SRAM GX Eagle Drivetrain Specs and Review
SRAM’s Eagle drivetrains have evolved the 1x movement from the realm of tinkerers to the forefront of component tech. The addition of the GX Eagle group brings 1×12 range and performance in a package that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and very reasonably priced. We put SRAM’s GX Eagle group on a bike that we are very familiar with, and put it under the feet of 2 different riders to get their take on the latest kit. Read the tech and stats below, then continue on to see our employee reviews.
Range to Realize
This is the range of GX Eagle™. The range to reach. To realize. A range beyond limitation or complexity. Beyond what’s been done before. A range where fearless dedication meets relentless engineering. Where silent precision meets trouble free reliability. Where simplicity matches strength.
A whole new system for whole new horizons.The range to realize the other side.
This is GX Eagle.
X-SYNC™2 Eagle™ is the next evolution of SRAM X-SYNC™ technology. The aggressive teeth design provides better chain retention for a smoother, more efficient pedal feel. With a focus on long wear-life, the X-SYNC™2 Eagle™ design reduces friction and the accumulation of mud, grit and grime.
BOOST is a new wheel and drivetrain specification that opens the opportunity for improved frame geometry with shorter chain stays, wider and stiffer suspension pivots, a wider range of chainring options as well as more clearance for bigger tires and wider, stiffer wheels.
HARD CHROME™ chain has four times the elongation (wear) resistance to our other chains. This is due to the new finishing process on the inner links and rollers. Push pin strength and ultimate strength are equivalent to our current chains. The HARD CHROME™ chain lasts longer and is just as strong.
FLOWLINK™ Ultra-smooth chain inner-plates are completely devoid of square edges, resulting in a chain that engages the cassette and chainring with far less friction, for quieter performance and better wear life. The design allows a narrower overall profile that can withstand greater angles, and also allows for a flatter outer-plate, which means more consistent chain riveting and enhanced overall strength.
ZERO LOSS simply means, well, zero loss—when you push on the lever, for an upshift or down shift, the cable is engaged instantly—zero loss of movement. There is no middle-ground where you’re waiting for the shift to come. Gear changes are instant and precise.
X-ACTUATION™ developed specifically for SRAM 1x™ keeps shifting sharp and consistent across the entire cassette.
XD™ DRIVER BODY is a cassette driver body design that allows the use of a 10-tooth small cog and provides an improved interface with the cassette.
X-GLIDE™2 is next generation of SRAM X-GLIDE™ technology optimized for the Eagle™ 12-speed cassette. It provides quick, precise, power-on shifting performance throughout the gear range, and increases chain retention on larger cogs.
FULL PIN™ technology uses eleven lightweight, stamped steel cogs and one 50-tooth aluminum cog held together with high-strength stainless steel pins. The result: a cassette that’s light, durable and equipped with SRAM’s super wide 10-50 gear range that’s a perfect fit for any ride. The open design similar to our X-DOME™ cassette aids in mud clearance, giving you cleaner shifting performance and longer component life.
The X-HORIZON™ rear derailleur’s ‘straight parallelogram’ design limits all movement to the horizontal axis, which makes ghost shifting impossible while also reducing shift force. For quicker, more exact shifting, the large upper pulley offset design maintains a constant chain gap across all gears.
With CAGE LOCK™ technology in the rear derailleur, wheel removal and installation—as well as chain installation—becomes faster and simpler. Just pushing the cage forward to create slack and lock it into place.
X-ACTUATION™ developed specifically for SRAM 1x™ keeps shifting sharp and consistent across the entire cassette.
ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ rear derailleurs deliver maximum drivetrain stability—even through the most punishing terrain. With ROLLER BEARING CLUTCH™ technology, derailleur bounce and chain slap are eliminated without sacrificing precision.
Designed As One
SRAM Eagle™ drivetrains are designed, engineered and manufactured to work as complete drivetrain systems. All Eagle™ components are Designed as One, to guarantee Eagle™ range, durability and performance. Only genuine Eagle™ components meet SRAM’s design directive and testing protocols. No other company can claim its product meets our design directive. Everything you need. Nothing you don’t. Engineered in Germany.
This is Eagle™.
Head to Head Review: GX Eagle
Mike is a perfect template for an enduro rider. With a background in moto, and a love for DH, he is also willing to put down some serious road or trail riding miles to earn his descents. While his pedaling game is not weak, he probably isn’t going to set his PR lap times in the climbs. Instead, he puts down solid climbs with unbelievably quick descents. Mike is known for getting loose in the technical sections, and boosting airs with style. Mike is also a fan of SRAM components.
Aaron is a powerhouse. He is known for putting the hurt on those around him who try to keep up on the road, the gravel, or the singletrack. He has honed his pedaling power in road racing, but puts an ample amount of time on the dirt. While DH, gnarly tech, big airs, and steez may not be his strong suit, Aaron is willing to push his skills to the limit, and at the speeds he rides, that limit can come quickly. Aaron is admittedly a bigger fan of Shimano components.
The GX Eagle Bike
2017 Banshee Rune
- GX EAGLE DRIVETRAIN
- *Actual weights of the GX Eagle drivetrain were nearly spot on with published weights, and even sometimes lighter
- ROCKSHOX PIKE RCT3 BOOST FORK
- RACE FACE AEFFECT-R 27.5″ w/SCHWALBE HANS DAMPF 27.5 TIRES
- SHIMANO XT M8000 DISC BRAKES w/SLX RT66 ROTOR
- RACE FACE AEFFECT COCKPIT
- ROCK SHOX REVERB STEALTH 150MM
Installation & Setup
It all went together as you would expect with no surprises. Getting the chain length and B-limit adjustment spot on is the most challenging part.
