Whats the long term experience of SRAM CXx1

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jmaccyd
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:12 pm

by jmaccyd

Any thoughts and tips on the system. it seems very popular with many riders going for a 38 front with an 11-32 at the back. So, some questions?

1) How has the groupset stood up to regular CX abuse

2) The SRAM 'normal' road levers had a reputation for breaking and being brittle. Are they better now?

3) If using an 11-32 casette is that just a regular Shimano free hub.

4) would you go back, or see any reason for a 2 x 11 set up

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fresherjohn
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 10:08 pm

by fresherjohn

I've been running it for over a year, initially with 40t 11-36, then stepped it up to 42t with the same cassette once I'd checked our locals hill were possible.
I previously snapped a rival shifter but so far the s900 levers have stood up to regular abuse from cx rides.

The cassette you use will be down to the freehub on your wheelset, either shimano 11 speed or sram xd driver.

I would go back to a double ring if I started doing longer flat rides to avoid spinning out above 45kmph, but other than that I love the simplicity.

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hmai18
Posts: 628
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:19 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.

by hmai18

This is my third season on a Rival 1 hydraulic system for CX.

1/2: Groupset has been fine, has held up to inevitable low-speed crashes on a variety of surfaces. Things got scratched, but were still functional.

3: 11-32 and 11-36 use a regular SRAM/Shimano freehub. You only need the XD driver for the 10-42.

4: I've used 40 x 11-36 all this time. Range is fine for CX and the 40-11 gives you about 49 km/h at 100rpm. I use my 'cross bike for winter road training and it's fine in group rides at endurance and tempo pace on flat terrain, but I favour high cadence. You'll spin out if you have any sustained descents, but I'm usually faster just getting small, tucking in, and coasting.

Figure out your gearing needs for the terrain you're riding when you're not on a race course and throw on a bigger front ring if necessary for off-season. Speaking personally, I bought the 11-36 for a specific course feature that was actually taken out of the series this year. I'll probably switch to a 38 x 11-28 or 11-32 for closer ratios during race season.

grover
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:06 pm

by grover

I've been on a single ring setup for CX for 5 seasons (since 2012). The first year (before CX1 launch) was my own concoction using S700 10 speed levers, an X.0 type 2 rear derailleur and a narrow/wide chainring that I had made by a local machinist by copying an XX1 ring.

Overall I'd rate it as above average for durability. I've never had to replace a part through crash damage in those years. I don't use an additional chain retention mechanism at the chainring. I've dropped my chain 6 times in 5 years, 3 of those were in one race when they'd used an abnormal sand grain size and nearly every rider was riddled with dropped chains/chainsuck be it double or single ring.

Like anything you learn the intricacies and prevention is better than cure.

Brakes - I've never had to bleed them except for after shortening lines when I stuff up and lose a bit of fluid. The only issue I ever have with the brakes is sticky pistons after back to back muddy/sandy races. One pad will start retracting less than the other. This requires removal of the pads, advancing the piston as far as you can with out popping it out of the body, cleaning of the piston with alcohol/brake cleaner, then pushing all the way back into piston body. If I know a race is to be particularly nasty I'll often do this prophylacticaly prior to the race to ensure optimal braking during the race. I also do this when replacing pads so I'm not pushing a dirty piston back into the caliper which would set me up for a future sticky piston. I'd probably perform this procedure 3 times a year on average which takes 15 minutes.

Derailleur - Replace jockey wheels once a year. Adjustment is quite sensitive to B-tension so having all wheels with the same size cassette goes a long way to ensuring reliable shifting. Install it properly with prestretched and sealed cables and you won't need to adjust it all season. Makes for a silent bike compared to a double ring setup or Shimano single given the only horizontal movement of the derailleur body. I love how positive the shift feels.

Shifters/brake levers - I believe what you are referring to in being brittle was the shift lever snapping off the original SRAM Rival especially but also Force/Red. I've seen much less of this since the new body shape was introduced which predates the introduction of hydro/single ring groupsets. I haven't broken one through a crash or otherwise. I did get one that had a manufacturing error that was causing increased cable friction on exit of the shift body. SRAM localised this to a certain production run and replaced it quickly. It annoys me that installing an inner cable has such a tight bend that you can't get a cable through once it's been cut if you ever need to remove it for any reason. I flush out the internals with degreaser 1-2 times a year and relube (both via aerosol without removal from bike or cable) when the shift action gets sticky. Independent brake and shift lever reach adjust is great. Make sure you don't adjust brake lever too close to shift lever or it'll cause sticky shift action. Sounds straight forward but people seem to do it.

