This iconic rear mech gets a gold trim change for SRAM's 20th birthday, but it's not showing its age.
The CNC machined alloy skeleton gets a new carbon outer plate on the jockey cage and an alloy inner one, to overcome previous fragility issues (we've not snapped a new one yet) while keeping weight below 200g. The Di.R.T: (Direct Route Technology) cable insertion makes control lines less vulnerable to crash/undergrowth damage, too. The 'ESP' 1:1 cable pull makes it much more tolerant of sticky, gritty cables, with superb snap precision from the Ti spring.
An absence of top body bounce keeps it more stable and accurate when shifting over rough sections, although the lack of body movement makes ample chain length and correct short/ medium/long cage selection vital to stop it being torn in half at full stretch. Jockey wheels wear out faster than Shimano equivalents, and there's no escaping the fact that this rear mech costs an absolute fortune.