1 SRAM X01 completeSRAM X01 Group   Out Of The Box: by c_g
Just as Granyygear got his all new NINER R.I.P 9 with the same components for a review (here), we here at TNI-DE received a full SRAM X01 group set for long term test. As you know we have been riding a SRAM XX1 – SRAM’s first and highly sought after 1×11 group – for much of this summer and fall on an carbon hard tail with great success, so now seeing the trickle down effect kicking in in form of the X01 is something we are really excited about.
Here comes a recap of the features – completed with our own measurements and impressions of the testing samples:
X01 crank set
 10 SRAM X01 crank
As known from other XX1 this drive train system also relies on the X-Sync narrow-wide tooth pattern for maximum chain retention without chain guides.

•Carbon crank arms with separate alloy spider

•Chain ring sizes ranging from 30 to 38 tooth – we requested and received a climbing friendly 30t ring.

• Weights (real): crank arms (with spider and axle) 541g, 30t chain ring 53g (+7g for the bolts), PF92 bottom bracket 92g

 9 SRAM X01 crank 30t
Comments: Looking at the crank arms, there is little difference (apart form decals) between the different carbon cranks within the SRAM range (S2200, XX1 & X0). The real difference in the X01 is the fact that it utilizes a rather common 94 mm bolt pattern (unlike the proprietary XX1 pattern). Therefore the smallest possible chain ring size is 30t (while XX1 can go down to 28t). The positive side to this is that the SRAM X-Sync chain rings can now be retrofitted to to existing compact cranks either by simply swapping chain rings (if you have a 94 BCD already) or if you want to go for the cleanest possible look, you can modify any existing SRAM crank with a separate arm/spider design with the new 1x specific spider and chain ring.

8 SRAM X01 crank comp

As you can see in direct comparison, the XX1 ‘s spider (left) is much more machined out and has some directional taps to better distribute pedaling forces, while the X01 is pretty much a standard spider. The other difference is that the XX1 has threaded chain rings that can be mounted with only the male part of the chain ring bolts, while X01 goes for a more standard and possibly more elaborate mounting with two piece bolts. Note: The alloy X01 cranks as sometimes seen on complete bikes will not be available as aftermarket products.
X01 X-HORIZON rear derailleur
 2 SRAM X01 rear der
X-Horizon design (just like XX1)

•Type2 technology with Cage Lock and Roller Bearing Clutch mechanism

•Carbon cage

• Weight (real): 253g

3 SRAM X01 rear der
Comments: We had not been able to detect any differences between XX1 nd X01 – be it the carbon cage, the technology or the finish … every detail seems to to be just as high end. Good to see the same technologies including the 3 mm limiting screws and the large and well covered pulley carried over.
X01 Trigger shifters
 6 SRAM X01 shifter

•SRAM 1X X-Actuation 11-speed MatchMaker-X compatibel

•Weight (real): 110g (+7g for the separate clamp)

 7 SRAM X01 shifter
Comments: The shifters show some differences – primarily in the shape of the paddles and the materials used. Where XX1 has carbon paddles and a carbon covering, the X01 goes for more „plastic“ composites. I do not think this will affect performance in any way, but if it does, we will let you know for sure.
A very welcome addition is the nicely adjustable lower shifter.
 4 SRAM X01 cog

•11-speed (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42)

•X-Dome-free hub

•Weight (real): 263g

 5 SRAM X01 cog
Comments: To our knowledge the main difference between the XX1 cassette and the X01 version is the final finishing process, which with XX1 is more elaborate, leaves a harder surface and therefore can do without any coating, while X01 comes with the black anodizing. oth are manufactured in the same super high-end 3-D machining process out of one block of steel. Only the largest cog (42t) is made of alloy. Consequently pricing of both cassettes – XX1 und X01 – is near identical.
PC-XX1 chain

• Specific 1×11 chain

• Includes 11-speed chain lock (officially only one-time use)

• Weight (real): 261g (114 links)

Comments: Same feel, same look … same chain :) .

All in all the differences between the super high end XX1 and SRAM X01 group set are rather small. The only thing we see as potentially affecting performance out of the box is the difference in spider design which allows more compatibility with existing drive trains, but limits the chain ring size to 30t minimum. For most people, unless you really need those super low climbing gears, this should not make much difference.

When it comes to comparing the weight between the groups, there surely is a small difference. For the cranks, which we have in identical 30t configuration – the difference is as low as 38 g – which seems to come primarily from the differences in the XX1 spider’s machining. I didn’t weigh every component of the XX1, but given those minimal differences I’d be surprised if together the minor increase of the X01 really would make a difference.

PRICING : I deliberately didn’t state prices as they differ greatly between markets, but pricing of the X01 is something that needs to be addressed. From what I know, the differences in aftermarket pricing of XX1 and X01, are just as slim as the differences in features, so the question of where to place X01 really is justified. After all if aftermarket prices, weights and features are near identical, where is the market for X01 after all?

Well I think the key to the answer is within the OE market. Looking at identical complete bikes with XX1 and X01 group sets – the supposedly “less exclusive” X01 bike actually saves considerable money over XX1 bike. Could it be X01 is really more of an aftermarket product, If it were, it wouldn’t make 1×11 that much more accessible as an aftermarket upgrade, but it would help bringing the same 1×11 shifting performance down to the slightly lower levels? Which at least is a step in the right direction ;) . (Of course time may prove that street pricing may differ greatly, making this consideration obsolete ;) . Anyhow, we are happy to have a set of the 2014 SRAM X01 drive train for a long term review and will let you know our findings in daily use in due time.