Two years ago when SRAM presented XX1, the first 1×11 drive train, it started a small revolution in the industry, changing the way that many people thought about mountain bike shifting gear – especially in the Enduro segment, 1×11 drive trains are now an integral and ingrained concept. There was only one problem: Due to the high price SRAM placed on its 1×11 philosophy, it was reserved for wealthy customers and dedicated racers only. With the new, much cheaper X1 groupset SRAM wants to move forward and change this problem – 1×11 for everyone?

Update (Febuary 2016): SRAM’s 1×11 technology has trickled down to the even cheaper SRAM NX group. The X1 is still in the SRAM portfolio.

Mit SRAMs neuem X1 Antrieb ist 11-fach keine Frage des Preises mehr!
With the X1, price is no longer such a factor in the argument against 1×11.

With the release of X01 last year, consumers now had a slightly cheaper way of buying into a 1×11 group, followed by the release of the 7-speed X01 DH to bring the 1x-range to more riders.
Showing its dedication to 1×11, SRAM is now heralding the X1 as offering all the technologies of the expensive high-end group, but at a price level between X.9 and X.0 (weights and prices below).
The communicated SRAM retail price of the X1 group is 947 EUR / $1,066 (for comparison: XX1 – 1,444 EUR / $1,622) – the “street price” will be probably more like 60-70% of the official EIAs.

By using cheaper materials and all the know-how collected over the last two years of production, the benefits of 1×11 is now more affordable to a much larger spread of riders. The extra weight of X1 (compared to XX1) is just under 300 grams, and the group X1 will be available in July.

Sind 11-Gänge genug?
Is 11-speed enough for everyone?

1×11 for everyone?

The many advantages of a one-by drivetrain are obvious: less components, less frequent shifting, intuitive handling – and for most purposes a simpler bike is often a better bike.
But even apart from the obvious the one-by drivetrains offer some design advantages:
Kinematics can be optimized for only one chainring allowing more freedom for frame design, and the absence of a derailleur allows for shorter chainstays. Not to mention of the fact that the special X-SYNC chainrings hold the chain firmly and it stays in place even without a chain-guide.

The only real disadvantage of 1×11 is the smaller range of gearing compared with a conventional 2×10 or 3×10 setup. However, with the new X1 Group it is the same as at the XX1 – so not so small. The range of the 10-42 cassette (420%) should, provided care is taken with the choice of chainring size, be enough for a large majority of riders. For sure you may sometimes want a lighter or heavier gear – but the advantages of the system often outweigh the lack of extreme gear ratios. With the X1, price is no longer such a factor in the argument against 1×11.


Derailleur (SRAM X1 X-Horizon Rear Derailleur)

The rear derailleur is the central element in each drivetrain. So it’s good news, SRAM won’t compromise on this important part: All proven technologies from the XX1 group found their way into the much cheaper X1 derailleur. X1-riders won’t have to miss out on the X-Horizon Design nor on the ROLLER-BEARING-CLUTCH technology or the handy CAGE LOCK feature. Instead of carbon and titanium, more components of the X1 derailleur are made of aluminum.

  • Large upper pulley offset automatically adjusts chain gap
  • X-HORIZON™ design reduces shift force, ghost shifting and chain slap
  • 12-tooth X-SYNC™ pulley wheels
  • Aluminum Cage
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 256g
  • Price: 205 Euro / $231

Cassette (SRAM XG-1180)

To reduce costs, the cassette is no longer manufactured from one-piece like the XX1. Only the smallest three cogs are cnc-machined out of a single block, the additional eight cogs are individually pinned together.

  • 11-speeds (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42)
  • XD™ Driver Body creates more stable hub connection
  • Optimized gear steps across entire range
  • Weight: 315g
  • Price: 278 Euro / $313

Chain (PC-X1)

  • New 1X™ specific chain designed with our XX1 geometry
  • solid pin construction
  • 11-speed PowerLock™
  • Weight: 258g (114 links)
  • Price: 33 Euro / $37
  • sram-x1-presentation-8

    Cranks (SRAM X1 1400, X1 1200, X1 1000)

    Three different cranks make up the X1 group, all of them are made for chainring sizes of 30 – 38 teeth, small 28 chainrings can’t be used.

    SRAM X1 1400: 800 Gramm, 233 Euro / $262
    SRAM X1 1200: 830 Gramm, OEM only
    SRAM X1 1000: 850 Gramm, 177 Euro / $199


    Trigger Shifter (SRAM X1 X-ACTUATION)

    The matchmaker compatible X1 trigger shifter costs 72 Euros / $81 and weights 121 gramm/p>

    Words: Aaron Steinke Photos: Adrian Marcoux

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    About the author

    Aaron Steinke

    Aaron was our first employee and actively helped make our company what it is today, significantly shaping the look and direction of our various magazines. Aaron has been pursuing his own projects since mid-2020 but he continues to advise and support us on issues of marketing and technology. For many years, you would usually have found Aaron at casual enduro races, but increasingly you'll find him riding his road bike – long live freedom on two wheels!