The SRAM XX1 Eagle, has a blissful distinction. It delivers first-rate shifting, no matter the trail. I could personally have ridden all-day with the SRAM XX1 Eagle, and would’ve been guaranteed no hiccups what-so-ever!
With such a high performance rate, and with most top athletes using the XX1 Eagle; it was impossible for me not to ask the question: “Is the SRAM XX1 Eagle the best XC drivetrain in the world?”
I recently put the XX1 Eagle drivetrain down to my test, and answered that bold question. So stay engaged, it’s about to get hot!
XX1 Eagle Rear Derailleur:
The material that this derailleur was constructed with, is what gave the whole group set that extra edge. SRAM integrated both carbon and aluminium on the main-frame of the mechanism. This gave the performance a boost as well as minimized the weight of the XX1 Eagle.
Built for a 12 gear cassette, ranging between 10-50t cogs, the derailleur was able to be somewhat more flexible when changing gears. I experience none the less than precise shifting, while never feeling as though I had to apply much force to the shifter. It just flowed!
Technology that SRAM pride themselves on with the XX1 Eagle derailleur, is the X-Actuation and Roller Clutch functions. Roller Clutch gave the derailleur durability, while keeping the natural flowing vibe.
XX1 Eagle Crankset:
The crankset was something spectacular, with SRAM’s beautifully, crafted, hollow-core, carbon fibre. Carbon cranksets are not only light-weight; they also maximise the amount of energy transfer in each pedal stroke. So, therefore, I was able to ride at an elevated performance rate, compared to normal aluminium cranks. SRAM’s much appreciated GXP technology also comes in handy, by lowering friction in almost every aspect of the crankset.
The X-Sync 2 chainring on the Eagle crankset completes the grinding work on the chain, by generating better chain retention through-out the drivetrain. Thus adding to my, already efficient, pedalling!
XX1 Eagle Trigger Shifter:
The XX1 Eagle Trigger shifter, exhibits a blend of carbon and aluminium material for light weight supremacy. I personally enjoyed the feel of the comfortable shifter. I didn’t have to stretch my fingers to reach the shift mechanism, it was just there, and I could grip it easily. You see, its details such as these that almost complement the rider, and give him/her the enjoyable experience of riding, without the burden of a drivetrain that doesn’t feel right.
Just like the rear derailleur, the shifter features that same X-Actuation technology that provides consistent shifting for as long as you ride. Plus, the Zero Loss factor of SRAM’s Shifters ensure your gear changes are precise and instant. I particularly liked the way the XX1 Eagle changed gears on up-hills. There was no dragging my pedal stroke in between gears, waiting for the chain to jump to the next gear. In other words; it was exceptional on the spur of the moment.
XX1 Eagle Cassette:
Featuring SRAM’s X-Dome technology, this cassette portrays light-weight and strength exclusively. My test cassette had 10-50t cogs, which, together with the 34 tooth chain ring, set forth a ratio that was hard to find fault with. Searching for gears, was lessened on up hills, with the never-ending, gear feel, cruising downhill.
XX1 Eagle Chain:
Easy come, easy go vibes! The chain is designed with links that engage the cassette and chain ring with less friction, hence the easy flow of the drivetrain. The SRAM HARD CHROME chain has four times the wear resistance to other SRAM chains. If that’s not a good reason to buy the SRAM Eagle chain, I don’t know what is.
XX1 Eagle Chainring:
The forged chain ring of the XX1 Eagle was machined with aluminium, and shaped into an aggressive design on the teeth. The chain, thanks to the chain ring, was almost always positioned in the centre. This is what SRAM call X-Sync 2 technology and it exists to transfer all the power from a pedal stroke, onto the chain. In the same breath, it certifies the high performance factor of the Eagle.
Finally, I come to the questioned I started with: “Is the SRAM XX1 Eagle the best XC drivetrain in the world?”
To keep the answer short and sweet, yes it is! (in my line of experience) Taking into account the legendary victories of Nino Schurter with the XX1 Eagle, and from what I’ve experienced on the test, I can thoroughly support my statement!
“So is it worth the R27 000 price tag?”
“Yes, without a doubt!”