SRAM unveil Force CX1 cyclo-cross groupset

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SRAM unveil world’s first cyclo-cross groupset

Single-chainring Force CX1 groupset borrows technology from SRAM's mountain bike line-up

SRAM have unveiled a single-chainring cyclo-cross groupset which borrows technology first developed for the American firm’s XX1 mountain bike setup.

Force CX1 is the world’s first cross-specific groupset and uses a clutch-style rear derailleur to maintain chain tension through a wide range of gears. That, combined with the wide-tooth, narrow-tooth chainring profile, is designed to keep the chain in place, and remove chainslap, regardless of how rough the terrain. By removing the inner chainring, SRAM say Force CX1 is lighter, simpler and more reliable than a double-ring setup, while maintaining a wide spread of gears.

SRAM Force CX1 is the world’s first cyclo-cross groupset (Pic: SRAM)

The rear derailleur is at the heart of the groupset and uses a roller bearing clutch to tug on the chain in order to keep it taut. While the complete Force CX1 groupset is an 11-speed setup, the rear mech is also compatible with existing ten-speed SRAM road groupsets so riders can effectively switch to a single-ring Force CX1 configuration by upgrading only the derailleur and chainring.

The wide-tooth, narrow-tooth profile of the X-Sync chainring is designed to match the profile of the chain links and thus improve its ability to keep the keep the chain in place in the heat of a ‘cross race. The chainring is compatible with a standard compact crank, with SRAM offering the Force CX1 crankset in GXP and BB30 bottom bracket options.

The Force CX1 chainring design means it is is only available in even tooth numbers (38, 40, 42, 44, and 46) but with four PG-1170 cassette sizes also available (11-25, 11-26, 11-28 and 11-32), there are plenty of options to suit the terrain and a rider’s style. SRAM recommend using Force CX1 with their PC-1170 chain.

The groupset has been tested in the field by SRAM’s sponsored riders, including two-time world champion Bart Wellens (Pic: Balint Hamvas)

Finally, the Force CX1’s shifters are essentially standard Force 22 levers, though the left-hand lever has no shift paddle and, as a result, weighs 119g, compared to 277g for the full. shifter/brake lever. All in all, SRAM say Force CX1 is 205g lighter than the Force 22 road groupset.

But what about the brakes? The Force CX1 braking systems will be presented this spring and are set to include mechanical disc and cantilever brakes, and hydraulic disc brakes, most likely off the back of the relaunch of SRAM’s recalled hydraulic road disc stoppers.

SRAM Force CX1 will be available from July 2014.

Website: SRAM

Read more about cyclo-cross bikes in our cyclo-cross buyer’s guide.

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Prices and weights

SRAM Force CX1 rear rerailleur – £178, 261g
SRAM  Force CX1 X-Sync chainring – from £96 to £115, 75g (42t)
SRAM Force CX1 GXP crank (chainring and cups not included) – £157, 710g (42t, 172.5mm)
SRAM Force CX1 BB30 crank (chainring and bearings not included) – 542g (42t, 172.5mm)
SRAM Force CX1 left brake lever – £86, 119g
SRAM Force CX1 right shifter/brake lever – £147, 158g
SRAM PG-1170 cassette – £81 (11-25t, 11-26t, 11-28t), £90 (11-32t)
SRAM PC-1170 chain – £41, 242g

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