SRAM Launches £251 NX 1×11 Drivetrain

by
February 11, 2016

Initially envisioned as a niche racers’ product, in just a few short years single-chainring drivetrains have become immensely popular for all sorts of riders, from gram counters to the baggies-peak crowd.  But another group that would benefit immensely from a one-by-eleven group’s reduced complexity and weight –beginners– has been left out thanks largely to staggering cassette prices and dedicated freehubs.

That is, until today.

Simple, fun, and nowhere near as expensive.
Simple, fun, and nowhere near as expensive.

SRAM’s assertion that “shifting a bicycle should be easier” will ring especially true to anyone who has taught a new rider the ins and outs of front shifting and cross-chaining.  With the new NX drivetrain, SRAM has set aside previous 1×11 groups’ pricey XD driver and its complex cassette architecture in favour of the long-running Shimano spline.  That, combined with more cost-effective implementations of the brand’s X-Sync chainring teeth, roller bearing X-Actuation rear derailleurs, and trigger or GripShift shifters makes for a one-by-eleven drivetrain that starts at £251: less than the cost of a replacement XX1 cassette.

All of the cogs, all in one place.
All of the cogs, all in one place.

As we’ve seen with Shimano’s eleven-speed groups, space constraints on the NX cassette mean setting aside the 10t top cog in favor of an 11t- only one tooth but a sizable percentage at that end of the cassette.  It’s also not exactly light at 538g (about 90g heavier than a Shimano XT in the same 11-42t size).  Even so, the ability to use one’s existing wheels and the black-finished PG-1130 cassette’s £68 price tag make the compromise more than palatable.

Hold on to the dream.
Hold on to the dream.

In another beginner-friendly move, SRAM has seen fit to release a NX-level GripShift twist shifter, packed full of  the same fun-to-type Speed Metal, Rolling Thunder, and Jaws technologies as higher-priced iterations.  That’s a whole lot of twisting tech for £33.  For those who prefer to push paddles, the NX trigger shifter asks for only £22 and and a bit of room on your handlebar.

Cranky, but not ornery.
Cranky, but not ornery.

The group is rounded out by a handsome-enough £92 alloy crankset whose 94mm BCD allows for chainrings ranging in size from 28t to 40t- all with drop-resistant X-Sync narrow/wide teeth.  A kid-friendly 155mm length will even be offered.  The rear derailleur’s £58 pricetag will be welcome news to the crash-prone and, weight and prestige aside, looks to surrender little to the rest of the SRAM line. Rounding out the package, the £11 PC-1110 is almost certainly the least-expensive 11-speed chain on the market.

As much as we all love shiny, high-end kit, the NX group is exciting in an altogether different way.  If appearances are to believed, the group is ideal for the entry-level rider or anyone looking to get out and ride without a second mortgage.  Which, we have to admit, is pretty thrilling stuff.

sram.com

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