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SRAM MTB Groupset Buying Guide

SRAM is an American bike component bike brand which set the standard for groupsets and chainsets - achieving market domination, in a very short space of time. The product they dominated with, was the 12 speed eagle mountain bike groupset, which became the standard groupset for all kinds of mountain bikes. This offering meant that there was no longer any need for double or triple chainrings - meaning that riders benefited from weight saving, as well as increased reliability.

In this post, we look at SRAM's products in greater detail, looking at their mountain bike offering - and which products sit where, within the range. The entry level SRAM groupset is the SX Eagle and at the top end of the collection is the XX1 EAGLE AXS which is used by world class athletes. Having broken into the world of mountain bikes with the single chainring, SRAM did not rest on their laurels - and have continued to provide high quality products, with incredible levels of innovation and design.

In recent years, SRAM has developed an industry leading wireless groupset system. Launched in 2019, it’s instantly recognisable thanks to it’s rainbow cassette, and is incredibly usable - thanks to multiple battery options, high levels of control and super lightweight.

Below, we examine the SRAM range in greater detail:

SRAM X5

The entry level model from SRAM. It’s race biased, shifting is smooth and precise - which allows plenty of control when off road. Typically used on full suspension mountain bikes and hardtail mountain bikes, either as part of a complete SRAM system or used in conjunction with other parts.

SRAM X7

Incredibly reliable, the X7 features plenty of tech which has dripped down from the world class level products from SRAM. The X7 is a type 2 rear derailleur which has a roller bearing clutch and cage lock. Shifting is X-glide - which has been designed to give the rider increased precision and control. This is a system which works across all off road terrain, from single track to blasting across fire roads.

SRAM X9

The X9 is a lightweight groupset, incredibly reliable but also sensibly priced. Every gear change and shift feels precise - this is a groupset which tackles the steepest ascent and steepest descents.

SRAM NX

The NX range is a one x 11 speed shifting, it’s a good choice for those on a budget who want to use SRAM products on their mountain bike. Again, trickle down technology - it provides dependable shifting.

SRAM GX

The SRAM GX superseded the X7 and X9 - and was one of the first mass market products from SRAM.

SRAM X0

The XO sits near the top of the SRAM range - it provides dependable shifting, which provides smooth, hassle free shifting for hundreds of miles. The X0 also features some weight saving items such as carbon fibre and aluminium. There is also the SRAM XO DH - which is the downhill specific version of the X0. The X0 is designed for tough, demanding conditions.

SRAM X01

The X01 provides a 1x11 setup, meaning it’s used with a single front chainring and a larger cassette at the rear. Again, SRAM provides effortless shifting, it’s lightweight and provides very precise shifting. It’s durable and can be used across any mountain bike discipline.

SRAM XX

Designed for maximum attack cross country riders, this lightweight groupset is highly adjustable, and uses aluminium as well as carbon fibre to not only save weight, but to ensure mile after mile of precision gear changes.

SRAM XX1

The most reliable, durable, tough drivetrain in the SRAM range. It’s incredibly light, using carbon fibre to save weight and provide precision gear changes, 100% of the time. It uses an X-Horizon rear mech and an extra wide cassette.

SRAM Eagle Guide

SRAM Eagle groupsets have been the product range which has really taken the world of mountain biking by storm - they work great and their market dominance is well deserved. These groupsets offer 12 speeds with 50 teeth - meaning that they match the performance of having a double chainring - whilst benefiting from the simplicity and weight saving of using a single chainring.

SRAM SX Eagle

The SX is the entry level groupset, but benefits from trickle down technology from more expensive models in the Eagle range. It’s a common sight on mountain bikes that are supplied complete, and riders can interchange and upgrade components whilst using the SX.

SRAM NX Eagle

The NX Eagle is compatible with the full Eagle component range - and provides excellent performance and reliability across all off-road conditions.

SRAM GX Eagle

The GX is a lightweight, high performance groupset - which is at home on any mountain bike. It’s the first affordable 12 speed from SRAM and has quickly become one of the most popular, again - trickle down technology from the top of the Eagle range is clear.

SRAM X01 Eagle

A recent addition, being launched in 2017 - the SRAM XO1 has earnt a reputation for great performance, it’s designed mostly for trail riding - and it’s a common sight on well spec’d trail and downhill bikes.

SRAM XX1 Eagle

Initially designed for cross country use, the SRAM XX1 Eagle sets the standard for high performance groupsets. It’s recognisable thanks to it’s golden chain and cassette - and provides incredible levels of shifting accuracy and reliability in tough settings.

SRAM Eagle AXS

SRAM XX1 Eagle AXS

One of the pioneering electronic gear shifting systems for mountain bikes. Designed for the trail, this wireless shifting system is designed for enduro riders and trail riders alike, it’s incredibly tough - using steel components and a tough derailleur cage.

SRAM GX Eagle AXS

This is the perfect representation of trickle down technology, from the XX1 drivetrains. It provides top level performance - that it will provide almost everything a rider needs it too. Available in an upgrade kit - it comes with a rear derailleur, battery, controller, charger and chain tool - allowing you to upgrade your existing Eagle system, without changing the whole groupset.

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