X7 is SRAM’s mid-range group, bridging the gap between the budget X5 and higher-end kit. As such, it contains elements of both.
The X7 shifters have been restyled for 2010, with a more rounded shape similar to the X9 and X0 units. They’re also compatible with SRAM’s Matchmaker clamp and now feature an easy-access top cable change port.
The gear display on the 2009 shifters (shown above) has gone, though. Weight and function remain unchanged.
What X7 lacks, however, is the slack-free Zero Loss Travel or even-effort 2-Step front shifting that X0 and X9 benefit from.
The PG-970 cassette is also a fairly heavy, all-steel unit. While alloy spiders have been the preserve of the high end, Shimano’s rival SLX group manages to include a lighter, semi-spidered construction.
X7 is a reasonable performer, but Shimano’s SLX puts forward a better case for itself at the mid-range price point.