It's been a long wait but SRAM's T-Type drivetrains have finally hit the market and, in its first week, we've been plagued with pictures of people standing on their mechs, and videos of EDR racers shifting surprisingly smoothly up some horrendous climbs. Without a doubt, it's made quite the impression in more ways than one but perhaps the most important, and the most overlooked is the price of replacement consumable parts.
It goes without saying but the new SRAM drivetrains are making waves, claiming a range of innovations and improvements to the humble groupset. The new kit promises smoother shifting under very high loads, as well as greatly improved strength of the mech which then makes for smoother and more reliable shifting.
Improvements keep on coming, too, as SRAM has paid a lot of attention to the remote shifter, giving it a complete redesign and throwing in a tonne of adjustability, especially on the top-end XXSL where you can actually swap out the buttons for different shapes and feels.
And of course, we didn't have to wait long before spotting it on pro bikes, with it first being on Nino Schurter's World Championship-winning bike, as well as his Cape Epic Scott Spark. On the subject of Cape Epic 2023 bikes, Chris Blevins' and Matt Beers' bikes donned the new kit, too.
Nino Schurter's Scott Spark, by Dino Lloyd
As expected, the new SRAM T-Type kit asks for quite the premium with prices for the groupsets starting at £1,240 for the XO T-Type e-MTB groupset and going up to an eye-watering £2,890 for the XXSL T-Type Eagle Powermeter AXS groupset. Whether you like it or not, if you're lucky or if the derailleurs are as strong as we're told, some of that kit should be a one-time purchase but what about the consumables?
With proper drivetrain care, you should expect to change the chain, cassette, and chainrings throughout the drivetrain's lifespan which is a pricy endeavor at the best of times but with SRAM's new kit, you may have to consider remortgaging your house.
Let's start with the chains. The XXSL chain will set you back £160, the XX £135, and the bottom-of-the-range XO chain is priced at £105. Even the PowerLock links or quick links cost from £17 to £24.
Moving into the chainrings and pricing seems a lot more sensible with the bog standard T-Type ring with a 104 BCD costing £43. The prices do go up, with the XXSL at £124.
The three new drivetrains come with three new cassettes which are partially credited to the drivetrain's ability to shift under load. Prices start at £430 which is on par with SRAM's previously top-end XX1 cassette at £421 but that is the cheapest T-Type cassette as prices rocket to £590 and £645.
So let's put that into real-life terms when the time comes to refresh your drivetrain with a new chain, chainring, and cassette. If you're running the most pocket-friendly XO kit, you're looking at a £578 expenditure. If you're going the whole hog and using the mega posh XXSL new drivetrain consumables will set you back £929. These prices only include one chain too. You could buy two perfectly fine complete NX drivetrains for less than that!
Clearly, you're going to need deep pockets to reap the rewards of SRAM's exciting new T-Type kit but whether or not the shifting benefits are worth the cash is entirely up to debate.
You might also like: