SRAM gets one up on Shimano with new 52-tooth Eagle cassette

SRAM gets one up on Shimano with new 52-tooth Eagle cassette

Jaws dropped when SRAM first launched its whopping 12-lag Eagle cassette relief in 2016, mainly thanks to the sheer size of the 50t supreme cog.

Since then, the belief of those dinner plate-sized cassettes has radically change overall method and it seems most bike producers won’t let a motorbike out of their factory doors if it doesn’t boast a 500 per cent gear vary.

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But then, Shimano launched its 12-lag offering, which upped the ante and the gear vary thanks to the further enamel on its 10-51t cassette and its 510 per cent vary.

After a 365 days or two of having the upper hand, or now not decrease than, the wider unfold of gears, SRAM’s new, even wider vary cassette (520 per cent) might perchance perchance presumably build it firmly relief in the lead.

5 things or now not it is miles the largest to understand about SRAM’s new Eagle 10-52t cassette

  • The 10-52t cassette provides a large 520 per cent gear vary
  • SRAM has as a lot as this point its GX, X01 and XX1 derailleurs to work with the new cassette (the AXS Eagle derailleur is already designed to work with a 52t cog)
  • The gear steps from the 10t to the 42t cogs remain the same as on the everyday Eagle cassette (it then jumps from the 42t to the 52t, relatively than the 50t)
  • First know-how Eagle derailleurs won’t work with the new 10-52t cassette
  • The 10-50t cassette is tranquil available and can unprejudiced work with the new derailleurs

SRAM Eagle 12-lag 10-52-enamel cassette crucial facets

SRAM GX Eagle mountain bike drivetrain
Though SRAM assured us the breeze to a 52-enamel cassette has nothing to have with beating Shimano, we’re obvious the coincidence elated SRAM.

Russell Burton / MBUK magazine

SRAM’s new 10-52t cassette shall be supplied on the freshly overhauled GX, X01 and XX1 Eagle drivetrains, but now not on the cheaper NX or SX vary unprejudiced but.

As with its 10-50t cassette (which is tranquil available and possible to be the collection of the knowledgeable depraved-country racer), this new unit matches onto SRAM’s XD Driver freehub body, and, as I’ve talked about already, has 12 cogs.

It also has almost equal steps between the gears because the 10-50t, despite the indisputable truth that the new, wider vary cassette has a greater 10t bounce from the 42t to the 52t cog.

The bounce from the 42t to the 50t cog equates to a 19 per cent bounce, whereas shifting from the 42t to the 52t cog on the most modern cassette will enhance this to a 23.8 per cent bounce. Lower down the block (from the 10-42t cogs), the steps remain the same (10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32, 36, 42, 52t).

But why build a 52t sprocket? Become once all of it about getting one up on rivals, Shimano? Successfully, no, now not unquestionably. It seems it’s unprejudiced a pleased coincidence.

SRAM’s Alex Rafferty explains: “as a result of cassette architecture and X-Sync know-how (the alternate slim-wide enamel profiling) on the supreme cog, it’s simplest possible to expand by multiples of two.”

And what triggered making it in the dear method? Completely, unprejudiced as we heard relief in 2016, a 50t cog used to be greater than enough.

Rafferty says: “deem of your favorite enduro lope. You preserve shut to contain so to lope up the hills a minute more straightforward and tranquil be snappy when or now not it is miles the largest to be snappy. No one wants to push. We create and innovate the products that we think are the appropriate and most appropriate for the rider for the time being and in the shut to future.

“The approach to SRAM 1x drivetrains is a made of engineering that we understand because the rider’s wants, and what we think they’ll favor sooner or later. We knew there used to be scope to expand the vary and benefit to our cassette offerings.”

And why now not even out those steps between gears, unprejudiced as Shimano’s cassette does?

Alex tells us that “expanding the vary to a 52t is a small step in the create process, allowing us to incrementally toughen your abilities as we perfect our suggestions. If gear step percentage is one thing that concerns you, our proven 10-50t cassette is tranquil supplied.”

