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Brakes & Gears Etc

Sram XX1 Transmission

Best trail/enduro transmission 2016

Sram XX1 transmission has been a revelation and in just a few years has become the go to transmission on so many bikes including great bikes such as the Canyon Strive, Specialized Enduro and many more.

Indeed, Sram changed the transmission playing field in a huge way three years ago with the introduction of their single chainring one-by-eleven system. Until then many of us had been running ten speed cassettes with a single ring up front and a lightweight chainguide on our trail bikes. We lived with any compromises; gear ratios were limited but chains stayed on, noise and clatter lessened.

“As a system, for trail or enduro, the Sram XX1 drivetrain is superb, with exemplary shifting in the grittiest conditions”

As trail and enduro bikes grew more capable, Sram’s timing with this development was spot on. A single ring up front with eleven speed wide-ratio cassette at the back…

Initially available only in the costly XX1 level, but soon after in X01 and now at even more affordable levels with X1 and GX not far behind either. One step down from the top gives you all the tech without any real world compromises to weight, finish or durability but when it comes to delivery the XX1 simply has that edge and that’s what you pay for.

Up front, the carbon cranks (while not the stiffest) have a low profile and a beautifully simple ‘direct mount’ for the chainring, which is available in sizes from 26 to 40T. Chain retention is faultless courtesy of Sram’s X-Sync teeth profiles freeing up the need for a chain device in all but the most testing terrain. Maybe bang one on for racing. Out back the ground breaking 10-42T cassette gives you all the ratios you need when paired to the correct front chainring for your chosen terrain. Sram shifting, even in the grittiest of conditions is exemplary. As a system, for trail or enduro, this XX1 drivetrain is superb.

Ditch some weight, shed the clutter, and keep things simple. There’s no going back now.

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