Sram SX vs. GX: Which is Better?

Sram SX vs GX

The SRAM SX and SRAM GX are 1×12 drivetrains, but there is a major difference between them: the GX drivetrain is more durable and offers better-shifting performance. The SX drivetrain is more affordable, but it may be less reliable and durable than the GX drivetrain.

I’ve had experience with both the SRAM SX and GX drivetrains. I used the SX drivetrain on my mountain bike for a few years and was generally happy with it. It was a reliable drivetrain that got the job done. However, I noticed it wasn’t as durable as I would have liked. The chainrings and cassette wore out relatively quickly, and I had to replace them a few times. I recently upgraded to the GX drivetrain, and I’m much happier with it. It’s much more durable, and the shifting performance is excellent. I’m confident that it will last for many miles to come. I’m excited to share my experience with both drivetrains in this article.

In this article, I’ll compare and contrast the SRAM SX and SRAM GX drivetrains and help you decide which is the best choice for your needs.

Comparison Table for Sram SX and GX

FeaturesSram SXSram GX
Price$300-$400$500-$600
Speeds12-speed12-speed
CompatibilityShimano-style freehub bodyXD driver body
Cassette range11-50 teeth10-52 teeth
Weight615g (w/o BB)527g (w/o BB)
DurabilityGoodExcellent
Shifting performanceGood Excellent
Range of gears500%520%
Compatibility with other componentsGoodExcellent

Factors to Compare Sram SX and GX

I’ll be comparing the Sram SX and GX based on the following factors:

  • Price and Value for Money
  • Weight Comparison
  • Materials Comparison
  • Shifting Performance
  • Range of gears
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Price and value for money

The SRAM SX drivetrain is the most affordable 12-speed Eagle drivetrain, with a price tag of around $300–400. The SRAM GX drivetrain is more expensive, with a price tag of around $500–600.

Regarding value for money, the SRAM GX drivetrain is the better option. It offers a better balance of price, performance, and durability than the SRAM SX drivetrain. The GX drivetrain is also more precise and has smoother shifting, which can be a big advantage for riders looking for a reliable and efficient drivetrain.

However, the SRAM SX drivetrain is still a good option if you are on a tight budget. It is a basic 12-speed drivetrain that will get the job done, but it is less durable and precise than the GX drivetrain.

Weight Comparison

The SRAM SX drivetrain is slightly heavier than the SRAM GX drivetrain. The SX drivetrain weighs around 2,600 grams, while the GX drivetrain weighs around 2,400 grams.

The weight difference is due to the materials used to construct the two drivetrains. The SX drivetrain uses lower-cost materials, such as steel, while the GX drivetrain uses higher-cost materials, such as aluminum.

The weight difference is not significant for most riders. However, the SRAM GX drivetrain is the better option if you are a weight-conscious rider.

Materials Comparison

The SRAM SX drivetrain is made with lower-cost materials than the SRAM GX drivetrain. The SX drivetrain uses steel for the crankset, cassette, and derailleur, while the GX drivetrain uses aluminum for these components. The SX drivetrain also uses a plastic shifter, while the GX drivetrain uses an aluminum shifter.

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Using lower-cost materials makes the SRAM SX drivetrain less durable than the SRAM GX drivetrain. However, the SRAM SX drivetrain is still a good option for budget-minded riders less concerned about durability.

Shifting Performance

The SRAM SX drivetrain shifts less precisely and smoothly than the SRAM GX drivetrain. The SX drivetrain uses a lower-quality shifter and derailleur, which can cause the chain to skip or rub. The SX drivetrain also uses a steel cassette, which can be noisy and less efficient than an aluminum cassette.

The SRAM GX drivetrain shifts more precisely and smoothly than the SX drivetrain. The GX drivetrain uses a higher-quality shifter and derailleur, which helps ensure smooth and accurate shifting. The GX drivetrain also uses an aluminum cassette, which is quieter and more efficient than a steel cassette.

Range of gears

The SRAM SX drivetrain offers a 500% gear range with an 11-50T cassette, while the SRAM GX drivetrain offers a 520% gear range with a 10-52T cassette. This means that the SRAM GX drivetrain has a wider range of gears, which can be helpful for riders who need to climb steep hills or ride fast on flats.

The SRAM SX drivetrain uses a smaller cassette with fewer gears, which makes it less versatile than the SRAM GX drivetrain. However, the SRAM SX drivetrain is also lighter and less expensive than the SRAM GX drivetrain.

Pros and cons of the Sram SX and GX

Pros and cons of the Sram SX

ProsCons
Cost-effective option for those looking to upgrade their mountain bikeMaxes out at 11-50, providing a range of over 450 percent, which is narrower than the SRAM GX or higher.
Narrower extremes in the drivetrains create more natural steps between the gears.Maxes out at 11-50, providing a range of over 450 percent, narrower than the SRAM GX or higher.
Reliable shifting performance and durability at an affordable priceThe SX drivetrain is a great option for those new to mountain biking or those who want to upgrade their bike without spending too much. However, it may not be best for experienced riders who demand top-notch performance.
Easy to install and use.The narrower range of the drivetrains may not be suitable for riders who require a wider range of gears.

Pros and cons of the Sram GX

ProsCons
Smooth and accurate shiftingExpensive
DurablePretty heavy
Reliable performanceIt may not be the best option for riders who require a wider range of gears.
Compatible with 11-speed wheels and can be upgraded to 12-speed without needing new wheels.It may not be the best option for riders who demand top-notch performance.

Which is right for you?

The SRAM SX drivetrain is the most affordable 12-speed Eagle drivetrain. Made with lower-cost materials and construction, it is less durable or precise than higher-end drivetrains. It uses a three-piece crankset, which is less stiff and durable than a two-piece crankset. It also uses a steel cassette, which is heavier than an aluminum cassette. However, it is a good option for budget-minded riders or beginners less concerned about performance.

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The SRAM GX drivetrain is the most popular 12-speed Eagle drivetrain. It offers a good balance of price, performance, and durability. It shifts more precisely and smoothly than the SX drivetrain. It is also more durable, so it will last longer. The GX drivetrain uses a two-piece crankset, which is stiffer and more durable than a three-piece crankset. It also uses an aluminum cassette, which is lighter than a steel cassette.

The SRAM SX drivetrain is a good option if you are on a tight budget and are not as concerned about performance. However, if you want a more durable and precise drivetrain that will last longer, then the SRAM GX drivetrain is the better choice.

Conclusion

The SRAM SX and GX drivetrains are both good options for mountain bikers. The SRAM SX drivetrain is the more affordable option, while the SRAM GX drivetrain offers better performance and durability. The best way to decide which drivetrain is right for you is to consider your needs and budget.

If you are on a tight budget and do not need the best possible performance, then the SRAM SX drivetrain is a good option. However, if you are willing to spend more money and want a drivetrain that will last longer and perform better, then the SRAM GX drivetrain is the better choice.

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