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  1. #1
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    Benefit of Sram XX???

    I'm posting this year because I believe this drivetrain is geared towards racers and if I post in drivetrain forum, I may get non-racing feedback.

    My question is, what is the benefit of XX? Why not just run 2x9? Isn't a 10 speed chain weaker since it's thinner? If you look at the cost of the XX drivetrain, replacement parts are ungodly expense (cassettee, chainrings) compared to 9-speed.

    The 2010 Epic states a weight of 21.7 pounds I believe. I have the 09 S-works under that weight with XTR/XO drivetrain.

    Am I missing some benefit of XX that would justify the cost of it?

    Thanks for feedback.

  2. #2
    g3h6o3
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    Tighter gear ratios...
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for starting this thread. I'm in the market for a new race bike for 2010 and was leaning towards the XX, just because of weight and that it one package. I like to keep things simple! But, I have not made up my mind. Where did you find the weight for the 2010 Epic? I'm looking at that bike as well as the Blur xc carbon
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  4. #4
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    If you ran 1x9 with that monster HG-61 12-36 cassette that Shimano introduced for 29ers you'd have the same sort of low range, but that cassette weighs something like 435gms.
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  5. #5
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    benefits:

    weight
    ratios
    shifting
    coolness (i almost left this one off )

    detractors:

    cost

    i have run 10 speed chains on 9 speed drivetrains for several races this year and had no issues. i think chain strength is a non issue providing you have your bike shifting well and are relatively good on maintenance/upkeep (replace stuff when needed too)

    i would love to run XX but would not want that crank (boat anchor). the best setup in the world IMO is that Specialized crank with the XX spider/rings but i can't afford a new bike so I will stick with what i got (for 2010).

    bottom line, i will admit XX is better but i don't think it would move me up a spot in the results.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    Tighter gear ratios...
    with an additional 36 tooth at the back for the XX, it's no tighter than a 9 speed 11-32 XT.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelobryant
    with an additional 36 tooth at the back for the XX, it's no tighter than a 9 speed 11-32 XT.
    Unless you choose the XX 11-32.

  8. #8
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    It costs so much money you won't be able to afford to eat for a while, thus you'll finally loose those last 3 lbs to get down to World Cup weight and crush the souls of your adversaries!

    It's a nice groupset, but the cost is ridiculous IMO. The main advantage I can see is that with the big ring in the middle position you can have full range on the cassette while in the big ring. Does that make you faster? No. But to me it would be a psychological advantage as when I'm in the big ring I FEEL fast.

  9. #9
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    IMHO, it's mostly hype. I've worked with the XX a fair amount on the race circuit this year and guess what? It's just another MTB drivetrain that happens to have an additional cog. If you really care about the "bling factor", then I guess you might be a candidate, but from a mechanic's perspective, it ain't no big thing. In my experience, XTR or XO both shift much more cleanly, and more consistently, than XX. Also, if you happened to be at any of the pro races on the East Coast World Cup/National swing this year, you might have noticed that the racers having the most drivetrain problems in the mud were the riders on the XX (all the Fisher guys/gals, Mike n' Mary, and even Absolon, who almost never has mechanicals). Coincidence? I doubt it. In the industry's constant push for "new and improved", somehow they've confused "new" with "improved".

    I almost guarantee I'm going to get lambasted by the SRAM lovers (or the SRAM guys themselves) out there for this post. I'm not downing SRAM overall. They make some killer stuff. But the XX isn't all it's cracked up to be, despite what the magazines feel compelled to rave about because it's the latest and "greatest".
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  10. #10
    jms
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    Here's a few houghts

    Here's a few thoughts @ the XX:

    Benefits
    It has a better chainline and Q factor than the outboard bearing triples.
    Probably less chainsuck w/o inner ring.

    Detractors
    That 36th steel cog will bend easily on a mis-shift - 34's on 9speed are already notorious for that. A 10 speed cassette is going to have even thinner cogs
    Isn't the 36th cassette heavier? That's in precisely the wrong place - mounted to the rear wheel.

    I think the biggest benefit will be to Lehman Bros./Sram's bottom line
    Last edited by jms; 10-15-2009 at 02:41 PM.

  11. #11
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms
    Here's a few thoughts @ the XX:

    Benefits
    It has a better chainline and Q factor than the outboard bearing triples.
    Probably less chainsuck w/o inner ring.

    Detractors
    That 36th steel cog will bend easily on a mis-shift - 34's on 9speed are already notorious for that. A 10 speed cassette is going to have even thinner cogs
    Isn't the 36th cassette heavier? That's in precisely the wrong place - mounted to the rear wheel.

    I think the biggest benefit will be to Sram's bottom line
    It's lighter than XTR.