Everything went on easily. I did have to do a little bit of adjustment of the B-limit before riding to get it shifting into the 50T perfectly.
GX Eagle On the Trail
Crisp shifting throughout the entire cassette, no ghost shifts and no noise.
The up-shifts are quick and quiet but I did experience a bit of a slower than desired down shift, this could be a poorly adjusted b-limit screw but it was by no means a deal breaker.
Shifter ergonomics on par with what we have come to expect from SRAM.
Shifting under heavy load yielded crisp shifts that were on point almost every time.
Overall fit and finish looks like it belongs to a product with a higher price tag, clean graphics and nice lines.
Having ridden both X01 Eagle and XX1 in the past, I can safely say that the overall shifting response and performance is excellent. Shifts were clean and easy. If I was blindfolded, the only difference I would be able to tell would be the feel of the shifter. It does feel less precise and less crisp than say, an XX1 or X01 shifter. That makes sense because those shifters are just way nicer. From a functional stand point I would not be able to tell the difference blindfolded. It’s great.
My only complaint is that the shifts into smaller (harder) cogs felt a little slow to engage, but that could have to do with the shift cable not being fully broken in on its first ride, so I won’t fault the group for that. I had a couple mis-shifts that were not due to the group but more by feathering the shifter instead of fully depressing it (remember, I’m coming from effortless Di2 shifting). Chain slap was a non-issue as the integrated clutch worked as advertised.
How Does It Stack Up Against the Competition
Compared to the current XO1 Eagle kit that I am riding I would say that the GX Eagle is well worth the price, the higher weight was not noticeable and the shift performance felt almost identical. The biggest difference I saw was in the shifter, it just lacks the thumb lever position adjustment that I like to tweak.
If I had to choose between this and an SLX kit I would choose the GX Eagle all day. The gaps between shifts feel much more “useable” and the 50 tooth gives a great bail out gear when paired with a 34 tooth front ring. There also feels to be lass drag at the derailleur than I get with the Shimano setup.
Compared to its other Eagle siblings, I would feel 100% confident running this on my bike in lieu of the other Eagle groups. On my own bike I would probably change out the GX shifter for an X01, but keep everything else GX. The weight penalty is minimal and the functionality is pretty much the same.
I’m not sure I’m ready to give up my Shimano Di2, but the is not a totally direct comparison in price and functionality.
What You Loved
- Price, price and price. This group is going to usher in big performance without the big price tag.
- Overall fit and finish looks like it belongs to a product with a higher price tag, and has clean graphics and nice lines.
- Shifter ergonomics on par with what we have come to expect from SRAM.
- Shifting under heavy load yielded crisp shifts that were on point almost every time. One of the defining factors between SRAM and Shimano is the shift feel. This is a matter of personal preference, but if you are a fan of SRAM’s crisp, mechanical, and punchy shifts, the GX Eagle group will not disappoint.
- Love the range! I like to “spin to win”, so climbing on a bigger-travel bike means the 50T granny gear is more than welcome.
- Shift quality was surprisingly excellent! Next to X01 and XX1, GX Eagle shifts incredibly cleanly, although it’s less tolerant of poor shifting decisions like slamming down 4 or 5 gears at once.
- Price! Believe it or not, GX enters the realm of realistic affordability so it will be interesting to see how many people make the jump to 12 speed, given the great bank-for-the-buck ratio.
What You Didn’t Love
- No adjustability on the shift lever positioning.
- As always, mixing Shimano brakes and SRAM shifter gives poor shift lever positioning without using an adapter like Problem Solvers’ MisMatch Adapters.
- Slight slow feeling on down shifts.
- Mainly aesthetics. The finish quality is fine, not mind-blowing. I’m spoiled by XTR, but most riders won’t mind. GX is a utilitarian group.
- Shifter wasn’t as razor-crispy as I would like it to be, but got the job done.
- I wish it had the capacity for multiple upshifts into harder gears (like Shimano XT and XTR) with a single lever throw. Traversing an 11 speed cassette with only single clicks was inconvenient, but now it’s mildly irritating with 12 speeds. I felt a little silly clicking my shifter 5 or 6 times coming into a sudden downhill section. This isn’t GX’s fault, just a feature I wish SRAM drivetrains had.
- I guess I could complain about the weight, but I’m not going to. It’s negligible.
SRAM really hit a home run with the GX Eagle kit. The fact that this setup is priced so well means that we will be seeing it as an OEM spec on many mid-level full suspension bikes and I think that is great! As an upgrade for your current drive train I say do it and never look back, 12 speed Eagle has been one of the best drive trains I have ever ridden and I speak for both GX and XO1. I give SRAM a standing round of applause for yet again trickling down kick ass technology to a price point that makes it accessible for cyclist at all levels.
GX brings 12 speed to the everyman. To me, it’s the ideal group for someone who wants a ton of range with basically no compromises. It will work great for an experienced trail rider, enduro racer, or a beginner. I’m super happy to see such a functional wide-range 1x group finally available at a price point that people can afford.
Pretty much everyone. While this group is targeted at riders on a bit of a budget, even those who are willing to pay top dollar might find the GX Eagle group tempting for things like an extra wheel/cassette setup, spare derailleur for race weekends, or a smart-build that mixes up the top-tier groups with a bit of the lower-tier items to get the absolute most performance bang for the buck. With a massively wide range of gears, a reasonable weight, and a great price, we can see the GX Eagle group being the de facto kit for many complete bikes, and an accessible upgrade for riders from all disciplines and riding styles.