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SRAM's 12-speed Eagle Drivetrain has quickly taken over the world. We like to think that the GX lineup is responsible as it offered riders a cost effective way to run a 1x drivetrain with an incredible range. The GX line might not be as lightweight or pretty as the X01 and XX1 lines but it still holds the same engineering and performance! Our buddy Nicholas recently purchased a new GX Eagle Cassette. Let's see what he thought:
Swapping out my GX Eagle 10-50t cassette for my newly purchased GX Eagle 10-52t cassette was a no-brainer!! My chain was worn and I needed a new one... so of course, I was going to splurge on the new cassette, derailleur, and GX chain (insert MONEY here). Did I need a new cassette and derailleur: "No." Did I have to buy the groupset ASAP once my chain checker buried itself deep within my worn-out links, constituting the fact that I needed a new chain and only a new chain: "Heck Yes!"
Installation was a breeze. With the right tools and spare 'Dad time' borrowed from my son while he was working hard on his Zoom/virtual learning, I was able to take off the old parts and throw on the new parts relatively fast. During his 20 minute break, we were even able to haul ass to the park and check out the silky smooth shifting capabilities that my new drivetrain had to offer. The cable tension felt dialed, the new GX derailleur clutch was smoother than the SRAM butter holding down my luscious locks and my new GX Cassette (AKA the monster 12 cogger) had a dynamic range that felt natural while shifting up or down terrain.
After getting in a few rides on my Hightower on my local trails, I can confidently compare my original GX Eagle 10-50t cassette to my newly acquired 10-52t. Shifting feels identical in comparison. Even on the big jump from the two largest cogs, the 10t difference between the 42t cog to the 52t cog felt natural and smooth as I shifted under load on my steep billy goat climbs. I won't lie and say there is a gigantic, life-changing difference pedaling up steep climbs when comparing the 50t to the 52t. But there was enough difference where I felt my cadence speed up a tad on familiar sections of climbs when I mentally compared my prior 50t to my new 52t. Maybe it's the 'new toy' confidence making me pedal a bit faster, harder, and magically increasing my VO2 max while suppressing my lower body aches. But after my third ride with the new cassette, I could tell there was a slight advantage to having the two extra teeth on my largest cog while hitting up the long sustained climbs, be they fire roads or semi-technical uphills.
I think the 10-52t GX Eagle cassette, with its huge range, can and will help most riders in numerous ways. Physically, the two extra teeth (compared to the previous 10-50t cassette) will help those of us who need that extra assistance on the uphills by making pedaling slightly easier.
Endurance may go up as well with less strain and struggle to go into the pedals on those tough climbs. This will definitely make rides more enjoyable and even longer-lasting. Who doesn't want to ride stronger, harder and longer? Getting down to the nitty-gritty... it flat out looks rad! So if it's time to replace your worn out 12-speed XD compatible cassette, the 1 x SRAM GX Eagle XG-1275 10-52t 12-speed cassette is definitely worth looking into as a replacement and/or upgrade.
"For those strong spandex climbers out there who like the taxing and grueling ascents and love the feel of sweat, snot, and slobber pouring out of all orifices, this cassette might not be for you. It would be unnecessary to buy a cassette where you wouldn't use the lowest 3 gears. For all of us other riders who hope and pray daily for a game-changer to come onto the market and help us go upward while lowering our chance of respiratory failure, this cassette is the ticket! Thus far it has been reliable, consistent, and performed great (...I wish I could make that statement about all of my employees). If you're looking to rock this on your trail, all-mountain, or enduro rig, you won't be disappointed." - Nicholas