SRAM are an innovative company driving forward developments in all of their groupsets, and with the XX they are leading the way into a 10 speed set up (one which Shimano have already announced they plan to follow in 2010). While lots of people (including us) may have been getting excited that they could run a single ring set up on their trail/freeride bikes with an extra wide range of gearing on the rear, it is important to realise that it is not the intended use of the XX. It is very much a ‘wheels on the ground’ groupo designed for XC and trail riding rather than freeride – hardly surprising when you take into account its narrow profiles and light weight. Ten speed does still open up a load of opportunities on the trail, and it has already collected first, second and third at the XC World Championships in Canberra. Though you need to be prepared to pay a hefty price for the privilege, XX is strictly for the rich or the sponsored!