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You might be asking yourself, what's so special about a shifter? As long as it changes gears I'm good, right? While that is true, the SRAM X01 trigger shifter allows you to adjust the position of the lever and where it engages. Something many others do not offer. In this review, our customer Russell upgrades to an X01 shifter. Check it out!
I upgraded from the NX eagle shifter that I had put on my 2020 Giant Trance 29 3. Overall I like the adjustability of the downshifts trigger angle.
Aside from expecting a more precise and durable shifter in this upgrade, greater adjustability was one of the first features that made me interested in this upgrade.
So I’ll address that feature first.
I experimented with the downshift trigger angle to find my sweet spot. I first tried moving the trigger angle forward 15 degrees. That was too far forward and didn’t allow me enough room I wanted to get to the upshifting trigger. Next tried it at an angle that was forward about 7.5 degrees, and it fit perfectly. This might seem like a pretty minor adjustment, but being able to make this adjustment made a big difference to me. I am still able to downshift through 3 to 4 gears at once in this position. I didn’t play around with the downshift trigger to see if this was still easy to do if it was moved past 15 degrees in the forward position. I suppose it is all relative to the range of your thumb and where you have the shifter mounted on the handlebar.
I wear a medium size riding glove (about a men’s size 9). And on my previous NX shifter, I would have to reposition my hand a bit more than I liked in order get to the downshift lever. So now without having to reposition I can get to that lever more smoothly and feel more in control of the bike. I especially like this for scenarios where you’re making a hard turn into a steep incline in choppy terrain.
I used the matchmaker mount as I had also upgraded my brakes to the SRAM G2 RSC brakes. The option of having the two mounting positions is nice and I have it on the outer position, bringing the shifter closer to my thumb. I have about a 3/4” gap between my brake leave clamp and grips.
As for the installation, I installed the shifter along with the X01 derailleur. I referred to SRAM's install manual online and a couple of videos to make sure I didn’t miss any details in setting this up. At this time I choose not to upgrade the cassette as I just got a fat bike for winter riding. I am tempted to get an X01 shifter for this bike as well (i.e. probably gonna make this upgrade).
My riding style is pretty recreational but I still notice a big difference in the performance of the X01 shifter. Just as advertised, it feels crisper, smoother, and easier to shift. I get a better feel of precision and feedback from the shifter, and I don’t feel like I need to hold back on how hard I press on the shifter levers as I did on the NX shifter. I definitely recommend this shifter.
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