to keep the chain on when the pace is furious. X01 also needs a dedicated 11-speed chain, and it gets a slightly heavier one than XX1, but with the addition of a super-durable hard-chrome finish.
SRAM's X01 'X-Sync' crank is forged aluminum, with a larger-than-XX1, 94-millimeter bolt circle. SRAM says that the X01 cranks weigh 150 grams more than the carbon fiber XX1 (800 grams with BB
). The good news is that the X01 crank will accept conventional bash rings, with the not-so good news being that the smallest sprocket that SRAM will offer in X01 is a 30 tooth (XX1 can handle a 28 tooth
). For 29er riders, this means that X01 will not provide XX1's stump-puller low gear for extended climbing up steep, technical trails. That said, the 30-tooth chainring will provide low enough gearing to make almost all 27.5 and 26-inch wheel owners happy.
X01's 'X-Horizon' rear derailleur can be had with an aluminum or a carbon cage, and it shares both XX1's zero-slant parallelogram, and its Type-2 clutch system. The cassette is new for X01 and while it has the same gear ratios as XX1, the X01 cassette will be hard-plated with a black surface treatment and will weigh 275 grams compared to XX1's 260 grams. XX1 cassettes are designated XG1199, and the X01 is XG1195.
Like XX1, the X01 cassette requires the new XD freehub design, which is readily available from top wheel and hub makers now. Production X01 cassettes will be all black with a special surface treatment.
Shifters are available in trigger or GripShift, with both items being nearly exact copies of XX1, which means that the triggers are Matchmaker compatible and the thumb lever is angle-adjustable. Both shift options will interchange with XX1.
SRAM's prices are not available at this time, but we anticipate X01 to be competitive with Shimano XT. Lapierre with be spec'ing X01 on its 2014 trail and enduro models which will be arriving later this season, so it shouldn't take long for SRAM's more affordable one-by-eleven group to hit the aftermarket. Now, the question is: when will SRAM kick down its eleven speed one-by to X9 and X7? The answer to that is in the cassette. The lengthy machine time required to produce SRAM's 11-speed cassette makes it quite expensive. So far, they have not figured a way to produce a value-priced cassette, but Red never sleeps. Expect more announcements this year..