SRAM recently unveiled the next evolution of its 1x12 drivetrains. The new GX Eagle, XO1 and XX1 Eagle groups feature a wider, 520-percent range thanks to its new 10-52t cassettes. While this range is a welcome change for some mountain bikers, this introduction brings with it many questions and some compatibility issues.
Here's what will work together and what won't, according to the drivetrain experts at SRAM.
Related Reading: SRAM GX Eagle Expanded Range First Ride Review
Are there any changes to the Expanded Range Eagle derailleur design to accommodate the larger cassette?
Through the evolution of our Eagle AXS systems, we identified different opportunities for a better performing drivetrain. To seek a better experience for riders we employ a recipe of in-lab testing and real-world R&D to vet out challenges and opportunities. We learned that to ensure the desired chain gap and durability through the 10-50t and 10-52t systems, we needed to make adjustments to our cage's structural integrity, pulley wheel offset as well as a lengthened parallelogram. Through this tailoring, we can now accommodate a wider range of gearing.
The new Expanded Range Eagle rear derailleurs were developed to work with SRAM's new 10-52T cassettes, though they are backward compatible with 10-50T cassettes.
Can I use my current SRAM Eagle drivetrain with a 10-52t cassette?
We always strive to eliminate complexity and build in backward capability but with the new 10-52t cassette we can't confidently recommend that the shift performance is what you would expect from SRAM shifting-the compatibility with our legacy mechanical Eagle drivetrains. For the best shift experience we offer, we recommend Eagle AXS and any of our new mechanical rear derailleurs that are purpose-built to use both the 10-50t cassette and the new 10-52t variant. Things like the pulley wheel offset, cage length and body shape were all altered. So, with your V1 Eagle derailleur, you will encounter a more labored, less precise shift experience. We do not recommend using your V1 Eagle mechanical with the new, expanded range cassette.
What happens if I do run my current drivetrain with a 52t cassette?
With your V1 Eagle derailleur, you will encounter a more labored, less precise shift experience. We do not recommend using your V1 Eagle with the new, expanded-range cassette.
Are there any other changes to the cassette?
The Eagle Cassette is a keystone in the success of the ecosystem, so we carried the technology into the new lineup. Eagle 10-52t will have the benefits of an expanded gear range with all the performance you expect from SRAM with no compromise to your experience.
Will 10-52t replace 10-50t drivetrains?
Our 10-50t cassettes aren't going anywhere soon, so if you want to keep your V1 derailleur you will still be able to enjoy Eagle as you have always known it. However, if you want to enjoy the benefits of the expanded range cassette you will need to update your derailleur. If you are an AXS user, you will be able to use the new 52t without any issues.
Can I use my SRAM Eagle AXS drivetrain with a 10-52t cassette?
SRAM Eagle AXS is ready for the 10-52t cassette. Our engineering process is fueled by experience and acquired knowledge. We take our past products and experiences and use them as a beacon to guide our development. When we were creating Eagle AXS, we ensured it was future-proof by taking what we learned in the development of Eagle and engineering a product ready for the next generation drivetrain.
Why did you increase the largest cassette cog without incrementally increasing the sizes of the smaller cogs to allow for more consistent steps between gears?
Ensuring performance without compromise is paramount when it comes to offering a new product, so unless we are confident in an idea, it will not go to market. Expanding the range to a 52t is a small step in the design process, allowing us to incrementally improve your experience as we perfect our ideas. If gear step percentage is something that concerns you, our proven 10-50t is still offered.
The only change to the Eagle Expanded Range cassette is the addition of the 52-tooth cog. The remaining 11 cogs have the same steps between gears as the 10-50t cassettes.
Can I mix and match the components from different expanded range 12-speed groups?
The Eagle ecosystem is still intact-mix and match compatibility runs top to bottom through the range. Through the development of our AXS products, we made some architectural adjustments that provided the foundation of our new expanded range. Additionally, a new master colorway combined with detail colorways and finishes provides riders with a more customizable experience when building their dream drivetrain. Black, Rainbow, Gold, Copper-the choice is yours.
Are these expanded range cassettes intended for all riders and racers? Will we see WC XC athletes on 10-52?
The Eagle ecosystem is intended to provide top-tier performance for everyone from weekend warriors to world champions. We asked our athletes and customers alike for their feedback on our 10-50t cassette and heard an opportunity for growth with an expanded gear range. We will continue to offer our 10-50t, but for those who desire a broader gear range without changing their chainring size, the 10-52t will be your new best friend.