Review: SRAM X0 2×10 with Grip Shift

Components

Bottom Line
The SRAM 2×10 system functions like a fluid machine, and offers quick and smooth shifting, with good durability across most of its components. Some of the highlights of the X0 2×10, are the fast X-Glide shifting technology, Grip Shift shifters, excellent shifting under loads, 1:1 derailleur actuation and a quiet drivetrain.

The hollow core carbon fiber cranks are plenty stiff, and their trick separate bolt-on spider makes replacement and swapping out simple. I am extremely happy with the addition of the micro gearing options of 22-36 and 24-38, to go along with the more race flavored 26-39 and 28-42. It makes a granny gear lover’s heart go a flutter! Combine the chainring set up with the functional gearing of the 11-36 cassette, and you get a great selection of gears, for any terrain and environment. The cassette has been very durable, and has retained smooth shifting during the entire test period. The chainrings and chain are showing their age after eight months of heavy abuse, and wear and tear is causing some slight shifting issues, so they need replacement. In the case of the chainrings, that entails replacing the complete spider, and although the $140 price seems steep, it isn’t bad for two chainrings and a bashguard. The front derailleur
is greatly improved over its predecessor, and is on par with the competition, and it swung up and down smoothly without any issues. The rear derailleur has the excellent 1:1 actuation, accepts the monstrous 36-tooth cog, and offered crisp shifts with a firm detent. The Grip Shift were my favorite shifters, due to their fast, crisp and ease of shifting, though the triggers offered good feedback with their firm and tactile clicks.

I spend a lot of time cranking uphill, on long, vicious and unrelenting climbs, and this drivetrain has never let me down. In addition, when pressed hard under extreme loads, such as in technical terrain, it would shift without any undue stress, and would shift whenever required. The nice gear ratio selection, durability, quick shifting and great components make the X0 2×10 a superb system.

Strengths

  • Cranks – bolt-on spider system
  • Cranks – stiff carbon fiber arms
  • Front – shifting is finally on par with the competition
  • Rear – excellent 1:1 actuation, crisp shifts and nice detent
  • Rear – durable and tough
  • Cassette – durable and smooth shifts
  • Grip Shift – easy, snappy quick and silky smooth shifts
  • X-Glide – fast and smooth shifts
  • Bottom bracket – seals keep out contaminants and bearings roll smoothly

Weaknesses

  • Expensive – Cheaper than XX, but still pricey
  • Bashguard – needs to be tougher or thicker
  • Rear – tight spacing with 10 speeds makes for regular tuning
  • Cassette – inner sleeve has tight tolerances
  • Chain – not the best longevity
  • Crank spindle – slight flex/twist when pushed extremely hard

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

 

SRAM X0 10-Speed Trigger Shifter

  • MSRP – $123-258
  • Weight – 232g
  • Speeds – 2X10
  • Compatibility – Exact Actuation RD (XX, X0 10) SRAM FD
  • Technology Highlight(s) Exact Actuation
  • Finish – Graphics
  • Technology Highlights – Exact Actuation and MatchMaker X Integrated

SRAM X0 Grip Shift

  • MSRP$225 pair
  • Weight – Clamps, cables, lock on grips with clamps = 287g, Clamps, Cables = 207g, Jaws lock on grips = 80g
  • Speeds – 10-Speed
  • Compatibility – SRAM 2X10 & 3X10
  • Recommended – Group X0
  • Material – Aluminum Cover
  • Colors – Black (with X0 red graphic), Silver (with X0 black graphic)
  • Technology Highlight(s) – Jaws lock on grip, Rolling Thunder, and Speed Metal

SRAM X0 10-Speed Front Derailleur

  • MSRP: $74
  • Speeds: 10 speed for 2X10 system (optional 3×10)
  • Weight: 130 grams
  • Compatibility: 10 speed only, 36 Tooth
  • Mount Options: High Clamp / Low Clamp (31.8, 34.9, 38.2), Low Direct Mount (S1, S3) , High Direct Mount
  • Pull: Top or Bottom
  • Technology Highlight(s):  X-Glide shifting technology and Exact Actuation

SRAM X0 10-Speed Rear Derailleur

  • MSRP - $255
  • Speeds – 10-speed for 2X10 system
  • Weight – 203 grams
  • Outer Cage – Carbon Fiber Composite
  • Compatibility – 10-speed only; 36 tooth
  • Inner Cage – Forged Aluminum
  • Bearings – Sealed Bearings
  • Cage Sizes – Short, Medium and Long
  • Pulleys – Sealed Bearing pulleys
  • Technology Highlight(s) – Exact Actuation Ratio and Direct Route

Truvativ X0 10-Speed Crankset

  • MSRP – $444 – $511
  • X-Glide 2X10 and 3X10 shifting technology, 22-36, 24-38, 26-39, 28-42 and 22-33-44 gearing
  • New GXP Bottom Bracket System featuring Gutter Seal Technology
  • Bottom bracket configurations – PF30, BB30, GXP and GXP PF
  • Arm Material – Carbon Molded
  • Weight – 728-788g
  • Compatibility – 2×10, 3×10
  • Material – Carbon Fiber composite with forged AL spider 7075 CNC AL Chainrings
  • Technology Highlight – GXP, Exact Actuation and X-Glide

SRAM XG-1080 Cassette

  • MSRP – $280
  • Weight – 239 grams
  • Material – stamped 4130 chromoly steel (cog cluster), AL-7075-T6 (largest cog)
  • Gear Ratios – 11-36
  • Speeds – 10 speed
  • Lock Ring Material – Aluminum, Silver finish
  • Technology Highlight – X-Glide

SRAM PowerChain 1091R

  • MSRP – $65
  • Compatible Gears – 10
  • Closing Link – PowerLock tool-less connecting link
  • Outer Plate – Nickel Silver w/Lighting Hole
  • Inner Plate – Nickel Silver
  • Pin Treatment – Chrome Hardened Pins
  • Weight – 255 Grams (114 links)
  • Rivet Type – Hollow Pin
  • Recommended Group – SRAM & Shimano Compatible
  • Colors Outer Plate – Nickel Silver w/Lighting Hole; Inner Plate: Nickel Silver
  • Technology Highlight – PowerChain II
About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Wilhelm ritter says:

    Did you test the gripshift with new style Simano brake levers? Will they clear the shifter?

