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  1. #1
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    SRAM XX1 after 10 months

    YMMV - These are strictly my observations and thoughts based on my experience over the past 10 months.

    Beginning: I installed the entire XX1 group on my bike 02/13/13. Began riding it the next day. I ride 3-4 days a week. 50-70 miles depending on weather and how my old bones feel. So far just over 1900 miles. I ride in the Pacific Northwest USA on some really nice singletrack. So, lots of wet trails and rotting leaves with some very muddy days thrown in for good measure.

    Within 2 months time I trashed the rear derailer with a stick - totally my fault - but the $285 replacement cost hurt none-the-less. I knew it was not cheap going in. Chalk one up for the trail stick-throwing gnomes!

    During: One thing you can say about this drive train is that when each component is working in concert with the other it is a pure joy to have on the bike. The shifting is spot on. Practically noiseless during operation. No chain slap. Gear ratio is the best I've ever ridden. Did not drop the chain even once!

    After: On 12/05/13 after being told by my LBS that the chain was coming up on the tail end of it usefulness I decided to have him throw my back-up chain on the bike.

    Went out for a ride the next day and I knew there was something wrong instantly. There was a grinding noise with each pedal stroke. I immediately thought it was the chain stretching into place and rode on. With each gear change it would happen again and dissipate after a few hundred yards. Ok - stretch chain stretch. I felt that this would eventual go away completely.

    Then everything changed. When I got to the first real climb, about 4 miles out, I dropped into the largest bailout cog and began to apply the torque. The chain started skipping and making the most awful noise as it would skip and grab and skip and grab with each rotation of the crank.

    I down shifted to the second ring and finished the climb. Got off the bike at the top and took a look. Everything normal to the eye as far as I could see. Made a few adjustments to the cable at the shifter hoping it was tension and hopped back on and carried on with my ride.

    Next hill same story. So I took the bike right back to my LBS. They began the reverse engineering process and made tweaks to the cable by rerouting it. Adjusted the derailer to see if the chain was actually trying to jump into the spokes or down to the second cog. Three test rides and the chain was still skipping.

    LBS calls SRAM rep next day and describes the problem and instantly warranties the rear cassette for me! (more on this later) Once the rear cassette is installed the chain skipping on the big ring is gone. So far, new chain, new rear cassette, but the chain grinding is still happening.

    I order a new front chain ring get it installed and the drive train is like new. BECAUSE IT IS ALL NEW! Total cost to me $105 for front chain ring, $65 for chain. The only part that has not been replaced is the cranks in 10 months time.

    Aftermath: Performance wise this group rocks. Dependability wise not so hot for the price. Again, YMMV.

    The pessimist in me tells me that because SRAM warrantied the cassette with no arguement that they had some inclination that this group needs to be ridden into the ground until the parts actually fall off your bike. And only then should you replace the entire group.

    I know, a lot of you might think that the group is new tech and very light weight and these things are to be expected. I just have a slightly different opinion.

    What's next: I am going to ride these new parts into the ground. There will be no new chain, unless it breaks. I am hoping that by the time I need the group again the prices have dropped. I honestly would like to keep this group. It's that good performance wise. But, since I like to try new stuff I'm thinking Rohloff Speedhub (SPEEDHUB: www.rohloff.de) or the Nuvinci (NuVinci® Technology | Fallbrook Technologies Inc.)

    What say you?

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
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    Over 1900 miles on the original chain? I wouldn't be surprised that the cassette and ring were toast...I'm surprised they replaced the cassette under warranty.

    I know if I run a chain over 750 miles, I'm risking trashing the cassette, on any component group.

    I believe SRAM also did have a run of chainrings with too-soft of an aluminum alloy. My second ring started to grind after only 250 miles. My first chainring lasted 1600 miles...with a new chain installed at 750 mi. My cassette was fine when the third chain was installed at 1600 miles.

    You are correct though, the replacement parts for this kit are pricey.
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  3. #3
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    One thing I forgot to mention about the cassette is that the big ring is made of aluminum and the rest are made of steel. A very bad decision I'd say. All the steel cogs were fine. It was just the darn aluminum stuff.

  4. #4
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    I'd recommend replacing your chain at max 1,000 miles, preferably sooner unless your anal like me and check your chain wear (stretch as most people say) on a very regular basis.. You definitely had the classic symptoms of a worn cassette, and really your chain isn't stretching, it's the bushing(less) and link pins wearing down, so trying to get a new chain to mesh with a worn cassette will take a really long time, but you will mostly be doing more damage to the cassette than wearing the bushing down on a new chain

    My chainring wore out at around 500 miles and started grinding like you said. It was pretty easy to tell that the chainring was worn, not from chain stretch, but from the side to side movement of shifting 11 cogs. The thinner teeth were silver instead of black and the thicker teeth the thickest part was silver as well. Replacing the chainring stopped the grinding.

