SRAM is on a roll when it comes to 1x groups. Not only have they introduced a 1x group for almost every discipline, but now they’re making sure there are plenty affordable options as well. What started as a pricey debut with XX1 now flows all the way down to the recently introduced NX group. While the rest of their 1x options were moving to 11 (or even 12!) speed, SRAM went the opposite way with their first 1x group specifically for DH riding. Deciding it was more important to have fewer shifts between the first and last gear, less chain slap, and more room between the derailleur and the spokes, SRAM’s X01 DH went to just 7 gears.
Now, SRAM is following that same winning formula but with something a little more, ok a lot more affordable. Yes, DH 1x is getting the GX treatment. That equals much of the performance of X01 DH without the price tag – and without an XD freehub body…
Other than the cassette, the parts look very similar to their X01 DH cousins, but in a muted grey on black finish. The GX DH X-horizon derailleur uses the same X-actuation as X01 DH which means they are cross compatible, as is the entire system. That longer X-Actuation cable pull claims to deliver more consistent shifts in tough conditions. Its geometry uses the same X-Horizon layout of X01 DH, that SRAM says better maintains consistent chain gap across all gears and limits the up-and-down movement of the derailleur body (instead rotating the cage and moving it in and out on the cassette) to virtually eliminate ghost shifts resulting from stutter bumps and big impacts. The derailleur includes a medium aluminum cage with a max tooth count of 28 (which could conceivably be assembled from individual cogs.) The best part? It’s only $104/119€ (compared to $272 for X01 DH) which should be a little less painful when you rip it off on the first lap at the park.
The same 7 speed X-actuation is used in the GX DH shifter. A dedicated 7 speed shifter, the body is compatible with SRAM’s Matchmaker levers and will sell for $43/48€. It also is compatible with X01 DH making it a low cost crash replacement if you break one of the more expensive shifters.
Maybe the most important component for a budget drivetrain is a new PG-720 cassette which makes use of a standard splined freehub body rather than SRAM’s XD driver. Equipped with 7 gears in 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, and 25t steps, the remainder of the cassette spacing is occupied by a spacer that helps prevent the chain from going into the spokes. While we’ve seen e*thirteen make use of this extra space to make a stronger wheel with their 7 speed cassette, theoretically, this space allows the derailleur to sit farther out from the spokes which should give you some leeway in case the hanger gets bent. Again, the cassette is a total steal at just $30/36€. An added benefit is that it is fully compatible with the X01 DH group, so if you want to build up X01 DH group with a wheel that has a splined freehub you can use this cassette, or if you build a GX DH group with a wheel that has a XD-driver you can use the X01 cassette.
Those are the only GX DH specific parts, but SRAM recommends pairing them with a PC-1130 chain and a Truvativ Descendant DH crank with an X-Sync chainring. SRAM’s photoshoots of the new GX DH group had bikes built up with Avid Code brakes, but we expect to see more riders on the newest update of the Guide brakes with revised S4 calipers. Everything above should be available this month.