SRAM X01 crankset review

Carbon single-ring master

BikeRadar score3/5

SRAM’s carbon crankset has the best single ring around, but it can’t match the best alloy cranks for stiffness and toughness.

The broad carbon arms have alloy inserts for the pedals and SRAM-specific BB axle connections. SRAM’s X-Sync design has revolutionised single-ring chain security and runs more smoothly than the competition. The rings are expensive though, and XX1 arms are slightly pricier yet 70g lighter.

The X01 arms are compatible with X0 spiders if a single ring up front turns out not to be your thing, and some (cheaper) aftermarket rings will fit too. There’s more flex underfoot than with similar weight alloy cranks though, and the hybrid carbon construction isn’t as impact-tough.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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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