Sram XX – the low down.

by Dave Anderson 18


So by now you should have figured that XX is a new and, indeed, first groupset from Sram, with each component designed to work as a part of the  whole. The resulting parts weigh in at 2.3 kg ignoring the fork.


XX test bike
XX test bike


Starting at the controls, MatchMaker X clamps allow shifters, brakes and Xloc lever to be combined into one neat setup. Shifter position is adjustable in/outboard as well as fore/aft to allow tweaking to suit individual rider preferences. The XX shifter is streamlined and features a carbon fibre lever. XX brake levers are forged magnesium with a carbon fibre blade, feature a smaller than Elixir body and connect to a two piece forged caliper body. Six bolt, two piece rotors complete the package and offer great one finger braking, these are nice and powerful for an XC oriented brake. Sram are working with DTSwiss on a XX centrelock adapter.


Onto the drivetrain. A new low profile XX front derailleur is available in over 40 different versions, high mount, low mount, direct mount, top and bottom pull. No issues of rubbing in extreme combinations means all the ratios are available. The XX crank has been designed specifically for 2×10, has a 49.5mm chainline and features a new 120/80 bcd to support the rings during shifting. Chainrings are cnc’d 7075-T6 with X-glide technology that provides 4 chain pick up points and 4 release points. Shifting up and down the rings even under pressure is both easy and quick. The cranks come in GXP, PressFit GXP, BB30 and PressFit 30 flavours all of which have Blackbox ceramic bearings as standard.


The XX cassette has been designed with an influence from the road groupsets, eight cogs cnc’d from a solid billet of steel (evidently a process that takes nine hours per cassette) married to a 7075-T6 large cog (this can be replaced separately if needed). The open design looks like clogging won’t be an issue but we look forward to testing this in U.K. Conditions. PC1090 and PC1090 chains are recommended. And lastly, the XX rear derailleur a combination of carbon fibre and aluminium linkage with a carbon 93mm cage and a ti spring.


Suggested retail (in dollars)


Rear derailleur – $265

Front derailleur low clamp – $119

Trigger shifter set – $276

Cassette – $328

GXP Crankset – $430

GXP BB – $195

Avid XX brakes 160mm – $373


First impressions are of a sharp and snappy shifting package that allows climbs to be approached differently, there’s no need to pre-shift in preparation for a climb; you can simply push on up in the big ring safe in the knowledge that if the biggest cog isn’t going to get you to the top you can still shift down at the front without having to ease off the gas. Brakes are a marked improvement on the Elixir CR’s I’ve been running at home with the 160 rotors providing plenty of power without loss of feel.


I think I need to try it on familiar trails now.

Comments (18)

  1. $328, for the Cassette!

  2. The bar has been raised again (pricewise). Lets hope its performance justifies it.

  3. That is pretty ridiculous for a cassette given they’re a consumable item

  4. What are the ratios?
    (Not that I am likely to purchase such fippary but I’m interested in what gearing this system utilises?)

  5. Doh… in the other review a few items down – consider my wrists slapped.

  6. SO those are the prices in dollars… I dread to think what they will be in pounds, give the recent exchange rate fluctuations. That cassette will probably end up being £400+!

  7. I like the idea of 2×10 and it seems like its good stuff , but at those prices it will be staying put on my lottery winning dream bike. They have also introduced another BCD to make it even less compatible.

    In the current economic climate SLX with its compatibility, price and performance makes XX look a little bit irrelevant. This technology needs to trickle down fast.

    AdamM as a rough guide, divide the price by the current exchange rate and multiply it by 1.3 – 1.4 (tax and unspecified distributors costs) to get the UK price.

  8. Whith the cost of those cassettes, may be all the single speeders
    are right,

  9. Current dollar to pound is about 1.50 to the pound? so I guess he cassete will be £160.00? How Much XTR now with the price hikes? RRP £164.99 for XTR so seem about the same.

  10. $328/1.5 = £218

    £218 x 1.3 = £284

    Thats a lot

  11. f3ck my old boots………………………how much!!!!!

  12. cassette is CNCed from a solid billet! waste of time and money.
    a fool and his money, etc.

  13. It’s mountain bike?!?! not a F1 car lol
    Are there any manufacturers trying to bring prices down?
    The average mtber really doesn’t need this.

  14. Has anyone tried 2 x 9?

  15. Approximately £1400 for the whole set, so top end kit. A brave move in recessionary times.

  16. £1400 without the forks… Add another £1100 for the SIDs…

    It’s the F1 of groupsets, that’s the point of it – mushrooms.
    The average mountain biker isn’t going to need it, but the top-end racers, to whom it’s aimed, will need it.

  17. The group has obviously been in development longer than the prevailing financial climate came about. SRAM had probably already invested a large amount in design and tooling so no point holding it back. It’s probably the sort of kit that will mainly be seen on sponsored riders bikes and possibly top end amateurs who get kit at cost/discounted.

    For the average rider it will be the X9 & X7 iterations in a couple of years time that will be relevant to us normal bods.

    Why do it – to evolve, sell more kit to OEM and after market and to be ready for XTR Di2 when it hits in the next 12 to 18 months (my guess). Much like Campy producing the 11 speed road sets.

    All in my VERY humble opinion of course.

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