First Ride - SRAM X1 Drivetrain

May 2, 2014
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  

SRAM TRAIL HOUSE: TERLAGO, ITALY
SRAM X1
DRIVETRAIN

WORDS Rachelle Frazer
PHOTOS Adrian Marcoux


Bringing Down the Cost - The Difference is in the Details

Two years ago SRAM released XX1, a system intended for the elite, made from premium materials, employs the most expensive manufacturing techniques, and, more interestingly, removes the need for a front derailleur by paring a single chain ring with an ultra-wide range cassette. It was met with some early apprehension by many riders, however, with concerns about gearing for the average Joe that was faced with serious climbing. But then something happened that SRAM wasn't expecting - a lot of people, all sorts of people, every day mountain bike riders, decided that they wanted it. SRAM had struck a somewhat unexpected chord, and it turned out that a lot of riders wanted to see their front derailleur take a hike. Unfortunately, many of those who wanted to get on board with XX1 couldn’t necessarily afford the price tag that came along with it, so hacks began popping up address this need - cassettes and chain rings that converted dual 'ring systems into single 'ring systems. In the background, SRAM were listening but weren’t rushing to deliver an answer. “Our intention is not to shortcut people on 1X by experience because if we do that we will make compromises on the way it works,'' Chris Hilton, Drive Train Product Manager told Pinkbike. ''It’s important to us not to mess it up, and that’s why it takes time to bring all of the features and benefits down.'' X01 was released a year after XX1 and at some savings to the consumer, but more notably to bike manufacturers wanting to spec a single 'ring drivetrain. Still, the beckoning call of the crowds grew louder for a more affordable 1X product. “We didn’t create X1 because it seemed like the next thing to do, we did it because people asked for it. In fact, some demanded it,” he went on to explain.

So, here we were at SRAM Trail house in the foot hills of the Dolomites in Terlago, Italy, to experience the long awaited solution to an affordable 1X system.

At the X1 Camp
  La Dolce Vita: Bikes, tech sessions, coffee, repeat.

X1 Details

• Single ring, eleven speed drivetrain
• 10 - 42 eleven speed cassette and proprietary XD driver body
• Eleven speed X1 X-Horizon rear derailleur w/ Cage Lock
• Aluminum crank arms
• 30, 32, 34, 36 or 38 tooth X-Sync chain rings
• PC-X1-specific eleven speed chain
• Eleven speed trigger shifter
• MSRP: $898 USD base price


sram pr


Eleven Speed Cassette and XD Driver

The bulk of X1’s savings boil down to the XG-1180 Mini Cluster hybrid cassette. With the exception of the 42 tooth cog, XX1 and X01’s cassettes are fully machined out of a single piece of steel, but the X1 cassette consists of three small cogs that are CNC-machined out of a single block of steel, with an additional eight individual stamped steel cogs that are pinned together. This layout allowed SRAM to retain the hollow design found in the XX1 and X01 cassette, as well as see it come in at a still reasonable 315 grams. The machining of the single piece XX1 and X01 cassette is essentially easy to make, but requires a lot of time and a lot of machinery, hence the decision to find another design and manufacturing process for the X1 group to reduce the price point. The cassette is equipped with the same 10 - 42 gear range and fits onto same XD driver body that’s found in XX1 and X01, but at $313 we may see companies purchasing an X1 cassette to run with an otherwise XX1 spec’d bike, lowering the overall cost to the user.


SRAM X1 Shifter


X1 X-Horizon Derailleur

The $231 USD X1 derailleur functions exactly the same as the other 1X systems in the family but it’s constructed out of aluminium - there is no carbon fiber to be found here. Apart from this, it has the same horizontal parallelogram design and pulley offset that keeps chain gap consistent as it moves across all eleven gears. By limiting all movement to the horizontal axis, the design is intended to reduce both shift force and chain slap, and eliminate ghost shifting. The same roller bearing clutch and Cage Lock design is used so that the removal and installation of wheels is an easier task to manage. Claimed weight sits at 256 grams.


X1 Trigger Shifter

Like X01, the X1 trigger has an aluminium pull lever and cover, but the dollars are saved in the removal of the adjustable pull lever. Apart from this, the mechanics inside the system are the same as those used in X01, and it is still Match Maker compatible, which means that you can mount your shifter to your brake lever for a cleaner cockpit set up. A Grip Shift option is not currently available for X1, but this may change with demand in the future.


SRAM X1 Crank


X-Sync Chain Ring and Cranks

The X1 chain rings are the same as the one’s spec’d in the X01 group. The rings are available in 30, 32, 34, 36 and 38 tooth options - there is still no 28 tooth option. The reasoning behind this is because when XX1 began there was no significant market for a 28 tooth ring (remember, it was intended for elite riders at first), and so the decision was made to remove it as an option in the X01 and X1 lines. Instead, X1 uses existing crank arms with a 94 BCD which could already accommodate a 30 tooth ring. The choice not to have a 28 tooth option may change in the future, though, as we see a lot of riders wanting such an option.

Unlike XX1 and X01, there is no carbon crank option for X1, with a hollow forged aluminum and two forged aluminum options being available instead. All can be had in either 170mm or 175mm lengths and are available in GXP or BB30 bottom bracket options.


SRAM X1 equipped bike
  X1 complete, this Trek Remedy 9.9 27.5 piloted us through the Italian forest for testing.


Riding the X1 Drivetrain

It's less expensive, but does that translate to less performance? As always, our limited first introduction doesn't give us the chance to make any bold claims as far as real performances goes, but it does allow us to gather some initial thoughts as to how the group performs. And how does it perform? It feels very much like X01 and XX1 at the shifter, with crisp and solid feedback that is very SRAM-esque. And it moves the chain fast, just as fast as we've seen from its more expensive siblings. Chris Hilton, drivetrain product manager, told us that he would challenge just about anybody to ride an XX1 and X1 bike back to back and have them tell him which is which. This is a pretty bold statement, but having ridden XX1 for over a year and then jumping onto the X1 bike, we can see how he has the gumption to make this wager. Zero dropped chains as well, although we have discovered that exceedingly muddy conditions can be an issue in this regard when talking about XX1 and X01, so we expect the same of this new group as well.

The bottom line is that we fully expect X1 to perform as well as X01 on the trail, and it will only be a matter of long term reliability that will determine how the lower priced group compares to XX1 and X01. If reliability isn't a factor, we might have a hard time recommending either of the two more expensive groups to the average rider who's not concerned about grams or ceramic bearings. Time will tell.

Riding X1


For beginners, X1 could be just the ticket given its simplicity - the caveat is the lack of a 28 tooth 'ring, though. Learning to mountain bike can be frustrating, and perfecting the skill of shifting a front derailleur without mauling your drivetrain, slipping pedals, and fumbling in general takes time. By using a single 'ring system the beginner can put more focus on the trail, rather than figuring out which button they need to press and which chain ring they are in. The simplicity of the system transfers to the rest of the mid-level to top performers too. Although there is still apprehension within the market about whether one ring is “too hard,” you can take it from someone - an average mountain biker who made that switch to a single 'ring system - that SRAM have provided a range of gearing to suit the rider, the bike and the terrain that you choose. It might take some trial and error or asking around to get chain ring choice dialed, but once you have found a setup that works for you, it’s more than likely that you will stick with it.





