SRAM Launches £251 NX 1×11 Drivetrain

by Marc Basiliere 11

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

Comments (11)

  1. Laudable as it may be that a company recognises that some of it’s customers may not be able to afford top end kit this new range has knocked the second hand market place apart if you’re trying to sell some of the upmarket kit.

    There again, do SRAM care? Why no, of course not. They’ve already had your money!

  2. And the same day as Shimano announce a big price cut too…

  3. The most important thing is missed (I think) from this – NX is 100% cross compatible with other 1x SRAM drive. Meaning you can patch up your GX/X1/X01/XX1 or hydrid your nx with an 1150 cassette to get the 10-42T goodness 🙂

  4. Can I have a box of those chains please.
    Great move SRAM.

  5. I keep rereading the first comment and thinking “… WHAT?”

    I’ve never run into a single industry where a company has any kind of duty or moral obligation to the second hand market, and vice versa.

  6. Yes, an odd thing to say.

  7. Yes, agree about the first post. Ridiculous comment.

  8. Magoomtb are you as short sighted as your avatar suggests? At what point shouldany manufacturer decide that the 2nd had market is their responsibility?

    Well done Sram and Shimano for recognising the need that we are not all interested in uber expensive kit first the sake of race performance. I choose price and reliability.

  9. XT isn’t too far from this price point.

    Trail Chainset £108
    11/40 cassette £53
    RD £40
    Shifter £35
    Chain £20

    £256 total

  10. Athough I agree about SRAM (and any other high-wear item), there are plenty of examples of companies caring about second hand prices. It makes sense if they want to remove a barrier from purchase and also if they want to keep brand loyalty.
    E.g. Islabikes, Naim Audio, Lego, etc. They do it by offering trade-ins, limiting production numbers, providing cashback rather than discounts, having agreements with retailers, etc. Some are a by-product of seeking to protect RRP, but not all.

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