I purchased the SRAM X01 Eagle Rear Derailleur when gathering components for my most recent frame-up build, a Santa Cruz 5010 V3. I wanted to deck the bike out with all of the best components, making this my dream build. I had positive experiences riding all of the SRAM Eagle 12 speed derailleurs except for the X01 model, so I decided to give it a try.
Out of the box, the X01 derailleur is clearly very high quality. It is light and stiff, the jockey wheels spin well and the cage moves smoothly. Installation was straightforward – I bolted it to the derailleur hanger, ran the shifter cable through it, and dialed in the cable tension, limit screws and B screw. Similarly to the XX1 derailleur, the shifting was easier to dial in compared to the GX Eagle derailleur because the derailleur has very little side-to-side play.
The performance of the shifting is equally as crisp and dependable as the XX1 derailleur. I must note that while the shifting is smooth, it is slightly noisier than the XX1 derailleur. It is not noisy by any means, but the XX1 is so quiet when shifting to smaller cogs that sometimes I do not hear any sound at all. This is an apple to apple comparison because the XX1 and X01 derailleurs on my two bikes are using the same cassette (X01 Eagle), chain (XX1 Eagle), and chainring (Wolf Tooth Components Drop Stop 32t). The XX1 derailleur is actually being shifted by a GX Eagle shifter, while the X01 derailleur is manipulated by an X01 Eagle shifter (noticeably crisper than the GX), so I don’t think the shifters could be the cause of the difference in noise level. I do not notice a difference in weight between the XX1 and X01 even though the XX1 uses carbon where the X01 does not. I wish the X01 derailleur came with an option for black graphics instead of white, but this is not a big deal.
Overall, the X01 Eagle 12 speed rear derailleur is an excellent product. It provides smooth and quiet shifting in a lightweight package. Having used all of the SRAM Eagle 12 speed derailleurs, I definitely recommend the X01 version for the best bang for your buck. It is significantly better than the GX Eagle, and essentially equal to the XX1 derailleur at a significantly lower price.
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