Spec chart for SRAM X1 groupo


X1 will be available in June.

www.sram.com


258 Comments

  • + 58
 I find most of the prices reasonable, except for that damn cassette!
I understood why the XX1 and XO1 cassettes were so expensive (XO1=$399), but when you start stamping and pinning the cogs, I expect it should be a WHOLE lot cheaper than the $313 they are going to sell them for!
  • + 6
 bah, msrp is always absurd. it's important what happens when it's been on the market for a year then the price drops to something very affordable. Just bought the XO1 casette for $300 for example, so I can only assume the same will happen to the x1.
  • + 70
 Meh, whatever, I'm perfectly fine with tossing my 17t cog and using a 42t cog converter and narrow-wide ring
  • + 17
 they need to make a 10 speed cassette that has a 42t built in so we can use that xo dh mechanical and not have to go crazy and upgrade everything
  • + 21
 I'd go for this as soon as price drops hit, if SRAM would come out with a shifter that allows 2 upshifts = 1 push. That feature on the Shimano shifters has revolutionized my riding, and I'm not willing to give it up. Ironic that Shimano has them beat in that aspect, since one of the things that got SRAM going as a company was the ability to grab a handful of gears in either direction with gripshift, and the more cogs we have in back, the more important that feature becomes.
  • + 12
 Agreed on the cassette. That's above the current XTR price point, which isn't really regarded as 'affordable' by any standard. I know MSRP is always higher than real price, but you'd expect something like this to come in more at the XT price point, considering they already have 2 high-end 11 speed drivetrains. I'm sure the prices will end up coming down over time though.
  • - 4
flag scottrallye (May 2, 2014 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 FINALLY!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 They say it uses a proprietary free hub body for this cassette, is it different from the rest of the xx1? The picture shows what looks like a normal shimano free hub shell but in the caption they call it a XD driver body. I thought they called the xx1 freehub XD, which is not what's pictured. maybe just a mistake can anyone clarify?

and the half black chain is rad
  • + 34
 when you eliminate a front shifter and mech you have to make up the profits somewhere Razz
  • + 4
 Thank you Grog! It's the reason I stick with Shimano still. Even THEY don't promote that feature much but I like dumping my gears rather than shifting one by one. Agreed that with each added gear the ability to shift through a group of gears is important.
  • + 3
 No, it's the same XD driver as XX1 and XO1. But I wouldn't think we can all it proprietary anymore this will be the 4th drivetrain that SRAM is using it for! If you haven't been able to see it coming everything they release eventually will use this.
  • + 10
 XT cassette can still be had for like 80 bucks, plus one of the many larger cog options available now for an extra 100 and are now starting to come with the 16t cog to keep an even jump between the lower gears. So right there, 180 bucks, done. No proprietary driver crap to deal with if you have an older bike or hubs that don't accept it. For newer bikes, great, they will be available with a lower pricepoint drivetrain, but for bikes without 1x still not worth it IMO. And who needs 11 gears anyway? 10 with the same range is still plenty for me...
  • + 1
 @nekmtb @MTB-VA the picture clearly shows a NEW style of XD driver that has splines that run the entire body and not the short splines with threads that the first XD driver has... so it seems that there are now TWO XD driver configurations, one for XX1 and X01 and another for X1... unless somebody just threw that driver in there for shits and giggles to mess with people...

if they are stamping the cogs and not using a carrier then they cant thread the cassette on so they need splines all the way...
  • + 22
 It's nuts to call a $300 dollar 3 piece cassette reasonably priced. Do they realize that its a wear item and you're gonna need to drop another $300 probably every 10 -18 months? That's bullshit. Everybody wants the dump a few gears up and down capability that shimano has, so clearly we don't need all the tiny steps between gears we have much less another in there. WE really need another company on the ring, this is ridiculous what sram calls cheap and its insane that shimano continues to ignore the need for a wider cassette/deraileur setup!
  • + 8
 I am just waiting for Shimano to bring back Capreo for mtb and crush all this silly non-sense with authority.
  • + 10
 neg propped? we dont like Capreo? it was 135! it had a NINE COG! is was more 1x than 1x but we didnt even know it at the time! dont get me started on TEN PITCH!

ALL THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE, AND ALL THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN!
  • + 6
 You got neg propped, okay. Don't get all booty tickled.
  • + 1
 is that erik from VP? dont worry about neg proppers on pb. usually just prepubescent angst. buncha losers hahaha Smile
  • + 1
 i am not concerned... dont worry... i just love to talk on the internet...
  • + 1
 Props for BSG reference.
  • + 4
 I'll stick with Shimano mainly for its superior reliability over Sram.
  • + 1
 I bought an X01 cassette for $275 recently, so that should tell you all you need to know. I expect the X1 cassettes to be available for $199... maybe even significantly less.
  • + 1
 They have been working on cheaper and cheaper options and it's a slow process but just wait and the price should go down even more.
  • + 1
 Eriksaun
This is directly from the article
"The cassette is equipped with the same 10 - 42 gear range and fits onto same XD driver body that’s found in XX1 and X01"
  • + 2
 Sexy bike! But…….I like my 2x10 Shimano. Just MO though. Have fun people!^^
  • + 0
 The driver is called the XD driver and it's found in XX1 XO1 and in X1.
  • + 2
 yeah looks like they've now cropped the 9 spd hub shell out of the picture up there and maybe also changed some of the wording in the article.
  • + 1
 So about the cost of the cassette there is some things I've noticed. Yes it has stamped steel and pins, but each cog dose not connect down to the spine like a traditional cassette. It still holds the X dome shape and style so its hollow in the centre. Maybe it is priced fair for how much it weighs. Over time you will probably be a able to find deals on it for under $200. Maybe you might be able to find a x1 mountain bike in the $3500 range now!
  • + 1
 Maybe Rochelle can clarify. Because the driver in the photo is not the same xd driver used by xx1 and x01 cassettes. I run xx1 on one of my bikes, and I can guarantee that this is not the same driver as pictured. Google search xd driver and tell me if what you see is the same as what is pictured.
  • + 1
 Ah. Picture of cassette has the weird driver cropped out now! I guess that clarifies.
  • + 3
 eriksaun a 9t doesn't work because of the polygon effect. Sram tested it with the proto 36-9 cassette a while back (it was on one of their sponsored rider's Spec Enduro) and that eventually led to the 11-speed grouppo.

On the other side, i REALLY don't know why they didn't go for a 10 mm pitch, they made a whole new group (chainrings, cassette and chain) anyway. Going with a 10 mm pitch you could make an equivalent of a 9-42t or even 9-44t cassette, that would actually be 11-53 or 11-56t if i remember correctly. So size wise it'd be the same, you could have slightly finer gear jumps and you could have an increased range without the polygon effect being a problem.

As for the range, a 10-42 is in my opinion slightly limited. If you have a 22-32 granny, going for a 28-42 will give you a slightly lighter gear. A 22-36 is even easier to pedal up. On the top side, even a 32-11 heaviest gear is heavier than a 28-10. And i do use the 32-11 combo, even on 2,4 tubeless High Rollers. Going with a 30t in front would help, but you lose a bit of the granny. A 10-44t cassette would be helpful here. The deraileurs supposedly can survive an increase in range.
  • + 1
 Everyone (myself included) complains about the price of the cassette and I think that has a lot do with the XD driver system. As far as I can tell the way the splines and the threads are down at the bottom of the freehub shell, the cassette has to be all one piece whether it's pinned together or machined out. I've always been under the impression with 9 and 10 speed cassettes the more money you spent the less individual cogs and pieces there were. A good XT 10 speed is $100 has 2 separate carrier bodies and a few individual cogs.

