Monday, December 17, 2012

Sram XX1 Crankset on Shimano 10spd Drivetrain

Oh dang. I went and got a new bike. Here is a lousy picture of it..


You may recognize it from the wall of our shop. It is the Giant XTC Composite (carpet fiber 29er) that we've had for about a year.  After hesitantly selling my Trance frame, I "needed" something to replace it and put to use all the good parts that were now lying around.

So, since the XTC wasn't selling, and I've never had a carpet fiber 29er hardtail with gears, this one became mine.

But the real story is the cranks.  If you look closely at the picture above you will see that my bike weighed 22lb 15oz, and that was with an XTR triple crankset, an XT front derailleur, and an XT front shifter.

In the next picture, you will see my same bike, in another bad photo...


In this photo the bike is built with Sram's brand spanky new XX1 single ring crankset, that uses voodoo to allow use of a 1x10 (or 1x9 or 1x11) drivetrain without using a chainguide up front.  (In case you never learned the hard way, you really couldn't get away with this previously, as the chain would inevitably come off the chainring.)

The other part of the story is the weight savings.  With an XT shifter, XT front derailleur, and XTR crank traded out for the XX1 crankset the bike lost exactly 1 pound. This was much more than I was anticipating.

The other other part of the story is that I did not use the entire XX1 group. With an XTR Shadow plus rear derailleur, and a KMC 10spd chain, this setup has worked flawlessly so far.  Now I have only ridden it a couple of times, but I would suspect that if this wasn't going to work well, I would have found out just a few minutes into the first ride.


So, that's an easy pound of weight savings for $285 (MSRP on the XX1 cranks). That's assuming that you don't mind loosing some gear ratio, and that you can get your hands on a set of these cranks (I hear bike shop rats have been buying them all up for themselves).   If you are already running a single ring setup with a chain guide of some sort, this is a sweet upgrade that can save some weight and eliminate your noisy, inefficient chain guide.

And lastly, in case you are wondering, the bike is a blast. Under 22 pounds with sealant (no pedals), it's almost enough to make me feel like I have some fitness because going up hills just got a lot easier than it has been in a while.

So there you have it, and incredibly dorked out post that may get a few very big bike nerds of a certain type excited, and will likely be absolute nonsense to most everybody else in the world. Thanks for reading!

8 comments:

  1. I'd like to see someone use XX1 with an XO cassette and shifter.

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  2. How is a top-only style chainguide (like the kind you would use on a Shadow+ or Type2 equipped drivetrain for hardtail) inefficient?

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  3. I'm one of the bike nerds that's excited about this, thanks for posting!

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  4. Funny question but what is that you are using a chain stay guard?

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    1. It is clear Cinelli Jelly handlebar tape. Lasts forever and looks good, we use it on most all our builds.

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  5. I'd like to try that xx1 crank with xo rear derailleur (short cage) and 11-32 xg-999 cassette.

    anyone successfully use this crank with 1x9 yet?

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    1. The only possible issue I can see with that setup is the X0 9spd rear derailleur not being a clutch style derailleur. I believe the clutch derailleur plays an important part in keeping the chain on the chainring without a guide, but I can't say that I've experimented with turning my Shadow+ derailleur "off" while riding yet.

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  6. Any updates on the reliability or slight irritations this set up has given you? I'm swapping out my crank this week with an XX1 and I already have the same drivetrain set up as you except I'm planning to run a Shimano chain.

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