XX1 Mini-Review & Weights, XTR Weights, Race Face Next Crank Weight
I recently switched out a modified XTR group for XX1. Bottom line is that I think it's genius and will be perfect for many trail riders. I prefer it to the 2x10 I removed for the type of riding I do with this bike, it's quiet, smooth, simple and lighter. If this bike saw a larger amount of time on the road, I'd stick with 2x10...and I will on my hardtail. The XTR group has had flawless reliability and shown excellent wear characteristics, I'll know in a year if the XX1 compares. Really thinking about this switch has made me appreciate how well both systems work. More detail below.
What I like about the XX1 Group.
-It is beautiful in its simplicity, it really cleans up the bottom bracket area and it should work much better in muddy conditions.
-It's as quiet as a single speed when descending, with absolutely no chain slap. Overall impression is one of smoothness and simplicity.
-Saved 163 grams from the group I removed; which was already a really light kit. Overall bike weight is now 22 lb even.
-Shifting is on par with the XTR group I removed.
That said there are a few things I don't necessarily care for...
-While the XX1 10-42 cassette has all the range I will ever need, the 10-12 tooth jump is too big to be a useful shift. Cruising at max cadence around 22 mph on the road and want to shift to a harder gear? You drop down to a gear that is suited to 25 mph...so I think I would give up a bit of range to have an 11 tooth small cog. If this was my only bike and it were to see a lot of road use, or long sections of road in racing, I'd stick with a 2x10. I will be putting the XTR group on my hardtail for that type of riding.
-On very steep technical climbs where I would fully open the suspension of the Scott Spark, the 26 tooth little ring interacted better with the suspension, acting very neutral without bob. The 32 tooth makes the suspension bob slightly. The counterpoint though is that the XX1 32 tooth front ring is less likely to bob than the Race Face 38 tooth big ring I had before, but I usually run the middle, highly damped shock position at big ring speeds.
-While overall bike weight is reduced, there is nearly a quarter pound added near the rear axle in the cassette and the derailleur. This is unsprung weight, I'm sure I won't notice, but in theory it doesn't seem like the best place to add weight.