Everything changed three years ago when SRAM launched the XX1 groupset and even though it cost around $1500.00 back then (now found cheaper on some sites), people were pawning their possessions to get their hands on this groundbreaking bit of kit which only the pro’s could afford. Well, we got our hands on the more affordable little brother of the XX1, the SRAM X1 groupset, which features in Issue #015, in ‘The Lab’ – which reviews highly sought after products on long term tests.

Depending on your riding preferences, an 11-speed drivetrain is pretty much the one you want your feet pushing the power through for almost any situation. Lightweight, reliable and now, highly affordable, the SRAM X1 groupset is a small step down from the XX1, but still reaping the same rewards. When it was released, we were suitably excited to see how the significantly cheaper X1 groupset would perform over our long-term tests on aggressive terrain.

Taking all the advantages from SRAM XX1, the SRAM X1 groupset hits the $961 price mark, substantially lower than its bigger brother.
Taking all the advantages from SRAM XX1, the SRAM X1 groupset hits the $961 price mark, substantially lower than its bigger brother.
In stealth black, this bit of kit is something to be desired.
In stealth black, this bit of kit is something to be desired.

1,800km down and our conclusion was simple and efficient, much like the groupset: incredible! “Even after eighteen – pretty rainy – races and countless rides, the drivetrain is still working like it did on its first outing!” says Aaron, brimming with praise for its durability. “Despite the fact that the black coating has rubbed away in quite a few areas, this doesn’t appear (yet) to have affected the shifting performance. I’ve only had to replace the cable housing once.”

After 1,800km there were signs of wear and tear, but what else can you expect after such a distance? Like the terrain you're riding, it makes it look...rugged.
After 1,800km there were signs of wear and tear, but what else can you expect after such a distance? Like the terrain you’re riding, it makes it look…rugged.
We love 11-speed, it suits any type of terrain and powers you through those hard rides.
We love 11-speed, it suits any type of terrain and powers you through those hard rides.

Tester: Aaron Steinke
Price: $961.00
Weight: 1750g
Testing Time: 7 months

For more info, visit: SRAM.com

Words: Aaron Steinke Photos: Christoph Bayer