SRAM GX Drivetrain - Review

Dec 9, 2015
by Mike Kazimer  
SRAM GX Review

When SRAM's XX1 drivetrain debuted back in 2012 it created quite a stir, thanks to its wide-range, eleven speed 10-42 tooth cassette, and a unique chainring tooth profile that made chain guides optional equipment for riders that chose to get rid of their front derailleurs. There was only one catch – the high price of admission. The XX1 group retails somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 USD, a price that helped create a burgeoning aftermarket accessory industry fueled by riders that wanted to run a wide-range 1x setup, but couldn't justify laying out the cash to turn things up 11.
SRAM GX Drivetrain Details

• 11-speed, 10-42 tooth Full Pin cassette
• Available in 1x or 2x configurations
• Trigger or Grip Shift
• Open Core aluminum crank arms
• Bottom bracket options: BB30, PressFit 30, GXP, PressFit GXP
• Price: $564 USD
www.sram.com / @SramMedia

Last year's launch of the X1 drivetrain slightly reduced the cost of converting to a SRAM 11-speed drivetrain, but its pricing still remained on the higher end of the spectrum. That brings us to the GX gruppo, the one that finally tips the scales in favor of affordability. A complete drivetrain, including cranks, goes for $564 USD. Already have a set of cranks and a narrow-wide chainring that you like? Then the price for a new derailleur, chain, cassette, and shifter is $333, although bear in mind that doesn't include the price of an XD driver body, a necessity for running SRAM's 11-speed cassettes.

We covered the nitty-gritty details of the GX group when it was first announced, but here's a quick rundown of the components, and a look at how SRAM was able to reduce the overall price so drastically.


SRAM GX Review
SRAM GX Review

Cassette: The GX cassette is where a large portion of the cost reduction comes from. It's constructed from 11 chromoly cogs that are joined together with 123 stainless steel pins. Using those pins rather than machining the whole assembly from one chunk of steel (the method used for the XX1 cassette) does create a heavier final product, but it greatly reduces the cost, and the 401 gram XG 1150 cassette retails for $144 USD. For comparison, an XX1 cassette costs $416 and weighs 260 grams.


SRAM GX Review
SRAM GX Review

Shifter: Once again, the GX shifters are nearly identical to their X1 relative, with an aluminum thumb paddle for upshifts and a smaller composite paddle for downshifts. There are two mounting position to help get the distance between the lever and a rider's thumb just right, and the unit is also Matchmaker compatible, allowing it to play nicely when it's used in conjunction with SRAM's brakes.

Derailleur: Visually the GX derailleur looks very similar to an X1 derailleur, and the weight difference between the two is less than 10 grams. It has all the features we've come to expect from SRAM's higher end derailleurs, including version 2.1 of their roller bearing clutch design, and the Cage Lock system that (as the name suggests) locks the cage into a forward position for easy rear wheel removal.


SRAM GX Review
SRAM GX Review

Cranks: The GX 1400 crankset's hollow crank arms are constructed from 7075-series aluminum, and are joined to either a 24mm or 30mm spindle depending on the bottom bracket being used. A four bolt, 94mm BCD pattern is used to hold the X-Sync chainring on, but it is possible to remove the spider and install one of SRAM's direct mount rings, which are available all the way down to a 26 tooth option, just in case you plan on pedaling up a vertical wall.


SRAM GX Review


SRAM GX prices


On the Trail

Although there may be a significant price difference between the GX gruppo and its more expensive siblings, out on the trail the performance is remarkably similar. Each click of the shifter is met with a positive response from the rear derailleur, and it's easy to tell when the chain has moved to the next cog. The shape of the thumb paddle on the GX shifter, the one that's used to move to an easier gear, is ever-so-slightly different than that found on an X1 shifter, but the action feels identical. It's possible to move up through five gears with one push of the larger lever, and the smaller trigger moves the derailleur down the cassette one gear at a time. Throughout the duration of the test period, shifting was accurate and precise, without any ghost shifting or odd behavior. This particular drivetrain spent time on two different bikes, and ended up being impressively low maintenance - other than a minor cable tension tweak no other adjustments were needed.

The best components are ones that don't call attention to themselves, and that proved to be the case with the GX crankset. Once installed, there weren't any issues, just smooth spinning no matter the conditions. The fact that they can accept a direct mount chainring is a nice touch, an option that will be welcomed by riders seeking easier gearing or just looking to save a little bit of weight. Given the GX 1400's ability to accept chainrings ranging from 26 all the way up to 38 teeth, it's simply a matter of picking the size that best matches the terrain you ride most frequently and going from there.


Durability

The overall durability of the GX group has been downright impressive. The rear derailleur now bears a few scratches and scars from close encounters with rocks, but it's still shifting smoothly, and there's no excessive play or noise coming from any of the pivots. Even the little pulley wheel that the cable is routed around is spinning freely – I thought for sure that the mud and grit would have gummed it up to some degree. All of the pins in the cassette are still securely in place, and the wear on the cogs is relatively even and on par for the number of miles it's seen.


Issues

As far as functionality goes, the GX drivetrain was completely trouble free – the derailleur and shifter both withstood months of abuse, and they still have plenty of life left in them. I do have two small wishes though, wishes that apply to all of SRAM's mountain bike drivetrains and not just GX. They may not be possible due to patents held by Shimano, but it's worth a try.

The first request would be for an adjustable clutch. Previously, even though it wasn't specifically advertised or recommended by SRAM, it was possible to increase the clutch tension on Type 2 derailleurs by removing a plastic dust cap and turning the large torx head bolt hidden underneath.

SRAM GX Review
Type 2.1 means you really, really can't adjust the derailleur's clutch mechanism.

Newer derailleurs are marked as being Type 2.1, and have a pin that holds the bolt into place, making increasing the tension impossible. There was enough tension on the GX derailleur to keep the chain on without a chain guide, but I would have liked to be able to increase it a little bit in order to reduce the amount of chain slap.

The other request would be to have the ability to drop multiple gears with one push. If you're currently on a SRAM drivetrain, think about how many times you 'click, click' through two gears at a time. It'd be great to be able to push the smaller thumb paddle a little further and be able to drop two gears instead of one.




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesFor riders who are interested in giving a 1x11 drivetrain a try, the GX gruppo drops the price of admission even further, and offers nearly identical performance to SRAM's higher end offerings at a much lower cost. The extra weight is really the only penalty that the more wallet friendly components incur, and if those grams are truly a concern they can easily be shed by ponying up for a lighter cassette. This is the trickle-down group that riders have been waiting for, and there's no doubt that we'll be seeing it specc'd on plenty of complete bikes in 2016. - Mike Kazimer



