Review: SRAM Force CX1 (1x11 group)


A quick look at SRAM's new Force CX1 1x11 group:

1x11 groups, with 1 chain ring in the front and an 11-speed cassette in the back have gained wide popularity in all styles of mountain biking. The secret is a rear derailleur with a super strong clutch system, delivering enough chain tension to make sure the chain won't slap and won't drop from the front ring even without a front derailleur.

SRAM has now taken the concept to cyclocross with CX1. With cyclocross' shifting demands, technical courses, and limited gear range needs, it is the ideal platform for 1x11.

Here's what you need to know:

The group consists of two levers, a rear derailleur, single chain ring crank set, chain, and a 11 speed cassette. The mechanical levers we're using are compatible with SRAM and Avid mechanical brakes. CX1 Force levers are simply Force levers with new graphics and the shift paddle removed from the left hand lever.

SRAM Force CX1 Shift Levers

The CX1 clutch system provides strong tension for chain management, and uses chain lock to relieve tension when making wheel changes. The derailleur's movement is called x-horizon, and its straight parallelogram provides consistent gaps between the upper pulley and the cogs.

SRAM Force CX1 Road Derailleur

The tooth shape on the rings and pulleys is called x'ed sync and the alternating widths fill in the wide and narrow spaces of the chain's interior. The result is essentially no chain slop when it engages the teeth, combined with the derailleur's clutch system, dropping the chain is supposed to be nearly impossible. SRAM offers front rings from 38 to 46, and the cassette options are straight from SRAM's road options. The Force levers are available for hydraulic or mechanical braking, and the derailleur is backwards compatible to 10-speed levers.