GX Eagle is Sram’s middle-of-the-range groupset and comes complete with a bloody great big 10-50 tooth cassette and some tough, middle-weight kit.
The SRAM GX Eagle groupset is designed to be a bit heavier than the big dog XX1 and XO1 groupsets whilst saving you a heap of cash. The total price of a whole GX groupset is around £400, almost half the price of XO1. (CRC are currently selling a full groupset for £354.99 here).
GX is made for riders that are spinning up, going hard on the downhills and want kit that can take a bit of a beating. There’s no carbon, the little bits like mechs and shifters are alloy not plastic and the added weight gives a bit of extra toughness.
Why would you invest in a new groupset? At XO1 money, that’s a good question.
At GX money it’s a much more appealing prospect. Rather than buy a new bike you could spend £400 and give your bike a thorough spruce up, replacing loads of the bits that suffer wear and tear and getting great, new gearing without spending silly money.
Here’s a full run through of the bits we’re now testing from SRAM’s 1 x 12 GX groupset…
The GX Eagle crankset is made of tough but not too heavy alloy and clocks in at (depending on crank arm length) between 610g and 662g. It’s available in 160/165/170mm lengths and sports a direct mount chain ring.
The chain ring is the really interesting bit and uses Sram’s X-Sync 2 technology. Sram were actually first to bring out a narrow-wide chain ring in cycling (called X-Sync). X-Sync 2 is their next generation of that design with big, aggressive teeth that are designed to be long lasting, good in the mud and to match up with the SRAM chain.
Sram have worked out that under load, a chain ring traditionally holds all of the weight of your pedaling through just one tooth. X-Sync 2’s shark-tooth profile spreads the load across three teeth and, they reckon, can increase your chain and chain ring’s life massively. In lab conditions, they say your drive train will last four times longer, in the mud it’s up to three times longer. That’s pretty impressive.
The GX Eagle cassette is an absolute bloody monster.
Nope, your eyes don’t deceive you that’s a 10 to 50 tooth range.
Despite the initial shock of the whopping 50 tooth cog, it does make good sense. The harder your lighter gears are the quicker you’ll stop spinning your legs lightly on climbs. When that happens you have to start really using your muscles to keep your wheels turning, maybe even by standing up and mashing the pedals. That’s when you start to fatigue and you really take chunks out of your remaining energy. The big 50 tooth cog means you can keep spinning the cranks lightly for longer and on steeper climbs.
It also offers, Sram claim, more control over you climbing – there’ll be less standing up and stomping the pedals on those loose, rocky climbs and more time sat in the saddle with even, controlled pedal strokes.
The GX Eagle rear mech is made of tough alloy, is available with a long cage only (to cope with those massive cogs) and has been designed to do away with side-to-side movement, reducing your chances of ghost shifting.
The derailleur includes what Sram call their Type-3 Roller Bearing Clutch, designed to kill noise and chain slapping and give a smoother feel through all the gears.
A chain is a chain, right?
Yep, but in this case Sram have designed their chain to work perfectly with the GX system.
The GX chain has been built without any square edges for quieter, smoother performance and is now narrower than traditional chains so is less effected by working on steeper angles.
There are Gripshift and standard shifter options available – we’ve gone standard.
The shifter keeps the ‘tough and light enough’ vibe with an alloy body to add a bit of damage resistance to the package.
It also includes what Sram call ‘Zero-Loss’ technology, meaning instant cable engagement and no delay waiting for your shifts to kick in.
Look out for a full review on the SRAM GX Drive train once we’ve put some proper miles through it.