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256 Comments

  • + 84
 Can't think of how many times I slam the shifter to drop a couple gears at once...it's a small, but crazy awesome feature. I'm sure GX is great but I love Shimano
  • + 17
 If you get a chance to ride the 11 speed Shimano offerings back to back with the SRAM rivals you will be incredibly disappointed with the feel of the shimano units.
  • + 23
 Pro-tip - get a Sram X1 or better shifter instead of the GX for multi-shifting happiness.
  • + 146
 Pro-tip #2 - if you're daring/crazy enough, get a GripShift and you can clean Di2's clock. Braap braap, b*tches.
  • + 44
 But Sram shifters are so much more ergonomic, that you can drop 2 gears with a subtle thumb twitch faster than the exaggerated motion required to shift with a Shimano lever.
  • + 10
 @Bluefire, ive been thinking of switching to gripshift, you all for it or what?
I also agree with @ajax-ripper, Im a shimano man but the 11 spd sram has been much smoother in my experience
  • + 11
 I'm with Bluefire: Gripshift is the fastest !
  • - 7
flag Bronco82 (Dec 8, 2015 at 21:19) (Below Threshold)
 Grab and twist? All males should be pretty good at that. We can also practice if we need to.
  • + 58
 twist? idk wtf you're doing but there shouldn't be any aggressive twisting involved
  • + 37
 What? You've never used a screwdriver? Big Grin You were thinking "screwdriver" weren't you.
  • + 6
 Shimano for life! also a XT 1X11 will be about the same price since you dont have to buy a new driver,
  • + 6
 @ Jimmy0 - Gripshift all the way. Have switched all my bikes over. 6 parts in total. Can dump all gears at once if you really wind it. Keep your thumb wrapped around the bar while you shift too. Nothing to break off if you hit a tree either.
  • + 7
 @Jimmy0: Grip Shift is strongest on punchy terrain where there are a lot of big shifts involved. Loosening and adjusting your grip for fine adjustments (1- or 2-sprockets) isn't all that distracting/irritating, either, but it can get a little sketchy (depending on skill) when terrain is on the technical side. It also complicates simultaneous braking and shifting. I'm personally comfortable with Grip Shift from XC to, say, 140mm-ish trail riding - beyond that, I'd probably go standard. I think Grip Shift is generally underrated, but it really depends on you, your style and your terrain. I've never ridden in Santa Barbara, but if it's anything like SLO, you can't go wrong with either option.
  • - 22
flag emseens (Dec 8, 2015 at 22:32) (Below Threshold)
 If you can't afford xx1, don't buy any of sram products. Every shifter I used feels diferent, x1 casset falls apart when I climb very steep climbs. Even ultegra/xt chain works better un sram groupset then xx1 chain.
Next year will be XTR action, will see how it works.
  • + 11
 @emseens As somebody who turns wrenches on both sram and shimano 11 speed systems everyday you will be VERY disappointed with the XTR. The shifter lacks any crispness or smoothness the shifts are more of a mechanical "clunk"(Think X7 9 speed) then the liquidy smooth yet crisp shimano-shifts of yesteryear. The cassettes are no better the only benifit is that you do not need to invest in an XD frrhub body if you are upgrading from 10 speed, but you lose the 10T cog wich is also a bit of a bummer.
  • + 3
 @Bluefire thanks for the response, I think I'll pull the trigger on the grip shift but keep the standard around just in case. Seems like everybody who uses it is pretty fully comverted
  • + 27
 I know when my XX1 wears out I'll be replacing it with this and just have a dump before I leave the house
  • + 2
 I used to think the trigger shimano trigger shifter was stupid, then I rode my friend's bike for a while. Later, when I was building my bike, I picked up 10 speed shimano stuff (super sale prices compared to xx1). Now I realize that the trigger double upshift makes so much sense. When I am sprinting and over the front slightly, it is unnatural to use my thumb to shift. Your hand is twisted forward, and your trigger finger is naturally in the perfect place to hit it. It is far less often that I use the thumb shifter to double upshift (and surprisingly it is less often that I accidentally double shift on bumpy stuff compared to sram thumb shifter). Clutch service is easy too (although Sram might be just as easy..never looked into it). This new crank weight is really good for the price. I've been trying to find older discount 170$ x9 cranks to put direct mount rings on, and the internet is slowly running out of the gxp ones! bb30 sux
  • + 6
 According to my local bike shop, the GX trigger and derallieur should be functioning fine with the 11 spd XT cassette, thus not needing to change my 10spd driver. Anyone having experience with that setup?
  • + 6
 SRAM cassettes work with XT so why not the other way round?
  • + 3
 Yeah you can use a 11spd xt cassette with sram, ive got x01 on my fat bike and have a spare 29er wheelset for commuting and I put an xt cassette on there, works perfectly.
  • + 4
 @sykkelduden I've been using a Shimano 11sp cassette with a Sram X1 group for a few months, no problems so far!
  • + 1
 Me. I'm running a XT M8000 11-42 cassette with a SRAM 746 hub, X1 RD and GX shifter. It' been flawless. And the 10t COG on the SRAM cassette is a chain killer. It wears it down quicker than the 11t one.
  • + 3
 Wow it's like i've awakened on another planet. I've never met anyone in person who has tried both and would pick a SRAM shifter over a Shimano shifter. There's no comparison in my experience. In my 15 years of riding and wrenching, SRAM has never been able to match the precision, feel, and durability/reliability of Shimano shifters.
  • + 6
 To me it's a matter of ergonomics, @TheRaven. I can upshift with my thumb in a much more natural way with SRAM's shifters. Plus a double tap to shift two cogs in a row feels more natural than the extended push needed with Shimano's shifters.

Regarding the reliability, it's worth mentioning the simplicity of SRAM's shifters forced Shimano to drastically reduce the number of pieces inside their shifters to less than half the previous amount.
  • - 1
 @TheRaven 100% agree, there is no comparison for me between SRAM and Shimano. The precision lacks, without a doubt, on the SRAM. Shimano XT for life!
  • + 1
 Has anyone gone from thumb shifters to twist shifters here? Any impressions? Thinking about it.
  • - 1
 whaat? (we can t change more than one speed at one with sram ? ) ?
  • + 10
 It's all preference, IMO. After years on Shimano I swore I'd never ride anything SRAM mtb related. Then I bought a SRAM cross bike and started to like the short lever throw and the "clunk" of the shift. Gave a X7/X9 a shot on my hardtail and once I got used to it I loved it. The short, quick "pop" of the lever is cool. Whenever I switch back to my Shimano bike, the shifting can be so smooth that it's sometimes hard to tell if it happened or not, and I constantly want to upshift with my index finger. Either way, once I get reaccustomed they're both great. But when you're used to one, the other always feels funky for a while. You get used to it.

To me, anyone who shits on either system, especially at the SLX/XT/X9 level probably just hasn't spent enough time on them. They're both great tech, and work really well. Every design has its tradeoffs.
  • + 8
 What @southofhteboarder said. SRAM ergonomics works much better for me. Once I went SRAM 1x I haven't looked back.

And FWIW, I used to say silly things like "Shimano for life" before I aged a bit and acquired some wisdom. Now I buy whatever works best for me at whatever price regardless of brand. I guess there are some advantages to getting old...
  • + 1
 @ajax-ripper - After extensive experience with XTR, XO1, and XX1, I disagree. The XTR shifts very positive and smooth. The ability to up shift multiple gears in one shift is awesome. I've had issues with both XX1 and XO1 cassettes and derailleurs. XTR is better in all aspects.
  • + 5
 I have a friend who is a plane/car/bike mechanic for a living going on 35 years. As he puts it: "if everyone is comparing their product to Shimano, that tells you something about Shimano."
  • + 4
 I just switched from X01 to XT, and I couldn't be happier. And mine came OEM which means I now have XT brakes instead of Elixirs - win, win.
  • + 3
 @GVArider ??? You can't doubleshift with none of Sram shifters!


I previously only had Shimano on my bikes and then I bought a bike with XX1...oh god I hated it but like @bkm303 said, you get used to it! Now I love it but for my new bike, I think I'm gonna go with XT M8000 shifter and derailleur instead of Sram GX. I've got Guide RSC and X1 cassette but will mix it with a little bit of Shimano cause I REALLY miss that doubleshift thing!!!
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave Seen way more issues with the XTR/XT 11 speed then ANY level SRAM system through work. Interesting how we've seen different results.
  • + 3
 Obviously it's going to have alot to do with how many examples of each drivetrain you see, as a mechanic. While Shimano accounts for the vast majority of drivetrains in my area, being a Specialized "specialist", I see alot of SRAM. However even my two closest LBS, guys that I have worked with for over a decade, almost exclusively stock Shimano for higher end drivetrains. In the vast majority of cases, if they can susbstitute in a Shimano part, they will. If you come in with a XX1 or X01 bike and need a part, they would have to order it. But that's exceedingly rare as very few guys are running 1x in my area. In fact very few even have anything above SLX level components. The doctors and lawyers with the XX1 and XTR halo bikes just trade them in and buy a new bike when something goes wrong.

Come to think of it, the above is probably why I have had success as an on-the-side mechanic, because enthusiasts talk, and the handful that i've done work for don't trust the local shops.
  • + 3
 Superb! Finally a bit of truth on this forum via visser62 (yeah,I know,others say it here too!). People ought to go destroy their fave trail or down.. Here wasting calories trying to p*ss down each others throats says you need to ride more imo! We all got opinions and each want to share our experiences -i have learned a lot from the peeps on this forum..let that two-wheeled love shine thru !!!!
  • + 0
 I've ridden both the Shimano XT M8000 1x11 group and multiple different SRAM 1x11 drivetrains (XX1, XO1, GX). SRAM is more impressive across the board.

