Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Cheap and 12 Speed – SRAM NX Eagle

Posted by Matt | June 15, 2018 | 5 comments so far

SRAM NX Eagle 12 speed
Do these guys (or gals) look like cheapskates to you?

No, me neither. So rather than being cheap, they look like they are riders who appreciate the ‘ease of entry’ that SRAM NX Eagle brings to the 12-speed ecosystem.

SRAM would certainly like you to think that at least, rather than look at the £365 all-in price and say ‘Wow! that’s cheap!’ But it certainly is cheap for a 12 speed 1x drivetrain and it is likely to be a popular upgrade for all those 9/10/11 speed bikes with 2x and 3x drivetrains out there. This is because the cassette is compatible with old-school Shimano freehubs.

I find it hard to imagine someone running a retro 26″ wheeled hardtail with a 12 speed set-up but it’s certainly possible. More likely though, this is going to be an increasingly common site on lots of new bikes next year. Including on gravel and adventure bikes.

In the space of a few paragraphs you’ll notice I’ve use the words ‘cheap’ and ‘common’ to describe SRAM’s new NX drivetrain, which seems a bit harsh. Actually, I’m expecting it to be rather excellent. 12 speeds should offer sufficient gears even for a spinner like myself.

I know 12-speed has been available for a while now but so far it’s been pretty expensive. SRAM and Shimano both offer 12 speed systems, although Shimano are really in catch-up mode at the moment. I wonder how long it will be before they are able to offer similarly competitively priced 12 speed options?

Also worth noting is that since I’ve been mountain biking drivetrains have gone from 7, to 8, to 9, to 10, to 11 and now 12-speed – both on road bikes and MTB. Is it far fetched to think we might see 13-speeds at some point?

Finally, in case you were wondering why SRAM Eagle tech is called Eagle? It’s because an Eagle is an apex predator apparently, the top of the tree. Eagles also have a range of up to 500 miles a day which translates nicely into SRAM’s 500% gear range and all-day rideability from the 12-speed set-up. Now you know!

If you want to find out more, have a read of Singletrack’s SRAM NX Eagle 12 speed article.

Filed under 2018, News in June 2018


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 5 comments on ‘Cheap and 12 Speed – SRAM NX Eagle’

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  1. Elliot says:

    After demoing a bike with Eagle it’s definitely going to be the next gear system I buy. Never mind the number of gears, the shifting was just so nice. That and the gear ratios are more evenly spaced. There’s big step from 37 to 46t on my XT setup that’s just a teensy bit annoying.

    13 gears would be bad luck. Think they’ll skip that and go straight to 14 speed!

  2. SSJ says:

    Damn – just replaced the SC chainring and cassette, so this is too late for me. But it sounds a good step forward.

    PS They may well have 13 speed next, to support the Italian market where 13 is apparently a luck number.

  3. jemster says:

    Been using the Sram 11 speed NX for a year now on my Enduro and as Elliot suggests the shifting is super smooth. Although I do not feel it is any smoother than 11 speed Shimano XT running on my other bike.
    I do think the gear ratios are better on the NX though.

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