At BikeRadar we’re lucky enough to get our hands on the latest and greatest shiny tech, and we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that one of our favourite pastimes (apart from actual riding) is subjecting everything to the scales.
With SRAM X01 Eagle AXS and Shimano XTR M9100 being the hottest mountain bike groupsets at the top-end of the market, how could we not do a side-by-side weight comparison?
We put the two groupsets head-to-head to see which came out lightest, and the result may surprise you.
When you’re spending this much on a groupset, you’re looking for real performance gains, and a big factor of that is weight savings. So, we weighed the individual components from each of the groupsets to see if SRAM or Shimano would come out on top.
Of course, it’s impossible to do a like-for-like comparison of the two groupsets, because they’re so inherently different. The SRAM X01 Eagle AXS comes with a dropper post and lever, but no brakes, for example.
So we’ve conducted a side-by-side comparison of the cross-over components that feature in both groupsets — it’d be rude not to.
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS vs Shimano XTR M9100-SGS rear derailleur
The SRAM derailleur, despite being wireless, carries a 144g weight penalty because of the batteryTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Shimano: 244g (£189.99 / $259.99)
SRAM: 388g (not available individually)
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS vs Shimano XTR M9100 crankset
There’s a 55g difference between the two cranksetsTom Marvin / Immediate Media
The cassettes we weighed were both 12spd 10–51Tom Marvin / Immediate Media
Shimano: 370g (£289.99 / $397.99)
SRAM: 356g (not available individually)
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS vs Shimano XTR M9100 hyperglide+ chain
SRAM’s chain weighs 18g more than Shimano’s hyperglide+ chainTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Shimano: 245g (£49.99 / $64.99)
SRAM: 263g (not available individually)
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS vs Shimano XTR M9100 overall
As we said before, this isn’t the weight of the overall groupset, just the components we had that feature in both. It does give you an idea of how they compare.
The SRAM X01 Eagle AXS groupset (derailleur, crankset, bottom bracket, shifter, cassette and chain) totalled 1,642g, while the Shimano XTR M9100 groupset with the same components weighed only 2g more at 1,644g.
A wireless groupset weighing only 2g less than a cable-actuated one is not what we expected. However, when you study the numbers for each component, there are some pretty standout differences that fall in favour for either brand.
For example, the Shimano rear derailleur weighed 144g less than the SRAM, but that is to be expected when you consider that the latter is also carrying the weight of a removable battery.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Shimano shifter weighed a whopping 104g more than the SRAM. Again that’s not out of the ordinary when you look at the difference in the hardware.
The fact that both groupsets pretty much weigh the same just goes to show that wireless shifting saves on cable weight, but comes with the penalty of bringing a battery along for the ride.
We pit the two rival top-tier MTB groupsets against each other to see which comes out lightestTom Marvin / Immediate Media
Mildred’s a utilitarian cyclist at heart, determined to do everything on two wheels, whether it’s shopping, commuting or moving house. She’s spent the past three years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project, and now sits on its board of directors. Her expertise in bikes — and what people want out of them — comes from working in real-world bike shops and learning the ins and outs of the industry. At home on slicks and knobblies alike, Mildred’s ideal ride covers long distances through remote countryside, on mixed terrain that offers a bit of crunch. She’s easily won over by steel frames coupled with a 650B/plus-tyre combo, and is currently riding a Surly Bridge Club, while training for a 600km audax on a Triban Women’s RC 520.