SRAM started the whole single-chainring, no chain device revolution with its X-Sync narrow/wide knobble-topped rings and its GX group brings the whole 1x11 speed system to a much more affordable price point. The S1400 crank option delivers all of SRAM’s crank advantages in a tough, stiff package that makes it a great mid-price option.
The alloy build obviously makes it heavier than SRAM’s carbon options but it’s stiffer and tougher when it comes to day in, day out trail battering, particularly if you regularly smash your crank tips on rocks. The three-bolt-secured, scalloped spline system also enables you to lighten it considerably with a direct mount X-Sync ‘spiderless’ six-arm chainring (which is how most UK cranks will actually be supplied shortly). Alternatively, it can be swapped for multi-chainring spiders if single-ring doesn’t work out for you.
While the basic narrow/wide tooth tech has been widely copied, the distinctive faceted top tooth profile still runs more securely and quietly than most competitors. Mud release scoops keep it clean in filthy conditions, steel chainrings are now available for maximum wear life and the arms stay looking good longer than Shimano’s too.
Also available is a 14g-lighter 30mm-axle version or you can get all the same spider, direct-ring and axle options with the solid-forged GX1000 cranks.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.