SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Just about two months ago, SRAM unveiled their own single-piece chainrings for 1x drivetrains. The new direct mount X-Sync chainrings drop weight from the originals and, contrary to what we thought might happen, don’t really add any more effort to swapping between chainring sizes.

Compared to offerings from Absolute Black, Wolf Tooth Components… heck, even Race Face… SRAM’s have much burlier arms. It’s not surprising. By keeping the “spider” thicker and shaped to prevent any flex, the chainrings should perform better under intense efforts that may otherwise deform a lesser chainring. Not that we’ve had any issues with any of the other brands’ offerings, but larger, OEM brands like SRAM tend to overbuild things a bit to maximize pro race level performance.

But, that doesn’t mean they’re any heavier…

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Left to right: 32T DM (63g), 30T DM (59g), and 32T standard X-Sync with spider (91). For comparison, the Race Face 34T narrow wide CINCH chainring came in at 70g on our scale. Considering there’s only 4g jump between the 30T and 32T SRAM chainrings, that puts them in the right spot weight wise.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

As thick as the legs look, they’re hollowed out on the backside.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

To change out the DM chainrings, you’ll need to remove the drive side crank arm, then the three bolts (not shown in these pics) that secure the ring to the crank. Fortunately, SRAM’s 1x cranks put the spindle on the non-drive side, so it’s a very quick, easy removal with a 10mm allen wrench. So, it’s still just four bolts to replace the chainring, they’re just four different bolts than you’d be changing on the standard setup. Honestly, it takes about the same amount of time.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Visual comparison of the original versus the new DM rings.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Riding the new chainrings feels just like riding the old ones. Great chain retention, smooth and quiet operation and just generally flawless performance. Only lighter. Good stuff.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Check our original post for full tech specs, pricing and availability.


  1. 91g minus 63g equals a massive 28g saving! Is it me, or is that a bit of a let-down considering weight would be only reason to use DM.

    The fact you can’t easily change chainrings makes this a bit of a fail IMO. One important thing to remember with SRAM GXP cranks too is that you don’t want to be continuously mounting and unmounting the M15 crank bolts, as after a while the aluminium will yield.

  2. HJB makes a great point… I have gone through two XX1 chainrings already and it is very convenient not to have to remove the entire Crank in order to put on a new ring.

    I run BB30, so removing the crank introduces more possibilites for creaks and greater wear and tear.

    30g of savings is not worth it. Plus, if I did go dm would save some money and get Absolute black’s dm.

  3. It seems to be a positive move to simplify the system, yet is more catching up with after-market than ground breaking.
    Assuming another 5-6g to jump from 32T to 34T the SRAM pieces weigh the same as Race Face. Wolfooth 5spoke direct mount 34T is 4g heavier. Absolute Black are 67g. The increased mass around the aftermarket offerings appears to be around the centre. This should translate to a minimal difference in effort, and in racing red they should spin faster 😉

    They also cost less than the SRAM rings (looking at a few online retailers.)

    Wolftooth, Absolute Black, and Race Face are CNC’d from a billet – and should be stronger than cheaper drop-forged process SRAM uses. SRAM has added reinforcing around the hollow areas. You’ll need a test to see which holds up better against that just-too-high rollover.

    @Rich – SRAM (as do other companies) make offerings for GXP and BB30 so will fit their OEM equivalents.

  4. Wolftooth also makes a really nice DM chainring for SRAM and RF. They also make a 36T and last a lot longer than the SRAM XX1 rings.

  5. The X-Sync tooth profile is awesome. Just a hair taller than any other narrow wide I have ridden. Perfect for CX on muddy courses. Solid product!

  6. BMW-
    I wanted to make some smart ass comment about Van Aert here, but I’m not that witty. X-Sync does work well, but in the mud chain drops can happen to any setup.

  7. These look nice. I have an absoluteblack oval, which i like, but heck, these are nice round ones – mainly they look stronger/zarro-flex.

  8. did hjb and mark read the part about how changing chainrings isn’t harder? and unless you use a sledge hammer to remove your crank arms, you don’t wear them out by remove them.

  9. I have 2 DM Absolute black chanrings… one GXP and one BB30! Great product and great company to deal with. My highest recommendations! (No, I’m not sponsored / or an AB employee)

  10. xx1 alloy used in the SRAM chainrings is soft as butter, if these use the same alloy I’d steer away from them. wolftooth and absolute black are a lot better product and use a better alloy

  11. I slogged through an extremely muddy ride on XX1 yesterday, and the drivetrain performance was just as good as it would have been with perfect conditions. SRAM nailed it with XX1 (and on the first try, for once!). If I had SRAM cranks I would be all over these, but I’ve got S-Works cranks with an XX1 adapter spider – let me know when they start making direct mount chainrings for those…

  12. Chris M – yep, and haven’t had any trouble with it for the couple years I’ve been riding this as my “A” bike, same on my “B” bike, which is the same thing in a different color that I’ve had for even longer.

  13. All the “XC racers” demanding a 38t ring must be racing some pretty lame ass courses, or your fast enough you should be getting your chainrings for free.

  14. If I go 1×11 with say a 32 tooth for harder loop and a 36 for the flatter stuff will everything work the same to does one need to change the chain / # links too?

  15. Frank – With the SRAM system, they say you can generally go up or down one chainring size, so if you set it up as though you have a 34T, you should be good to go. The general rule is to wrap the chain around the chainring and the big cog, then add four links (for a wide range 1x system, only two links for a 2x). So, perhaps adjust accordingly.

  16. @Frank, it’s been my experience that with a 2 tooth difference you can get away with running the same chain, but anything larger you’re going to need a new chain.

  17. Hey BR… anyone have any thoughts on the new Direct Mount durability? I’m currently getting (if i’m lucky) about 1200 to 1500km on a single original XX1 chainring. And that’s in good dry South African trail conditions. Thanks! Ciao, Renato

  18. I see that the Sram direct mount chainrings comes in two versions one with 0 mm offset and one with 6 mm offset. Can you advice which version to use and how to know.

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