SRAM Eagle 12-lag 10-52-enamel cassette building

There are currently three new Eagle cassettes available. Along with the tip tier XX1 cassette (XG-1299) there’s also the X01 (XG-1295) and the GX (XG-1275) unit I’ve been driving.

All of those cassettes spend the same supreme 52t alloy cog, however the enchancment of the XX1 and X01 cassettes differs vastly from the GX cassette.

Both the XX1 and X01 cassette spend SRAM’s X-DOME know-how. This implies that, in a bid to retain them as gentle as possible, 11 of the 12 cogs are machined out of a single piece of case hardened steel. This, as you’d inquire of of, makes them dearer too.

The more cheap GX cassette on the diversified hand uses the logo’s FULL-PINNED create. This means stamped steep cogs are, you guessed it, pinned together, constructing a truly equal hollow building within the cassette as on its pricier equivalents.

SRAM claims here’s correct for saving weight and ensures it’s tranquil unquestionably durable, telling us: “there is nevertheless more field materials prone on the GX cassette in the create process, that along with the collection of pins keeping it together adds a minute little bit of weight but also reduces the value to the rider”.

SRAM Eagle 12-lag 10-52-enamel cassette compatibility

Earlier than you inquire of of, no, that it is possible you’ll’t unprejudiced exit and desire this new 10-52t cassette in the hope that it’ll work along with your present Eagle derailleur. Unless unquestionably you’re fortunate enough to hang the electronic, wireless AXS rear derailleur, which used to be designed to work with a 52t cog from the discover-breeze.

Unfortunately for those with first know-how Eagle derailleurs, SRAM says it will’t confidently counsel making the switch to the new cassette because shift efficiency might perchance perchance presumably be compromised. The new rear derailleurs (which I’ll focus on quickly) contain all been altered to accommodate the shift as a lot as the greater 52t cog.

That manner, unless you already hang an AXS derailleur, you’ll must shell out for an as a lot as this point Eagle unit in the event that that it is possible you’ll presumably presumably preserve shut to make spend of this new, wider vary cassette.

SRAM Eagle 12-lag 10-52-enamel rear derailleur updates

SRAM GX Eagle mountain bike drivetrain
The new SRAM GX Eagle 12-lag derailleur has been redesigned to accommodate the lengthen in cassette enamel.

Russell Burton / MBUK magazine

To accommodate the new 52t cog, SRAM needed to tweak the recent Eagle derailleur to build obvious it shifted with out distress and can unprejudiced contend with the 10t bounce between the two supreme cogs.

SRAM says that by implementing the changes it had designed into the AXS Eagle derailleur, it used to be now not simplest in a job to build things work with the greater sprocket, but also toughen overall chain administration.

What does that mean, despite the indisputable truth that?

If you happen to cast your minds relief to our Eagle AXS derailleur overview, you’ll take into accout the AXS derailleur uses a explicit pulley wheel offset, a shorter cage and a lengthened parallelogram.

This, in preserving with SRAM, helps to make more chain wrap – one thing that helps to toughen cassette life since the chain is spirited with more enamel on a given cog, and therefore lessens the load on each enamel – along with bettering its method for shifting.

Coupled with a brand new spring and pivot hardware, SRAM claims improved shifting all the intention by the total gear vary.

As a final end result of this, SRAM has created a brand new chain gap tool to help with environment the b-stress screw (which controls the spacing between the upper pulley and the backside of the cassette) adjustment.

This new tool – which is prone on the 42t cog and when the bike (if it’s a plump-suspension create) is at sag – will work all the intention by all 12-lag Eagle systems and is inconspicuous to make spend of.

Updates to SRAM GX, X01 and XX1 Eagle cranksets

SRAM GX Eagle mountain bike drivetrain
The new SRAM GX Eagle crankset is supplied in aluminium or carbon fibre. Pictured is the alloy model.

