They also created a complete GX lineup, letting you switch a few parts around to make a wide range 1x or 2x group, using a crankset that worked with single or double chainrings and a collection of cassettes to choose from. We reviewed that here.
Now, the new SRAM NX group brings 1×11 to everyone with a complete, dedicated single chainring drivetrain for an even lower price – as little as $310. That includes crankset with chainring, shifter, rear derailleur and cassette…even the chain!
The NX group takes virtually all of the technologies developed for XX1 and its siblings, save for the X-dome machined cassettes. And it has a full range of chainring sizes, from 26 to 40 teeth in even counts. Perhaps the best part is that they’re now offering a wide range 11-speed cassette that’ll fit on a standard freehub body, no XD Driver required!
The cranks come in GXP and BB30 spindles in widths for everything from standard 68/73 to fat bike’s 100/121 for threaded and pressfit applications. They use a one-piece crank arm with a spider made from 6000-series alloy. The X-Sync narrow-wide chainrings (28/30/32/34/36/38/40) use a 94mm BCD, with chain lines of 49mm (standard), 52mm (boost) and 66.5mm (fat bike).
Arm length options are 155, 165, 170 and 175mm. That’s an awfully short arm on the small side, teeing this up for kids bikes, too.
Other than materials, the NX rear derailleur is functionally the same as XX1. It has the offset 12t pulley, Cage Lock and clutch equipped X-Horizon movement.
The pinned steel NX cassette fits a standard freehub body by upping the lower tooth count from 10 to 11, but keeps the 42-tooth upper cog. Full tooth counts are 11-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36-42.
The NX trigger shifter has the X-Actuation like the others, but with a fixed attachment clamp. That means no Matchmaker mounting, so you’ll need to make room on your bar for both this and your brake lever’s clamp.
Or you can opt for the NX Gripshift instead, which has the same Speed Metal and Rolling Thunder design (metal click indents and ball bearing rotation) as the others.
Here’s how it stacks up against the higher end groups:
*lowest weights for each part listed. Compare this to $970 (X1), $1,247 (X01) and $1,375 (XX1).
Considering the cost, we’re guessing this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a rash of aftermarket upgrades to NX. Where we think you will see it is on a lot of 2017 model bikes, giving entry level models a proper 1x drivetrain while keeping the complete bike price low. And, since all of the parts are interchangeable, it’s likely you’ll see some brands mixing the NX cranks, shifter and cassette with an upgraded rear mech to improve showroom appeal.
SRAM’s goal with NX is to get more first time riders on a 1x system. Thanks to its simplicity and wide range, that makes a lot of sense. And at this price, it makes the cents, too.