Downhill riders get new SRAM drivetrains and a Troy Lee collaboration.
While most of what we hear from SRAM involves singing the praises of wide range cassettes and 12 gears, there’s a group of riders for whom getting up hills is of no interest whatsoever. We speak of course of the Downhill scene. If George Thompson’s regular race reports are anything to go by, there are plenty of breakages, so perhaps justifying the purchase of one of these new XO1 DH products from SRAM will not be too difficult.
XO1 DH Groupset
No, there’s no DH Eagle 12 speed option (we should totally do that for next year’s April Fool though…), but the SRAM XO1 DH brings high end 7-speed shifting to the party. Mated with the recent DUB bottom bracket for SRAM’s claimed longer lasting seals and light weight, the XO1 promises improved chain retention and an abrasion guard on the crank arm to keep things looking good. Which will be important, because if you’re riding these you’re probably eying up the podium, and you want you and your bike to look their best for all those photos, right?
For the back end of the bike, there’s a new XG-795 Mini Block Cassette, which promises optimised gear steps of 10-24 with two-tooth steps so there’s no need for double or triple shifts. It’s compatible with any XD wheel or SRAM 11 speed chain. You team this up with the SRAM XO1 DH X-Horizon rear derailleur, which is available with both a short or medium cage.
To operate that shifting at the rear, there’s a XO1 DH X-Actuation Trigger Shifter, which promises ‘nanosecond shifts’. The thumb paddle is adjustable so you can personalise the feel of the shifting +/- 30 degrees.
XO1 DH Pricing
- Cranks – £373
- Cassette – £270
- Derailleur – £246
- Shifter – £134
GX DH Groupset
On the more mortal side of things, perhaps more for those with aspirations away from the podium, we have the new GX DH groupset. A Descendant DH Crankset brings DUB to this price bracket, while the PG-270 cassette claims to be the most affordable 1x DH cassette there is. The GX DH X-Horizon derailleur is compatible with the XO1 drivetrain, and again comes in a short or medium length. The final piece of the jigsaw is the GX DH X-Actuation Trigger Shifter, which is again compatible with the XO1 drivetrain – though you’ll not get the adjustable paddle with the GX option.
GX DH Pricing
- Cranks – £158
- Cassette – £33
- Derailleur – £113
- Shifter – £45
Descendent TLD Colab
SRAM has teamed up with Troy Lee Designs to produce a ‘camouflage’ themed set of Descendent cranks and bars. At this point, we’ll let the press release speak for itself:
SAME SAME. BUT DIFFERENT.
‘For the artist, the challenge of the solution is the inspiration to create. The crank arm—perfected in performance by SRAM engineers—is a utilitarian canvas begging to be transformed. Troy Lee, design artist, took to that canvas. And now, those of us who have seen can never unsee. It’s the crank, made more. Same same. But forever different.’
STIFF. PRECISE. WIDE. CAMO.
‘The genius of good design manifests itself nicely in camo. Demure. Yet bold. For our latest CoLab, we tapped into the braintrust that is Troy Lee Designs. We handled the intel on the bar specs—our famous Descendant geometry, built from input from our best riders—and Troy handled the finishing touches. His dream: hi-tech camo. Fit to be seen.’
Carbon bars will be £199, alloy £99, the crankset will be £449.
Behold. See. Buy?
More details will doubtless be on sram.com very shortly.