X5’s resemblance to other SRAM products is clear, with the rear mech featuring direct cable routing and easily accessible limit screws. The ergonomics of the trigger shifters match the rest of the range too, although X5 has neat gear displays built into the shifter clamps.
While it works competently enough, the shifts are on the clunky side. That’s due mainly to the somewhat plasticky shifters, although the mechs aren’t particularly exciting either. You do get the extra tolerance for gritty cables that comes with SRAM’s 1:1 actuation ratio, though.
X5 is unashamedly budget kit, but works out as slightly more expensive than Shimano’s Deore group, which it can’t match for looks, function or feel. If you need a replacement for a SRAM-equipped bike, this is your starting point, but generally it’s at the end of the market that you’ll be upgrading from, rather than aspiring to.