Best Beginners and Intermediates
Plenty of riders love 1×11. Its usability allows you to focus on the riding without worrying about a front derailleur. Shifting performs better since there are no duplicated gears and there is no planning required to make the front chainring shift. Plus it frees up the left side of the cockpit for the dropper post lever.
But many riders are simply over geared with 1×11. Either their hills are too steep and long, or their power to weight ratio is lacking. Often they find themselves at the lowest gear at the bottom of the steep hill. The resourceful ones will optimize the bike and install a 30t front ring or gasp… a 28t. It works but it’s certainly a compromise because of the sacrifice on the high end.
With Eagle, there is a 500% gear range instead of the 1×11’s 420%. This is the breath of fresh air that riders have been looking for. It addresses the needs of those that need that extra range. It makes gear selection more seamless, as one is not compelled to play the gear management game of saving a gear or saving the last ounce of strength.
Better for Advanced Riders
For riders who are fit and have the power to turn the 1×11 gears, they are fine and don’t need to be forced into spending dollars on this new gear range technology. But if they choose to, there is a benefit as well. Simply put, Eagle is a faster system. With a bigger range of 500%, even the fast rider will not run out of gears when they slow cadence down or go in conserve mode. And on the high range, on a very fast pedal segment, the rider will have less chance of spinning out because you can run a larger chainring up front.
Indeed, the advanced rider can opt for a 34t ring instead of a 30t. This delivers a more efficient drivetrain with less drag, and it works more efficiently with most rear suspension systems, inducing less pedal bob. It gives the rider a better opportunity to match the front ring for performance, rather than necessity in order to make it up a steep hill.
If it’s better than 1×11 for beginner riders, advanced riders, and everyone in between, then is it a better system? We say, yes. But it is one of the more expensive groups at the moment and our hope is that this technology trickles down to more price points sooner rather than later. Then it will really be a game changer.
To learn more please visit www.sram.com.