Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
SRAM's XX1 groupset is the pinnacle of MTB drivetrain performance, and the XX1 cranks are some of the highest quality carbon mountain bike cranks you can get your hands on. Our friend Daniel recently upgraded his bike with a set and loves the upgrade. Read on for more!
Being a fan of the SRAM drivetrain I recently opted to do the upgrade and go to the XX1 Carbon Cranks. Understanding how delicate carbon is I was pleasantly surprised with the train we have in southern Nevada there are a lot of sharp rocks that get hit and kicked up into your bike wreaking havoc on your paint job and components. As an intermediate, aggressive, and heavy 220lb rider doing a combination of cross country and downhill rides, I have been pleasantly surprised at the durability and performance of these cranks. The protective skins that come stock on the crank arms are doing a good job of keeping them protected. This past weekend we rode a trail that has a lot of golf ball size rocks that get kicked up and I can see damage to the protective layer however I’m sure that those are replaceable. If not it would be a good marketable item for riders in the area looking to save weight and still have good protection.
A big reason I wanted to upgrade was for the amount of weight saved going from the GX aluminum cranks in an effort to get my bike down to less than 34 pounds. This definitely took a big chunk off the total bike weight and helped me meet that goal.
The installation to change out the cranks is very simple and took me about 10 minutes time with some of the basic tools that every bike owner should have. If you’re not mechanically inclined it would only take your local shop a few minutes to put on your new upgrades since it will not affect the alignment of your chain and shifting should not require adjustments.
Since upgrading, my bike has gotten a bit lighter and my climbs just a little easier on smoother trails - but the real noticeable difference is while climbing technical sections of trails where I’m lifting and pedaling over step-ups and rock formations.
Jumping is also easier having less weight in the air and being able to control the bike better with more added style.
If I was going to find one thing to improve on I would say the price is on the high side. Most components in the mountain bike scene seem to be getting really expensive for the items that are lighter but not always more durable. I know several people afraid to run carbon components in fear that if they break it, the replacement cost is just too much so they’d rather play it safe with items that are less likely to break and more prone to bend but still functional. Nobody wants to walk a broken bike back home.
As a whole, I would rate these cranks at a 10 out of 10 for performance and functionality. If the protective skins are not replaceable and mine suffered some real damage I don’t think I would get the same thing a second time and consider a small downgrade.
© 2022 Worldwide Cyclery