SRAM announced it will be launching a new level of it’s Eagle drivetrain, NX Eagle, hoping to make it’s wide range drivetrain technology available to more riders by offering it in a more price-conscious package. NX Eagle isn’t just a new price-point, though, as there are a few notable changes from the next closest GX Eagle groupset that makes the newest SRAM offering interesting to a wider range of riders.
When the top level Eagle was first announced, the groupset’s 12-speed, wide range gearing option came with a hefty price tag. In the years since, XO1 then GX brought the price of Eagle further down into a range more approachable for the average consumer who might have wanted 12-speed, but couldn’t stomach the buy-in for the first flight of black and gold XX1 parts.
SRAM’s trickle down of it’s 12-speed technology continues with the announcement of NX Eagle. While the newest bird in the nest won’t land in stores until September, if the performance of GX Eagle is anything to go by consumers won’t have to worry about losing function as they step down a price point. There is a weight penalty compared to the feather-light XX1 Eagle parts, as NX uses heavier materials and a different construction process, but that’s to be expected. Even compared to the 450 g GX Eagle cassette, though, NX’s 615 g will catch the eye of more weight-conscious riders.
That bump in weight will be offset for many riders by one key difference between NX and higher branches of SRAM’s 12-speed range, which the company hopes will open up Eagle to even more riders than just the lower cost of entry. The new NX line loses the tiny 10t cog, but does so in order to make the cassette compatible with older 8-, 9-, and 10-speed splined cassette driver bodies. Some riders might miss the tiny cog, and lament a slight narrowing of Eagle’s massive 500% gear range, but many more will appreciate that NX no longer requires the XD-driver body that SRAM introduced to accommodate the 10t cog on it’s higher end 12-speed cassettes.
The new NX Eagle rear derailleur uses SRAM’s Type-3 roller bearing clutch mechanism to keep your chain in place and quiet. Notably, the NX derailleur is compatible with all SRAM 12-speed cassettes, 11-50t or 10-50t, meaning it can stay with you if you switch make the switch to a higher end, wider range XD driver cassette in the future.
SRAM’s NX Eagle shifter also arrives with a notable additional feature compared to the higher end models. The company has taken steps to make the more durable NX parts more appealing to the e-mtb crowd, including an option to limit the pull lever to a single engagement. E-mtb’s place more stress on drivetrains, and the new feature is designed to help limit the added load. SRAM’s new shifter also comes in a Matchmaker X-clamp compatible option.
NX Eagle comes with a 6000-series forged aluminum crank, and is available in SRAM’s new DUB axle standard. The crankset is designed to work with SRAM’s X-Sync 2 direct mount chainrings.
Canadian prices are still to come, but with the US MSRP pegged at $100 for the cassette, $107 for the derailleur, and $42 for the shifter – or $375 for the whole NX drivetrain (including crankset, chainring and chain) – there’s sure to be demand for the latest bird when it finally lands in September.