I just don't see the price of the cassette coming to close to $100 any time soon. I hope they prove me wrong in the mean time im going back to 9 speed.
  • + 1
 ^ and not to mention I've chatted with a few people who have had this type cassette for close to and over a year with no wear issues... the only downside is that you have to replace the chain once a year, a lot earlier if you're putting in a lot of miles beyond weekend racer status. Regardless, it's not as bad as what unfknbelvwhothef*ckcares posted. 10-18 months and you have to replace the cassette? You doing something wrong or you're riding like you're training for a pro-level events, in which case, that's nothing to worry about anyways... at least that's the belief. Regardless again, the people who fit into that category is pretty damned small.
  • + 1
 eriksaun - you got it figured. Thanks for pointing that out, the wrong driver body was used in the pic. Cheers.
  • + 49
 Shimano, you #ucked up.
  • + 7
 How? at least they have an amazingly reliable setup throughout their entire line of MTB products. SRAM hasn't made a really anything that I really want, including their brakes and all drive train components. I'd much rather have a full XT or XTR setup than an XX1, X01 or X1.
just my two sense.
  • + 14
 I like Shimano too, but they just released a setup that nobody's excited about, and it's really expensive. That's all.
  • + 6
 With this, 1X is most likely gonna show up on lower cost bikes where you would normally get 2X10 or 2X9. Shimano's got nothing to counter that.
  • + 0
 yeah i guess thats true... how much does a new, full XTR setup go for anyway? I never got around to looking it up.
  • + 3
 about the same price as XX1 I think!
  • - 3
 Why buy Sram when you can by Shimano? 2x10 gives you the opportunity for a greater range of ratios, important if you live/ride in hilly areas. Front derailleur, no problem, they shift great.
  • + 2
 Shimano cranks are great (love my dual Saints), as are their brakes, but I haven't bought a Shimano shifter pod or rear derailleur since the early 00's. Growing up with LX, XT, and XTR, they required a fair bit of maintenance and adjustment, and performance suffered in the wet and mud. I've had several sets of X0 on various trail bikes, and they've all been brilliant; truly set and forget, super precise all the time and in all conditions, with a really positive and solid lever feel. Had one X0 rear derailleur ('05 model, I think) that found it's way onto three different bikes, over the course of 5 or 6 years, the thing just refused to die, worked great the entire time with very minimal adjustment. I never had a Shimano derailleur that reliable, not even close, I dare say they're almost disposable in comparison. I'd like to test out the new XTR gear for it's classic smoothness, but I'm not willing to take the hugely expensive gamble.
  • + 1
 The newer Shimano stufff is Soooooooo reliable now and I cant wait for the XT 11 speed stuff to come out
  • + 38
 $313 for a stamped, pinned cassette? WTF? Okay, they 3 smallest cogs are machined from a single piece of steel, but still that's quite a leap from 10 speed cassette pricing.

And yes, this will probably allow 1x11 to be spec'd OEM at a lower pricepoint. But cassettes are a wear item and this will be expensive.
  • + 4
 a wear item yes. And with a 10t on it even faster wearing than normal at that. Combine that with a small front ring, so you will be at the higher end of the cassette more often than normal and suddenly you have an EXTREMELY expensive cassette that lasts 6 months rather than 18. Add the increased chain wear caused by narrow wide rings and you can probably shorten the lifespan of your cassette by another month or so. Nice one SramSmile
  • + 1
 How often do you use the 10t? How often do you use the 10t cog with high power, which is by far the most damaging?

On the other hand i'm currently a chapskate and i'm running a drivetrain that came with my bike at the end of the summer in 2008. Granted, i'm far from a rider that does a lot of miles or a lot of ascent, but the setup has had a single (probably unneeded) chain swap in 09 and that's it. It's not the smoothest, the best shifting setup, the chain is starting to get pulled up a bit in the front sometimes (nothing to be worried about yet) but it still works completely okay. Just ride the setup until it breaks, you'll most likely get 3 or 4 years out of it. In that case the price of a cassette is not so bad.

There are some problems with that logic, the west of Canada for example has a lot of rain, which probably speeds up the wear on the drive train a whole lot... But hey, it's not just the drivetrain that gets worn out faster Razz
  • + 1
 with a 30t front cog I reckon I'd be down near that end of the cassette most of the time. Also with that small a front ring your chain is also going to stretch faster, meaning (yet again) more wear on the hyper expensive cassette. You do make good points and admittedly it won't be that often you really stamp on the pedals whilst in top gear, but still I think my point stands.
  • + 1
 Sorry for a late reply (just noticed i had some dashboard notifications), but there are places and climbs around the world where even a 30-42 combo is a bit high. I sometimes suffer with a 22-32 combo and i envy people with 36 cassettes (i'm on a old 9spd drivetrain). On the other hand i have a climb that i can easily spin out in a 32-32 combo. Climbing basically straight up out of a glacial valley is a b*tch.
  • + 24
 I think a lot of this is bull. I run a 34 front ring with a 10 X 36 10 speed cassette. With Zee being less then 120$ for the shifter and derailleur, you can ditch the front D pretty inexpensively. I resent this being called a "Hack" - I would call it the industry not keeping up with what people want. Front d's have always been crappy, loud and inefficient. All we have been waiting on is the clutch derailleur.
  • + 16
 I agree. 11-36 cassette and a 34t narrow/wide up front and I have no problems climbing in the Northern Sierra Nevada.... and I'm slow and out of shape, perpetually. I'm not understanding this huge need for 1x11. 1x in general, totally.
  • + 13
 I agree too. I'm with 32t and 11-36 and I can still go on steep climbs. I do not understand why they want a 28T ring option for a 10-42 cassette. If you need that gear you should stop smoking and eating at McDo.
  • + 1
 Now if I could just get this stupid bolt on front D piece off my Intense Tracer 275 frame! It's disgusting! Smile
  • + 5
 Issue with this is on steep long epic rides. Its just to much to push all day. I run a 32 with an XX1 and that is perfect I need that 42 tooth. And no I am not out of shape I ride 3 to 5 days a week. Im sure that for most places a 10 x 36 with a 34 is fine though.
  • + 1
 My rides generally don't exceed 40 miles, so our definitions of epic may be different. Either way I have no need for 11 speed, but the market consensus is that people want it. I'm sure I'll end up with one eventually, just like I went from 1x9 to 1x10 last year.
  • + 2
 10-36t 10-speed cassette? Is this a typo? Where do you find it? My perfect solution would be such a cassette with 42t from Oneup or Wolf. 10 speed is plenty for me and there's no need to ditch RD or shifter.
  • + 2
 Yep 1 x 10 with a 32 cog is fine and I'm well unfit! Not sure the stress over not having a 28 tooth option either
  • + 2
 1x10 and call it a day...
  • + 1
 brutalpedz i have never smoked a cigarette in my life, i have eaten a portion of fries and a McFlurry (at separate occasions) in McDonalds and i have raced XC for six years. Yet i can't imagine not having something along the lines of a 22-32 granny gear. 34-36 granny would be a suicide in my opinion.
  • + 1
 ehlen - not a typo - Amazon, Price Point, Jenson..your LBS..it's the only way to go.
  • + 1
 Cool. Orastreet1 can you share link or more info such as brand or model? Just searched Jenson but no luck.
  • + 1
 Agreed. 1x10 34T front and 11-36 is fine. Also a 1x10 34Tor36T and 11x42 would be fine too. I just don't get why we need 11 speed, too much extra expense and proprietary crap, no thanks.
  • - 1
 I've run a 32T front with a 11-34T 9 speed casette for years now and no-one has ever been surprised by my set up or thinking it's some kind of revolution. The only "revolution" with Sram's new gear is the narrow/wide front ring and the next-level marketing bullshit. And how could Shimano or Sram not think that the average joe would be interested in a 1X setup? Visit any trails around me and you'll see heaps of 1X, and all ridden by average joes, not "Elite" wankers.
  • + 2
 orastreet1 there is no 10-36T cassette (10spd) - can't go smaller than 11t without special hub like sram XX1.... link ?
  • + 2
 @Ehien - you are right, no 10-36. Mine is 11-36.
  • + 29
 "affordable"
  • + 7
 Think more along the oem lines...Im guessing bulk buyers "should" have less expensive 1x completes now.
  • + 7
 I'm pretty excited about this despite the $900 price! Remember X01 was priced at around $1300 I believe, but ended up on a bunch of bikes selling for around 3-4k. So I'm pretty confident this will appear on the mid-tier builds betweer 2.5-3.5K next year. Imagine buying a full sus with 1x11, rockshox suspension and seatpost at mid-tier level, the performance value will be off the charts!
  • + 1
 It's all crazy... I was looking at the Remedy 9.9 above, current model is £4.5k - equivalent when I bought mine a few years go was £3k... I want to replace it but?!?!
  • + 2
 Was your equivalent carbon with a dropper post and weighing under 13kg?
  • + 21
 Good to see SRAM stepping up their game in recent years. I was less than impressed with the pre-XX1 kit, having spent most of my MTB years as a shimano fanboy. However I just recently bought an X01 drivetrain equipped bike, and I'm blown away, can't fault it. Keep up the good work SRAM.
  • + 3
 They mostly stepped up their prices if you compare it to your 9 or 10 speed drive train. Development cost? Bullshit, they also developed the previous drive train right, they did not improvise them.