Chain/Chainring/cassette - I go through 2 chains/chainrings a season. Mainly because I put a new one on before nationals for the sake of it, then run out the rest of the season on that combo. Cassettes last the whole season if not two. With a single ring I had to change my mindset from replacing chain/cassette together to replacing chain/chainring together. Bigger cassettes and more cogs seem to spread the wear better so they last longer.

11 speed sram/shimano road freehub body is needed for cassettes with big cog 36 tooth or smaller.
If you want to use a 10-42 cassette you need the XD freehub body.
You can use an 11 speed Shimano 11-42 mtb cassette with a 10 speed sram/shimano freehub body. These also fit on the 11 speed sram/shimano freehub body using a spacer.

I would not go back. The bike is so quite and shifting is positive and reliable. I won't start on the advantages of disc and/or hydro brakes. In my opinion front derailleurs are an archaic piece of equipment for bikes ridden off road. In terms of range a 42 ring with a 10-42 cassette is more range than 36/46 ring with 11-32 cassette. Yes the jumps between gears are bigger but I find that less of an issue offroad than onroad/bunch rides etc. I still have a front derailleur on my road bike but front derailleurs work well on a road bike away from dirt and rough terrain.

During CX race season I use an 11-36 cassette as they're cheaper than 10-42 for multiple wheels, the spacing is a little tighter and the range is adequate. Come Summer and the gravel grinding/bike packing/adventure riding I have one set of tubeless clincher wheels that I swap to a 10-42 cassette (change freehub body) and the race wheels go into storage with 11-36 cassettes on. Most of the time I use a 42 ring. I have a 38 tooth I can put on if a course has an extremely steep section. I've used that twice in 3 years. I don't use a tighter spaced cassette during CX season even if I don't need the 36 cog as it would require changing cassettes on all wheels to maintain shifting accuracy (see point about sensitive to b-tension). The gaps of an 11 speed 11-36 cassette have never worried me while racing CX.

Marin
Posts: 4035
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

Thanks for the detailed report, the shifting part matches my experiences, except for that I can run 10-42 and 11-32 cassettes which I swap between regularly without adjusting B-Tension at all, and have it work fine at both settings.

gtinut
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:04 pm

by gtinut

my bike is set up with 44T and 11-28. For hilly races I switch to 38T absoluteBlack.
Had one bigger crash and Force parts survived without issues.
Coming to the end of second season with many miles on the road and CX races.....very happy with the CX1.

jmaccyd
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:12 pm

by jmaccyd

Thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to write up such detailed reports. Everyone on my CX circuit is also very complementary about CX1. I suppose the question I will have is wether to go over to discs or stay on cantis!

jmaccyd
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:12 pm

by jmaccyd

Thanks to everyone for taking the trouble to write up such detailed reports. Everyone on my CX circuit is also very complementary about CX1. I suppose the question I will have is wether to go over to discs or stay on cantis!

grover
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:06 pm

by grover

Yeah I should clarify. I can swap between cassette sizes without adjusting b-tension. It works. But it is crisper if I do adjust b-tension (and chain length).

illskittlz
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:39 am

by illskittlz

grover wrote:I've been on a single ring setup for CX for 5 seasons (since 2012). The first year (before CX1 launch) was my own concoction using S700 10 speed levers, an X.0 type 2 rear derailleur and a narrow/wide chainring that I had made by a local machinist by copying an XX1 ring.

Overall I'd rate it as above average for durability. I've never had to replace a part through crash damage in those years. I don't use an additional chain retention mechanism at the chainring. I've dropped my chain 6 times in 5 years, 3 of those were in one race when they'd used an abnormal sand grain size and nearly every rider was riddled with dropped chains/chainsuck be it double or single ring.

Like anything you learn the intricacies and prevention is better than cure.

Brakes - I've never had to bleed them except for after shortening lines when I stuff up and lose a bit of fluid. The only issue I ever have with the brakes is sticky pistons after back to back muddy/sandy races. One pad will start retracting less than the other. This requires removal of the pads, advancing the piston as far as you can with out popping it out of the body, cleaning of the piston with alcohol/brake cleaner, then pushing all the way back into piston body. If I know a race is to be particularly nasty I'll often do this prophylacticaly prior to the race to ensure optimal braking during the race. I also do this when replacing pads so I'm not pushing a dirty piston back into the caliper which would set me up for a future sticky piston. I'd probably perform this procedure 3 times a year on average which takes 15 minutes.

