Even though a rear derailleur is obviously a fuctional part of any bike it can also be a beautiful piece of jewelry. That's definitely the case with SRAMs XX1 Eagle 12 speed rear derailleur. Our friend Christopher Johnson shares his thoughts on his new derailleur. Check it out!
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat, the black XX1 drivetrain components are far more stylish and badass than the ridiculous looking gold stuff. What is this, a 1980s rap video? We are rugged mountain bikers. People of the great outdoors, who wants a bunch of shiny gold crap hanging off their bike? There is a word for it, but I won’t publish it on the internet.
Glad that’s out of the way.
I purchased the SRAM XX1 rear derailleur because I want to make my bike the best it can possibly be. XX1 components are SRAM’s premier drivetrain parts. This is evident in the build quality and performance. The XX1 derailleur is light (carbon), strong, sleek, and has almost no lateral play compared to the lower end Eagle options.
Installation was straightforward. I removed the original derailleur, torqued the hanger bolt to spec, and routed the shifter cable. Eagle is a bit finicky to set up, the massive gear range requires precise cable tension and B screw adjustment in order to shift properly. The fact that the XX1 derailleur has very little lateral play did make it easy to dial in compared to the GX derailleur, which has significant lateral play.
Once dialed in, the XX1 derailleur shifts like a dream. The shifting is smooth as butter, snappy and nearly silent. Sometimes I question whether I actually changed gears because I don’t hear anything at all. The low weight of the XX1 derailleur paired with the SRAM X01 cassette and XX1 chain, makes climbing feel like cheating. I have yet to crash hard on this derailleur so I can’t really speak to its long-term durability, but it feels very solid. Down the line, I am looking forward to taking advantage of the XX1’s serviceable jockey wheel bearings.
If you think SRAM Eagle is for you, I highly recommend going with the XX1 derailleur (in black).
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