SRAM NX 1x drivetrain review actual weights mtb (2)

If you’ve been considering switching to a SRAM 1x group, there are probably two big factors to consider. Price, and the need for an XD driver. Riders may have been creating their own modified 1x drivetrains with cassette adapters and such for years, but the addition of a commercially available 1x group that is actually affordable – really affordable, is something new.

Not only does SRAM’s NX group represent a massive decrease in price, it also offers something new in terms of the cassette. Rather than relying on SRAM’s XD driver, the new PG-1130 cassette uses a standard 9/10/11 speed freehub that lowers the barrier to entry even further. So you have a group that offers most of the 1x advantage that is also affordable, and accessible.

But is it worth it?

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Likely one of the most exciting pieces of the group, the new PG-1130 cassette breaks new ground for SRAM’s 1x lineage. Their first wide range cassette to not use the XD driver, the NX level cassette ends up with slightly less range with an 11-42t spread instead of the previous 10-42t. That was the whole point behind the XD driver – it allowed a smaller 10t cog to be used, and also results in a much lighter cassette. Looking at the PG-1130, you might guess that it’s not light and you’d be right. At 525g (claimed at 538g), it’s a full 125g heavier than the next closest competitor, the XG-1150 which requires an XD freehub body at a claimed 394g. This is also the first SRAM wide range cassette that uses a multi-piece assembly that is comprised of 16 pieces including the lock ring and spacers. With the exception of the first 3 largest cogs, the remaining 8 cogs are individual which could mean damage to light weight freehubs as is often seen from split cassettes. SRAM did cut some weight on the cassette by pinning the 42t to the adjoining gears, but there’s only so much you can do with a full steel cassette.

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Along with the removal of the 10t cog in favor of the 11t, cassette jumps have changed as well with 11,13,15,17,19,22,25,28,32,36,42, instead of 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42. Clearly, the big draw here is that it will allow those with hubs that don’t offer XD freehub options another choice for wide range cassettes. And then there’s the price. At $79, it’s almost laughably affordable compared to the XD cassettes that require the purchase of an XD driver as well.

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If the cassette ends up being the most exciting piece, the NX X-Horizon derailleur is surely second on that list. On the surface, the NX model is an entry level 1x derailleur, but in reality it is a crazy affordable replacement for any SRAM 11s 1x group. Fully compatible with all of their X-Horizon based shifters, the NX includes a surprising number of features for $74. It still includes a Type 3 roller clutch, their Cage Lock feature, and 12 tooth X-Sync pulley wheels . Just about the only difference between this unit and its more expensive cousins are materials and the lack of sealed cartridge bearings. Again, the derailleur is lighter than claimed (314g vs 322g) and it’s close to the weight of more pricey models compared to the cassette.

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To go along with the derailleur, there is an NX shifter. Naturally, the 11 speed shifter borrows from previous generations with X-Actuation and is again compatible with all other SRAM 11 speed 1x drivetrains. The shifter is pretty basic with zero adjustments available for the levers, but it offers a similar form factor for $27 which includes a shift cable. SRAM is on a roll with their weights – even with the cable, the shifter came in under claimed at 140g vs 142g.

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Up front, the NX 1x X-Sync crank moves the group with 6000 series forged aluminum arms, and a non-removable spider with a 94 BCD. Sold with a SRAM X-Sync 1x narrow-wide chainring, tooth options include 30, 32, 34, 36, and 38t. In addition to the chainring options, the crank is available in a plethora of configurations including 155, 165, 170, and 175mm arms, 24 and 30mm spindles, standard and 100mm fat bike spindles, and chainlines to fit 49, 52, and 66.5mm. Complete weight without the bottom bracket for the 170mm arms above measured 720g.

The group also includes a new PC-1110 chain, though our review group was sent with a PC-1130. The $14 (!) PC-1110 will work with all SRAM 1×11 groups and still includes their PowerLock connection with a solid, chrome hardened pin construction and a claimed weight of 232-273g.

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Ride Impressions:

There is no doubt when riding the NX group that you are on a more affordable drivetrain, but all things considered, SRAM did an incredible job of making 1x available to the masses here. The group has a decidedly more plastic-y feel which is mostly due to the shift levers, but it doesn’t really detract from the over all feel – which is the precise shifting we’ve come to expect from SRAM’s 1x groups. There is never any hesitation. Just click, pop, and you’re in the gear you want. The group even allows for backpedaling in any gear without the chain derailing which hasn’t been the case for every wide range 1x group we’ve tried. Like other 11-42 cassettes, the 10t cog is missed if you have sustained downhills or do a lot of road riding to the trail head, but the closer steps near the high end of the cassette may make up for it if that’s something that bothers you.

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Realistically, the weight savings of a 1x group may be gone at this point, but it still offers the simplicity and quiet that we’ve grown to love from ditching the double (not to mention room for a better dropper lever). While the group’s weight may have adopters thinking twice, the affordability and interchangeability with other SRAM 1×11 groups will likely cause NX to work as a gateway group to future 1x customers.