    I replaced my chain at around 1,000 miles and my 42t show really no signs of wear.

    You might think about going to a smaller chainring so you don't ride in the 42t as much.

    The aluminum might wear out quicker to a chain out of spec, but to a chain in the tolerance range it shouldn't wear any different than the other cogs (unless you never shift out of the 42t)

    You might check out Sheldon's chain info: Chain Maintenance

  5. #5
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    With X01 being released......cost for replacement parts will be a bit cheaper. You will no longer be required to buy XX1 cassette.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  6. #6
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    X01 looks to be more durable, and in a lot of components lighter. I have one bike with xx1 and two with x01 and I can't tell the difference in performance.
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  7. #7
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    In my experience, 1900 miles of real mountain biking on one chain will cause the cassette and chain ring (in a 1X system) to wear to the point where all components need to be replaced. That goes for ANY drivetrain: XX1, XT, etc.

    You need to change chains more often.

    I put 3300 km on an XX1 drivetrain this season. That included 4 days that I consider the worst type for drivetrains : wet and gritty XCM races where the drivetrain is a mess after 30 minutes, sometimes submerged completely, but you keep riding hard for another 4+ hours.

    I rotated between 3 chains, and switched between them every 600km on average. I clean the chains thoroughly each time. I ran the original cassette and chain ring all season. I'll run the cassette next season too, as it still looks good and there are no performance problems, though I expect I'll need to replace it sometime early next year. The chain ring may need replacing soon, but that seems like reasonable wear to me.

    For reference, on my previous XT drivetrains, I would wear out 2-3 cassettes per season on my XC bike.

    My wife (and teammate) used the same procedure with the same results, except her system has even less wear (however, she is 110lbs).

    I'm pretty happy with XX1 longevity. And the performance was spectacular.

  8. #8
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    Great idea on the chain changing. And I agree. But I relied on the gauge to tell me the chain wear. It was good for all those 1900 miles. I love the performance on this like you all do. I think I will change up that chain every three months and see what happens.

  9. #9
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    A Rohloff setup might be a somewhat opposite experience. They're nearly impossible to kill. It'll even take a long time to wear out the single chainline drivetrain and it's said the rear cog can be flipped around for more longevity. The grip shifter is a little stiff but no real problem. For some reason the screw that holds the shifter box to the hub on my bike has broken at least a couple times. Never been much of an issue since zip tying it back on practically works as a permanent fix until you need to remove the cables from the hub.

    I think the thing that most people would have to come to grips with is how you feel about extra weight in the vicinity of the rear axle. It seems some are not bothered at all and some would never willingly ride with that weight bias.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpre View Post
    A Rohloff setup ... rear cog can be flipped around for more longevity.
    Interesting, I've gotten in the habit of flipping my XX1 front rings once they start to grind and I'm waiting on a replacement to arrive.
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  11. #11
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    SRAM XX1 after 10 months

    After 3mths on X01 I've had no issue with an X01 drivetrain and WTC chainring on X9 crankset.

    That is until now with a change of frames........

    The derailluers clutch popping/knocking has never been an issue on my SC Tallboy LTc, now on a BronsonC the derailluer noise is there.......knock knock knock....like a woodpecker!

    The noise doesn't start till 10miles into a ride and the chain dries out.

    Had the derailluer apart this arvo follwing the how to here..
    http://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/201...ype-2-overhaul

    Unfortunately it didn't fix the knock....reduced it some despite the ample grease!...also beware of the spring, it's a pr1ck to get back to it's normal position...

    I recommend just to take the external cap off and the large external T55 Torx/8mm end cap off and squirt in the best low friction lube you can find....

    Bugger the woodpecker!

  12. #12
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    So maybe replace a front chain ring and chain at the same time every 750 miles sounds like the best option to keep a smooth drivetrain?

    I ordered a new scalpel team with xx1, maybe a spare chain is in order to flip between the two while riding.

  13. #13
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    I would have to agree with most here that the chain needs to be replaced more often. I'm amazed over those 1900 miles your chain checker said it was ok. What is your stopping point? I use 0.75%. Also, did you verify with another chain checker? I've accidentally bent mine before and started to get odd results. Used a new one and the measurements started to look normal again. Might be something you check just to make sure.

