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Tech

Pinkbike Awards 2023: Product of the Year winner


PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

SRAM GX drivetrain

Crispy gear change.


You can add sprinkles and gumdrops to ice cream, but when the basic elements of delicious ice cream are already there, why bother with additional toppings? SRAM’s GX gives you exactly what you want in the new drivetrain (T-Type): electronic shifting, easy-to-install one-piece cassettes, and durable, usable derailleurs without the sugar coating.

T-type components offer two major advantages: derailleur construction and shift actuation. The system provides great robustness to a derailleur and gear changes that can be performed under the full power of an eMTB.

SRAM’s GX drivetrain is 30% less expensive than the X0 series and includes all the same features. The skid plates can also be fitted to all T-type cranks (your chain will thank you).

The derailleur eliminates the need for a hanger by bolting directly to UDH compatible dropouts. When I first heard about it, I wondered what impact it would have on executives, literally. A typical derailleur hanger is a point of failure designed to save the derailleur and frame, but this can often lead to dangling messes that get tangled in the spokes. They are not completely indestructible, however the derailleur components can be replaced individually. Finding replacement parts for other types of derailleurs involved digging through trash cans and performing mechanical surgery.

When it comes to shifting performance, it is exceptional. Even Shimano diehards like Henry Quinney were shocked – you should have seen the honest look of astonishment on his face after a few rides. Synchronizing the shift with the cassette ramps is a thorough execution of the electronic controls.

Weight savings can be had by upgrading to the higher T-type series and with vaguely quieter gear changes, but the main selling points are retained in the GX kit. In a blind test between GX and X0, I doubt the majority of drivers could tell the difference. At 30% less than the X0 series, it offers both great value for money and high performance, which is why it claims Pinkbike’s 2023 Product of the Year.

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