The short of it is this: First, it’s every bit as good as XX1. Second, you’re going to see it spec’d on a LOT of 2014 bikes.
DealerCamp afforded the chance to ride it on all manner of bikes, and we even hopped on Dave Turner’s personal bike with an early shipment of X01 at PressCamp. Most of the stock bikes were using the alloy X1 cranksets and all-alloy derailleur, all coupled with the all-black cassette. And all of them used the trigger shifters. Performance wise, there’s no discernable difference between X01 and XX1.
More thoughts and detail shots below…
While the loss of a 28 tooth chainring might be a bit of a bummer, there are more and more aftermarket options coming that use a direct mount, spiderless design and small tooth count options. We’ve checked out some from Wolf Tooth and Absolute Black already, though it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this whole patent discussion.
Shifting was quick and precise, just like with XX1. We’re looking forward to thrashing a setup for long term review to see how that black coating holds up.
Cassette construction looks identical (close ups of the XX1 cassette here).
I test rode several bikes with the group on the technical descents and rolling trails around Deer Valley in Park City, UT. It shifted flawlessly and never dropped the chain. It was also quiet, a testament to their Type II derailleur’s clutch because there were plenty of chances for that chain to slap. Speaking of the chain, the non-perforated 1x chain is likely to be the OEM choice, and was spec’d on at least one of the bikes ridden.
There are those that’ll still want the range of a double or triple. But for those ready to give up the front derailleur, the X01 provides most of the spread you’ll need for all-mountain antics and racing at a slightly price. Our hunch is the OEM side of things is going to explode with this – bikes from Niner, Intense, Pivot and many others are already announced, and plenty more are on the way. That’s a good thing.