Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
Over the years SRAM has continually proven to be the top dog in the mountain bike drivetrain game. Their GX Eagle kit is a perfect example of an affordable and reliable setup that will last for years. Our customer Scott picked up a GX Eagle cassette before a big trip and wanted to report back on its performance. Check it out!
The night was moist. Just enough to wish you had removed one more layer for the night. Owen had one too many and was passed out in his tent. He didn’t even make it all the way in. Sweet dreams Owen. Time for me to get some rest as well. Lots of climbing to be done the next day.
Waking up to the morning dew covering the forest floor I realized the trails would have just enough moisture to nearly eliminate the miles of dust ahead of us and deliver the heart-racing traction we were hoping for. We jostled Owen into consciousness and hurried to pack our gear back into the truck. The bikes glistened with dew in the morning light as we changed into our riding gear and donned our packs for the day. Last minute checks were done to ensure Owen wasn’t forgetting his drinks….again. He usually needs a bit more attention in the mornings than the others. We wiped the dew from the bikes, checked everything one more time and headed towards the trailhead. Stopping for a second at the trailhead, the morning sun streamed through the forest trees almost horizontally and with a golden yellow that appeared to float over the mist. It’s a moment that I will never forget.
Realizing my friends had just shot out of the gate I came to my senses and hammered the gearing for maximum acceleration. I’m usually the slowest but the new cassette swap gave me gearing choices I never had before. The perfect cadence was quickly achieved and I soon found myself just a few bike lengths behind. I immediately noticed the close ratio between gears and wasn’t sure what to think at first. A few more miles of flow and my apprehensions disappeared as I noticed I could get into the perfect gear for each jump, berm or incline. The small indentations or grooves on the cassette rings seemed to make shifting effortless in either direction. Just as I started to get a feel for the new cassette the trail came to an end. And what do you know, Owen got a pinch flat from the last rock garden. It was time for a break anyway.
“Anyone got some cash?” says Owen as we stare at each other for what seem an eternity. “I think I have a 5” I said and started to dig to the bottom of my backpack. I handed him the 5’er and said in jest “Now you owe me 10!”. It didn’t take long for Owen to the spare tube in place along with the 5’er. He has had a lot of practice, unfortunately.
We got to the next trailhead and I wasn’t looking forward to the next section. It was steeper than the last and I always had trouble getting over the rock climbs. I wasn’t sure how this new cassette was going to handle it. The moment finally came and with trepidation I slammed the gearing to the largest gear and gave it all I got. Boy was I surprised! I actually made it over the first time. The 50 tooth gear climbed up and over without skipping a beat. I couldn’t wait for the next rock climb with my newfound confidence. Shifting under load wasn’t all that bad either. I knew it wouldn’t let me climb vertical cliffs but it sure helped with those sections I had struggled with before.
After a few stops along the way up, we finally got to the end of the trail. It seemed longer than I remember. I guess that since I didn’t have to stop so much I had made better time of it. I was already getting late and we didn’t have enough time to take the single track back down to the truck. I hate it when that happens. The fire road was the shortest distance back to the truck so off we go. With a gentle downhill grade we could build up ridiculous speed using our lowest gear. I hadn’t used a 12 speed cassette before and couldn’t remember which gear I had been in. So…When in doubt, slam it out. I got it down to the 10 ring and was actually able to keep up with Owen. That’s a first for me. And it felt really good.
About half way down the fire road was a clearing with a look out point that I rarely stopped at. For some reason, I yelled at the guys to stop there. I guess it was the low setting sun that I wanted to see as I remembered the sun shining through the trees from this morning. Besides, the truck wasn’t very far away and one more stop wouldn’t hurt. Owen’s tire was holding up fairly well. I was surprised he actually got the knack of it. One last look across the valley which seemed to go on forever I saw in the distance a bald eagle effortlessly floating above the valley. Thinking back to the day of riding, I thought to myself “I think I’ll keep my new SRAM Eagle GX cassette.”. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the day.