It's official. SRAM launched
their new 2x10 mountain bike component group named SRAM XX. This 10
speed mountain bike group is targeted towards the racing elite as they
continue the quest for that top podium spot. With the release of this
component group from SRAM, the question remains...
Is there room in the mountain biking
industry for a 10 speed setup?
We have already seen a move to 10
speed in the road biking world. Some would argue that 10 speed
component groups, even in road biking, is un-needed. How many gears do
you actually need? When you introduce an additional gear on the
cassette of a bike, you have to space the cogs closer together and use a
thinner chain to fit everything in a tight space. The nay-sayers are
going to tell you that this creates an unsavory situation that will cause
more mis-shifts and component issues as there is less room for mud and road
dirt and less give room for adjustment issues.
SRAM XX 10 Speed Component Group
Besides the fact that SRAM XX is a
2x10 setup, it does introduce some advancements in mountain biking
technology that are worth taking a look over.
Significant Weight Savings
Since this specific component group is
aimed at hardcore xc racers, it has to be as light as possible. SRAM
significantly lighten the entire group by using several different
materials...titanium, magnesium, carbon, etc. If these components
still carry the same SRAM durability, that would make for a huge advancement
in weight saving technology.
Hydraulic Fork Lockout
The new SRAM XX forks (SID, Reba and
Revelation) use a new hydraulically driven fork lockout mechanism called
Xloc. The Xloc is 60 grams lighter than the Pushloc/Blackbox lockout
control and is completely sealed (for obvious reasons). A simple push
on/push off function controls all of your compression lockout functions.
Exact Actuation Trigger Shifters and
"Precision equals consistency equals
victory. XX uses the Exact Actuation shifting technology developed for
SRAM road to help give you the ultimate MTB shifting experience. Exact
Actuation delivers an identical 3mm adjustment between each gear on the
cassette, replacing the typical slop found between gears with a crisp,
clean, and immediate shift. This consistent, precise adjustment means
smoother, faster, and better shifting with no variation in pull effort from
gear to gear."
Press Fit Bottom Bracket
"All new Truvativ PressFit 30 debuts
with XX. The XX philosophy comes to life again- everything you need,
nothing you don't. Light and strong. Our all-new PressFit 30 provides
big weight savings, a narrower Q factor, and more ankle clearance in an
easy-to-install, durable little black package. PressFit 30 features an
integrated gutter seal underneath an aluminum-bearing shield to dramatically
prolong ceramic bearing life."
Thoughts from 198 on SRAM XX 10 Speed
So what do I think about the new SRAM
XX component group? It's cool to look at. Much like the new Shimano
Dura Ace Di2 electronic shifting, this is one of those component groups that
is aimed at a very specific kind of rider...a pure xc racer or a rider with
too much money on their hands that has to have the latest and greatest.
The SRAM XX is a proprietary system
that brings 10 speed components to the mountain biking industry for the
first time ever. While I like to see innovation and technological
progress, I am not sure that the mountain biking industry really needs a 10
speed component set. I do agree that SRAM's sponsored riders and other
team riders will see a real advantage to this setup, but I do not think that
the average Joe mountain biker would notice any difference. Don't get
me wrong...you are going to see one of these groups at your local trailhead
with some weekend warrior trying to convince you to skip your mortgage
payment to pick one up, but the reality is that this group is a purpose
Would I ride a bike that has this
group installed? Of course! I actually run 2x9 setups on all of my
personal rigs (minus the ss). Would I buy this component group for one
of my bikes? Probably not.
I need to have components that I can
swap out between bikes and proprietary systems like the SRAM XX do not fit
my needs, but...remember...they are not marketing this system to me anyway.
I am not a sponsored xc racer.
I might be eating my words in the
future (it has been known to happen), but I do not thing that 10 speed
component groups are going to take over the mountain biking industry like
they have in the road world. I do not think there is enough of an
advantage to warrant changing over everything to a new format.
Of course...many riders...just like
myself...probably said the same thing about the switch from 8 speed to 9
Mountain Biking by 198
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Posted By: Diesel