    • JS says:

      I know one person with this set-up – they will clear but you will need a long index finger/have to stretch. If you brake with your middle finger, forget it.

  • Rich says:

    Nice job Brian
    Wilhelm- I have used the old style 9 speed twisters w/ XT’s. The levers are short but not bad. The new style XO appear to be wider yet at the body,but w/ a lower profile. No problem w/ clearance, just reach.

  • Reformed Roadie says:

    Sram 10 speed, road or mountain, is not 1:1. That is why 9spd rear derailleurs are not compatible with 10spd shifters, and vice versa.

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Per SRAM =>

      Exact Actuation
      When we launched our road technology from scratch we reapplied our MTB proven SRAM 1:1 actuation ratio (shifter cable travel : derailleur movement) for 10 speed rear shifting. EA helps to simplify/stabilize the uneasy act of balancing rear derailleur hanger design, tight cog spacing and exact cable tension. The result: the easiest index shifting system to set up and it stays that way.

      • Howard says:

        Brian,

        I am sure that is what SRAM says, however from various forums it appears you cannot use a 10 spd RD and 10 spd chain with a 9 spd shifter and cassette.

        So it must be close to 1:1 ratio on both, but not exactly the same.

        • Brian Mullin says:

          The spacing on 10-speed is different, so 9 isn’t compatible with 10, it’s 1:1 on 10 vs 1:1 on 9, so they’re not the same

          • Howard says:

            Yes I understand 9 and 10 speed spacing is the same. My point is that if actuation is 1:1 exactly on both systems then you should be able to replace your 9 speed RD and chain with 10 speed and have backward compatibility. Theres a few reasons to do this like having an RD that is designed for a 36 tooth cassette or to replace an ageing or damaged 9 speed RD with a new 10 speed or to gradually morph your drivetrain from 9 speed to 10 speed a component at a time. I am currently using an X7 long cage 9 speed RD with an 9 speed X0 gripshifter with a 12-36 9 speed Shimano cassette with no problems even though the RD is only supposed to go to 34 tooth. I have considered replacing the chain and RD with 10 speed components but the reading I have done says it won’t work.

  • Hefe says:

    The small chainring options for the crank don’t seem to really exist for normal consumers – they are not available anywhere.

  • John Sokuda says:

    Impossible to find the small chainring version of the cranks. I’d like SRAM to point to any retailer that has the XO Silver with a 24-38 in stock, or even to point to one that has EVER had them in stock.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Colorado Cyclist seems to have them in stock? BTI only shows 170mm BB30 versions. Not sure why the lack of those micro drive models, but I’ll see if I can get any information. No silver though.

  • rael says:

    I’ve been using nearly this exact set-up since August 2012. First installed on a 2008 Yeti 575, and recently transferred to a new build 2012 Yeti SB66c.

    For the cranks, I had to buy the 39×26, then buy separately the 38×24 with bash. This was only available in GXP when I bought. Anybody want an unused 39×26 chain ring set? :-) Or Maybe I’ll put it back on when I get in shape this coming summer!

    The X0 gripshifts are great, no issues in the last eight months. It does take some fine tuning to get everything working on the rear derailleur, especially when brand new. Once I get it dialed-in, can go months without any twiddling. I use the Type 2 X0 with medium cage, very sensitive to chain length. I’d say you have a two link +/- before the chain binds on big/big combination (cross chain) or rubs on itself (small/small) due to not enough cage to hold tight the chain. But once I got this set, no issue using all 20 speeds.

    When I transferred to the SB66c, went with Chris King BB, nice and smooth and bling. Bought a X7 3×10 to rebuild the 575.

    Also went with X0 Trail brakes, very happy once I bled them a few times (had to shorten rear line).

    I use a lower end cassette, as my wheel maker said not to use a “spiderless” version, like the one shown. Big savings in price, not sure about performance.

    Here’s a link to my build:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/yeti/sb66-carbon-build-thread-777433-14.html#post10018345

    dave

  • Talabardio says:

    A very well-known high-end Ti bike builder is building me a 650b hard tail to compete at the upcoming NAHBS show (the bike will be mine after the show!) and he could not find the Silver XO crank in a smaller chainring configuration anywhere – so we went with XX instead. But really, smaller chainrings and a Silver crank would have fit the rest of the bike beautifully. So lame – SRAM should either pony up the actual product to the public or withdraw it from their website.

  • David993 says:

    Tried the twist shifters some months ago now. The rear proved faulty after 15 kms and defaulted straight to 10th unless held. Waited for 4 months for a replacement but no joy so dumped the front shifter too!
    However the front shifter was faultless and used successfully with an XT front derailleur and triple crank!
    The ability to shift masses of cogs in one twist is great, but reliability wins, so if we are talking triggers then my preference is for Shimano!

  • Shane jones says:

    I’m wondering about chainring combos. Any problems with running a 28/39 combo? Wanting to go 2×10, but seems like a 28 inner would be better than a 26 for most of the riding I do. I ride a 29 er so I do want a 39 outer.

  • tim walsh says:

    Can you use the XO type 2 rear derailleur with this?

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