  1. Me on

    This makes for a very affordable way to update my kid’s old 3×9 to 1×11 and ditch the front derailleur that they have so much problem learning/actuating!

  2. Alex on

    This is very cool. Any extra weight penalty from having to use a heavier freehub so that those steel sprockets don’t munch the freehub body can be more than compensated for by me munching a few less carbs every day! Sign me up – new technology that is actually compatible with my old stuff.

  3. Andrew Dasilva on

    Random – Anyone handle an EAGLE chain yet?

    I’m crazy and use 11spd chains on my 10spd groupsets…. Very tempted to run the 12spd chain on my 11spd groupset. Just ’cause.

  4. padrefan on

    Curious about a couple of things: 1) Is there an actual weight penalty, if you are comparing a low level 2/3X group to this one? I can sure understand gaining weight if you’re going from XTR to this, but more curious if you’re changing it out from a comparable group.

    2) If one were to upgrade the shifter to a higher end SRAM model… would it feel less “plasticky?”

  5. hjb1000 on

    525g for the cassette… that is hard to swallow regardless of the groupset price point. I’ll stick with 2x thanks

  6. Bill on

    So, can you otherwise upgrade your drivetrain to other 1×11 systems (xx1, x01, etc) and just use the cassette from this group? Could definitely help make wheels not obsolete until you can get proper xd driver stuff

  7. Rokasey on

    On cassettes… prices from some german shop
    XT 11-42 – 72.90e / 447g
    SLX 11-42 – 64.90e / 491g
    NX 11-42 – 69.90e / 525g

    Whats the point of such entry level?

  8. Tom on

    Been using this set up for a few ride and very impressed with it. Apart from the weight the only week point is the shifter. I am using a GX 11sp shifter. The shifter is still inexpensive but it looses that cheap plastic feel of the NX one.

  9. don on

    When compared apples to apples, lower grade sram 2x or shimano 2x, this set-up is lighter. Crank is significantly lighter and covers the delta in cassette. We do a bunch of 1x conversions with wolftooth 42’s./removing the 16 or 17, raceface nw front, clutch derailleur, chain… and while they work and work pretty well we have started recommending this instead. Blind folded it operates perfectly and for most riders the solid shift click/simplicity is a big improvement. Most people doing these conversions are bringing in much older gear with cranks which are 900+ grams…


  10. Kyle on

    Part of me still thinks the 1x thing only exists because Sram couldn’t make a decent front derailleur, and so I’ll never want to give up gearing options for simplicity.

  11. Shopwrench on

    @Kyle – Just because you can’t adjust a front derailleur doesn’t mean Sram can’t make a good one…

    And @Rokasey – I would be willing to bet you are quoting prices that are no where near retail. And probably less than what a lot of bike shops can get these parts wholesale or only a couple $ more than wholesale.

  12. Yo! on

    shimano xt 1x groupset coasts as much as this sram thing… you can foul shimano buyers with fanciness, weight… But in quality/price, shimano kicks the ass of sram, campagnolo and who ever…

  13. ROSnine on

    I have a XT M8000 drivetrain, which drops the chain anytime you backpedal in the 42t. I wonder is the NX cassette with the XT derailleur would solve this issue.

  14. John on

    Yes the NX is a gateway path. Bill is exactly right and that is my plan. It looks like (maybe) one can use the PG-1130, keep my existing hub instead of having to rebuild the wheel with a new hub, install rest of 1×11 groupset I want. Later when I can do a new rear wheel, upgrade the hub + cassette and I’m done. Nothing says one cannot use a PG-1130 with a GX rear derailleur or beyond, as far as I know.

  15. mathme on

    I know I’m totally late to this party, and most of the posters here will have figured this out– but the advantage of the NX cassette over other 11 speed, splined cassettes (non-XD, anyway) is that it can run on an 8,9,10 FHB. This makes it great if you don’t already have a 11s shimano FHB. This groupo is better for a commuter or for a bike that has a pretty nice/expensive rear wheel that doesn’t have an 11-speed fhb. Maybe this is “no duh,” but people are comparing it to shimano 11s cassettes, which require an 11s fhb, making it kind of an apples-to-oranges comparison.

    • Tyler Durden on

      Hella late to the party just to say that your statement is false regarding Shimano 11sp. mountain cassettes, which are still compatible with 8-10sp freehubs. I like apples with my apples.

  16. Bubba on

    I want to install a SRAM NX 1x drivetrain on an older 26″ bike. The problem is that the frame does’t have a factory hanger for the rear derailleur. Now I’m using a Shimano adapter Y52U98010 which pushes away the derailleur from the normal position with about 4 mm. Do you think that the NX X-Horizon derailleur will work flawlessly under these conditions? Thanks!


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