    I don't use miles to track my components as some folks have a much higher average pace than others. I tend to go much slower than a lot of people. I use hours of use to track my stuff. That is more comparable in my opinion. In that case, I got 82 hours out of my first chain. I got a new one off ebay for $50, and my drive train feels like a million bucks again. My cassette is in perfect shape and not showing hardly any wear. I personally think this cassette will last awhile with proper chain replacements.

    The chain rings were really unimpressive to me. I blew through 2 of them very quick so I stopped using them. I got a 1x10 spider from North Shore Billet and installed a Wolf Tooth components chain ring. Much better now. It doesn't make that stupid grinding noise any more and the chain doesn't dig into the teeth nearly as hard. Time will tell if it lasts a lot longer than the SRAM rings.

  14. #14
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    Right around 600 miles on my Chinese Carbon 29er hard tail, no issues with my XX1 setup. So far it's been the best operating, most trouble free drivetrain on any of my bikes. Currently building a second bike, Chinese Carbon FS this time and it will also have XX1.

  15. #15
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    broken derailleur

    [QUOTE=Hemispheres;10872113]YMMV - These are strictly my observations and thoughts based on my experience over the past 10 months.

    Beginning: I installed the entire XX1 group on my bike 02/13/13. Began riding it the next day. I ride 3-4 days a week. 50-70 miles depending on weather and how my old bones feel. So far just over 1900 miles. I ride in the Pacific Northwest USA on some really nice singletrack. So, lots of wet trails and rotting leaves with some very muddy days thrown in for good measure.

    Within 2 months time I trashed the rear derailer with a stick - totally my fault - but the $285 replacement cost hurt none-the-less. I knew it was not cheap going in. Chalk one up for the trail stick-throwing gnomes!

    I can't understand why the rider takes blame for an inherent problem with rear derailleurs. I peddle in the woods frequently and inevitable - odds against me - I get a stick wedged in the lower tension pulley, the one that hangs 3" from the ground while in a large cog. After the storm Sandy hit the east coast, I was told by my lbs that I was the 6th rider to have his derailleur replaced. My x9 with mechanic cost me $140.

    Now...with the xx1 selling for $300.... ouch!

    For years I've read the circumstances of the derailleur-in-the-spokes debacle and was amazed at the mis-information being slung around.

    here is an excellent explanation of what happens from:
    What causes a rear derailleur to break? | Bicycling Magazine Forums

    it happens in:
    Between the moment in the first photo and the moment in the second the crank turns ~70°. At 90 RPM it takes ~292 ms (or < 1/3 of a second) to travel the amount indicated.

    with little force:
    t's quite a mess for sure. In my experiment this morning I was quite surprised at how little force was required to pull the cage into the spokes. The time between joy-joy and explosive heart ache is something around 1/2 second.

    explanation of broken derailleur:
    I went out to the garage this morning to conduct an experiment on the drive train. I've been wanting to do it for a while. From my reading it appears that derailleur into the spokes is not an uncommon occurrence. I was having trouble visualizing the mechanisms of failure. Probably due to all the pivots and angles the derailleur operation exhibits.

    I put the bike on my upside down work stand. Shifted the gears into high CR and next to lowest cog. Inserted a 16d nail into the chain ahead of the "lower jockey wheel" (per dia above). The nail was inserted so that it would be pulled into the derailleur under normal pedaling. It was inserted in a manner that ensured the chain would jam as it entered the derailleur. I continued to apply force to the pedal even after the chain was jammed. I tried this procedure in several gear combinations.

    This is what happened. The jockey wheel cage assembly straightened out. That is to say it rotated around its pivot to an angle that was not normal for the gear combination. The continued force caused the derailleur body to rotate abnormally around its pivot, the mounting bolt. Here comes the finale. At the point where the rotations could no longer occur the parallelogram began to tilt toward the spokes, forcing the jockey wheel cage into the spokes.

    The parallelogram is angled toward the wheel under normal operating conditions. In a case where the chain is jammed and the force cannot be accommodated by the pivot springs the parallelogram will attempt to absorb the force by continuing along its natural path. That movement will continue until the parallogram limit screw is contacted. A continued force will deflect the derailleur (and possibly the hanger) assembly farther into the wheel where the cage will contact the spokes. Then, .

    This experiment leads me to the obvious conclusion, ANYTHING that jams the chain in the derailleur will cause very bad things to happen.

    B!!, I'm quite anxious to have a good look at those pictures.


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