Shifters are an area where you don’t want to skimp, but when it comes to SRAM 1x groups, the X01 shifter ($101) is our pick regardless of price. It has the most positive shift feel of the three, is sealed better than X1 ($66), and has the adjustable position cable uptake lever that XX1 ($139) has, but with a more affordable alloy lever. You won’t save any weight going with an X01 shifter compared to the X1 shifter, but the crisper shifting and sealing alone are worth the added cost.
SRAM’s 11-speed mountain chains are limited to just two models, the PC-XX1 ($39) and the PC-X1 ($23). The XX1 chain has more stainless parts for smoother shifting and longer life, so we feel it’s worth the added cost compared to the X1 chain.
So to sum it up, here are our picks for the best value SRAM 1×11 build:
- Rear Derailleur: X1 ($180)
- Shifter: X01 ($101)
- Crankset: Upgrade your old crankset with a Chromag X-Sync ring ($101)
- Or if you need a crankset, go with an X01 crankset ($249) with direct mount ring, or a complete X1 crankset depending on budget ($400 and up)
- Cassette: X01 ($251)
- Chain: XX1 ($39)
While this combination will not produce the most cohesive looking build, performance will be top end. Moreover your significant other will love that the thickness of your wallet hasn’t been reduced to that of a business card by your purchase. Alternatively, you may also want to look at SRAM’s recently released GX drivetrain, which includes affordable 1×11 with 2×11 and 2×10 options.
Also be sure to check out our best bang for buck guide for Shimano drivetrain components.