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Drivetrains have come a long way in recent years, and part of that is due to the evolution of the modern derailleur. SRAM's X01 Eagle rear derailleur enables effortless shifting across 12 speed wide range cassettes. Our friend Russell upgraded his drivetrain with one and loves the performance. Read on for more!
I upgraded to the X01 derailleur along with the X01 shifter on my bike that originally came with an SX Eagle drivetrain. After several months of riding, I had some issues with my SX derailleur where it would skip gears while shifting. It’s possible I may have just needed to make some adjustments to address this, or that it was a result of a number of smaller tumbles out on the trails.
I did find some other reviews where people had experienced some minor shifting issues in specific scenarios with the lower end eagle components, so I made this upgrade. In one review I saw that the updated derailleur keeps a larger portion of the chain in contact with the cassette and in order to improve shifting. Also, if I do upgrade to the 10-52T cassette, it is nice to know that the jump to the 52T gear is achieved by bringing the derailleur further out to the side and does not bring it lower to the ground.
As for installing the derailleur, I installed it myself and found it pretty straightforward. I referred to SRAM’s installation manual online and a couple of videos to make sure I didn’t miss any details in setting this up. I also want to mention that at this time I did not upgrade my cassette, I might do so next spring or summer. I did not find any literature saying that the X01 derailleur would be compatible with the 11-50T cassette found on the SX and NX drivetrains, but I figured I’d give it a try. And it has worked for me, but I imagine the shifting would be smoother with either a GX and X01 cassette.
Shifting feels crisper, more precise and confidence-inspiring.
Also, in case anyone is wondering, the new 10-52T derailleur comes with a newly updated B gap adjustment measurement tool. It is white in color and looks different than the old red one.
I chose the X01 over the GX because I have seen that this is an upgrade that higher-end manufacturers will include on a GX Eagle drivetrain; and what can I say, I guess I trust their judgment. After making the purchase I also learned that some people have had to replace the pulley cage and pulleys on the GX, so I’m hoping this upgrade to the X01 pays off. I expect the X01 derailleur will be more reliable and durable.
The build materials and look are very high quality. I’d say I’m a recreational rider, and after a month of riding now, I am happy with how this derailleur performs. Gear shifts feel crisper and more precise and confidence-inspiring. Like I said, I have it paired with an X01 shifter and recommend this upgrade.
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