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SRAM's 1X drivetrains will rock your world

If you don't keep up to date with the latest moving and shaking in cycling componentry then you might not have heard about SRAM's new entry level 1x groupset, GX1. It's been created to bring all the benefits of SRAM's 1x drivetrains to the entry-level market segment. So that means everyone, regardles of budget, can enjoy the improved shifting, simplified gearing, enhanced chain retention and weight reduction that GX1 has to offer. SRAM's 1x drivetrains came out of their desire to simplify things between your feet and the back wheel. SRAM figured that a bigger cassette, with a wider gear range combined with a single front chainring, could be made to work better, last longer and shift more cleanly than a 2x set-up. They also figured we wouldn't mind shedding a whole load of weight along the way. Key to their R&D was the creation of their X-SYNC™ chainrings. This chainring design uses alternating thick and thin teeth that match up with the narrow/wide segments on your chain to provide the same sort of chain retention that you used to need a dedicated chain device to achieve.

At the same time as they were working on the X-SYNC™ chainrings, they were developing their Roller Bearing Clutch™ rear derailleurs. These new designs utilise a roller bearing clutch mechanism that holds the cage in the most rearward position to resist the pull created by your chain bouncing under its own weight as you traverse rocky trails or descend at speed. Of course if you only have a single front ring then you are going to lose some gear ratios- SRAM had figured this out as well. They created a new freehub body standard called SRAM XD™. The XD-Driver body uses a smaller end bearing that allows for a stepped cassette body. This in turn allows the small ring on the cassette to be shrunk down to 10 teeth, so you retain gearing for fast riding. At the same time, they cleverly engineered the cassettes to have a 42t big-ring which compensates for the loss of your granny ring.

In one foul swoop SRAM has saved you a chunk of weight, simplified your drivetrain, and improved chain retention. Sure, you lose a percentage or two of maximum or minimum gear ratio but the benefits far outweigh that tiny loss. SRAM's X1 drivetrain technology premiered in their top flight groupsets. SRAM XX1 first brought their new drivetrain technologies to the market but came with a high price tag due to the significant amount of carbon used in the groupset. Each year SRAM have dropped the cost of entry to their 1X groupsets and this year they've delivered incredible value for money with their completely new GX1 option.

With GX1 SRAM have delivered on their promise of 'giving the most to riders who need it the most'. The new tech starts with the chainset which is available in 'open forged' and standard crank arm construction versions. (They've even made it backwards compatible with 2x chainrings due to their new chainring mount design!) The GX-Horizon™ rear mech handles shifting duties, slickly and with a light touch. SRAM's 1x™ X-Actuation™ shifter provides lightweight fingertip control of the rear mech and combines to deliver faultless shifts even under extreme load. At only 125gms it's also seriously light; expect to save almost 2lbs over a standard 2x set-up from another brand when you switch to SRAM's 1X set-ups.

We like SRAM's 1X set-ups and use them on most of our On-One bikes, you'll find XO1 on the new Fatty Trail and the original Codeine as well as many others in the line-up. GX1 is no exception; expect to see it on a whole raft of our new mid-spec bikes coming out over the next few weeks. It's already been used on the new Codeine 27.5" bikes and there's more in a pipeline. If you get the chance to take one for a ride we seriously advise it- it'll reset your expectations of what a modern mountain bike can offer.

18 September 2015

SRAM XO1 Bikes