ASK MBA: IS SRAM’S X01 CHAIN WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY COMPARED TO GX?
Sometimes, you get what you pay for.
Q: I’ve been looking to replace my chain on my X01 Eagle drivetrain and can’t decide between the X01 chain that came with it or the much cheaper GX chain. Why is there such a big price difference? Is there an advantage to spending the extra money on the XO1 chain? What about the XX1?
A: It can be confusing trying to figure out what is worth spending more money on and what isn’t. Chains are one of those things that can make a big difference in the life of your drivetrain, so it’s worth knowing the difference between a cheap chain and an expensive chain and if it’s worth paying just a little more. SRAM makes it pretty simple to know the difference between their chains. With the GX chain, you get good shifting performance but no special coating on the inner link to help with extended life. XO1 chains’ inner links are chrome plated to reduce chain wear, or stretch, over time. The XO1 chain shares this feature with the XX1 chains, just not in the crazy colors SRAM offers in the XX1 line.
Whenever we are running a SRAM Eagle drivetrain and need to replace the chain we will go for the XO1 chain because it really does last longer. One of our wrecking crew members tested this and found he would go through two GX chains in the time it would take one XO1 to wear out. The XO1 chain also features hollow pins, which make it lighter, too. The $30 difference, in this case, is worth it in our opinion. It can give you a little peace of mind knowing your chain will, depending on how hard you ride, probably last an entire season.