The XG-1080 is a 11-36 cassette, with gears of 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 24, 28, 32 and 36, and retails for $280. The XG-1080 cassette’s seven biggest cogs are riveted to each other using steel pins, and the largest is made from 7075-T6 aluminum, while the remaining ones are stamped 4130 chromoly steel. The outer aluminum cog and the upper cage are tied into a metal sleeve which transfers the load onto the freehub body. The last three cogs are stacked onto the cluster in the typical cassette fashion, and everything gets tied down with an aluminum lock ring. The metal sleeve had some restrictive tolerance issues on several test freehub bodies, and lightly sanding the inside allowed the cassette to slip on and off.
SRAM has come light-years ahead on the ramps and engineering of their cassettes, and they offer faster, cleaner and smoother shifting, even when used under heavy loads, and they have closed in on the silkiness of XTR. The 11-36 cassette worked ideally when combined with the 24×38 cranks, especially if you like a good granny, although you do miss the crankability at high speed (38-11). I liked the 38×36 ratio (Big ‘Uns), as it could be used on quite a few mild hills, and those with lots of rolling and undulating terrain, and it shined on steep grunt fire roads. I have been pretty happy with the longevity of the cassette, and it keeps shifting just fine, long after the chainrings have started to give wear issues.
X0 Grip Shift
The X0 Grip Shift is light-years ahead of its predecessor, and offers some amazing technology and features, and everything works together for precise shifting that operates in a silky-smooth manner. You can refer to a full review on the Grip Shift. The X0 Grip Shift is an excellent system, offering smooth, crisp, distinct and solid shifting, without any mis-shifts or dropped gears. The front gives a decisive and short throw that almost feels effortless to move between the chainrings. The rear allows huge swaths of gears to be rolled through on the cassette, or just one at a time, making for precise and easy selections. It is available in Black and Silver, and retails for $225.
The X0 trigger shifter is MatchMaker X compatible, and comes in Silver, and Black, Blue, Red and Gold graphic colors, and retails for $258. It has adjustable forged aluminum levers, forged body and alloy covers. In contrast to the Grip Shift, it takes a higher level of effort to switch gears, though the changes offer nice tactile clicks. An excellent thing about triggers, and especially the X0, is the ease and quickness of a down shift, and it only requires a slight dab of the finger to pop down. The forward lever has a nice subtle grittiness to it, so gloves or fingers adhere to the surface without sliding around, even when bumping down a jarring trail. The strong click and movement when shifting gives good feedback, so you are aware of gear changes, and I never had any sort of over shifting problems.
X0 Measured Specs:
- Front – 125 grams
- Rear – 201 grams
- Cassette – 239 grams
- Gripshift w/ cables 282 grams
- Trigger w/ cables + MM clamps – 226 grams + 53 grams = 279 grams
- Cranks – 794 grams total = drive arm w/ spindle -506 grams + non drive arm 181 grams + bb 107 grams
- Chain – 257 grams