SRAM Kills Front Derailleur, Introduces 1X12 Drivetrain

SRAM announced it will no longer produce front derailleurs. Today, it told us why.

sram-eagle-drivetrain

If you haven’t seen it, check out the video below in this post, in which SRAM “eulogizes” the front derailleur.

The video got attention in mountain bike circles, as it signals a complete commitment to the 1x movement (meaning only a single chainring on the front of a bike’s drive).


We at GearJunkie are pretty excited to see the front derailleur disappear, at least from mountain bikes. Advances in cassettes and derailleur design allow for comparable gear ratios without the front chainring, eliminating weight and a likely point of trouble from the drive system.

SRAM Eagle ’12 Speed’ Drivetrain

Today, SRAM announced its latest 1x drive systems, Eagle XX1 and XO1. The systems, according to SRAM, are the first purpose-built 1x drivetrains, and achieves a massive gear range with a plate-size 50-tooth rear cog.

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SRAM calls the setups the “highest-performing drivetrains to date,” and that they are “smoother, simpler, more durable and quieter than anything you’ve ever ridden.” Check out the video below for its marketing pitch.


 10- to 50-tooth Cassette

There are few advancements in the Eagle drivetrains. Most notably, to obtain a gear range the rear cassette is exceptionally huge. It runs cogs of the following tooth count: 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, and 50.

It also squeezes 12 gears onto the rear cassette — an accomplishment possible due largely to other parts of the system like the narrow chain and rear derailleur (more to come).

These small-to-big cogs provide all the range most riders will need to climb super steep hills or roll fast on the flats and down logging roads, and, frankly, this has been happening for several years already.

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But with a really nice dedicated 1 by 12 drivetrain, it looks like the 1x is here to stay.

In addition to the massive cassette, the company redesigned derailleur, and the group’s chain was made to be narrower, smoother, and more durable to work with the big range of gears.

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It’s worth noting that this is some crazy spendy stuff — the XX1 group will ring your bell at $1,417 and XO1 at $1,193. But with SRAM committing at the high end, there is bound to be a trickle-down to less eye-watering prices in the near future.

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By
Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.
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