SRAM have been on a product development tear of late, releasing new high-end groups at a breakneck pace and quickly flowing features found there down-range. Despite catering to a relatively small niche, SRAM have found both sales and Championship success with their downhill-specific X01 DH drivetrain. With the release of the model year 2017 GX DH drivetrain SRAM is making many of the same features will be available at a more accessible price point.
Shipping this month, the heart of the GX DH group is a shortened seven-speed cassette. Running from 11-25t in 2-3t steps the short block fits standard Shimano freehub bodies and makes for a fast transition from low to high gears. “The most affordable full-featured, dedicated 1x DH cassette in the industry” (not to put too fine a point on it), the PG-720 will retail for a refreshing £26. Boom.
Moving the chain across those seven cogs with a minimum of rattle and slap is the GX DH rear derailleur. Sharing much with the 11s GX model, the GX DH is fully compatible with SRAM’s X01 DH drivetrain and, at £88, will make accident-induced replacement less painful.
Orchestrating the whole lot is the GX DH 1x X-Actuation Trigger Shifter. Engineered with the rest of the mini-group in Germany, the 7s trigger shifter has a pronounced click for clear feedback on rough terrain. Also interchangeable with X01 DH, the Matchmaker-compatible piece allows for up to five upshifts at once and will sell for £35.
While it doesn’t have a dedicated GX DH crankset or chain, the group is intended to pair nicely with SRAM’s PC-1130 chain and Truvativ Descendant DH crankset. Given the upward trajectory of top-end group prices, it’s always nice to see many of the same features debut with defensible stickers- especially when it comes with as few compromises as there seem to be here (and those come mostly in terms of weight and prestige). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a lot of GX DH at the local uplift- and expect it to be featured on quite a few entry-level park and downhill machines for the coming model year.