While SRAM hasn’t yet officially added SX to their Eagle line-up, we’ve started seeing a new budget drivetrain popping up in online shops promising even lower prices than NX Eagle. It’s undeniable that SRAM reshaped modern mountain bike drivetrains with their wide-ranging 1×12 speed Eagle groupsets, and SX Eagle looks poised to bring that same performance to even more affordable mountain bikes. As their direct competitor still only offers 1×12 at the most premium, SX Eagle looks set to round out a fifth-tier offering for SRAM 1×12.
SRAM SX Eagle budget 1×12 mountain bike drivetrain
What we know so far about the upcoming SRAM SX Eagle group is limited to that published by online retailers. But from that we can glean plenty of info. The group looks to be a companion to NX Eagle, with a lower cost crankset, shifter & rear derailleur, likely to bring the total group cost down especially for OEM bikes trying to hit a more affordable pricepoint. SX Eagle doesn’t get its own chain or cassette, instead taking those direct from the already affordable NX Eagle.
The alloy SX crankset gets a slightly simplified forging with the same style of Boost-spaced, direct-mount, stamped steel chainring as found on NX, plus the new DUB bottom bracket/axle standard. We’ve seen a range of crank lengths, but only 32T chainrings being offered.
The SX Eagle rear derailleur looks much like other SRAM X-Horozon 1x derailleurs, but like the cheaper drop bar versions, it uses a more conventional cable entry point vs. the NX’s pulley. The steel cage derailleur still gets a clutch, narrow-wide lower X-Sync pulley, and a cage lock to work with up to 50T cassettes.
The plastic shifter has a simplified clamshell construction, with a built-in band clamp meaning no Matchmaker compatibility. But does share the same X-Actuation cable pull making it work with all Eagle derailleurs, and can handle 5 upshifts at a time.
The cassette for the group is the PG-1230 12-speed 11-50T shared directly with NX Eagle meaning it will work on standard HG (Shimano-style) freewheel bodies, while giving much of the range of the more premium Eagle groupsets. The chain is also a NX Eagle part, with Eagle’s distinct Powerlock quick link.
The online retailers are all quoting approximately six weeks til availability, so we expect it to pop up in late June/early July 2019. Retail pricing for SRAM SX Eagle is estimated at 370€ for the complete setup, making it about 50€ less than a pure NX Eagle combo. While that is surely targeting entry-level mountain bikes, we’d guess it will make the decision to upgrade to 1×12 even easier for plenty of mountain bikers who have been on the fence.