SRAM LAUNCH X9 AND XO GROUPSETS AT SEA OTTER

When SRAM's X7 2x10 groupset dropped a few weeks back it was pretty much inevitable that the X9 and X0 sets would release at Sea Otter. Since then a few leaked photos have been around and as of mid this week if you looked hard enough you could find full production images of both group sets. So here are the official images from the SRAM marketing machine and a bit of a run down on what's changed other than the obvious 2x10.

Okay first up as you can see there are some blinging new colourways available and it's not just a splash of colour or a little bit of anodising. There are some pretty solid options now and if you are a bit boring there is still black. Sticking with the colours and graphics here, it's pretty evident that SRAM have done a bit of double take. A few years ago they made it pretty clear that they didn't intend to make a groupset. Hence keeping the branding for Avid, Truvativ and SRAM all separate, supposedly the OE buyers (the guys who spec complete bikes for GT, Specialized etc) wanted choice, they wanted to be able to mix a bit of SRAM with a bit of, well, not SRAM. For 2010/2011 it looks as if the OEM buyers have turned around and asked for the complete groupo and SRAM has delivered. If you look closely you'll still find Avid and Truvativ logos on the components but they all take a back set to the large X0 and X9 branding on these full groupsets.

Starting with the cranks, things are looking pretty cool. For starters they are now available with either a revised GXP bottom bracket (featuring new seals for increased durability) or in the new BB30 standard. Both X0 and X9 feature a trick lock ring on the inside of the drive side that let's you replace the two chain ring spider with a three ring spider. Why you would want to do that is anybody's guess, but it's good to know that you can. The XO crank arms have dropped their aluminium internals and are now completely carbon and the X9 cranks are lightweight hollow core aluminium cranks very similar to the existing OCT models available.

New graphics adorn the X9 and X0 rear derailleurs which are obviously now 10 speed, apart from the shift down back to 10 there's not a massive change although it's good to know that the new X9 and X0 rear mechs will also be available in 9 speed as well.

Luckily for your wallet there are a few options for rear clusters now, the bank breaking X Dome one piece XX/X0 cassette (PG1090) is obviously the top of the line but there's now a second and third tier, the X9 rear cassette (PG1070) and the cheaper X7 rear cassette (PG1050).

And with the group branding there have been changes with both Truvativ's crank lineup as well as AVID's. With the exception of the dual ring OCT version Stylo cranks are gone from Truvativ's lineup as well as Firex.

Avid's lineup gets a few name changes thrown in the mix as well, with the XX brake still sitting up top but gone are the CR and R models. Elixir X0 is now lighter than than its Juicy Ultimate predecessor, but way more powerful. Like the XX the tool-less reach adjuster is gone to save weight but unlike the Juciy line you don't need a funky L shaped Allen Key to adjust it, just a ball head one. It's rounded off with a carbon lever, and a forged aluminium lever body.

The new X9 replaces the Elixir CR and other than graphics and name there's not a huge change. The Elixir R is replaced with the X7. Lower down there's a Elixir 5 and a new low end Elixir 3, some how surviving it all is a Juciy 3, still hanging in there as Avid's ultimate price point brake.

To check out the FULL lineup from both X9 and XO check back here shortly.