SRAM aren’t pitching XX1 as having 11 speeds. Instead, they’re describing it as a 1x drivetrain that just happens to have 11 cogs out back. The heart of the XX1 concept is its ultra-wide, 10-42T cassette, which provides a generous 420 percent range. That still falls short of the XX’s rough 470 percent but it’s a big improvement over current 1×10 drivetrains that many riders already run. In essence, the XX1 cassette adds a gear on either end of a current XX cassette while retaining reasonable jumps in between.
“We’re not trying to start an 11-speed war,” Hilton says. “A 1×11 war? Fine, but a 2×11 war isn’t beneficial to anybody.”
SRAM also don’t intend for the XX1 to replace current 2×10 groups. Instead, they’re aiming it at trail and enduro riders who are often already strong enough to power a single-ring drivetrain. The target group often also place a major emphasis on chain retention and impact protection with dedicated guides and bashguards.
Nonetheless, SRAM are fully expecting a smaller faction of forward-thinking cross-country riders to jump on board as well. As well as being simpler and more secure than the XX, the XX1 is also lighter. Target production groups are 200-300g relative to the ultra-light XX.
“Almost all of that is from omission, not from anything getting lighter,” Hilton tells BikeRadar. So there shouldn’t be any drop in overall durability, either.
Final pricing is still to be determined but SRAM plan to launch the XX1 later this summer.