230$ for the most exposed derailleur on the market? (It's the widest, with the most offset, that has to be "technology"). More expensive than a made in japan xtr...
  • + 2
 I have raced 4 Gravity Enduro races, one downhill race (which I won) and done countless rides. In that time, without a chain guide(!!!!), I have dropped my chain once. Once.

It's is also system designed completely doing away with the most inefficient and useless part on bikes (the front derrailleur).

If you don't call that development then I don't know what you will.

Winston Churchill once famously said that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." Taking the rear derailleur as democracy, and every other form of government system as the gearbox, mechs are awful - but when you think of the complexities/cost/lack of frames that accept gearboxes (and the frame's performace) mechs dont seem so bad.

Yes new parts are expensive but you get what you pay for, if you don't like this then there's perfectly good X5 parts out there.
  • + 4
 You missed my point. Development also existed on previous generation but the prices did not explode that way. My Shimano 10x works great and i also don't drop a chain. For the front derailleur you're preaching a converted. It's a while I don't use ine anymore.
  • + 2
 What people seem to be forgetting is that a new freehub was required in order to fit the extra gear into the space available in frames. I'm not saying that the new freehub cost them the difference from 10 speed but it is another part that was required with the adoption of 10 speed (and I haven't looked at whether the new 11sp XTR needs a new freehub so don't massacre me on that front).
Also, as SRAM have admitted, XX1 was aimed at elite racers and there are a significantly larger number of trail riders (who the system wasn't aimed at) than racers, therefore in order to make a profit the prices had to be higher.

And, for the record, I do not have SRAM drivetrain, 11 speed or otherwise, nor am I looking to fit it in the (immediate) future due to the cost of replacement cassettes and my satisfaction with my 1x10 XT.
  • + 2
 The 10t small cog requires a new freehub, it's not the width. The chain is narrower with Sram's 11spd setups (the plates are thinner, the inner spacing hasn't changed). And yes, Shimano does still use the ordinary freehub.
  • + 1
 The new XTR cassette will fit any shimano 10speed free hub so you canuse it on just about any free hub you want
  • + 14
 Oh no way! This is not the news we have been waiting for. Lets summarize, SRAM has no ability to produce a relatively cheap drivetrain, no matter how hard they are trying(?), same story with X01 group, only a few buck cheaper, still costs more than $1000... And those cranks look like few of the old Shimano ones that costed $50 in past, they still want me to pay $400 for this one. On the side of Shimano, they are already far away from competition of new generation wide-range drivetrains, they were only able to switch from 36 to 40, great improvement(!). As a poor boy, or not as rich as a person can pay $1000 for drivetrain, I will continue to use my modified cassette with custom 42t sprocket, which works OKish, and look no further.
  • - 6
flag Nobble (May 2, 2014 at 9:09) (Below Threshold)
 Has it occured to you that it's simply expensive to make?

Comparing X01 or X1 to normal X7 or X5 is like comparing a ferarri to a kia.
  • + 9
 Sure, because everybody's bike is like a Kia if they don't have X1...
  • + 1
 The aesthetics are lacking. He's right.
  • + 5
 Well X1 seems to be 11sp version of X9 and 10sp X9 is sht loads cheaper, at the same time there was no big priice increase from 9sp to 10sp. Both derailleur and cassette are hideously expensive although X1 makes more sense than X01 which is nearly identical to XX1 in every respect.
  • + 3
 Yeah X01 honestly confuses me. Why does it exist?
  • + 9
 I think X01 should have the priceof that X1 if it were to be reasonable. As to affordable 1x11 it should not be much more expensive than 10sp X9. Id expect the rear mech to cost not more than 120$ and so the cassette. Anyways, I struggle to find a reason to buy any of thoe 11sp drivetrains.
  • + 3
 Yeah I run 1x10, 11-36 and a 32t. I never feel like I need anything lower, I even toyed with 30t from Race Face and I dislike it, I spin like crazy. I also barely ever top out. I struggle to find a reason to go 1x11, other than the cool looking chain ring (pushes me pretty close some days). Ill only do it when my stuff is all worn out and even then, Ill prob run a 34-36t on the front.
  • + 3
 both the most active of all thread respondents of PB summarised the issue perfectly, one after another... respect guys... consolidates my belief that if you used to be in the granny ring.. you should get off and walk.. its quicker.this new group has yet to fall into a price point to be worth a consideration for the vast majority to leave 1 by ten..
  • + 17
 Trickle down tech, booya. Thank You SRAM
  • - 13
flag saskatoonbikeguy (May 2, 2014 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 How can this be considered a technological leap? They removed a part -- the front derailleur -- and made an oversized cassette. Seems straightforward to me. As far as engineering, it's about as difficult as manufacturing a 700mm handlebar vs a 750mm bar.
  • + 3
 It is not an oversized cassette, it is an 11 speed MTB cassette. 5 years ago 10 speed was a challenge to make work reliably. You need to make stronger chains, lighter cogs and fit another shift into a crammed shifter and derailleur. It is not that simple at all.
  • - 9
flag saskatoonbikeguy (May 2, 2014 at 10:15) (Below Threshold)
 This is what passes for engineering in the cycling world.
  • - 9
flag saskatoonbikeguy (May 2, 2014 at 10:23) (Below Threshold)
 Also Campagnolo has had an 11 speed road drivetrain on the market for 6 years. They just copied that shit.
  • + 18
 I'd be jaded if I was in saskatoon too.
  • + 1
 saskatoon, there is actually a fair amount of work that goes into making a 700mm bar into a 750 bar so you sound like an idiot on that one. Also if you think this engineering is a joke, I challenge you to do something better.
  • + 1
 A mountain biker from Saskatoon who's bitter... Go figure.
  • + 2
 Mountain? You can't be a mountain biker when you don't have any mountains!
  • + 3
 Invermere probably has some great riding .and mountains.
  • + 0
 saskatoonbikeguy have you actually done any engineering? And not just proof of concept prototype stuff, have you actually polished something to the level where it can be sold to millions of people for addmitedly quite high sums of cash? Stuff needs to work in this area of the market and it needs to work REALLY good.