The primary issue with Shimano is that the fat teeth on the chainring still drop chain sometimes. I've NEVER dropped a chain with the narrow-wide profile of the SRAM chainrings whereas it happened several times with the Shimano "fat tooth" chainring in only a few rides.
  • + 3
 @mtbfunfunfun: Once you go Gripshift (and like it), you'll never go back !
To cite a previous Mike Kazimer article, "it's an acquired taste..."
  • + 55
 See? We CAN trust the industry sometimes! Props to SRAM for pulling this off; trickle-down at its very finest.
  • + 20
 Don't board the happy train too fast, they're probably just buttering you up so they can stick us with another new standard somewhere else.
  • + 9
 Credit where its due
  • + 33
 Wow, any single component(crank, cassette, etc) is cheaper than 1 Ktsbow short!
  • + 2
 Yeah, not quite sure who they are marketing their clothes too over at Kitsbow.
  • + 8
 Out of curiosity I checked out their site and I threw up. kitsbow is a joke but I guess rich gapers will pay it. $120 for a pair of riding gloves? idiotic.
  • + 6
 Did you see the AM shorts for 285 bucks? Haha, I just replaced two tires on my car for less than a pair of shorts.
  • + 1
 LOL I thought I was the only one who considered their prices absurd! I can see them quickly going out of business in 2016, unless they begin to drop their overpriced merchandise. I recall posting a comment on one of the Instagram shorts about the ridiculous price and they replied telling me that it was "quality material which doesn't come cheap". Cool Story bud. I'll stick to $70 shorts from Fox or Endura.
  • + 23
 Works with 26" wheels! Yeeeeaeaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! #26aintdead
  • + 5
 26" over here. Happy n healthy
  • + 17
 I saw your mom with a guy on a 29er today
  • + 6
 She likes all the inches she can get... Giggity
  • + 3
 That and the increased rollover.
  • + 23
 First comment gets a free groupset, right?
  • + 14
 You got a solid "attaboy!"
  • + 24
 @ headmechanix - that's right, just pay $564 shipping and handling and the groupset is yours for free!
  • + 16
 I cant wait to upgrade from my X9 drivetrain to this....this review came in real handy for my decision
  • + 3
 Spend the extra on the X0 shifters.
  • - 2
 I think the best money to spend is getting the lightest cassette, reduce spinning weight. Then the shifter, then a lighter crank. There is little to no reason to upgrade anything else.
  • + 5
 I respectfully disagree. The different in cassette weights is very minor, and the cassettes weight is positioned very close to the axle of the wheel, making it's effect minimal. Lighter tires/tubeless setups are far more effective in this area. I would suggest the lighter crankset.
  • + 1
 The difference between the 1150 and 1195 cassettes is 126g, over a quarter of a pound. I totally agree wheels and tires are more important upgrades, but I wasn't considering those, only components in this group because that is what the article and the OPs comment is about.
  • + 0
 @TheRaven the cassette is unspring mass, I noticed a huge difference going from an 11-36 cassette to an 11-28 on my downhill bike.
  • + 2
 yes but it's very close to the axle of rotation, so it's rotational effect is minimal, and i'd have a hard time believing you'd notice a less than 100g difference on a 30lb machine. It's likely more psychological. I noticed no difference whatsoever between my 400g expanded XT cassette and an XX1 cassette.
  • + 1
 unsprung mass is not the same as rotational mass. you don't notice any difference in pedaling efficiency, you notice a loss in suspension performance because the rear end has more inertia. It's a very significant effect, that's why bikes like the Zerode G2 track stupidly well.
  • + 0
 Not in my experience. On my bikes it has had no effect whatsoever. We're talking about 50g-100g in most cases, you can create the same difference with different mechs, and i've never heard anyone complain about a derailleur ruining their suspension performance...or even having to make changes at the shock to compensate.
  • + 2
 You still don't get it, you'd have to understand physics, 100g on something that is rotating (your cassette) is MUCH more important than 100g in static weight (your derailleur). Speaking to your point though you are probably correct, I would guess most pros would feel a difference, everyone else will probably not, BUT after adding all of these things up and you most definitely will notice a difference (wheels, cassette, crank, etc). Reducing weight of one component is not the end all be all, it's simply an incremental step.
  • + 0
 TIL, I'm pro because I notice a 160g saving on my rear wheel.
  • + 10
 Article: This is a great, low cost option which gave us no problems of any kind on our long term test.

Comments: I haven't used this but it is overpriced and will break on you in 2 seconds. SHIMANO 4 LYFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who to trust though?
  • + 1
 Well just because GX is more expensive than XT doesn't mean its expensive. It's still pretty cheap, especially if you are a SRAM guy. $564 for a complete 1x11 groupset is still a good price really.
  • + 10
 At that price point XT pretty much steal it's lunch tbh. You lose a wee bit of range on the cassette but nothing major imo. I've been riding XT since the late 80s. Not gonna change to SRAM yet.
  • + 2
 I love the 10 tooth cog on the 11 speed XD cassette. Everytime I ride my 10 speed bike, I'm shifting for that higher gear, but I can never reach it.
  • + 1
 I very much like the idea of the extra range, but in practice, it's just not worth the price premium. In order to get a cassette that shifts like XT, you need one of the non-pinned SRAM units, so it's X01 or XX1, and you need an XD driver. That's just too much coin for a single tooth of range.
  • + 0
 or just push a taller chainring and one up cog in the back. My "hacked" xt setup is awesome.
  • + 1
 But its not just that. Say you were running a 34t chainring with your 11-42. Drop to a 10t and you can use a 30t chainring for almost the same top speed, but your climbing gear has increased massively (30/42 instead of 34/42). Then counter in e.13s soon to be available exp cassette (9-44) and you've got a gear spread that shits all over shimano.
  • + 3
 Yeah until it shits itself. See everyone talks about all these super-wide-range cassettes without considering COST and DURABILITY. The 10t cog is REALLY hard on chains, and as a result wears very quickly, so imagine how a 9t will fare. Then remember these cogs are on a $150-$300 cassette, and that you need the XD driver for them. So not only are you spending at least DOUBLE for that extra 1-2t in the cassette alone, but you need the $60-200 XD driver, or possibly even a new wheelset to support it.

Or, you can keep your existing freehub, buy an XT cassette and 45t expander, and go to a 36 or 38t front ring for that super high gear without losing your low gear. Then when that rear cog is worn next season, replace just that cog for $60 (a price at which you'll find them easily by that time).

Again, the super-wide-range cassette is a cool idea, but factor in the price penalty and it fails vs. expanded XT.
  • + 1
 I have a 32 up front and 42 out back. I never find myself looking for a lower gear. I tried 30 up front but was barely using my biggest cog with that set up.
  • - 2
 E13 will probably be selling each of the 3 clusters as separate items. So theres that. Xd drivers are an option on most new wheelsets so thats not an issue if you think ahead or the bike comes with it. And 34-44 is still way lower than 38-45.
  • + 0
 But you're STILL talking about a HUGE price difference. Even if you take replacement cogs out of the equation, and assume you are part of the 1% that bought a new convertible wheelset that came with both the shimano freehub and XD driver (I have a set like this in fact), and buy ONLY the absolutely necessary parts to convert your bike, AND compare XT to GX, despite the fact that XT is X1-level. Buying just the shifter, mech, cassette, chain, and N/W is about $250 (see CRC or Merlin) for XT, while you can't get under $340 for the same with GX.

This is a silly comparison as we are excluding 99% of the buying public in the process, but I did it to prove my point. GX is more expensive than XT no matter how you work it, despite the fact that GX is targeted at Deore/SLX.

For the rest of the world, the XD requirement widens the gap immensely. Hell 90% of them are still on Shimano or clone hubs so GX means at least $300 for a new wheelset.
  • + 1
 Right but if you were buying a new wheelset anyway, you can ignore that cost. Im not saying its worth going out and spending ridiculous amounts of money on converting just to get a 10t instead of 11, but if your upgrading anyway you might as well. Plus I'm seeing far more bikes coming with 11spd sram than shimano, so 99% of your argument is invalid.

Plus I've spent probably 15,000 quid on mountain bikes in the last 8 years, I dont give a shit about 15 quid extra for a gx cassette over an xt. Shifting performance is identical (I should know, im running one of each cassette back to back on the same bike (they didn't have the xd driver in stock and needed to get it rideable)) and the xt cassette is actually heavier than the gx.

