SRAM Unleashes XX-1

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Let the hyperbole commence! SRAM’s press release below…

We say: SRAM has introduced its newest innovation. Now you get even less! While 2×10 XX was its previous top-end group, new XX1 is 1×11… It uses a single ring (28 to 38T) up front on a carbon crank (natch), with a clever tooth profile that claims to do away with the need for a chain device. Out back is a radically redesigned rear mech that only goes sideways, not up and down and there’s a HUGE rear cassette that spans 11 cogs and a massive 10-42 range. This needs a special hub to take it (which SRAM and DT Swiss are making so far). There are Gripshift 11 or trigger shifters available and… that’s about it, right? There are no brakes announced with this group, but we reckon that Avid has something in the works that we’ll doubtless see by the Olympics…

There was a teaser or two released recently and we’ve seen a few secret bits and pieces at recent events too, but it’s finally here, in all the press release glory. Hopefully we’ll get a look at a real one soon…

They say: SRAM XX1 was built with a dedicated 1X drivetrain philosophy—making it simpler, lighter and more durable than any other. No matter where you ride, no matter what you’re up against: SRAM XX1. UNSTOPPABLE.

Driven by a cutting-edge, single-ring carbon crank and seamless component integration, SRAM 1X drivetrain delivers flawless chain management and faster, more precise shifting. But the relationship between XX1 components goes far beyond fitment. From the X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur with TYPE 2 technology to the super wide range 11-speed 10-42T cassette, each component designed to function synergistically (synerwhat? eh? Ed)

XX1 Chainset:

Carbon arms with forged aluminium spider. Rings designed NOT to shift, so the teeth are tall and proud.

Developed for maximum chain control, each tooth’s thickness is precisely CNC-machined to support the chain’s inner and outer links perfectly. Six available chain rings (28-30-32-34-36-38) allow you to tune your gear range to match your terrain, wheel size and riding style. Each X-SYNC™ chain ring fits a single, universal spider—allowing you to change rings without removing the light-weight carbon crank arm.New tooth profile alternates thickness by inner and outer links, providing maximum chain control

Wide/narrow Q factor cranks for BB30 and GXP Weight: 650 grams with BB (approx.)



We say: It features big jockey wheels on a very offset cage for smooth shifting across massive gears and a clutch system which, combined with the chainring, keeps the chain on the ring without a chain device. Watch the video below for a better idea of how it shifts across the gears… Apparently the pulleys are ‘silent’. We hope they’re waterproof too…

Like something from Prometheus then...

They say: With its “horizontal parallelogram” design and pulley offset, X-HORIZON™ keeps the chain gap constant across all 11 gears, providing fast, precise shifts. By limiting all movement to the horizontal axis, this design is faster, reduces shift force and eliminates ghost shifting. Roller bearing clutch™ technology reduces bounce and chain slap. Cage Lock™ technology makes wheel removal and installation easier than ever before. Paired with the XX1 shifter, the X-HORIZON RD forms the backbone of X-ACTUATION™ technology for unbelievably smooth shifting action.

Large upper pulley offset automatically adjusts chain gap

Straight parallelogram design with horizontal movement reduces shift force and improves drivetrain performance
12T X-SYNC pulley wheels

Weight: 220 grams (approx.)


X-Dome Cassette

Ranging from 10- to 42-teeth, the 11-speed X-DOME™ delivers an incredibly wide gear range while maintaining even, optimized steps. The single-unit cassette combines with the XD™ driver body for a superior connection to the wheel.

11-speeds (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42). Bearing design and ratchet mechanism steadied by XD driver bodyWheels equipped for XD driver body available from SRAM and DT Swiss (XD driver body is 6-8g lighter)

Weight: 260 grams


So there we go… A 1x11T hard-charging groupset that, judging by the chainrings on offer, should cope with everything from XC racing to more trail and even all mountain use… The only price we’ve seen so far is €1200 or so for the groupset, without brakes… And you’ll need the funny rear hub on your wheel too… Let’s see how they get on!


Out to you lot in October apparently…

And finally, here’s a video that will make that funny looking derailleur make far more sense…


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (21)

    Blimey, that cassette is massive!

    Is this going to be strong enough for DH? Or is it just designed for XC race duties?

    Do you have to buy the cranks or will the chainrings fit a normal spider?

    Looks like lots of sensible thought and design has gone into it.

    Wow that’s got me sold. Amazing kit. Little bit out of my price range though. It’ll good when the tech filters down through the range though

    First time that I’ve really got excited about cogs….

    Finally an excuse to buy a new drivetrain and wheelset. Now where did I leave that enormous bundle of used notes?

    that’s a wider gear range than an Alfine-11 (457% by my calculation)
    That’s seriously impressive if it works.
    You wouldn’t want to smack the mech on a rock though…

    Just a thought about this:
    “New tooth profile alternates thickness by inner and outer links”
    I notice all the rings are even numbered, as are most of the cogs, so that makes sense: thin teeth will always engage the thinner links. But what happens when you use the 21T cog?

    ir_bandito – eh – are you suggesting that it would feed the chain back into a different position. I don’t see why. Just imagine the front chainring on it’s own. It surely doesn’t matter what’s going on behind, one link must follow the next – always.

    oops! My mistake. I was thinking the varying tooth thickness was at both ends.

    I like it, been running 1 x 9 for years and covers most of my riding. Once it filters through to the cheaper product ranges it will be a great option. Shimano release of 1 x 11 in 6 months?

    XXI – Surely that would indicate 21 speed?
    Would they not be better calling it XI ???

    A few years ago that picture of the cassette would have been a great April Fool… 🙂

    Have they really trademarked the word “clutch” though?

    Doesn’t the chainline result in excessive chain wear?

    Looks nice…but I reckon two wet laps of the Loop in my hands and it would be knackered!

    [spinal tap] so it’s one louder?! [/spinal tap]

    Looks interesting
    While a 220g rear mech and 260g casette aren’t heavy (XT 9/10spd sort of weight?), once this filters down to X7/X5 sort of level isn’t this going to mean more weight in the rear/wheel and on a full suss more unsuspended weight?

    “more weight in the rear/wheel and on a full suss more unsuspended weight?” That’s what I was thinking, turning it up to 10/11 on top end is no problem what is an 11spd SLX or x7 cassette going to weigh?

    and what yetitony said, should be XI

    Lovely concept and great to see them taking advantage of the fact that you no longer need to shift on the front to re-profile the teeth. This would be great for riding on the trails at home in Hampshire where I rarely use anything other than the 44t chainring but it won’t give enough range to cope with riding in the Lakes and Dales where I use the whole spectrum from 22×32 (0.6875:1) to 44×11 (4:1). Using the 38t chainring at home would be great giving a useful range of 0.9:1 to 3.8:1 but in the Lakes I’d need the 28t or 30t for the low end and then I’m stuck with 2.8:1 or 3:1 at the top end which is going to mean spinning like fury coming down hill!

    Exactly. No bloody use at all.

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