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The truth about 1x12 Sram XX1 Eagle Drivetrain. SickBiker Review.


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Sram Eagle Technology means having 1x12 drivetrain with quite a gearing ratio, as the smallest sprocket has 10 teeth and the largest has 50 teeth. Sram experts tell us on their website, that with this setup 2x drivetrains have died. Well, is it really so?

I am racing now on the high-end Merida Ninety-Six Team XC full suspension weapon wich is equipped with the "gold Eagle", so let me share with you my opinion about it, because Sram has solved many 1x drivetrain problems, but not all of them...

Sram XX1 Eagle groupset in details.

I must admit, that Sram engineers have designed all the components with great craft. The cassette, read derailleur, crankset, chain and the shifter don't look like any other components on the market. Let's se why...


The cassete - huge, light, empty inside...


There is no simple pattern of the individual teeth shaping. The gear change is extremely smooth.


Two pieces - the gold element is closed by the largest, black one.


Can you see the narrow-wide pattern on some teeth?


The mud is no problem for this stuff!


The mud can sometimes push the chain of the crank in narrow-wide system. It's less likely to happen on this crankset.


The chain engages beautifully on this chainring. It is quiet too!


Each detail counts. The pulleys have different sizes and teeth shaping.

How does it feel ride Eagle 1x12?

This is definitely one of the best shifting systems on the market, when it comes to the precision and smoothness. The rear derailleur responds to the smallest movement of your thumb on the shifter. Back pedalling test passed - no chain drop (it depends on the drivetrain and the chain line of the frame, which is great on Merida Ninety-Six woth Boost rear end). I do like shifting the gears with Eagle!


Back pedalling does NOT lead to chain drop.


Changing many gears under load during the race feels so easy!


On some 1x11 drivetrain the derailleur feels stiff going up to the largest gear. Not here...


Initially I would sometimes overshift, because it feels so easy.

Sorry Sram, I disagree with this...

2x drivetrains are NOT dead and probably won't be. 500% range of the gears is cool, but it doesn't eliminate the need for the second chainring in the front. First of - 500% is close to the 2x11 range, but still doesn't match it and second - for some riders it is not the range, but the gearing ratio on individual sprockets, that matters. I feel like finding the perfect cadence during the MTB marathons is far from what even 2x10 drivetrain offers. I race in XC as well and a double crankset feels better for me there as well. Most of the riders I know are satisfied with 1x11, but those who pay more attention to the cadence and pedalling efficiency will still go for 2x system. Yes, I know that Nino Schurter and his competitors all have 1x12 or 1x11 groupsets, but the question is - do all of them have a choice...

Would I recommend Sram XX1 Eagle groupset?

Yes, I would recommend it, especially to those sponsored riders, as the price is very steep. The quality and the technology is highly advanced and it's working. I still prefer double chainsets, but I'm sure many will love the Eagle, also in the lower groupsets, like X01, or GX. You can also watch my Eagle video review here.

Sram Eagle components online.

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