05 Jan 2018

According to the dictionary; the 'trickle-down theory' is the theory in which benefits given to people at the top of a system will eventually be passed on to people lower down the system. And in the biking world that's when we eventually get the good stuff for less, yay!

The not-so-minor details


SRAM GX Eagle Drivetrain


Monza Bicycle Imports



SRAM GX Eagle is a prime example of trickle-down technology; about one year on from the launch of SRAM XX1 and X01 Eagle, SRAM’s impressive 12-speed drivetrain with a mighty 10-50 tooth cassette we now have the option of SRAM GX Eagle. Probably more impressive than how much it looks and feels like the top-shelf offerings are the box kit price of GX Eagle, $799. Upgrading your 11-speed SRAM drivetrain for a fair $799 is now very appealing.

Holy dinner plate technology! 11-speed GX vs 12-speed GX.

What are we aiming to do here?

The shift lever feels slightly less crisp than the more expensive X01 and XX1 Eagle, but otherwise, there is very little difference in feel overall.

Is SRAM’s cheapest 12-speed drivetrain up to the task? How can it be cheaper? How much heavier? We know very well that SRAM are heralding the death of the front derailleur and claim that it “matches or down-right beats 2X drivetrains”, but is it only the enormous range of gears that defines Eagle?

There’s a whole host of other improvements over the SRAM 11-speed drivetrain, and we have fitted our GX Eagle groupset to our Specialized Enduro which came with 11-speed SRAM GX which will make testing between them wholly noticeable.

Once was 11, now we’re 12.

What we do know for now is that GX is around 250g heavier that X01 Eagle, predominantly in the cranks and cassette. It’s a touch heavier – about 120g – than the outgoing 11-speed GX drivetrain, although the Specialized uses RaceFace cranks.

It was a breeze to install, included with the derailleur is a tool to help guide you when setting up the b-tension – the distance the top jockey wheel sits from the cassette teeth – most important on rear suspension bikes as it requires deflating the shock and compressing the suspension to bottom-out for a correct measure.

What now?

Let’s ride!