SRAM X1 Drivetrain, Part 2


SRAM uses a sporadic mix of hex and torx fasteners throughout the X1 group, even on its individual components. People have happily been mounting derailleurs, for example, to frames with 5mm fittings for as long as I’ve been riding bikes. SRAM uses a T25 fitting, and I’ve already heard of a number of them stripping (be sure to grease your mounting bolts).

I can think of no good reason to use torx fasteners in a relatively low stress application where the dimensions of the bolt head don’t really matter. Beyond that, scattering torx fasteners around my bike amongst standard hex fittings means I have to carry a set of torx wrenches and a set of hex wrenches with me on a ride, and it would be nice if this wasn’t the case.

That gripe aside, I really don’t have any complaints about the X1 drivetrain.


I’ve used the X1 kit on about 35 rides, which certainly isn’t enough time to arrive at any conclusions about long-term durability. No part of the system seem chintzy or flimsy though, and I expect it to last as long as any other comparable component group.

Noah Bodman reviews the SRAM X1, Blister Gear Review.
Noah on the SRAM X1, Spencer Mountain, Whitefish, MT.

In a more general sense, my experience has always been that higher end components tend to last longer under normal use. Higher end shifters tend to use bearings instead of bushings, and all the components’ mechanisms are made with more durable metal and less plastic. Time will tell if the X1 holds up as well as the XX1 or XO1 options.

If SRAM’s 10-speed groups are a comparable indicator, then I will be particularly interested to see whether the X1’s shifter starts to feel a bit gummy after a season of riding, and whether the derailleur slowly develops a bit of slop that takes the crispness off of the shifting. The clutch mechanism in SRAM’s X9 and XO derailleurs can also get stiffer over time, presumably as it internally gunks itself up, so we’ll see if the X1 fares differently.

Bottom Line

11-speed, single-ring drivetrains are quickly starting to ruin my taste for 2×10 systems, since 11-speed setups are simpler, cleaner, and lighter.

So if you’re looking to convert your setup to a single-ring, 11-speed drivetrain now, and you like what you’ve heard about the way the X1 system performed, I don’t see any reason not to consider the X1 group. The system shifts better than a 10-speed X9 setup, while being quite a bit lighter and only moderately more expensive. And while in some respects the X1 kit isn’t quite as nice as the top of the line XX1, it doesn’t give up as much performance as you might think given the price difference between the two groups.

3 comments on “SRAM X1 Drivetrain, Part 2”

  1. Late comment on a good article, but I’m wondering if you ever ran into any rattling from your X1 derailleur? Mine has started after about 9 months, and is turning out to be really hard to pin down. For reference, it happens mostly when coasting — but not always — over sharp edged bumps, and sounds a lot like the rattling that the TA capture nut can make in a Fox fork when there is no axle installed, and you tap the fork. BB in a boxcar kind of thing.

    Thanks for all the great reviews, Noah, even when I don’t agree with you, the insight is always interesting!

    • Hey Tom – my X1 is still going strong and rattle free. Just from what you described. If the elusive noise is actually in the derailleur and since it’s happening while coasting, it seems that it’d have to be in the clutch mechanism. Those clutches are somewhat known for making a bit of noise from time to time, although I’ve always experienced it as more of a “clunk” and less of a “rattle.”

      If you’re fairly certain the noise is coming from the derailleur, you could take a stab at rebuilding the clutch. I don’t have any first hand experience in this ballpark, but based on tutorials like this one, it seems pretty straight forward:

      Hope you can get that sorted!


  2. SRAM X1 derailleur are the best choice for us that aren’t sponsored. I say that because last week I broke my X01 rear derailleur on a small rock (rock going between rays). The broken part is the carbon outer cage, and for my surprise, SRAM don’t make this piece was service part! Believe or not, if you broke you carbon outer cage (XX1 ou X01) you will need a new one. This is a poor service from SRAM.
    (Data from SRAM Spare Parts Catalog 2016 • Rev A, pag 55)

Leave a Comment