Sitting below the elite X0 model is the new SRAM X9 alloy and composite rear mech, at 239g for the long-cage model. The body is a tweaked 10-speed version of the 2009/10 nine-speed X9.
It’s chunky, solid and without a hint of ﬂex or sloppiness anywhere – good portents for accurate shifting. Strong return springs in the arm and the parallelogram keep the chain tensioned over the rough stuff, and ensure lightning fast rear shifting right across modern wide-ratio 12-36T rear cassettes.
Setting up SRAM rear mechs is a breeze, and once dialled in they’re more tolerant of slight cable stretch and drop-damage hanger misalignment – meaning you can keep riding while your biking buddies are ﬁguring out how to make their gears work.
We’ve run this grey one (a red/white option is also available in short, medium and long cages) through some seriously yukky trail conditions, ﬁlled it with clay, bashed it on rocks and left it out in the rain. So far, so durable – and the shifting is still laser guided. Perfect. Try the X7 mech for £20 less for the same effect and a few extra grams.