Considering weve not even touched the subject of improved ground clearance and less weight with a smaller chainring, your not gaining any head way here.
  • - 1
 99% of my argument is invalid? WTF? no.

Far more bikes come with 11spd SRAM than Shimano because 11spd SRAM has been around for three years! XT just came out! It won't take long at all (it's started already) for XT to supplant X1 in bike specs, and GX will be a pretty rare showing as there's no point when you can get a better groupset cheaper. XX1/X01 will probably remain dominant in the high end space (at least for AM/Enduro) because Shimano hasn't really positioned XTR as a real competitor to those groups. They are pushing XT for AM/Enduro 1x11 applications.

Shifting performance is far from identical, I know from experience. For starters, SRAM's groups require pretty regular adjustment to maintain clean shifting, and even at it's best, it can't match Shimano's "it just works" functionality. Shimano is set-and-forget, or until you break something. As I mentioned elsewhere in these comments, I have yet to meet anyone in person who would choose SRAM over Shimano given the choice. It's only here on the internet that I find the SRAM fanboys. Likely because they feel they have a chip on their shoulder and must speak up. I dunno. It's silly though, if you prefer SRAM for any reason (even if you just like red and black, I know I do), that's cool. But don't bash the company that's been building some of the best MTB components out there for decades to make yourself feel better. That's pathetic.
  • + 1
 Yes it is invalid because more bikes are coming with it, so upgrade costs are irrelevant.

And your doing exactly the same, so pot kettle black.

Shimano have also been responsible for some of the worst mtb components too (7 speed SIS).
  • + 8
 FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
  • + 2
 Someone has too much metal in their head.
  • + 3
 I assumed it was a fun play on his screen name. I rather liked it.
  • + 2
 @TheRaven : U do realise that it's not about 1 or 2t extra, but about 10% or 20% extra range, right?
  • + 0
 No he doesn't because its not shimano so he clearly doesn't care. Even though its the best thing to happen to drivetrains ever.
  • + 0
 I do realize the extra range, because i've ridden it. I've only said this eleventy billion times, but i'll say it again. I am all for extra range. It's great. I run a OneUp 42t on my 1x10 AM bike and will run the 45t on my 1x11 Trail bike when it's built.

Naturally you would probably say to that - well SRAM cassettes would give you the same range without needing to be expanded. I agree, and in fact I tried to work that out.

The problem was that my expanded 10-speed cassette cost me a grand total of $88 (new XT cassette - $38, new OneUp 42t/16t kit - $50), and the expanded 11-speed cassette will cost me $158 (new XT cassette - $68, new OneUp 45t kit - $90). Equivalent quality and range with SRAM would cost me $298 on my AM bike (new X1 cassette - $233, Spank XD driver - $65), and a whopping $433 on my trail bike (new X1 cassette - $233, new Fulcrum XD driver - $200). So as you can see, it's no contest in my case, and I even have convertible wheels, where most of the world does not.
  • + 1
 If you need more gear then go bigger in the front. Especially if you are going to switch to 11s because of the extra range.
  • + 10
 Xt m8000 is about $100 cheaper, looks $100 more expensive, is fully adjustable, and servicable.
There is no better option for a tinkering shredder.
  • + 7
 you do lose 10% of the range. You could spring for the 45t adapter for $90 and have near the same range.
  • + 24
 I'm on 11-36. Range is overrated
  • + 24
 you must be young
  • + 7
 33 and NOT in shape! Smile
  • + 4
 But do you really need a 45t, I have always been fine with a 11-36 and a 34t up front. I get having more range but you get that with a 11-42, a 45 is just not needed in my mind. Why not go xt and save a 100 bucks get a better product with better warranty, reliability and adjustment.
  • - 2
 and you don't need a new freehub body, another $100. plus this GX group is closer to Deore quality than XT.
  • - 2
 If only out didn't perform 50% worse.
  • + 1
 XT M8000 is $464 for a crank, derailleur, shifter, chain, bottom bracket, and cassette? I find that extremely hard to believe.
  • + 1
 I dunno about the States, but in Germany you can get XT M8000 crank, derailleur, shifter, chain, bottom bracket, BRAKES and cassette for EUR 550. If I had it delivered to Switzerland then I would save the German VAT and in the end would pay around EUR 500.
  • + 1
 The 10 tooth cog is worth the exta $100 for me.
10 cog with a 34 chain ring is a higher gear ratio than an 11 cog with a 36 chain ring.
Makes a huge difference on steep downhills.
  • + 11
 If I'm going fast enough to need a 10t cog, I'm more concerned with handling the bike than with pedaling!
  • + 10
 Range is a matter of muscle structure coupled with nervous system - period. There is research proving that fighting against your genetics and lifetime habits when it comes to cadence is counter productive while for some reason roadie mantra of high RPM is well established in MTB. It doesn't even work for all roadies. If you like hard gear, then crank it. If you like spinning circles do it - just fk off from each other. I've been on hate bus, and it just sucks in the long run. Accepting that you are different and that it is neither your fault or credit, is a great thing. My boss was selling me this 75-90 RPM stuff through all length of our last ride, yet even he pedals on hard gear when he has no possibility to think about what he read in Men's Health. Then there is that BS about knee - yes, some people have issues, and they are probably in minority, aaaand some people should work on their hip stability to unload the knee from side forces.

I will ride 36t fron with 11-40t back on 650B wheel. I like hard gear, I haven't earned it, I am this way. If world's fastest downhillers and Enduroers use 36t front to 11t back then sorry mate, who are you trying to fool that you need a harder gear? Abzillah - who the F pedals on steep downhills?
  • + 2
 @seraph - actually XT is $393 at CRC right now. Merlin has it with brakes for just over $500. Between Merlin and CRC, you can buy the XT "upgrade" setup (N/W, shifter, mech, cassette) for about $250 shipped.

So yeah, XT kinda owns the 1x11 argument at the moment.
  • + 1
 The 45t would let you run a 36 or 38 up front to try and match SRAMs overall range
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns You admit though that your local trails don't have a ton of vert. My new favorite trail (only minutes from my house) has 2,000 feet of climbing WITH the shuttle of 1,000 feet, and its steep. Sure, you can chug up it in a high gear (my 42t adapter wore out, so I've been riding 36 back by 34 front on 29), but I'm walking parts and my legs feel like the back end of a kiwi sheep on a Saturday night by the top. This spring I hope to have either m8000 with 45t and keep my 34 front, or go gx with 30 front.
  • + 0
 Hamncheez, every year I do a lot of vert in the Alps. No problem what so over, unless it gets very steep for a longer period of time. And with steep I mean 15%+
  • + 1
 And I can always mount a granny ring Anne Caro style
  • + 4
 Gotta agree there, we tend to forget the massive variation in the terrain we ride. I see so many guys saying they can ride anything with a 32x36 low gear, while world class racers riding my trails are on their 26x36 or 32x42 gears by the top of some of the climbs. Hell one of my regular trails has a climb so steep that you can't attack it seated or you'll roll backwards off the bike. We all ride very different trails.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns I've gained 40 pounds since I got my desk job. I still ride a ton, but now I need that low gear.
  • + 1
 @theraven - for those of us who don't like how Shimano shifts, XT doesn't win anything. I have XTR on my bike right now and I'm saving up to switch back to SRAM so I can get some good shifting again. Always remember, cheaper doesn't often mean better.
  • + 0
 In the last days of 9speed drivetrains. SRAM was in the lead. Shimano had soft return spring on the rear mech which was making it shift worse and even if it was happening it was too smooth for MTB application. In MTB you need feedback. The 9sp SRAM X0 is still the unmatched benchmark of shifting action for me. But some do like smoother shifting and Shimano has hit the right spot with 10sp, for all SLX - XT and XTR groups while SRAM went bollocks. The 10sp X9 shifter was a joke. Price nearly as high as XTR and blunt feeling, poop to say the least. You had to go X0 to get a decent feel while SLX was already decent. SRAM was better at the 10sp rear mech front. X9 was excellent. Perhaps that's why it is sold out in Europe now. All in all Shimano vs SRAM became a game of win there, lose over there. No winner. Some like particular feel some don't. I haven't tried 11sp Shimano, XX1 and X01 seems legit for what I tried. I am still going for 11sp Shimano because of the price. Seraph gets stuff cheaper than most of us mortals I guess?
  • + 2
 @seraph - i'm talking purely on quality and value. XT is meant to compete with X1, they are of comparable quality and construction. So yes, from that standpoint, XT is better than GX, and cheaper.