Russell Burton / MBUK magazine

Whereas the new cassette is the headline news here, with the revised rear derailleur coming in a shut 2d, SRAM has also rolled out a gaggle of diversified updates to its Eagle transmissions.

The purpose of curiosity from the US trace is terribly worthy on the most charge-efficient of the three, GX Eagle. If fact be told, this used to be the one it despatched to me, so I could perchance perchance presumably discover some miles in earlier than it unquestionably being launched.

Whereas there might perchance be a brand new carbon GX Eagle crankset (which the logo says uses proprietary carbon layup know-how), I purchased the alloy model, which SRAM claims to be “the appropriate aluminium crankset we build”.

It weighs 657g, complete with the 32t X-Sync 2 chainring. Question carefully and you’ll spot that the ring’s slim-wide enamel are now silver, relatively than shadowy.

SRAM has build these by a two-tone anodisation process (a build on-resistant treatment to better toughen durability), and easily made up our minds the silver enamel regarded cooler than shadowy, which is preferrred enough.

Your complete GX Eagle groupset now is available in SRAM’s Lunar colourway and weighs a complete of 1,906g (including cassette, shifter with cable, chain, derailleur, DUB backside bracket and crankset).

Whereas the shifter remains the same because the outdated GX offering, there is now a single click on possibility aimed toward e-MTB users.

Luxuriate in GX Eagle, X01 and XX1 Eagle contain also had a makeover (wider vary cassettes and esteem minded derailleurs, along with the as a lot as this point chainring therapies), however the rest of the componentry stays worthy the same.

SRAM GX Eagle mountain bike drivetrain
The GX Eagle shifter remains unchanged.

Russell Burton / MBUK magazine

The X01 drivetrain is now available in Lunar Dismal or Oxy Crimson whereas the flagship XX1 Eagle now choices a copper, gold or rainbow color possibility for the cassette and shadowy, gold, copper or rainbow alternatives for the chain.

2020 SRAM GX Eagle groupset pricing

Pricing for the new GX Eagle transmission starts at £495 / $545 / €555.

2020 SRAM GX Eagle groupset first journey impressions

SRAM GX Eagle mountain bike drivetrain
The further cassette enamel on the supreme ring must always tranquil allow you to journey up even steeper climbs!

Russell Burton / MBUK magazine

I’ve simplest had a handful of rides on the new GX Eagle transmission and, to this point, it’s performing successfully.

Whereas the gear steps from the 42t cog down haven’t modified and unquestionably feel the true same as on the 10-50t cassette GX cassette this replaces, I used to be unquestionably intrigued to detect how the shift up into the new 52t cog would unquestionably feel.

As that it is possible you’ll imagine, I simplest ever shifted into the supreme cog when the path modified into hideously steep. At this point, I came upon that as I used to be already travelling so slowly and turning the cranks reasonably slowly, the shift from the 42t to the 52t never felt problematic or esteem such a dramatic switch in cadence that I would correct now lope out.

It felt esteem a natural progression after I unquestionably wanted it. Fortunately, the shift is barely mushy too, even beneath energy, and hasn’t but felt laboured or strained (I’ve had equal abilities when trying the greater cassette with the AXS Eagle setup too).

It’s when lag picks up or the path begins to stage off and you shift from the supreme 52t to the 42t cog that you unquestionably gaze that 10t bounce.

I came upon that when I’d started to lope the 52t gear a minute too with out sing and had shifted into the 42t cog, the switch to my pedalling rhythm felt more disrupted attributable to the broad step between gears.

It’s now not the smoothest beneath energy either and requires a minute finesse when making the shift.

That acknowledged, the new 52t cog is after all a bailout gear, designed for steep pitches where you in any other case might perchance perchance presumably discover off your bike and push. And in those circumstances, it does a truly efficient job of providing you with a worthy wider vary of gearing and the next likelihood of getting up the climb on the bike.

I’ll be doing a plump overview of the new GX Eagle gearing over the approaching months, so retain an notice out for that here.