Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

New SRAM GX derailleur – and it’s not even Christmas yet!

Posted by Matt | December 14, 2015 | 3 comments so far

SRAM GX Type 2.1 rear derailleur

SRAM GX Type 2.1 rear derailleur

Anyone who’s been reading my ride reports recently will know I’ve been complaining of back pain. This may, or may not be exacerbated by riding singlespeed for the past few weeks. I don’t think it is, but it may be.

The question that arises is ‘why are you riding singlespeed Matt?!’ Glad you asked. Well it’s because singlespeeds are far less mechanical trouble, especially in winter conditions. Except, er, mine is currently in disgrace with a continually loosening crank arm and a problem with the chain tension resulting in multiple dropped chains.

Actually, one reason for the singlespeeding is that my Orange Five is also out of action, this time from a failed rear dérailleur. After many years running X0 in 9 speed format I successfully switched to a 1×10 X9 set up last year. I love 1×10 and wouldn’t go back, although could do with a wider range cassette on occasion. The problem is that after just a few hundred miles (circa 800), the clutch on the dérailleur has failed. The clutch, which provides the all-important tension to prevent the chain coming off has seized so that I can pedal forward but freewheeling or slight back-pedalling causes the chain to lose tension and come off the front ring.

In hindsight, this has been playing up for a while – in Afan this March I dropped the chain unexpectedly several times. So I’ve decided I need a new dérailleur.

The problem is, SRAM appear to be phasing out the X9 Type 2 dérailleur. In it’s place is the new SRAM GX Type 2.1 rear dérailleur which I’ve just ordered off Tweeks Cycles for a bargain-licious £41. From what I can tell it’s got the new upgraded clutch and has a more direct path for the cable run. This is important since the old one caused my cable to fray and replacing it was when I noticed the precise nature of the clutch problem I’ve outlined. The mech appears a touch on the heavy side – 302g – but it’s hard to make direct comparisons since the old X9 weights were quoted for a different cage length and possibly without the additional weight of the clutch.

If I’m honest, I’m a bit disappointed by the durability I got from the X9. I’ve had X0 for years without serious issue (except when it’s self inflicted) and was hoping for more of the same. Let’s see how the new GX fares – I don’t really like Shimano shifting but reliability trumps everything so if the SRAM has a fatal durability flaw I’ll find it and let you know.


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 3 comments on ‘New SRAM GX derailleur – and it’s not even Christmas yet!’

We love to get comments from our readers - if you've spent a few moments to comment, thank-you.

  1. JR says:

    “Well it’s because singlespeeds are far less mechanical trouble, especially in winter conditions”

    – I thought you had comprehensively disproved that theory in the last few weeks, Matt?

  2. Tony says:

    I love 1×10 on the Orange 5 and mine is only very slightly retro-tas-tic than yours. 32t front and 12-34t rear are OK for me but probably a 36t would be useful occasionally.

    I know what you mean about changing one thing and needing to change other parts of the drivetrain! Please tell D’Andy who despite running a chainguide had a practically toothless chainring on his Surly!

    Finally I love the comments about the simplicity and quiet of singlespeeding. I’ll miss yours when it gets fixed. It was nice on the last few rides to have a break and enjoy the countryside whilst watching you sort the numerous breakdowns 🙂

Leave a comment…

Have your say – we'd love to hear what you think.

If you have something to add, just complete this comment form (we will not publish your email address).

*Required information.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.