SRAM GX 1×11 Mountain Bike Drivetrain

Although SRAM has steadily trickled down the technology from its top-of-the-line, XX1 one-by-eleven (1×11) mountain group since 2012, a 1x drivetrain—a single chainring with a wide-range cassette to provide a similar gear range to a 2x system—was still a premium offering unless you wanted to hack it with a conversion kit. But when SRAM released its GX group last spring, it slashed the minimum buy-in to $564, and as low as $3,500 for a complete bike with GX. And just like that, more of us could dream of one day owning a clean-looking bike with simpler shifting and more handlebar real estate.

GX is almost identical to SRAM’s higher-end X1 and X01 groups, primarily differing in materials and manufacturing. The biggest saving: The X01 and XX1 10-42 cassettes are machined from a single piece of steel, while the GX version is held together by stainless steel pins. More affordable materials are also used in the crankset, crankarms, chain, and the derailleur—which otherwise share the same features as their X1/X01 counterparts. The weight penalty: 221 grams over the $1,335 X01 group.