by Mark Alker
July 24, 2014
Lightweight and slick shifting? Has SRAM achieved both with this top of the range double?
- Weight: 630g
- Crank arm length: 175 (tested), 170mm
- Chainring sizes: 39/26 (tested), 42/28, 38/24t
- BCD: 120mm
- BB standard: GXP or BB30
SRAM’s XX was the original double chainset that heralded the double chainset revolution.
Using a wider-range cassette at the back, riders could get the same gear range with a double chainset as they could on a triple, missing out the heartache of those dropped or jammed shifts to and from the granny ring. SRAM has now taken this one step further by going 1×11; however, this doesn’t make 2×10 any less relevant and you can still find it throughout the range, from XX all the way down to X5.
The crank arms are carbon fibre, with an extra big, non-standard four arm spider. The outer ring is threaded and held in place by single-sided chainring bolts to save weight. The 39-26 (and 42/28) ratio is suggested as being ideal for cross-country and short travel bikes, with the 38/24 good for 29in bikes.
The shifting on XX really does impress, with a snappy shift from inner to outer ring and back again, even under power. It does seem to have worn quicker than equivalent-level rings, but it’s probably a (hefty) price that riders will happily pay for such crisp shifting. The cranks, too, while still shiny are showing a few worrying rock scrapes and dings from use, but are still hanging in there.