Tacking another cog on the end is simple, hell, i'd make the range even wider (in essence it's just a 36t 10-speed cassette with the smaller coges made a tooth smaller even and an added 42t, i think people would survive with bigger jumps between the gears and a subsequent wider range). It's making sure the thing shifts reliably over 1000s of km that's the hard part. And figuring out how to actually make everything in a profitable way.
  • + 1
 First of all there are a lot of fantastic riders who come from the flatlands. Second, I've lived in BC for 10 years (just been on Pinkbike longer). All I'm saying is that this isn't a technological leap, they just removed the front derailleur and added teeth to the rear cog.
  • + 0
 @ DhAYaTEi -- Dude you live in Calgary. That's terrible.
  • + 13
 I think this strengthens the position of SRAM even more. X1 will probably make it possible for bike manufacturers to spec SRAM 1x11 on middle to upper-middle class bikes. Shimano has nothing to fight it with. They have 2015 XTR coming out but unless they trickle down the technology real fast, I see them loosing market. Even then they may be in trouble if more and more riders begin demanding 1x11 which is a big disappointment with 2015 XTR (gear range not good enough, narrow-wide chainring missing). Maybe this is why they are still pushing front derailleur for normal riders. If I was making decisions at Shimano, I would make a totally new enduro specific 1x11 drivetrain with wider range. As the new Nomad has shown, there are sometimes big benefits to be had in frame design if front derailleur support is dropped.
  • + 9
 I think you identified the main significance of this: OEM spec for 1x11 specific frames.

For 29ers and 27.5 bikes, this allows frame designers to make bikes with longer front centers and very short stays, while still fitting big wheels.

Now, bike manufacturers will be able to spec a 1x11 specific bike at a price point below $5,000. That's big.

Not for everyone, but a great setup for a much larger percentage of the market.
  • + 2
 That's cool. I agree a fully bike based on shorty platform that eschews a front derailleur is a good idea. Super short stays!
  • - 2
 @jerrytek:
If it's made for 29ers where's the 28t chainring? Oh, SRAM said it's a niche for the elite... Sure, elite riders are less strong and less fit than me. Has to make sense. Hell journos, can't you be a bit critic towards those bullshit marting arguments? Is that because SRAM keeps baying you nice trip around the world?
  • + 1
 I get why you need a smaller chainring to turn bigger wheels on a 29er... but I thought you guys were supposed to be criusing along rolling over everything fast cranking the big ring...?
  • + 0
 28t isn't really necessary. I'm running a 34t on my 29er with a 1x10 shimano/wolftooth setup. I have a 32t as well, but found myself spinning out on the downhill. I could see some people wanting 30-28t if you were running the shimano 11-40 casette, though.
  • + 0
 I have a 26er psyichphuk... Just saying sram posted a shit argument and everybody swallowed it with delight it seams. I don't like to be taken for an idiot and that's exactly what they are doing here. Elite with small gears? He?? Plus it's an unnecessary (for the customer) multiplication of bcd that will not bring the costs down. But segmenting the market is what they want i guess
  • + 1
 I see what you're saying. Actually this article reads like SRAM wanted to implement a 28t option for X1... but can't from a marketing perspective as this isn't supported by XX1/X01...
  • + 3
 It is actually supported by XX1. Anyway you can use any crank, and for instance an "old" X0 crank, and put a spiderless 28t or even 26t. I've seen 26t, I think from Works components.
  • + 1
 Enduromaniac,

You contradicted your own criticism: spiderless chainrings. Look at the photos above: those cranks have a removable spider, and will take a spiderless ring. It's relatively cheap ($60-80), lighter, and there are lots of options (Wolf Tooth, One Up, Works, etc). If you need a 28t ring, just get one.

Honestly, unless you are doing crazy steep extended uphills, I think 28t is too low. I've ridden a 1x10 system with a 32t ring and 11-36 gearing for a long time, and it's fine on all but the steepest shit. The 42t cog on the 11 sp systems is huge. For me, it was the perfect solution, as my old 11-36 1x10 setup with a 32t ring worked fine 95% of the time, but I often wished I had that last higher gear for extended very steep climbs. The 42 tooth gear is perfect for that. I'm thinking of going 34t. I can't imagine needing a 28t, but, again, it's an option if you need it.
  • + 1
 No I don't. Explain me how come the xx1 has a different BCD than the two others, considering the other two don't have a standard 104 BCD? Market segmenting. And introduction of 2 new "proprietary-standards".
I'd put a 28t on my wife's bike, not on mine. If I had a 29er for big alpine tours i'd probably go for a 28t though.
  • + 1
 Again, the spiders are removable. Look at the pics above. If you want to run a 28t ring, or any other ring, it's actually cheaper (and lighter) to just buy a direct mount ring. For the vast majority of people, that 28t ring is too low. But if thats what you want, you can get a direct mount ring for less than the SRAM rings.

You're making an issue out of nothing. SRAM cranks give you more potions than other brands because of the removable spider.

If you want to complain about unnecessary new standards, what about the new assymetrical bots on XTR. Their rings are ludicrously expensive, and very proprietary now.
  • + 14
 "For beginners, X1 could be just the ticket given its simplicity"

This drivetrain alone costs 4 times as much as the bike i started on! I really can't see how this could be marketed at beginners.
  • + 12
 Jeez, just remove your front derailleur and outside chain ring, buy a $40 non-pinned or ramped chain ring in the size of your choice (32 for me), move the drive side BB spacer over to the non-drive side (if you have one), shorten your chain, realign your rear derailleur and go freaking ride your bike. If you loose you chain (I don't) buy a chain guide for $100.

Remember kids, time = money, so the more money you spend the less time you have to ride.

Lets see, $900 bucks for a shiny new 1x10 drivetrain means that I would have to spend an additional 30 hours in my cube working for the man!! F&*K THAT!

I don't normally complain about the price of gear, but this is fixing something that isn't even broken!
  • + 1
 *1x11
  • + 7
 Or a $50 Race Face N/W ring... maybe even a clutch derailleur...
  • + 1
 Yes 1x11 - Sorry, old habit.
  • + 15
 so still REALLY expensive then...
  • + 8
 Chill - Shimano is releasing a 1x13 this fall. Saw it on a bamboo SC 28'er test mule while enduroing. Not sure but the cassette looked press-fit to a new hub standard. The guy riding was pretty shy about it so I just all-mountained away.
  • + 7
 HUGE opportunity for a company to come out with full cassettes to compete with both SRAM and Shimano. Just give us an 11 speed 10-42 that fits on a standard cassette at a $200 MSRP and you'll make yourself a whole lotta money and make a whole lotta riders really happy.

SRAM too expensive and derailleurs still not durable enough. Shimano ignored the market. OK, who's going to step up?
  • + 2
 This is so true.

However, from what I've heard 10 sp mechs don't work great with the large cogs. Hats an issue.

And although the retail cost is $300 for this new cassette, you'll be able to get them for ~$200 soon. I usually don't like spending more than $100 on a cassette, but took the plunge on an xo1 cassette.got it new for $300. Not too shabby.
  • + 12
 JustinVP,
Do you mean you want an 11 speed 10-42 cassette that fits on a standard driver body instead of the xD driver body? If so, that's physically impossible. A 10 tooth cog is smaller in diameter than a 10 speed driver body. SRAM didn't design and change to the xD driver body for their 11 speed cassettes just for the hell of it.
  • + 0
 Cassette that need XD Driver again?! XD!
  • + 5
 Why the need for a 10t cog?
  • + 1
 Somebody needs to make a 10 tooth lock-ring, like back in the day with the original 2x9 (Ritchey, I think).
  • + 3
 A 10t cog gives and almost 10% higher gear ratio than an 11t. that's huge. if you were to put it on the other end, we're talking a 46t. that's way SRAM's gear ratio spread is so much bigger than Shimano's
  • + 9
 I'm sure this rides great, I love sram products and this new X1 looks really cool and stealthy.
  • + 4
 I like that the price is trickling down, but I personally think this looks like shit aesthetically. Derailleur, crank & shifter look like Acera-X.
  • + 7
 Well done SRAM. Can we have a weight comparison between the major components on all 3 11-speed groups, please?
  • + 3
 Bikeradar has it (toward the bottom of the article)

www.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/article/sram-x1-first-look-40890
  • + 2
 when you are looking for real reviews/useful information, it's usually better to check up here:
www.vitalmtb.com/product/feature/First-Look-SRAM-X1-Drivetrain,249?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=spotlight
  • + 1
 I'd like to see a weight comparison between XX1 and XTR with a Canfield 9T Microdrive. Looks like there's potential for some crazy light drivetrain action there! (some weights here www.ridemorebikes.com/single-chainring-1x-drivetrain-guide)
  • + 8
 I'm still waiting on 1x12
  • + 4
 That'll be next year because we soooo need it.
  • + 3
 X1 for $1350 or a X9 1x10 (11- 40 with Hope adapter) setup for $800? This 11 speed crap is just like the 650B crap, no one needs it :-).

