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Spy Shots: SRAM XX Mountain Bike Component Group

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Either some Taiwanese folks are very good at photoshop and cut and paste, or these are some legitimate spy shots of the upcoming SRAM XX 2×10 mountain bike component group we reported on earlier.  Per the picture, weight is spec’d at under 2,300g.

Our hunch is this will trickle some RED tech over from their road side and other upgrades from their current XO components:

DERAILLEURS: The rear is likely to include a full carbon cage for the pulleys, and our guess is they’ll have ceramic bearings, too.  What’s different is the upper plate seems to be solid whereas the XO is open to reveal the spring.  From the pic, it looks like the limit screws are placed on either end as opposed to both on the front (pic of current XO der after the break).  The bottom linkage could be carbon fiber. It also looks like the knuckle will be aluminum rather than a composite/carbon material.

On the front, the actuating arms are pretty tall, indicating they’re designed to move across a wide space.  If so, it could mean the rings are spaced a little further apart to avoid noisy rubbing when the chainline is going from small-small or big-big.  If you’ve ever ridden a compact crankset on the road, you know what I’m talking about, and it effectively limits the range you want to use on the cassette.  Wider spacing of the front rings would solve this, although it’d be interesting to see how they keep the chain from dropping between the rings if they’re too wide.

SHIFTERS: SRAM double-tap mountain bike shifter prototypes have been spotted in the past, but looking at these pics, it’s hard to tell if that’s where they went for XX.  There’s a tiny nub showing on the bottom of the shifter, which could be the return lever.  Hard to say based on these images.  It does look like it’ll use SRAM’s Matchmaker mounting design, which lets both the shifters and levers share the same clamp, saving a few grams and reducing clutter.

BRAKES: The XX brake lever, which has Avid’s logo, looks very much like the Elixir CR (below), only pared down quite a bit.  Note the shorter adjustment barrel (silver on XX, red on CR), thinner master cylinder and what appears to be carbon levers. Another difference appears to be a two-piece rotor which would shave grams, but may increase chances of developing some play.

CRANKS: The cranks are likely to be carbon fiber, but again, from these pics, we’re not 100% sure.  They’re pretty beefy looking, especially the arms, which should mean a stiff big ring and crisp shifting, and given Truvativ’s use of carbon on their high-end cranks, it’d surprising if they aren’t using it here.

CASSETTE: One surprise is the apparent lack of a Powerdome cassette like their road cassette.  It would sure be easier to clean, and they’re definitely light, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s some sort of composite spider inside the gears to lower weight.  It’s likely they’ll offer something with a pretty massive (36t?) big ring on the cassette given the lack of a granny, and they’ve got an extra gear to do it with now.

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