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As we entered 2020, we couldn’t help but wonder what the 1X drivetrain market would continue to evolve. Loan behold, SRAM ups the ante yet again with the new SRAM Eagle 52T extended range drivetrains. This was not only an excellent, timely, response to Shimano’s 51T offering, but it was another step forward to further solidify their hold on the 1X MTB drivetrain market.
The new Eagle 52T drivetrain is not really a complete overhaul, but more of the next evolution with Eagle. They have brought riders across the globe potential for a wider range with a 520% spread in the new 10-52T cassettes, as well as keeping everyone’s pocketbooks in mind with price points from GX through XX1.
While the 52T cog highlights the changes in the new cassettes, they have also added a plethora of options within the XX1 lineup including colorways in Copper, Rainbow, and the now-standard Gold. X01 Eagle 52T Cassettes now are offering in one “Black” option for about 65 bones less than XX1. GX Eagle rounds out the line with a Black option and the most budget-friendly option coming in at a cool $215. All Eagle 52T Cassettes require an XD Driver on your hub to mount.
E-bikes are all the rage in 2020 (sorry haters) so SRAM has ALL Eagle cassettes designed to be compatible with the needs of E-bikes.
The rear derailleur for the new 52T Eagle systems looks quite similar to its predecessor, but with a few small changes to help accompany the new 52T Cassette. The cage is slightly longer to help handle the bigger cog, as well as changing the position of the upper pulley to help improve chain retention and shifting performance.
The shifter and chain remain largely the same with minor updates including the shifter graphics.
Looking for more performance evaluation between GX and X01? Check out our Eagle buyers guide here!
Lastly, the big news for you bargain hunters is the addition of a carbon crank offering to the GX line. This is a first for SRAM as they now hit a price point of $275 and shed about 65 grams over the aluminum version. Why is that a big deal? Well, it also sheds in excess of $200 off the bill in comparison to many other carbon crank offerings on the market.
The original Eagle group parts will remain in production to provide support for all existing owners in need of replacement parts, or if you don’t feel that you need that 520% range. But, if you are on the hunt for that new drivetrain, why not take a couple of extra teeth?