SRAM x9 type 2 = $100
SRAM X9 10 Speed Trigger Shifter = $66
SRAM PowerChain 1071 = $50
SRAM PG 1070 Cassette = $85
Hope 40t-rex =$95
TRUVATIV X9 10-Speed Crankset = $300
MRP 1x Guide = $100
Total = $796
  • + 6
 Um... I... Why... Why is "affordable" now applicable to things this expensive?
  • + 3
 I find it weird that people complain about the pricing. Way back when 2x10 x9 was new, it was the same price as X1 is currently. While it still is relatively expensive, its not like sram doesnt have any other more expensive drivetrains out there.
  • + 3
 I have been using XX1. I have twice had to change chain and chainring after 50 hours. At retail prices that's about $5/hour. I clean my drivetrain religiously. I don't understand why SRAM doesn't design the chainring to be "flipped" to double the life, and get more for your money.
  • + 1
 Never used XX1, but I used to change my chain all the time but I was 'over maintaining' the bike. Now I wait until the chain checker says 1 degree of wear vs .75. There is a lot of discussion on this over at mtbr.com.
  • + 1
 It's not a matter of checking wear. The chainring takes a set and starts catching the chain, much like chainsuck with out the suck. It feels/sounds rough. Kind of a grinding noise. I've tried changing the chainring only and it's too late. The checker only measures 0.75 (Park).
  • + 3
 Still too expensive, I have bought just the xx1 cranks for 200 and rings from Wolftooth and Blakspire. I run a 28 x 12-36 in my 29er and a 30 x 12-36. Yes, 1x9, works perfect for xc, trail, am...Very rarely I miss higher gears
Ah, and a 28t direct (spiderless) from Wolftooth for instance will work with this cranks, right?
  • + 2
 I converted my 2x10 to 1x10 for $125. Narrow wide ring and one up 42/16 combo set. Works great but I may need a small guide on front for hammering rocky fast descents. Why anyone would pay over boggles my mind. I am running a 10 speed xtr clutch long cage in the back and it works perfect.
  • + 1
 " rgeniec...Works great but I may need a small guide on front for hammering rocky fast descents"

does it mean you are still dropping the chain with the clutch RD and N/W ring ? I'm about to try this as well (42t/16 combo is $100 so that left you with $25 for what I assume is a standard 32T but N/W - that's really good. I got a Raceface 30T N/W 104BCD for $40 which are more and will get the E13 42T for $70 when it ships)
  • + 1
 I used the NW E13 front ring because it has a 1mm offset to bring chainline in more. My buddy looked at it and thinks the teeth are not high enough to hold the chain on like his Raceface NW ring. Good call on the Raceface ring. I am getting the chainguide because it fell off on the inside for safe measure. I also tigtened my clutch with the internal tool on the xtr as I backed it off before. This may have had something to do with it as well.
  • + 1
 yeah I got the Raceface NW 30T as they are one of the few making a 30T and they have 2-3mm offset as well - along with both 2.5mm spacer on the non drive side, that ought to align the single ring right in the middle of the 2x setup I'm running now. Still waiting on that 42T E13 that got delayed. I may have to tighten my Type2 RD as I think is looser now after a year of usage.
  • + 1
 I tightened the xtr clutch and no chain drop even on the roughest stuff. Not gonna run the chain guide I bought for now. Hoping not to need it.
  • + 2
 For the price of all that gear, that WILL wear out over time you could build a decent bike. Bollox. Shimano mega range 8 speed cassette did this years ago. 11-32 tooth on the cassette And was cheap as chips. The prices of some new parts are ridiculous. Ill stick with 8 speed. And spend my cash on seeing the world.
  • + 4
 Yeiiii the price came down 2 cents! Just kidding. It's still expensive but that is about what I paid for 2x10 x9 which has been converted to 1x10
  • + 2
 Why Cant they make a 11 speed cassette fit like a road 11 speed cassette to a standard freehub. If they want to do this proprietary stuff can they just integrate the cassette lockring into the cassette and make the 11 speed fit a standard freehub
  • + 1
 They do its called the new XTR
  • + 1
 but the new XTR is a limited range (11-40T) that doesn't buy you anything vs a converted 10speed (11-42T) for a lot more...it's nice they kept standard hub, but blew it on the range (why go 11 then) and recommend 2x11 or even have 3x11 ??!??!... FAIL.

Someone needs to come with an inexpensive ($100) 10spd extended range (11-42) cassette, or figure a way to have 10T on a standard hub (lockring ?) so you can use a 10% smaller front (more clearance) or higher speed range...
  • + 1
 the new XTR uses the same free hub as the sram. It has to use the x1 free hub.
  • + 2
 Shimano should make an 11 speed stamped XT cog and sell it for normal XT prices just for fun. Who runs these companies anyway? Back in my industry days we'd do things just to mess with the competition. Also, when is a third option going to hit the market? Sick of these two running the table. RaceFace???
  • + 1
 There is one issue which still divert me from stepping into 1x whatever, for any serious climb.. The chain line is pretty crapy on the lowest and highest sprockets, especially pedaling hard on large sprocket, the chain is so bent and looks like it will break apart..
  • + 2
 Here's a question - did Pinkbike just publish the first pictures of the Remedy's new suspension platform, because unless SRAM built a custom rear shock just for this bike, Fox DRCV is the only shock that will fit the Remedy.
  • + 2
 The shocks used on the Trek Remedy's at Trail House are new aftermarket RockShox Monarch RT3’s with DebonAir. These shocks along with others for the Remedy 29”, Fuel EX and Slash will be available this Summer through SRAM’s distribution network.
  • + 1
 Wow, awesome, thanks for letting me know. I really wish I hadn't invested in improving my Fox platform now.
  • + 4
 Clicked on here just to look at the price for a giggle. Who is wasting their money on this!?
  • + 1
 I've run 1x10 for the last 18 months and didn't have a problem keeping the pedals turning on anything but the longest rides. However I did notice that I was wearing out cassettes and the single chainring quicker when compared to my previous 3x9. Probably because I was spending a lot of time in the biggest 2 or 3 gears rather than using an even spread. With this supposedly affordable 1X11 set up the cost of replacing chain rings and cassettes is likely to be prohibitive. $330 for the cassette is ridiculous, and once the cassette's gone you're basically buying the whole "cogs and chain bundle".

