We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes: SRAM XX1 is unveiled


I think I may have used that Death Cab for Cutie inspired intro before? Anyway, it's here. Well kind of. I doubt you'll be buying this in New Zealand shops this month but SRAM have unveiled all there is to know about SRAM XX1. Seb will be heading along to the Whistler launch for Spoke so we'll be able to tell you about how it rides then but for now it's just about IT. This is kind of a spoiler, but as everyone guessed, if you want to run 1x11 you'll need new wheels. Yup, that's right, at the moment it looks like only SRAM and DT Swiss will be making compatible freehubs. Not too sure if they're retro fit-able to those wheels, but we'll find out, eh?

SRAM reply: Both SRAM and DT Swiss will offer driver bodies to retrofit to their hubs. The XD driver body will work on SRAM's RISE60 wheels. We will have more options in the near future. For DT Swiss, it's possible to convert all existing star ratchet based MTB wheels to accept the XD driver body. 

Here's my summary of the below press release. SRAM is rad. Jerome Clementz is rad. And SRAM's Euro engineers and designers are rad. Add all those rad things together and you get a pretty snazzy drivetrain. A drivetrain dedicated to only ever running one ring up front. So much that the front chain ring (not needing any shifting ramps) has been machined to the narrow/wide facets of the chain. The rear derailleur has been redesigned incorporating the roller clutch and cage lock from the type 2 rear mech recently released, and SRAM have thrown in a new horizontal moving cage that mates to the game changing 10t-42t cassette. All to make a bulletproof 11 speed setup that covers a huge range of useful gears. For actual mountain biking.

Anyhow we're on a deadline here so the press release info will have to suffice. I just read it all and if I can understand it all then you can too...


ONE. AND ONLY. SRAM XX1 was built with a dedicated 1X drivetrain philosophy—making it simpler, lighter and more durable than any other. No matter where you ride, no matter what you’re up against: SRAM XX1. UNSTOPPABLE.

Driven by a cutting-edge, single-ring carbon crank and seamless component integration, SRAM 1X drivetrain delivers flawless chain management and faster, more precise shifting. But the relationship between XX1 components goes far beyond fitment. From the X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur with TYPE 2 technology to the super wide range 11-speed 10-42T cassette, each component is designed to function synergistically with the others, achieving what no other 1X drivetrain has before.

XX1 Cassette First Of Its Kind.

Ranging from 10- to 42-teeth, the 11-speed X-DOME™ delivers an incredibly wide gear range while maintaining even, optimized steps. The single-unit cassette combines with the XD™ driver body for a superior connection to the wheel. Available October 2012.

  • 11-speeds (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42)
  • Bearing design and ratchet mechanism steadied by XD driver body
  • Creates more stable hub connection
  • Gear steps optimized across entire range
  • Wheels equipped for XD driver body available from SRAM and DT Swiss
  • XD driver body is 6-8g lighter
  • Weight: 260 grams


X-DOME Machined from a single piece of billet steel, X-DOME has an “open” interior—giving riders better mud clearance, less weight, cleaner shifting performance and longer component life. (read: really expensive)

XD This new cassette driver body design lets the drivetrain use a 10 tooth small cog—all while providing better interface across the entire cassette.

XX1 Crank Developed for maximum chain control, each tooth’s thickness is precisely CNC-machined to support the chain’s inner and outer links perfectly. Six available chain rings (28-30-32-34-36-38) allow you to tune your gear range to match your terrain, wheel size and riding style. Each X-SYNC™ chain ring fits a single, universal spider—allowing you to change rings without removing the light-weight carbon crank arm. Available October 2012.

  • New tooth profile alternates thickness by inner and outer links, providing maximum chain control
  • Carbon arms with forged aluminum spider
  • CNC-machined rings (28-30-32-34-36-38)
  • New spider design allows for easier ring changes
  • Wide/narrow Q factor cranks for BB30 and GXP
  • Weight: 650 grams with BB (approx.)


X-SYNCTM A CNC-machined, “wide tooth, narrow tooth” pattern is repeated around the entire chainring, perfectly mirroring the chain’s inner and outer links for maximum control.

BB30 Besides serious weight savings, this bottom bracket means narrow Q-factor, more ankle clearance, greater bearing durability and stronger crank construction.

GXP GXP’s Gutter Seal design cuts friction, durability and weight—improving both feel and performance.

X-HORIZON Rear Derailleur

Maximum Impact. With its “horizontal parallelogram” design and pulley offset, X-HORIZON™ keeps the chain gap constant across all 11 gears, providing fast, precise shifts. By limiting all movement to the horizontal axis, this design is faster, reduces shift force and eliminates ghost shifting. ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology reduces bounce and chain slap. CAGE LOCK™ technology makes wheel removal and installation easier than ever before. Paired with the XX1 shifter, the X-HORIZON RD forms the backbone of X-ACTUATION™ technology for unbelievably smooth shifting action. Available October 2012.

  • Large upper pulley offset automatically adjusts chain gap
  • Straight parallelogram design with horizontal movement reduces shift force and improves drivetrain performance
  • 12T X-SYNC pulley wheels
  • TYPE 2 technologies: ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ and CAGE LOCK™
  • New silent pulley tooth design
  • Weight: 220 grams (approx.)


X-SYNCTM A “wide tooth, narrow tooth” pattern is repeated around the pulley wheel, perfectly mirroring the chain’s inner and outer links for maximum control.

CAGE LOCKTM With Cage Lock, wheel removal and installation—as well as chain installation—becomes faster and simpler. Just pushing the cage forward to create slack and lock it into place.

ROLLER BEARING CLUTCHTM Roller Bearing Clutch™ technology eliminates derailleur bounce and chain slap without sacrificing precision.

X-ACTUATIONTM Developed specifically for the SRAM 1X11 drivetrain, X-ACTUATION keeps shifting sharp and consistent  across the entire 10-42T cassette.

XX1 Triggers and Gripshift available.

XX1 Chain Powerful Connections.

The XX1 chain represents the latest breakthrough in a long line of precise, light-weight chains from SRAM. It’s designed to deliver the greatest strength and reliability to a drivetrain that doesn’t have to make compromises for front shifts. Available October 2012.

  • New 1X11 XX1 specific chain
  • Designed for maximum strength and wear resistance
  • Proprietary link finish provides improved life span
  • 11-speed power lock