From: Fisher Outdoor Leisure: 020 805 3088
On Monday SRAM officially launched their 9-speed SRAM X.0 range of super-trick shifters and rear mech (singlular) to the UK market. After the product presentation SRAM drove us over to Aston Hill for an hour's fun on their purpose built woodland singletrack. The idea was to let us decide if we liked it how it worked or not. They need not have worried...
The new Mecano-esque X.0 mech looks stunning crafted from Aluminium, carbon fibre, Grilon composite, magnesium and stainless steel. First class eye-candy. During the presentation SRAM were keen to impress on us the mechanical advantages of their system which uses a 1:1 cable ratio - in other words when you move the shifter 1mm the rear mech is moved 1mm. Combined with a sprung loaded shifter gear selection is surprisingly light and positive. The X.0 uses SRAM's Dirt system which carries the bare cable over the mech to its final fastening point. This will undoubtedly help in UK conditions where the final cable loop is often the most problematical part of the whole drivetrain.
Clearly an hour's dirty singletrack isn't enough riding time to for us to be able to pass authoritive comment on durability. Having said that it's not every product year that you see new product that screams "Buy me!" The temptation to unbolt an X.0 from one of the Giant XTC test bikes and slip it into the BIKEmagic kit bag was almost too hard to resist. The SRAM marketing team, the boys who were some way behind in the mud, gave us their word that samples would be in the post asap. The X.0 seems, on the face of it, to be a winner: distinctly stylish, functionally excellent, a true XTR competitor. We think they'll sell by the lorry load on looks alone. Full test on BIKEmagic as soon SRAM they send us the promised samples.