Now of course there is personal preference, and I respect that. SRAM shifters have a heavier, longer, more "positive" action than Shimano. Shimano's top shifters are very light, with a crisp, short throw. What I get out of it is the feel of a precision instrument vs. one designed for blunt force. As an engineer, I really appreciate precision and something that feels as if it was designed with incredible attention to detail. Note I said "feels".
  • + 3
 Yes, Shimano is priced more along what I'd be willing to pay, but it's as if they didn't even try to make light cassettes. The fully pinned GX 1175 cassette (pinned, OEM only, with an alloy big cog) weighs about the same as Shimano's top-end XTR 11-40. The next cassette down, XT M8000, weighs more than any SRAM cassette by a good amount. I hear Deore 11 speed will be made from solid lead.
  • + 1
 I am also unwilling to pay additional 60-80$ for the XD driver... Sorry
  • + 1
 I'm sure if you told Shimano you'd be willing to pay $350 for a 260g cassette, they'd be happy to make it for you. I think they determined that in the price vs. performance predicament, buyers would not be willing to pay 3x the price to save 100-150g. If you ask me, it's absolutely the right choice and time will prove that.

That said, if you ARE willing to pay for that small weight savings, then you can run a SRAM cassette with shimano shifter/mech combos.
  • + 1
 I'm just curious what kind of gearing compromise folks using 1x11 make. I figured it up just as an example, with a 1x11 with a 10-42 range, you need a 28 tooth front to match the lowest gear a fairly typical 2x system gets you (38/24 2x front and 11-36 10 spd rear), and a 34-35 tooth front to match the highest gear using that same 2x system. My question is, do most split that difference at 30-32? I guess it probably depends most on personal preference and the kinds of trails folks ride.

I'm still in love with the Rohloff 14 speed gear hub option. Yep, I'm one of those guys. Just wish I could afford it.
  • + 1
 I used to be in good enough shape to push an old 1x8/9 on most trails, but not anymore. Hell, I used to ride exclusively single speed, but those days are certainly over.
  • + 1
 Ummm...my trails get a lot steeper than 15%... I'd guess they do for many others!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns

I owe you a beer ! You just made my day/evening !

Ref: X0 9speed and SLX vs X9 10sp. Bang on the dot !
  • + 1
 And just for the experience:

I tried:
M8000 rear der with 10speed XT shifter and 10speed cassette = ALL OK.
M8000 rear der with 9speed SRAM shifter and 9speed cassette = ALL OK.
SLX 10sp SGS rear der with 11 speed XT Shifter+Cassette 42T = Almost OK (need a bigger upper pulley on the SLX and then it's OK)
  • + 1
 @bfm-team so if you used the oneUp adapter it would work? Cause at that point its just cheaper to buy the M8000
  • + 1
 I just ordered XT 8000 cassette. 70€. I did hesitate for a moment since XTR goes for 190€. Then the closest SRAM I like is 1180 - 275€ (+ 65€ for the XD freehub body) Guess how hard it was for me to settle on 8000... 100g more, OH My GaWd!
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns that tiny penis of yours gives you more than a 100 gram weight advantage already
  • + 1
 Hahaha Big Grin
  • + 5
 Rode a bike with GX yesterday and was blown away by how good it was. The shifting was so crisp and direct and the gear ratios work so well especially getting up steep climbs. Shimano still make the best brakes though.
  • + 2
 Have you tried guide RSCs? Mine shit all over anything shimano has made ever.
  • + 4
 I'm getting the idea that your bike shits alot. Fortunately i've never come across a pair of Shimano brakes with Guide shit on them.
  • + 3
 @TheRaven Are you the Shimano equivalent of the SRAM fanboys you are bashing on? I mean jesus. I've heard the same about Guides from my buddy's who have used them. And personally, will never buy another Shimano brake after my last two experiences with them. They had absolutely no power behind them. I've had Avid Elixir ones that after a year of DH use were better at braking then freshly set up SLX brakes.
  • + 1
 I have tried 4 sets of Guide RSC, absolute JUNK, SLX even work better. I do use XX1 with XTR brakes though. I noticed bike was starting to act like shit with the Guides.
  • + 2
 @looeythedog It depends on your definition of "fanboy". I've been riding for 15 years, and building/wrenching by hobby for just as long. I've ridden SRAMs best - being a fan of Specialized bikes I don't have a choice there - but always ended up switching to Shimano when upgrade time came. My bikes are all Shimano these days, and all the guys I regularly ride with have switched too, save one, who is going XT 1x11 this winter. Our experiences have put us in unanimous agreement that Shimano drivetrains are more precise, better built, more reliable, and easier to maintain than SRAM. And until Guides there's been no comparison in brakes. SRAM hasn't had a serious horse in the race until Guides came along. That said, i'm fine with either brake these days, though it's absolute BS to say that Guides are "far better". At best they are as good, which is to say - excellent.

I do speak up alot here because this is the only place i've seen such a herd of SRAM fanboys. It just doesn't exist in the real world from my experience.
  • + 1
 Well, I obviously haven't been around the block as much as you for riding, but hopefully on my next two builds (XC racer and DH race rigs) I'll be able to get some time in on drivetrains and see how they hold up.
  • + 4
 The Guides I have used had power, that wasnt a problem. The damn noises they make are just stupid. I wish I could use them as I have a set setting on my bench right now. On Drivetrains well,,,,, its Ford or Chevy. They all work, some work better for others. I have been on X9 up to XX1 and XT to XTR, setup right they all work its just what you prefer. They all can break and have problems.
  • + 1
 @TheRaven ...the sram DB3 brakes are unexpectedly awesome.
  • + 2
 @TheRaven - You are spot on with everything you said, and FWIW I've been riding and wrenching longer, even professionally now and then.
  • - 1
 Yeah, spot on. In Road bikes world though..
  • + 1
 No one here is talking about road bikes. You are on Pinkbike.
  • - 1
 Hmmmm, if you didn't mention guide brakes n stuff, i would be sure i was in a road bike forum with the opinion u expressed about shimano vs sram. ''Our experiences have put us in unanimous agreement that Shimano drivetrains are more precise, better built, more reliable, and easier to maintain than SRAM.'' The above can only be said in a road bike world...
  • + 2
 Well actually, it has in fact just been said in a mountain bike world. So you are clearly mistaken.

You could also realize that we are debating opinions here and that the words "can only be said in..." are automatically incorrect.
  • + 0
 Im gonna go ahead and quote an earlier post of yours, because I think the irony is very strong on this :

But don't bash the company that's been building some of the best MTB components out there for decades to make yourself feel better. That's pathetic.

Its exactly what you're doing, so please, shut the f*ck up now. We get it, you prefer shimano, you don't need to go on and on and on on every single comment on this article. People have different opinions and preferences to you. Get over it.
  • + 0
 By ''can only be said in'', i mean that i find this could make sense only when stated for road bikes components. Don't pretend ur fool... Of course u can say and ride anything u want.
  • + 2
 @inked-up-metalhead Are you kidding me? Don't talk to me about irony -

"Have you tried guide RSCs? Mine shit all over anything shimano has made ever."

Your quote. Here's some advice that you shoudln't need - Don't want to see bashing? Don't start bashing. If you would have shut the f*ck up at the start, we wouldn't be here right now. Get your house in order before you criticize mine.
  • + 1
 @thebikings No pretending anything here. While it may not "make sense" to you, it does to most others.
  • + 2
 Im not the one telling people not to so stuff while doing it myself. You've pretty much taken over this comment section with 'shimano Is better, sram is shit'. Your the one who decided to comment on my comment on a post completely unrelated to a previous one. And what you quoted was my opinion. Dya know how you were supposed to know that? Because I said my guides. Not all guides, just mine. And in my experience, they are far better, because they have the same or more power with better modulation and adjustment. Thats not bashing, I never said shimano were shit, just that I thought my guides were far better.

