Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

SRAM XX1 looks to be a 1×11 drivetrain

Posted by Matt | May 25, 2012 | 4 comments so far

The new XX1 1x11 drivetrain from SRAM

Today there’s lots of talk all over the web covering some teaser shots that SRAM has released of their new XX1 drivetrain.

Is it the big thing that people seem to think it is?

Well, that depends on your viewpoint. 2×10 has been the most noticeable change in drivetrain configuration over the past two or three years, with many riders taking the chance to go 1×10 thanks to the wider cassette ratios on offer.

Personally, I’ve wanted to for a while, knowing that if I can comfortably ride the Surrey Hills on my singlespeed then a 1 or 2×10 set-up would be fine. My only problem is the Five is optimised for a 32T chainring up front and 2×10 would throw that out; on the 1x side, I use the Five as my fast do-anything bike and this would limit things.

So, enter 1×11. Pinkbike seems to have the best analysis of what we’re all looking at today, speculating on an 11 speed cassette with ratios covering 10-42T with a 32T chainring. That’s huge! In a real world situation that would be close to 2×10 in terms of usable ratios.

SRAM also claim ‘innovative chain management technology’ and as you can see from the photo, there’s no suggestion of a chain device. Most likely the combination of the clutch on the already announced derailleur and some modification of the teeth profile will achieve this although Bikemagic have floated the out-there idea of magnetic chainrings. No, I can’t see that one either but who knows?

The only fly in the ointment is anecdotal reports from the Mole collective of short drivetrain life with the 10-speed systems currently on offer. This is only to be exacerbated by cramming in 11 speeds I guess. Oh and a 42T pie-plate on the rear wheel? Not only would the Bike Snob have a field day, but unsprung mass would take a hit too.

But this is worth watching, if only because it would give a new lease of life to my Five!

Filed under 2012, News in May 2012


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 4 comments on ‘SRAM XX1 looks to be a 1×11 drivetrain’

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  1. Andrew akak says:

    They are crazy, by the time it filters down to the mainstream groupsets it will be heavier than the alfine?

  2. Matt says:

    LOL! Good point Andrew, a heavy hub-centred weight means Alfine would make sense!

    The only thing is without a chain tensioner (or derailleur in this case) the Alfine would work with many suspension designs due to chain growth under compression.

  3. tony says:

    11speed works absolutely beautifully…..well on my road bike.

    However it requires careful set up and the chains are amazingly narrow which must be a mud clogging worry. For both of these reasons I can’t see 11spd working particularly well on a MTB.

  4. LordOnOne says:

    Bikeradar has some good details up…very interesting read!

    I’m interested in the design of this but less so in having it on my bike.

    Would definitely agree with other moles that 10spd is more fiddly and less durable. I wouldn’t bother with it if it hadn’t come on the bike or weren’t for the adjoining advancements like clutch derailleurs.

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