  12. #12
    LMN
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    The big thing with XX is it's the first main steam MTB drivetrain designed for two front chain rings. The current triple on a MTB is based around a type of riding we don't do that much of any more (fire roads) the big rings are too big and the granny gears are too small. The gearing on the XX should be more in-line with the trails we ride.

    There was some mechanical issues with XX at the easter world cups and US cups. Talking with people most of those mechanicals were related to pre-production parts (9 speed chain rings with 10 speed chains for example). Also at Bromont the conditions were hideous and there was a ton of mechanicals from everybody.

  13. #13
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms
    Detractors
    That 36th steel cog will bend easily on a mis-shift - 34's on 9speed are already notorious for that. A 10 speed cassette is going to have even thinner cogs
    Isn't the 36th cassette heavier? That's in precisely the wrong place - mounted to the rear wheel.
    In theory the weight of the heavier cog should be more than compensated for by fewer chain rings. Rotating weight is rotating weight.

  14. #14
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    It costs so much money you won't be able to afford to eat for a while, thus you'll finally loose those last 3 lbs to get down to World Cup weight and crush the souls of your adversaries!
    LOL. It sure is expensive.

    I have the 2009 S-Works Epic and notice they put the XX on the 2010. Researching it I just can't find a real clear benefit, ESPECIALLY given the cost of the components.

    From my perspective, it's a pure bling factor. You can achieve the same, if not better, results manipulating a 9-speed drivetrain.

  15. #15
    AZ
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    I'm going to wait for the trickle down , in a couple of years it might be affordable . Can see some of the benefits , but cost isnt one of them.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN
    The big thing with XX is it's the first main steam MTB drivetrain designed for two front chain rings. The current triple on a MTB is based around a type of riding we don't do that much of any more (fire roads) the big rings are too big and the granny gears are too small. The gearing on the XX should be more in-line with the trails we ride.
    I fancy myself a fairly fit rider and I don't think the granny gears are too small. For XC racing only, sure a 22 is useless if you've got the climbing legs, but I find it's indispensable for endurance racing. I can't imagine doing a 45 minute+ climb in the rockies on my 29 front 32 rear low geared XC race hardtail.

    I do agree that 44 is too big, especially with an 11 in the back. I find a 42 front 12 rear is the highest gear I can ever use.

  17. #17
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    Sram adds another Gear for mtn bikers to skip to with their shifters.
    everyone I ride with skips gears more often then shifting 1 at a time.
    great for a companies bottom line though.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jms
    Detractors
    That 36th steel cog will bend easily on a mis-shift - 34's on 9speed are already notorious for that. A 10 speed cassette is going to have even thinner cogs
    Isn't the 36th cassette heavier? That's in precisely the wrong place - mounted to the rear wheel.
    The biggest cog is an AL-7075-T6 alloy cog that is separately replaceable. It is insanely light at 208gms for the 11-36 and 185gms for the 11-32. The XTR is 224gms in an 11-32 for $240. That all Ti Recon cassette is about the same weight as the XX and almost the same price.The Shimano HG61 12-36 cassette is almost a pound.
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  19. #19
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    The general rule of thumb is that it costs $1,000 to lose 1 pound off the bike. The XX components are insanely expensive for minimal weight savings. I dont really see any weight savings if you go to 2x9. It's almost as if SRAM thinks the XX technology is new, when in fact it not really new at all. It's just newly marketed to MTB bikes. There is no reason, other than bling factor, for this stuff to cost so freaking much.

    The more and more I research this component line, the more I learn that there is minimal if any benefit to 10 speed on a mountain bike. If you read other forums the majority of people buying it are doing so for the bling factor. Many are non racers, which makes even less sense.

    I understand the bling factor and guilty of it myself, but given the cost it's just insane. IMO. I change cassettee and chain twice a year as well as middle chain ring on crank. (14 MTB races and 1000s miles training). The maintenance cost of this component line is just insane. I'm a hardcore racer but still don't buy XTR cassette just because of how much they cost. I'd rather push the fork away at the dinner table then spend that money on a replaceable part.

  20. #20
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris
    I fancy myself a fairly fit rider and I don't think the granny gears are too small. For XC racing only, sure a 22 is useless if you've got the climbing legs, but I find it's indispensable for endurance racing. I can't imagine doing a 45 minute+ climb in the rockies on my 29 front 32 rear low geared XC race hardtail.

    I do agree that 44 is too big, especially with an 11 in the back. I find a 42 front 12 rear is the highest gear I can ever use.
    A 22/34 is a very small gear. I will not lie to you, I use it from time to time (OK frequently ). But never in an XC race, you just don't find climbs that steep and that long. A 29 front and 32 however is actually a fairly large gear. A 26/36 sits nicely between the two.

