Is The SRAM 12-Speed Eagle Drivetrain Right For You?

With the approaching arrival of the highly anticipated SRAM Eagle drivetrain, we would like to give a little recap of what the 12-speed drivetrain is all about before we have it in stock and up on our website. To start with, there will be two different drivetrains: XX1 and X01.

  • XX1 drivetrain will be better suited for XC riders
  • X01 drivetrain will cater to the All-Mountain/Enduro rider.

While the 420% gear range on a 1 x 11 with 10-42T cassette is satisfying for most riders, the 500% gear range of the Eagle drivetrain really leaves those who run multi chainrings no excuse to ditch their front derailleur. A 500% gear range is huge and will be very evident on the trails. You might think the 50T cog will only help out in the lower range of the drivetrain, but it will actually allow stronger riders to go up a few teeth on the front chainring, thus giving the rider better high end gearing and preventing spin outs at high speeds. Not only does it have an improved gear range, it is also quieter and stronger than their previous XX1 drivetrains.

Let’s dive into the details of the components that make up the new Eagle drivetrain.

SRAM Eagle Drivetrain Cassette

Cassette: The 12-speed set up has the same gearing as the previous 10-42T, but now there is an added 50T cog. The gears are spaced a little tighter, thus meaning an entirely new design for the cassette. The gold version is only available for XX1, while black is available for both X01 and XX1. Note: Eagle will fit with any XD driver body.

SRAM Eagle Chainring

Chainring: The brand new Eagle chainring has a new X-Sync 2 tooth profile (deeper and more hooked) that is supposed to last longer than the current line of X-Sync rings. They will only be available in direct mount and will fit current SRAM direct mount cranks. Available in 30T to 38T.

SRAM Eagle Cranksets

Cranks: The XX1 carbon cranks feature a new hollow carbon design whereas the X01 carbon cranks feature a foam core which is plenty strong enough to handle whatever trail you want to tackle.

SRAM Eagle Shifters

Shifter: The shifter remains the same except for the added internals to accommodate for the 12th gear. SRAM’s update to the internals aimed to achieve a more durable shifter with a smoother shift. SRAM will also offer an Eagle Grip shift for both the XX1 and X01 drivetrains.

SRAM Eagle Rear Derailleurs

Derailleur: The 12-speed derailleur is equipped with a larger 14-tooth lower pully to suit the larger gear range. The XX1 features a carbon cage while the X01 has a sturdy aluminum cage.

SRAM Eagle Chains

Chain: The new PC-1290 chain is a little narrower than the 11-speed chain. SRAM claims it is the “quietest, strongest, and most wear resistant chain in the world.” We’ll wait and see if this stands true.

Shop SRAM Eagle - Worldwide Cyclery

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