So the real irony here is your trying to get the last word in and be right, when all you've done is point out how ridiculous you've been. Im done, I won't let another idiot drag me down to their level and beat me with experience.
  • + 0
 Oh and btw, one bike is x01/guides, the other is full saint. I have nothing against shimano, I really like the saint stuff, it's just for a wide ratio sram wins and for brake performance I find sram also win.
  • + 1
 If you're right and i'm wrong, then why are you the only one arguing so fervently with me? I've gotten a few props, and a few counterpoints, but you are the only one going head-to-head here. That should tell you something.

The problem is that you've taken my words as a personal affront. You posted a strongly worded comment, so I responded with one, and you took it personally.

The truth is i'm not here to bash SRAM. I'm here to point out that Shimano is a better value. I'm not the one posting words like "shits all over anything shimano has made ever". I've had several other mature discussions with folks in this thread about the merits of each product, but you are the only one attacking anything.

But I agree, we should be done with this, because we are accomplishing nothing.
  • + 3
 SRAM: please quit making your derailers with composite linkages. They wear out so fast and cannot take more than a couple hits before its got excessive movement. Composite is cheaper and lighter, but wears quickly compared to aluminum. I like the snappy action, but terrible longevity. In my experience anyways. Also i ride DH
  • + 7
 who else was presently surprised at that $564 price point?
  • + 3
 went from a shimano 10spd to a sram 10 spd on the new bike. waiting for the day i destroy the sram so i can swap my shimano back on.

once i kill the xt/zee setup up i'll swap it out for a xt 11spd. shimano just makes a better product all the way around imo.
  • + 2
 Having had a full X9 type 2 groupset, I have binned pretty much all of it and gone shimano.
-two rear mechs randomly failed
-chains and cassettes are much more expensive
-shifter pawls made of butter
I run two faultless Zee set ups, one with a cage I had to straighten and a shifter pod I got off ebay with no cover on. Shimano chains (dont get the ones that rust) can still be joined with powerlinks and are cheap as chips from Chainreaction.
Just my experience but Sram has terrible wear and reliability issues.
  • + 5
 Funny that you say that, because I have had the total opposite experience. My Zee derailer exploded into piece on the first ride at Big Bear. Got rid of it and went back to SRAM and haven't had a problem in two years on my X9 type 2.
  • - 1
 My Type2 X9 killed 3 der hangers on my Blur TRc until it failed in a mysterious accident when getting into the wheel spokes, while I was grinding it up on fire road. I killed two cages on Zee and SLX. Once the cage gets bent you spend several fitments to straighten them up so that chain doesn't jump between the pulley and the cage. off the bike, into the vice, straighten, off the vice into the bike, repeated 3 times. 2-3 hours of work. I fixed that on Zee, but medium cage on SLX didn't make it despite long tries. Will eventually fix RadR cage from OneUp Components for that. Sram has carbon cages that don't bend.
  • + 1
 ZEE derailleurs werent meant for wide range cassettes combined with large travel. I learned that one the hard way.
  • + 2
 Been using an M640FR with RADr cage and 11-42 cassette on my Tracer 275 (6.3") with no issues whatsoever. Maybe chain growth is the difference?
  • + 2
 I've been waiting for the type 2 x9 drivetrain to die on my fatbike so i could install the slx drivetrain thats in a box in my garage. A year and a half later being only ridden in snow and mud and being sprayed by road salt on my rear mount carrier i sold the slx drivetrain. X9 is holding it's own. My x1 setup on my trailbike is also flawless.
  • + 1
 Sounds like we are running an identical set up there! Good taste that man.
  • + 1
 ...theraven that is!
  • + 2
 To all having problems with SRAM 1x shifting - check for looseness within the derailleur mounting bolt. My X01 derailleur had some play here, no matter how hard I torqued the mounting bolt. I solved the problem by adding a thin washer between the derailleur and the hanger, but this does defeat the swing motion, which is actually not needed for this derailleur. Shifting is so much more consistent.
  • + 2
 First thing to do when you buy this bundle is open the nearest pedal bin and throw the GXP BB into it !! ... I've never come across such a poor quality BB. The lifespan is terrible and they definitely aren't built for UK muck ...
  • + 2
 I've used Zee and X9. The Zee clutch is much stiffer. My chain still comes off on the X9. My Zee shifter has crumbled though.
I have a problem with X9 pivot bolt having seized inside the body (no, not the hanger).
I'll probably stick to 10sp with an expander cog.
  • + 2
 Mr. Kazimer -
Hey, drop the jabs about small chain rings only for climbing walls. There are legit reasons for such rings. The aluminum 42t cog is precious, so it's smart to avoid using it. I love the challenge of riding steep stuff in spite of walking. Personally, I use a 28t or 30t oval, but have tried the 26t and 32t. Love direct mount rings! Also, more comparison to Shimano would be nice - seems XT 1x11 is within $20 of GX.

I would appreciate more info on the cassette. When buying a replacement for my worn X01 cassette I strongly considered the GX, but there is no info out there about the shifting quality. The construction is so different and there is actually potential for improved shifting considering the ease of machining individual cogs . . . maybe you could add more details on that.

@fatenduro - you are so right - cost of wear items is high! I've been on X01 for 2 seasons and have worn-out 4 rings. Now switching to steel from WolfTooth! Additionally I've worn-out 1 cassette and 2 chains, but that's not unreasonable.
  • + 1
 Does altering the chainline help reducing wear on the big cog? I ride 30t and use it quite often, with a chainline of 48mm. Don't need the smallest one that much.
  • + 1
 Agreed. Had 24x36 as my lowest gear on my 27.5 trailbike this past season. Going 29er for next year, so i'm doing 30t up front with the 45t expander in the rear. I'm hoping that will be enough, because the 24x36 still forced me to walk every now and then.

Also, XT is quite a bit cheaper than GX at the moment. under $400 for complete groupset, just over $500 if you want brakes too.
  • + 2
 Youd need a 28t ring to have the same easiest gear because of the wheel size increase. Or 26 if you want it easier. But that leaves you with a super slow hard gear.
  • + 1
 Yeah that's why i'm going with the 30t. I'm pretty confident i'll have plenty of top end since my riding has been alot more technical as of late.
  • + 2
 But thats a harder climbing gear than you had. And you said your worried about it being enough?
  • + 1
 Alright i'll give more detail. My AM bike is 11-42 with a 32t on 27.5 wheels. This is JUST enough. Thus, on a 29er, it seemed 30t was the natural choice. Of course, I don't know for sure, so i'm hoping i'm right.
  • + 2
 I recently purchased a kona process 153, the bike has been great. Except the GX drivetrain. While it feels nice, I have had problem after problem. I do everything right and take good care of my bike, yet I have been forced to do work on it over 10 times in two months with about 5 trips to my local shop. Each issue in the shifting seems to be fixed, and then 10 minutes into my next ride on a properly shifting drivetrain another problem in the shifting fluidity arises. I have checked and recheck I have no bent or driven derailleur parts. By now I am more than slightly frustrated with the GX system
  • + 3
 Try running a one piece external outer cable and forget the internal routing. The internal routing in the main frame on 153s is not very good IMHO/ experience. Second go shimano they have stronger return springs so can deal with cable friction better
  • + 1
 Thanks for the idea about the external routing, hadn't thought of that. Although for the specific issues that have been occurring with certain gear changes not happening and then the next one double jumping I am not sure if it will help.
  • + 2
 The extra ferrules of the different parts to the outer cable create crush points and friction as the cables grinds along them at angles as they enter and exit. So end up with extra play and friction which will cause problems.
I ditched my x7 that came with mine as it's was behaving like yours. Lost count of how many times I tweaked and changed cables. I went shimano and cured it but I then switched to eternal for longevity and maintenence reasons and found it was miles slicker aswell. Wish kona would put proper big entry /exit ports on instead so can run internal one piece.
  • + 2
 Having ridden the group set I can say it is very similar to X1 at a fraction of the cost! I agree the cassette is almost exactly the x1. As for the shifter and derailleur it is awesome for the money but lacks the responsiveness you get with x1 and the higher level groups. I would definitely the cassette and crank! -But if your looking for that classic sram smooth and responsive the upgrade to the x1 shifter and derailleur is well worth the money! But I will say for the money its a stellar groupo!
  • + 1
 I'm running a Sram X0 9x rear derailleur at my do-it-all-bike, for about 5,5 years now. The Shimano i had before, lasted for about a year. So yeah.. take my money Sram. I just hope those shifters will be more solid than those X9's were.
  • + 1
 Far too much Shimano vs SRAM chat going on, who cares as long as it works well enough that you forget about it and have fun while riding what more do you want? Although I will say its always confused me as to why SRAM's aftermarket prices are so crazy steep compared with Shimano, I'd probably give SRAM a longer look if it wasn't mega bucks, everyone seems to be comparing this GX to XT which is a little silly when XT is almost top tier but GX is made to meet a budget, yet XT is still cheaper.
Not saying the SRAM kit is bad as I know many people who use it happily with no issue but they all got it on a full build bikes as nobody can afford to buy it aftermarket. I've worked in bikes shops so can see the mark up and it just makes me angry they are cheeky enough to charge it, would rather buy from a company that doesn't charge a fortune just because it can, especially when is comes to wearable / replaceable items like cassettes.