  21. #21
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppie58
    The general rule of thumb is that it costs $1,000 to lose 1 pound off the bike. The XX components are insanely expensive for minimal weight savings. I dont really see any weight savings if you go to 2x9. It's almost as if SRAM thinks the XX technology is new, when in fact it not really new at all. It's just newly marketed to MTB bikes. There is no reason, other than bling factor, for this stuff to cost so freaking much.

    The more and more I research this component line, the more I learn that there is minimal if any benefit to 10 speed on a mountain bike. If you read other forums the majority of people buying it are doing so for the bling factor. Many are non racers, which makes even less sense.

    I understand the bling factor and guilty of it myself, but given the cost it's just insane. IMO. I change cassettee and chain twice a year as well as middle chain ring on crank. (14 MTB races and 1000s miles training). The maintenance cost of this component line is just insane. I'm a hardcore racer but still don't buy XTR cassette just because of how much they cost. I'd rather push the fork away at the dinner table then spend that money on a replaceable part.
    People are crazy if they think buying a new component set will make them faster. Even if you were up-grading from SLX having the correct tire for the day will make a way bigger difference.

    But the question (in my mind at least) is if you are replacing your bike anyways and choosing between XTR and XX, what do you go for?

    I have been using XTR for the last two years and have been really impressed by chain-ring life. The chain-rings on my hard-trail have over 10,000km on them and still work great. It is a good thing they last because each chain ring is just about the same price as an XT crankset.

  22. #22
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    I think the greatest benefit of the SRAM XX is that it will make the current XTR cheaper.....(until shim tries to out bling it w/ more stupid upgrades like yumeya)
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  23. #23
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
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    Interesting

    I went through this mental gymnastics exercise when picking my bike earlier this year. I knew my Blur couldn't take XX, so I had to really spend some time deciding if XX really would matter. In the end, the reliability of my current XTR/XT drivetrains won out. I never have shifting issues other than the occasional bent der hanger, or dirty cables. In thousands of miles of riding in mud, dirt, sand, snow...never.

    It is true that the granny ring could go away on my bike 95% of the time, but that 5% is when I'm doing a 45 minute climb at 11,000 feet with a pack, after 12 hours in the saddle. Being stuck in middle ring with my current gearing wouldn't cut it, but the gearing of XX would. However, was it really a big deal to drop down into that granny ring? I never have chainsuck...only drop a chain once or twice a season...

    Weight savings are something I'm also starting to care less about. I spent years trying to keep my bike under 22lbs. The more time I spent with cycling calculators looking at the effects, and also watching some engineering tests by a friend, It also became pretty clear that beyond wheels and tires, everything else is peanuts at a certain point. (I do still run light wheels and tires, and always will...and rolling resistance is KING even beyond weight) Yes, 5 lbs is a big difference, but 100 grams over 16 hours in a non critical location will cost me seconds with an ungodly amount of climbing.

    I've been buying XT cassettes to save $200 a pop, and will likely be getting an XT middle ring this winter to save another chunk of cash. As slow as those parts rotate, and as close as they are to the axis or rotation, it won't matter a bit.
    Free will is an illusion, people will always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by used2Bhard
    I went through this mental gymnastics exercise when picking my bike earlier this year. I knew my Blur couldn't take XX, so I had to really spend some time deciding if XX really would matter. In the end, the reliability of my current XTR/XT drivetrains won out. I never have shifting issues other than the occasional bent der hanger, or dirty cables. In thousands of miles of riding in mud, dirt, sand, snow...never.

    It is true that the granny ring could go away on my bike 95% of the time, but that 5% is when I'm doing a 45 minute climb at 11,000 feet with a pack, after 12 hours in the saddle. Being stuck in middle ring with my current gearing wouldn't cut it, but the gearing of XX would. However, was it really a big deal to drop down into that granny ring? I never have chainsuck...only drop a chain once or twice a season...

    Weight savings are something I'm also starting to care less about. I spent years trying to keep my bike under 22lbs. The more time I spent with cycling calculators looking at the effects, and also watching some engineering tests by a friend, It also became pretty clear that beyond wheels and tires, everything else is peanuts at a certain point. (I do still run light wheels and tires, and always will...and rolling resistance is KING even beyond weight) Yes, 5 lbs is a big difference, but 100 grams over 16 hours in a non critical location will cost me seconds with an ungodly amount of climbing.

    I've been buying XT cassettes to save $200 a pop, and will likely be getting an XT middle ring this winter to save another chunk of cash. As slow as those parts rotate, and as close as they are to the axis or rotation, it won't matter a bit.
    Great point!! I've been racing for 8 years and keep on coming back to the same conclusion regarding wheels and tires as the key ( rotational mass ) and the rest needs to be good solid parts that I like.
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  25. #25
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    For me, 2x9 would be preferable to 2x10.

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