SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Just about two months ago, SRAM unveiled their own single-piece chainrings for 1x drivetrains. The new direct mount X-Sync chainrings drop weight from the originals and, contrary to what we thought might happen, don’t really add any more effort to swapping between chainring sizes.

Compared to offerings from Absolute Black, Wolf Tooth Components… heck, even Race Face… SRAM’s have much burlier arms. It’s not surprising. By keeping the “spider” thicker and shaped to prevent any flex, the chainrings should perform better under intense efforts that may otherwise deform a lesser chainring. Not that we’ve had any issues with any of the other brands’ offerings, but larger, OEM brands like SRAM tend to overbuild things a bit to maximize pro race level performance.

But, that doesn’t mean they’re any heavier…

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Left to right: 32T DM (63g), 30T DM (59g), and 32T standard X-Sync with spider (91). For comparison, the Race Face 34T narrow wide CINCH chainring came in at 70g on our scale. Considering there’s only 4g jump between the 30T and 32T SRAM chainrings, that puts them in the right spot weight wise.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

As thick as the legs look, they’re hollowed out on the backside.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

To change out the DM chainrings, you’ll need to remove the drive side crank arm, then the three bolts (not shown in these pics) that secure the ring to the crank. Fortunately, SRAM’s 1x cranks put the spindle on the non-drive side, so it’s a very quick, easy removal with a 10mm allen wrench. So, it’s still just four bolts to replace the chainring, they’re just four different bolts than you’d be changing on the standard setup. Honestly, it takes about the same amount of time.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Visual comparison of the original versus the new DM rings.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Riding the new chainrings feels just like riding the old ones. Great chain retention, smooth and quiet operation and just generally flawless performance. Only lighter. Good stuff.

SRAM XX1 X-sync direct mount chainrings actual weights and first ride review

Check our original post for full tech specs, pricing and availability.

SRAM.com

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Rich
Rich
7 years ago

Possibly dumb question: can I fit one of these onto a X01 alloy crank (OEM)?

Portly
Portly
7 years ago

Nice, now bring on some rings for my CX1!
38t for cross and 44t for gravel!

hjb
hjb
7 years ago

91g minus 63g equals a massive 28g saving! Is it me, or is that a bit of a let-down considering weight would be only reason to use DM.

The fact you can’t easily change chainrings makes this a bit of a fail IMO. One important thing to remember with SRAM GXP cranks too is that you don’t want to be continuously mounting and unmounting the M15 crank bolts, as after a while the aluminium will yield.

mark
mark
7 years ago

HJB makes a great point… I have gone through two XX1 chainrings already and it is very convenient not to have to remove the entire Crank in order to put on a new ring.

I run BB30, so removing the crank introduces more possibilites for creaks and greater wear and tear.

30g of savings is not worth it. Plus, if I did go dm would save some money and get Absolute black’s dm.

Dw
Dw
7 years ago

Look like it is time to rebuild that shock!

aer
aer
7 years ago

It seems to be a positive move to simplify the system, yet is more catching up with after-market than ground breaking.
Assuming another 5-6g to jump from 32T to 34T the SRAM pieces weigh the same as Race Face. Wolfooth 5spoke direct mount 34T is 4g heavier. Absolute Black are 67g. The increased mass around the aftermarket offerings appears to be around the centre. This should translate to a minimal difference in effort, and in racing red they should spin faster 😉

They also cost less than the SRAM rings (looking at a few online retailers.)

Wolftooth, Absolute Black, and Race Face are CNC’d from a billet – and should be stronger than cheaper drop-forged process SRAM uses. SRAM has added reinforcing around the hollow areas. You’ll need a test to see which holds up better against that just-too-high rollover.

@Rich – SRAM (as do other companies) make offerings for GXP and BB30 so will fit their OEM equivalents.

ryan
ryan
7 years ago

Still waiting for 36T and 38T for us XC racers.

Dan
Dan
7 years ago

Wolftooth also makes a really nice DM chainring for SRAM and RF. They also make a 36T and last a lot longer than the SRAM XX1 rings.

BMW
BMW
7 years ago

The X-Sync tooth profile is awesome. Just a hair taller than any other narrow wide I have ridden. Perfect for CX on muddy courses. Solid product!

Quickie
Quickie
7 years ago

BMW-
I wanted to make some smart ass comment about Van Aert here, but I’m not that witty. X-Sync does work well, but in the mud chain drops can happen to any setup.

a
a
7 years ago

These look nice. I have an absoluteblack oval, which i like, but heck, these are nice round ones – mainly they look stronger/zarro-flex.

Sam
Sam
7 years ago

did hjb and mark read the part about how changing chainrings isn’t harder? and unless you use a sledge hammer to remove your crank arms, you don’t wear them out by remove them.

TJ
TJ
7 years ago

I have 2 DM Absolute black chanrings… one GXP and one BB30! Great product and great company to deal with. My highest recommendations! (No, I’m not sponsored / or an AB employee)

ctguru
ctguru
7 years ago

xx1 alloy used in the SRAM chainrings is soft as butter, if these use the same alloy I’d steer away from them. wolftooth and absolute black are a lot better product and use a better alloy

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

I slogged through an extremely muddy ride on XX1 yesterday, and the drivetrain performance was just as good as it would have been with perfect conditions. SRAM nailed it with XX1 (and on the first try, for once!). If I had SRAM cranks I would be all over these, but I’ve got S-Works cranks with an XX1 adapter spider – let me know when they start making direct mount chainrings for those…

Chris M
Chris M
7 years ago

Your lower shock bolt threads into a nyloc nut? On a carbon frame, with carbon wheels and carbon cranks?

codyish
codyish
7 years ago

All the “XC racers” demanding a 38t ring must be racing some pretty lame ass courses, or your fast enough you should be getting your chainrings for free.

Frank
Frank
7 years ago

If I go 1×11 with say a 32 tooth for harder loop and a 36 for the flatter stuff will everything work the same to does one need to change the chain / # links too?

Lars
Lars
7 years ago

No 26t or 28t? Fail.

Mike D
Mike D
7 years ago

@Frank, it’s been my experience that with a 2 tooth difference you can get away with running the same chain, but anything larger you’re going to need a new chain.

H. Cee
7 years ago

I agree with codyish flat tracking isn’t XC racing or you need to post a pic of your team

Renato
Renato
7 years ago

Hey BR… anyone have any thoughts on the new Direct Mount durability? I’m currently getting (if i’m lucky) about 1200 to 1500km on a single original XX1 chainring. And that’s in good dry South African trail conditions. Thanks! Ciao, Renato

Fredrik
Fredrik
6 years ago

I see that the Sram direct mount chainrings comes in two versions one with 0 mm offset and one with 6 mm offset. Can you advice which version to use and how to know.
Thanks!
/Fredrik