SRAM X.9 front mech review£36.99

A front mech that will last, but it is heavy for the money

BikeRadar score3.5/5

While the front mech is the hidden gem of XT, the X.9's is a bit of a throwback compared with the previous X Gen. The actual performance of the chunky broad linkage mechanism is fine, and its all-metal construction means it lasts well. 

The fact you have to buy (as well as possibly wait for your shop to order and receive) different versions for top and bottom pull routing and/or different frame sizes is a real pain, compared with the one-size-fits-all options from Shimano and cheaper SRAM mechs. Depending on how you look at it, it's either heavier than XTR for the same money or a lot more expensive than XT.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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