Readers’ Choice: The Most Innovative MTB Product of 2016

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Just when you thought 11 speeds were enough, along comes SRAM with their new 12 speed Eagle drivetrains. The biggest news (pun intended) apart from the addition of one more cog, is the fact that it is a monstrous 50-tooth! Previously, the largest cog that SRAM offered was a 42.

The debut of Eagle had some riders asking why a 50T was even necessary. “I can climb just fine with my 42T cog,” was a common refrain. That misses the entire point of this group, though. Now, you can opt to run a larger chainring–think 34T or even 36T–but you still have a bailout gear for the steepest of climbs. No longer will riders have to choose¬†between a small chainring that will have you spinning out on descents or a large one that kills your knees on the ascents. It is all about gearing range, and with the Eagle 10-50T cassette, you get 500%.

SRAM launched the Eagle group on their two highest group levels–no surprise there. The tippy-top XX1 group gets a sweet Smokey and the Bandit gold and black colorway, and rings in at $1,417. A grey and black version is also offered. Below that is the X01 Eagle group, which brings the price down a couple hundred bucks to $1,193. Weights for the complete groups are 1,456g for the XX1 and 1,502g for the X01.

Those prices mean you probably will not spot many Eagle drivetrains in the wild, at least for now. No doubt, SRAM will trickle down their 12-speed tech to lower prices just as they did with X1 and GX for their 11-speed groups.

For more information on Eagle, be sure to check out Greg’s Test Ride Review, here.

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