Also never realised people cared about the 10t cog so much, I never even use my 11t unless spinning out downhill on the road but who needs that on their MOUNTAIN bike, totally not worth the XD driver and pricey cassette.
  • + 1
 I've run Shimano everything until I bought my new Bronson which came with GX. I have to say, for the price, it is real good. I would still prefer Shimano, but the GX stuff is far superior to any other SRAM offering simply based on value.
  • + 1
 how do you like the Bronson?, I am looking to buy a new bike next year, for more aggressive riding, I am currently running a Stumpy with 150mm travel.
  • + 1
 @Narro2 It is my personal favorite bike I've ever ridden.. But I'm biased towards Santa Cruz. I've tried other bikes but keep coming back to buy SC's mid travel trail bike (had a Blur, then 2 Bronsons).

The Bronson lives up to it's billing, it's stable at speed while still feeling agile and a lotta fun! The price point isn't too bad. I love their linkage design, the non press fit BB, and the Boost spacing feels fine. I ride the Bronson as my only bike and it does well on everything from XC rides to park laps. I ride mostly aggressive trails on it and it shines!
  • + 2
 Feel like the Bronson is still small.
  • + 1
 yes that's what I want, I bike to do everything, from XC up to Downhill and some table top jumping

how is the bike in steep downhill sections?
  • + 1
 I just don't get this 1x thing .... belongs in the same bin as 27,5 and 29 ! Just doesn't interest me somehow. And SRAM are just a rip off. Don't know where they get they're prices from. If I'm going to ride my bike so hard that bits keep breaking then give me SLX anyday ... or Zee for that matter.
  • + 2
 @dirty-fecker ...the only reason you don't get it is because you haven't tried it. I use it on both my bikes, I'll never go back to a front mech
  • + 1
 @fedz Actually I have tried it. I didn't like the huge jumps between some gears. Just didn't suite my riding style. I'd love to try out Di2 with the automatic Front-Shifter function. Triple rings are definiety dead but 2x seems to suit me better then 1x. Cheers.
  • + 2
 I can see both arguments, and I will be all 1x by the end of the winter. The gaps on 1x drivetrains are noticeably larger. It does take some getting used to. I think that if I were a hardcore climber (meaning I was the type who actually enjoyed climbing, as opposed to wanting to blow my brains out on long climbs), I likely would just stick with 2x10, because it's undoubtedly better for climbing. The front derailleur is not that big of a deal. It was always the easiest part of setting up a drivetrain for me. I'm not going 1x to shed a front derailleur. I'm literally doing it "just because". And there's nothing wrong with that.
  • + 1
 I have switched from Shimano XTR 10s (with XT S+GS derailleur) system to Sram GX (with XT cassette).
My thoughts, impressions:
- I only went with the XT cassette because my old hub didn't have a new free hub body option. I'd have payed the extra costs for the Sram, and not particularly for the 10t which I'd barely use. But it weights less. And that unsprung weight I gained with the new cassette is very noticeable for me. It'd shred mud better and - it's subjective - more aesthetic as well.
- The Sram shifter is just way more ergonomic, and so crisp, precise. The only thing I miss is the double upshift option. Comparing to higher models, you can't feel the difference. Unlike with Shimano where XTR shifter was in another league even from XT.
- The derailleur is just a derailleur, works fine. Comparing to Shadow+ design, it is so big though.
I have always used Shimano XT drivetrain before, although I wished for Sram since the 9 speed era. They really ruled back then. This 10 speed experience lasted only for a couple of months for me.
So all in all I'm very impressed with what I got for my money. I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed either.
The new XT looks promising, too. It is really up to personal preference what you like. None is better than the other, just offers a slightly different package.
  • + 1
 I have been running GX shifter, Cassette,a and RD on my carbon fat bike with Race Face Turbine Cinch and then Next SL Cinch cranks. No issues thus far, and am quite enjoying the feel. Set up and installed easily. I sold a 2012 Epic that had X0 on it, and I am not missing anything on the GX build. Currently building a 2016 Norco Sight, and will be going with the same GX components. As an aside, it plays wonderfully with the Cinch system. And I love that I can easily switch which in-season bike will have the Turbine and which the Next SL due to the cinch system!
  • + 1
 Everybody finished?!!! Haha soz guys.. Good to see a Sram unit at a SLIGHTLY more affordable price point! nice to see you all know your shi*t too and stick to what you know and what works for your country and ride conditions - personal preferences aside (biased toward Shimano - XT rules this mofo!) I have found Sram lightweight,slick 'pretty decent in the dry'..rusts in the wet and breaks under duress (tho rare I might add). Can't say i would buy a whole Sram set-up (am running 'various' Sram bits tho),but they are definitely getting closer .. I ride thru sh*t,grit (..am a Brit!) salt etc,it just has not proven itself as yet ..unlike XT. No chance of winning any f**cking SRAM kit now haha
  • + 1
 I use the 32t GX 1000 crankset and like it. Paired with an x5 mech, shifter, DB-3 brakes and an 11-34 9 speed cassette...

Plenty of steepish, chunky terrain around here in my neck of CA....regularly 20-30%...never drop a chain, badass brakes with 180mm rotors, super cheap setup with the sram pg-950 cassette (only $25 for that bad boy!).
  • + 1
 I just sold my type 2 X01 should have kept it as my new bike is coming with a type 2.1 is there absolutely no way to somehow pull the pin and crank the tension up? I did this on my X01 and it worked like magic no chain slap whatsoever!
  • + 1
 I used to have 3x9 gripshifts on my previous bike and loved the ease of multi-shifting, both up and down. Currently I'm on a Hammerschmidt and 9 sp. cassette + trigger shifters and considering a switch to 1x11 with a Grip Shift GX or XO. I would like to hear from the users of 1x11 SRAM grip shift about their experiences. I skimmed through a couple of reviews on CRC and some of them were negative, pointing out poor compatibility with brake levers or lack of symmetry between left and right side of the bars. Are those shifters really not so great or are those just a few negative reviews?
  • + 1
 I have a similar experience as you, old school grip shift, then onto Hammerschmidt, then onto X1. I miss the instant shifting of my hammerschmidt for sure, and the range it provided on my 2x9 drive train. I have the X1 on my trance advanced SX, it came on it. If I were you, and you're not getting a new bike, stick to what you have. when you upgrade none of your old drivetrain will probably fit anyway. I ran hammerschmidt on three bikes and never had one issue. My brother still runs his, too bad they didn't make a lighter version of it. As far as grip shift itself on these drive trains, I didn't go to them because of the lack of grip compatibility. and they all came with triggers, why fix it, if it aint broke...
  • + 1
 Thanks for sharing your view, brownstone! I agree, my Hammerschmidt has also worked flawlessly already for three seasons. The only reason I'm considering a change is the annoying noise it produces in overdrive mode. I'm not concerned about the weight, though, and the system has obvious advantages, like instant shifting you mentioned, plus integrated bashguard and chain guide, all in a very compact form. If one's picky about their equipment, the choice between components will often be some kind of compromise between practicality and personal preference, so it's always good to know other riders' point of view. I think I'll follow your advice and stick to Hammerschmidt. Cheers!
  • + 1
 I picked up my Slash 8 in august and it comes with this setup from trek and while I can't speak for long term durability I can say I have worked the shit out of it in the time I've had it with only once throwing the chain off the front ring. But in all fairness I was on a double black diamond run. Since then I added an MRP upper guide/bash gaurd and have never looked back. Great stuff for the price
  • + 0
 The XD hub is superior in every regard and the cage lock works for maintenance too. Never heard any long time users of the General Lee 9t cassette complain about chain wear either. Otherwise the brand name is irrelevant to me, just giving the arguers some more fodder. Anyone with any common sense knows that red is the best color too :rollseyes:
  • + 2
 Have you ever worked on a xd driver? I have only a couple times but both times were a pain in the ass to work with(but I only have limited experience with them) one time my customer with shimano xtr 11s set up thought he wanted the 10t(really it was because he was running a 30t with 11-42). He had hope hubs so we ordered the driver and I installed it(this was the second xd driver I worked on but I had never installed a new one) I looked at the instructions and did every thing like it said. A week later he comes in and it is making nosies so I pulled it apart cleaned and put some nicer waterproof grease and torqued it to spec. Now it is about a monthly thing he comes in and i do it all over again.
  • + 1
 Food for thought; is it an XD hub design issue, a Hope hub issue, or an installation issue?