Derailleur - Replace jockey wheels once a year. Adjustment is quite sensitive to B-tension so having all wheels with the same size cassette goes a long way to ensuring reliable shifting. Install it properly with prestretched and sealed cables and you won't need to adjust it all season. Makes for a silent bike compared to a double ring setup or Shimano single given the only horizontal movement of the derailleur body. I love how positive the shift feels.

Shifters/brake levers - I believe what you are referring to in being brittle was the shift lever snapping off the original SRAM Rival especially but also Force/Red. I've seen much less of this since the new body shape was introduced which predates the introduction of hydro/single ring groupsets. I haven't broken one through a crash or otherwise. I did get one that had a manufacturing error that was causing increased cable friction on exit of the shift body. SRAM localised this to a certain production run and replaced it quickly. It annoys me that installing an inner cable has such a tight bend that you can't get a cable through once it's been cut if you ever need to remove it for any reason. I flush out the internals with degreaser 1-2 times a year and relube (both via aerosol without removal from bike or cable) when the shift action gets sticky. Independent brake and shift lever reach adjust is great. Make sure you don't adjust brake lever too close to shift lever or it'll cause sticky shift action. Sounds straight forward but people seem to do it.

Chain/Chainring/cassette - I go through 2 chains/chainrings a season. Mainly because I put a new one on before nationals for the sake of it, then run out the rest of the season on that combo. Cassettes last the whole season if not two. With a single ring I had to change my mindset from replacing chain/cassette together to replacing chain/chainring together. Bigger cassettes and more cogs seem to spread the wear better so they last longer.

11 speed sram/shimano road freehub body is needed for cassettes with big cog 36 tooth or smaller.
If you want to use a 10-42 cassette you need the XD freehub body.
You can use an 11 speed Shimano 11-42 mtb cassette with a 10 speed sram/shimano freehub body. These also fit on the 11 speed sram/shimano freehub body using a spacer.

I would not go back. The bike is so quite and shifting is positive and reliable. I won't start on the advantages of disc and/or hydro brakes. In my opinion front derailleurs are an archaic piece of equipment for bikes ridden off road. In terms of range a 42 ring with a 10-42 cassette is more range than 36/46 ring with 11-32 cassette. Yes the jumps between gears are bigger but I find that less of an issue offroad than onroad/bunch rides etc. I still have a front derailleur on my road bike but front derailleurs work well on a road bike away from dirt and rough terrain.

During CX race season I use an 11-36 cassette as they're cheaper than 10-42 for multiple wheels, the spacing is a little tighter and the range is adequate. Come Summer and the gravel grinding/bike packing/adventure riding I have one set of tubeless clincher wheels that I swap to a 10-42 cassette (change freehub body) and the race wheels go into storage with 11-36 cassettes on. Most of the time I use a 42 ring. I have a 38 tooth I can put on if a course has an extremely steep section. I've used that twice in 3 years. I don't use a tighter spaced cassette during CX season even if I don't need the 36 cog as it would require changing cassettes on all wheels to maintain shifting accuracy (see point about sensitive to b-tension). The gaps of an 11 speed 11-36 cassette have never worried me while racing CX.


How long does it take you to adjust your chain length when swaping cassettes?

grover
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:06 pm

by grover

That's the point. I don't. I opt instead to use the same size cassettes.

NeverLetMeGo
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:12 am

by NeverLetMeGo

Hi guys! For an upgrade, I looked at the Sram force cx1 group, but I’m confused about choosing a rear derailleur - I need an 11-42 cassette, Rival is equipped with a type 3.1 clutch, as an alternative there is a Sram gx 10 speed long cage. What do you think? Thank you in advance.

by Weenie


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cerro
Posts: 1961
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 2:11 pm
Location: Malmö, Sweden
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by cerro

NeverLetMeGo wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2024 4:06 am
Hi guys! For an upgrade, I looked at the Sram force cx1 group, but I’m confused about choosing a rear derailleur - I need an 11-42 cassette, Rival is equipped with a type 3.1 clutch, as an alternative there is a Sram gx 10 speed long cage. What do you think? Thank you in advance.
? Force1 or Rival1 in both Medium and long cage will work with 11-42. Long cage is suggested by Sram.

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