My new bike has a 2x10 and I'll probably just stick with that rather than convert to a single chainring. The weight penalty is only about 250g and I'm not convinced that a single chainring is really lower maintenance.
  • + 1
 300$ for a stamped cassette and a very iterative rear mech in the x-3 mold? Total lack of innovation at a ludicrous price. My X-9 and chain guide stays. Even that was more production complexity than what sram could handle. 30$ for cassette, 45$ for mech. More is gauging.
  • + 1
 If the XX1 haven't been invented, Race Face NW didn't existed either. If you have little patience, cheaper and as better parts will appear. For now I have a 10 speed Deore casette, 28 euros and last a lifetime, One up 42t, 100 dolars, Race Face NW 45 euros,Zee rear derailleur, 30 euros.So, for now the truth is that you can have a X1 look alike for 200. euros.
  • + 1
 Still too expensive, I have bought just the xx1 cranks for 200 and rings from Wolftooth and Blakspire. I run a 28 x 12-36 in my 29er and a 30 x 12-36. Yes, 1x9, works perfect for xc, trail, am...Very rarely I miss higher gears
Ah, and a 28t direct (spiderless) from Wolftooth for instance will work with this cranks, right?
  • + 3
 Meh. My cobbled-together Shimano setup with Race Face narrow-wide still costs way less and shifts smoother than my buddy's XX1.
  • + 3
 I'm not clear on why the rear mech is still so expensive? Materials used here are even cheaper than x7 which has a carbon cage.
  • + 2
 We are being sucked in by marketing we don't need all this expensive stuff on are bikes, a deore groupset with hope hoops and fox suspension/reverb is all you need. $300 mech's and cassettes is pathetic.
  • + 1
 I though 1x11 is the future of non-gravity mountain biking when xx1 first come out. I now think that future is probably not coming so soon. with stamped cassettes this group can be made much much cheaper actually I honestly don't see why it's so much more expensive than x0 group. The future is delayed by greedy marketing strategy
  • + 3
 Three black cassettes and still not a black chain? That's a serious oversight, SRAM. I guess I'll just re-join the masses waiting for the KMC X11SL DLC...
  • + 2
 Just put a bunch of oil on your chain and don't clean it. It will be black in no time!
  • + 4
 As a mechanic I cannot do such a thing in good conscience.
  • + 2
 cool - but the hub upgrades and rear cog are still too expensive for me. I have converted to 1x10 with a 28 tooth narrow wide and 42 cog for under $200 - no regrets - awesome!
  • + 1
 Yeah its very cool and useful. But very expensive! Make it affordable! Because I better buy a set of wheels, or other options for that money, a new fork maybe on sale price(weight saving and performance of wheels and fork is more important than 1,2 or 3 more gears)? That is in my opinion, but I'm sure some will agree.
Oh yea don't forget about Shimano competition. I love Shimano quality and value... I use both SRAM and SHIMANO (slx/x9 short cage) on my bikes.
  • + 3
 this time next year I may be able to afford this with some CRC discounting.... at the moment, x01 a year old is still going to be "cheaper"
  • + 5
 Thing is... Shimano XTR is cheaper. Too late SRAM!
  • - 4
flag jerrytek (May 2, 2014 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 But SRAM is better! You get what you pay for.
  • + 1
 Agreed ^ So spending a tiny bit less (theoretically, if you are paying full MSRP, and who does that?) you are still paying upwards of $800 so you can still run a 2x setup... no thanks. If I'm spending that much on a drivetrain, it's sure as hell not going to have a front der.
  • + 1
 Get X01 then...
  • - 2
 I'll agree that generally Sram is better, but how much, 3%? Not a huge difference.
  • + 4
 Both systems work well. I just think SRAM is FAAAAR more innovative. Shimano is all about refining things that have worked for a long time. SRAM develops new stuff. Much of that refined Shimano stuff is just copied SRAM technology (modern trigger shifters, 2x10, 1x11, etc).

I think you are right. Both work great, and its good that there are options out there. I just don't like Shimano's approach to drivetrain systems. SRAM seems to find out what consumers want, and develop it. Shimano just makes incremental change to their current shit, and tells consumers that they don't really know what they want. Its kinda arrogant.

That said, I do love Shimano's brakes and pedals.
  • + 7
 ummm who dropped the clutch ? Shimano. Biggest innovation in recent years and 99% of the reason 1x systems are possible.
  • - 1
 99%? You must be joking. Thats not true at all.

The narrow/wide ring is FAR more important than the clutch mech. I've ridden a bike with an xx1 crank and an older XT mech, and it (surprisingly) worked fine. I expected to have to upgrade to a shadow plus, but didn't have to. Since then, I upgraded to a full 1X11 setup. The ring is they key to that technology.

I agree that the clutch was a great idea, and makes 1x systems work better. However, SRAM had one out after a few months, so they clearly were developing the same technology simultaneously (maybe a little industrial espionage?). Shimano makes some good things, but it's usually refinement of existing technology. The shadow plus is an example. SRAM wanted to make a 1X system, and developed a new free hub, new cassette, new dérailleur, and new chainring profile to make it work. It was very bold.

You simoly can't argue that SRAM isn't more innovative. Even things that didn't catch on - like Hammerschmidt - were pretty unique. Shimano is VERY conservative. I couldn't think of two companies with such different personalities.
  • + 5
 The clutch is important. Maybe 99% is an overstatement but it's more important than the narrow wide tooth profile (which Sram did not invent) I've ridden bikes with a clutch and standard ring and not thrown a chain. I just get peeved about people proclaiming SRAM's "obvious" superiority. Shimano's attention to details and refinement put them at the top of the heap for me. Durability is far better. Shimano drivetrains last forever. I replace shifters and derailleurs out of boredom on my bike. Shadow profile is huge, I have not had a catastrophic failure of a mech since they came out with that. The double down shift is awesome as well. There is a lot to like and personally I like their approach and I agree wholeheartedly it's entirely different than SRAM. If fact, I think it's good that they go about things differently and we are lucky to have both.
  • + 1
 Darkstar - once I forgot to engage clutch after switching wheels. The NW chainring (fron Absolute Black) kept the chain on, without any guide. The only way to keep the chain on normal ring with clutch is to have a decent upper guide. I was dropping chain all the time with gamut p30 and Hopeguide, with clutch rear mech. The only thing that clutch does (for me) is that it keeps everything quiet and eases the wheel change.
  • + 2
 It prob depends a bit on the bike too, i.e. chain growth. I think they really work together on this. I actually still prefer to run a top guide even with a narrow wide (im using e.13's) because I have had many trouble free rides with no chain guide at all on my xc rig, I just don't want to drop a chain when I'm into seriously hairy stuff on my all mountain rig. I honestly think the clutch was an important advancement.
  • + 2
 I had the same experience as WAKIdesigns. The N/W ring worked great with a traditional mech, but not vice versa.

But you are right: both work best together.

Listen, I know that Shimanos stuff works great. I've used both systems quite a bit, and they are both effective. I just find that SRAM is ahead of the market and develops new products that work best for my style of riding. Shimanos stuff works well, but it's 4 years behind the curve. The new XTR is a great example.

I switched to 1X10 a long time ago, as I liked the simplicity, weight, and silence of that type of transmission. Plus, my frame was a VPP bike which rode like shit in the granny anyhow. But it was a compromise. With N/W rings and the 10-42 cassette, it isn't really a compromise anymore. And direct mount rings are another brilliant yet simple idea. Before, I often wished I had that one extra climbing gear. 11-42 is perfect.

Thus, I find it annoying when Shimano tells us that 1x systems are only for elite athletes, and most of us should be using 2x systems. Shimano tells their customers that the things they want aren't really the best thing for them. SRAM develops new stuff to meet demand. Shimano doesnt seem to understand the market. That arrogance is why SRAM is surpassing them in high end transmissions.
  • + 3
 Shimano is actually very innovative. I don't think you can call Shimano 'very conservative'.

Indexed gear shifting (They were the first to successfully use this and achieved it before SRAM was even founded.)
Shimano freehub spline
Hyperglide (cassette tooth ramps allowing smoother shifting)
Centre-lock rotors
STI shifters
Shadow derailleurs
Clutch derailleurs
Direct mount derailleurs
Dual pull front derailleurs
Hollowtech bottom brackets
V-brakes
Servo wave brake levers
Di2 gears

Smaller things too, like double down shifting and 2 way release on mountain bike gear levers.
  • + 1
 I'm loving xo1 lately and I believe I'd rather spend that extra money for the greater build quality of the cassette that in purpose should last longer is easier to clean and so on so forth
  • + 2
 Sold a bunch of 1x11 stuff and 42t adapters for 1x10. Then the hype died down and people are buying 2x cranks again. Fun times.
  • + 4
 Is it just me or that cassette will be awkward to clean from mud ? Big Grin
  • + 4
 300 bucks for a "reasonably priced" cassette? Go home SRAM, you're drunk.
  • + 1
 This is nice. The only thing I don't like is, if it was for me, I would of build this cassette for the X1 an 11,42, so like that you don't need to change your rear hub too, and you would spent much less money in extra parts
  • + 0
 This may be unpopular but...