www.pinkbike.com/u/nate-at-bikeco-com/blog/xx1-cassette-install--creak-check.html
  • + 1
 and apology for the snarkiness, I shouldn't post on forums while drinking ...
  • + 1
 I actually saw that article when i was researching a fix for the problem. I did what it said and it is still doing it. But you could be right about it being a problem with the hub.
  • + 4
 Good to see big bike companies offering cheaper goods for us!
  • + 0
 My 6 Fattie is spec'd with a full GX groupo. I find the shifting to be quite inconsistent. Daily adjustments to the cable tension are pretty frequent. Also the cassette packs up really quickly and is a pain to clean out. For the price im sure its not a bad groupo. I think there are better options available though.
  • + 6
 New shimano xt 11spd looks pretty decent for the money
  • + 21
 @bighit117 - You might want to check your cable routing to be sure it's not being affected as the bike goes through its travel. I'd also suggest making sure the cable doesn't have any kinks in it either - you shouldn't need to be adjusting your cable tension every day.
  • + 3
 And still nothing wrong with 10spd
  • - 7
flag cmitchell (Dec 8, 2015 at 20:03) (Below Threshold)
 @evanmant you getting paid?
  • + 16
 And still nothing wrong with 9spd
  • + 3
 I've had these on my Santa Cruz Nomad for several months now. Ridden them hard, bashed rear derailleur against some rocks, and the drivetrain keeps on rocking. I'm astounded by the price to performance ratio. Definitely a great product from SRAM. Haven't tried the new Shimano 11 speed though, so I can't compare these two.
  • - 10
flag Joseph-o (Dec 8, 2015 at 21:17) (Below Threshold)
 @evanmant @cmitchel I'm with Brandon here #shimanosucks
  • + 2
 once you go 11spd you never go back. this is coming form a 9spd user for over 5 years!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer The cable routing dosent look bad, no tight spots. It is run internally through the frame. Maybe there is a kink hidden away. I will check it out. Thanks! Yes 1x11 is the way to go!
  • + 1
 @bighit117 : You know these things called bike shops? If u find a good one i'm sure they'' ll figure out what's wrong and let let u enjoy ur GX group.
  • + 3
 Here is how I determine drivetrain selection and problems:

Does it shift? Yes?

OK. Go ride.
  • + 1
 I can definitely zip through a few gears on both my SRAM X7 and CODE R rear set ups by pushing the lever fully through it's travel in one motion... is that different than what Shimano can do?
  • + 1
 When's the preview/review of the box components drive train, I'd like to see how that stacks up against the SRAM/shimano same ole same ole ....
  • + 1
 Just bought a GX Shifter when the XO1 broke suddenly. XO1 was too slippery so GX is better. Cheaper and better or at least as good as XO1 in my opinion.
  • + 0
 The crankset is bloody sweet! I will be probably buying one. The rest is cool as well, but just a bit too much money compared to XT so... I wonder what is SRAMs strategy for surely upcoming SLX when XT is already so "cheap"
  • + 1
 FWIW, it seems to be an old X9...might be worth a search for old stock if you can get over the labeling. Both can take a direct mount ring.
  • + 1
 Off course it is old X9. I need a possibility to mount a spiderless chain ring and Race Face alu cranks are calf cutting razors. I am not a fan of carbon cranks but it is tempting to go X0 since it costs less than 100$ more than this one up there
  • + 1
 I like how their asking for shimano features. Proves that shimano is on top of their game. Id like to know the durability of the gx based on miles.
  • + 2
 It seems like sram is getting stuck working around shimano patent's i've heard it was an issues with electronic shifting, and through the quick search i did mike seems right in guessing it is the issue here as well (it was mentioned in the shimano patent). I'm sure it also happens the other way around
  • + 3
 123 creaky, creaky steel pins
  • + 1
 Do they really creak when you crank down the collar? Is this real world experience, or speculation?
  • + 2
 I have friends that have had zero issues, I have friends that hate sram. I myself have a very creaky sram cassette an cant wait to switch back to shimano I reckon its a quality control issue like the old jiucys, you either got a good set or a bad set
  • + 1
 Amen about those juicys
  • + 1
 I have heard this about the pinned cassettes, not GX specifically. I have not experienced it myself though. It makes sense when you think about the potential for tolerance issues at 123 points in any given part.
  • + 0
 I had a 42t adapter that was aluminum. After 1 summer of riding all the teeth wore down so now its unusable. I measured my chain and it was stretched, but not that bad. I'm really nervous about aluminum cogs.
  • + 3
 Yeah it's better to replace one cog each season than an entire $150-$300 cassette.
  • + 1
 For that price not alot anyone can moan about...tidy bit of kit and the "extra weight" will hardly (if at all) be noticed really.
  • + 1
 dam i don't know, which one of these is the common one found on 2007 frames? Bottom bracket options: BB30, PressFit 30, GXP, PressFit GXP.
  • + 1
 GXP is for a threaded bottom bracket shell, which is more than likely what you have on a frame from 2007.
  • + 1
 Does anybody know if you can run the GX mech without the chain tensioner, like you can with Shimano XT?
  • + 4
 On the Sram derailleurs the clutch is fixed. You can't turn it on or off like Shimano!
  • + 3
 I don't know why you would want to. "I would like to have more chain loss issues please."
  • + 2
 It makes the derailleur easier to work on. I always switch off the clutch on my bikes for maintenance. It makes setup/adjustment easier when you can pull the cage to "sight" the derailleur for alignment, and this is damn near impossible on SRAM mechs.
  • + 2
 Patrick, suspension performance is why.
  • + 1
 Does it make a noticeable difference? I changed bikes at the same time as I got my first clutch mech so it wasn't noticeable. (the suspension was just 12 times better)
  • + 0
 You can adjust clutch tension by removing the black plastic cover and using an allen key to turn it clockwise (increases tension) or anti-clockwise (decreases ...)

You don't need to run a chain tensioner
  • + 1
 All that does it tighten it up both directions, That will cause it to be slower at tensioning the chain too.
  • + 1
 oop ! .. just read that it's a type 2.1 not a type 2. On the type 2 you can adjust tension
  • + 1
 I run without tension and a top guide. Experiments have shown this makes a difference for the better. Just like running chainless does.
  • + 2
 Incredible price/preformance/weight ratio...
  • + 2
 How about 7spd GX group for us DH'ers??
  • + 0
 Nice to see some budget but high quality components reviewed rather than carbon crap all the time. I have X1 on my bike and its the best drivetrain ive ever used.
  • + 2
 Waa-waah...carbon...waaaaahhhh
  • + 1
 the xx1 cranks do look better
  • + 1
 I just pooped and it cost me nothing
  • + 2
 2x9 XT, brilliant.
  • + 2
 Yep,you know it! don't forget from whence we came.. 11spd,10spd - you can still hit 'light spd' (ha!) And scare yourself sh*tless with what is now regarded as 'old kit'. Hilarious. Can we all chill now and find something else to bicker about,and get tetchy with others opinions and fact findings?!!!!
  • + 1
 Isn't this gonna be on ur new duro @TLDandSPECIALIZED
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