Why not put on a normal single ring (say 34t) and a 36/11 cassette which is available from Shimano/Sram already for peanuts and then GET FIT!

Save literally hundreds of Dollars/Pounds you would have spent buying an easier gearing by putting in some training so you can turn a bigger gear!

If you have to get off and push, use this frustration to make you train harder until you CAN push that big gear all the way up the hill. Buying this is the same as those people who want to get thinner by going on a diet where they don't have to make any effort. It's not going to make you faster, it's not going to make you a better rider, its just allowing the rider to be lazy.
  • + 1
 Still way too expensive for a part that gets replaced every season for most riders. I would much prefer a gearbox that costs five times the price but doesn't ever need replacing.
  • + 1
 Terrible price point. I still can't see a reason to change from my XX grupo. Never had any shifting issues with it and it's still very light with a better ratio for climbing and riding flats.
  • + 3
 Yawn. I'm waiting for 15 speed cassettes with a 8-44t range before I get rid of my 9spd kit.
  • + 2
 "it turned out that a lot of riders wanted to see their front derailleur take a hike". It turns out a lot would like to see the rear ones take a f*ckin' hike too.
  • + 1
 Lot of complaints about MSRP but who ever pays MSRP.? With a little research XX1 can be had for $990 and XO1 for $915. I expect once released, the same street pricing will apply to this new group.
  • + 0
 The crank arms are made of a tough foam centre, a really poor alloy outer and a thin layer of carbon wrapping, I've snapped 2 pairs In my opinion they are only light duty xc cranks
  • + 1
 Mine are the xx1
  • + 10
 I wonder who's bike you have been riding them on? None of the pics of your bikes on your profile have ANY SRAM cranks on them. Mostly looks like Shimano Saint and SLX. I've known a lot of people on XX1/X01 for a while and have never heard a tale about broken cranks. Not that it can't happen, but I would LOVE to see pics of that.
  • + 1
 I've smashed my XX1 crank on rocks pretty hard. I'm a pretty big guy (225lbs). I've got a full season on them, and haven't had any problems. Light, stiff, and work great. I did get those Raceface boots for the ends, which helps. They still look new.
  • + 1
 I'm with you Jerry, same kind of weight, lots of rocks on the trails, I've also got the Raceface boots and the crank arms are still like new.

By the by does anyone moaning about price in every Pinbike article I read own a decent road bike? Every aspect of mtb, group sets included, is 'cheap' by comparison!
  • + 1
 For all the debate about which company makes the best parts, I see a lot of SRAM drive trains with Shimano brakes. Never seen a Shimano drive train paired with SRAM brakes.
  • + 1
 My old bike looks like that. Not that it is a good idea
  • - 1
 thats a pretty damn good retail price for the technology. if only sram was as reliable as shimano stuff everybody be happy to dish it out to sram. i use sram by the way so im kind of in a love-hate relationship if you know what i mean....
  • + 5
 What I want to know is the pricing for the cassette, shifter, and derailleur only. I can just use my existing crankset and pick up a $40 off brand chainring.
  • + 2
 $762
$81 for shifter, $231 derrailleur, $313 cassette, $37 11speed chain, and about $100 to adapt whatever hub you've got to the 11-spd version = $762
  • + 3
 Thanks i just saw that on vital. Still too much if you ask me, but who pays MSRP anyways?

The real hope here is that it will be OEM and really bring down the price of a full build.
  • + 3
 Yeah, especially if more and more new frames get designed that are purpose-built for 1x drivetrains (as several have mentioned).
Agreed that $762 is steep even for this "hack upgrade".. better off with the 1x10 options
  • + 2
 Been wanting to switch to a single ring in the front for a while now, this might just be what pushes my decision to do so.
  • + 1
 Or everyone could sack up and get enough fitness to ride a 1x10, there is no need for anything bigger than a 36 cog on a mtb.
  • + 3
 Sometimes I wish I had a bit more money on my bank account..!
  • + 4
 Only sometimes???
  • + 2
 Glad that they are trying to make 1x11 more accessible! I am waiting for X91.
  • + 4
 Narrow-wide Raceface Turbine 36t Chainring with a x9 Type 2 on the rear. 1x10 but I love it, 36 tooth in the front and 11-36 in the rear. Sram X9(equivalent) cranks and a $120 Shimano HG62 cassette.

All-in-all for $400 msrp you can go 1x10 really easily, take out the 17 in the cassette if you need to put on a 42 tooth and you're all set.

So yeah I basically run X91 on a Superfly.
  • + 1
 I'm currently using a 30t front with 11-36t rear with an XT shadow plus, and it works great for my purposes. I have to sack up and work hard to climb the super steep stuff, but that's part of being a mtn biker to me. Still waiting for Shimano to come out with an appropriately spaced 11-40t cassette.
  • + 3
 No one looks cool pedaling in a granny gear. I agree- sack up and get up that hill!
  • + 1
 This IS the X9 level option...
  • + 2
 I have an idea ride what you have and go out and enjoy the sport of mountain biking...
  • + 1
 :/ im getting boring, Sram lose me as client...product apereance is good but the dont last and like this one..they ARE so expensive.
  • + 0
 Hey Pinkbike ....... why is the text GREEN for this article and its comments ( all others are black ) ...... I can barely read this on my screen!! Can you please fix ? Thanks
  • + 2
 Can you screenshot it and email to karl@pinkbike.com?
  • + 2
 Props Sram for listening, I will start assimilating as many muppets as soon as its avaliable!
  • + 3
 My name's Joe. I'm average, and I run an X01 on my new slacker rig... :-)
  • + 3
 The tech is getting closer to obtainable levels
  • + 1
 Hmmm.... $360 bucks for SRAM X9 10 sp cassettt, dr, and shifter, plus the Oneup 42t cog feels like a better deal. And so far works rather well.
  • + 1
 If you want to do this on a budget just man up and take front derailleur off your 2x10 and use a 32 tooth ring. Otherwise keep the front der.
  • + 1
 I can't help but think every time I see the term XD that Sram is pulling an emoticon joke on us.
  • + 1
 It was always going to happen. Too many people started buying extension rings for their cassettes
  • + 2
 Shimano,please help us!!!
  • + 1
 I think they are srewing you for that price its stupid , you can ride justa bout anything with a good granny gear
  • + 2
 HAIL HAIL SHIMANO!
  • + 1
 SRAM is really on a roll nowadays. Kudos to them for coming up with this!
  • + 2
 ah....no! thx.
  • + 1
 X1 DH 7speed please and thank you!
  • + 1
 i'm glad someone brought this up, wondering what the benefits are of the X1/X01/XX1 technology if you don't need an 11sp cassette?
  • + 1
 Shimano is the winner for the prices...
SRAM? No thanks!
  • + 0
 I hate sram, all the stuff ive had from them brakes after a week!
  • + 0
 Sarm is too active and now shimano is under too much pressure, haha!
  • - 1
 For that price, I'd rather go Rohloff Speedhub.
  • + 1
 Gears are not as efficient as a chain.
  • + 1
 A clean and well adjusted chain drive is more efficient. Few are - par...
  • + 0
 10 sod xtr/xt for life
  • + 0
 YES!!!
  • - 1
 Do not care
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