SRAM NX Vs GX: Understanding the Difference

SRAM is one of the popular groupset brands for mountain bikes. Its popularity has seen it advance from SRAM NX to GX, enabling users to enjoy using the 12-speed cassette. However, you need to select the correct MTB groupset to have a different cycling experience. Between SRAM NX vs GX, which is the best choice for you?

SRAM NX Vs GX

SRAM NX groupset consists of 6000-series alloy cranks, plastic shifters and steel plate chain. It’s also cheaper and has a cassette range of 11-50t. On the other hand, the SRAM GX has a chain and shifters made of alloy plus the cranks are of 7000-series alloy. It, however, is more expensive and lightweight than NX and capable of tackling technical terrains.

If you’re planning to choose the right mountain bike groupset, this guide will help you select the best one.

What is SRAM NX

SRAM NX is one of the MTB groupsets you can select to enjoy riding on different trails. It’s ideal for a 1 x 12 entry-level drivetrain (one front chainring and 12 rear gears). This groupset is a great pick if you intend to change from the 2-3 chainring setup.

SRAM NX EAGLE ACTIVE
SRAM NX EAGLE ACTIVE ACTIVE 1×12

The SRAM NX is amongst the affordable groupsets you can buy for your mountain bike out of the 12-speed groupsets. It also has a lot of advantages which will offer you maximum benefits.

If you buy an SRAM NX groupset, you’ll get;

Rear Derailleur

The derailleur has a type-3 roller bearing clutch, increasing chain control performance. The NX rear derailleur consists of a cage and lock system. The lock system helps lock the cage forward, making it easy to remove the wheel.

It’s compatible with the 10-50t cassettes and the older SRAM model cassettes like the XD driver cassette. It can also work with the 11-50t cassettes.

Shifters

Another feature you’ll get after buying SRAM NX is the NX shifter. This line has the Matchmaker, and it enables you to clamp directly on the brake lever. This will allow you to have adequate space between the handlebars.

You will also not have difficulties changing into easier gears as the NX shifter helps improve its performance. This allows you to change about five easier gears without much effort (you can achieve this by making one push on the pedal), which is attributed to SRAMs’ zero loss and X-Actuation capabilities.

Crankset

The NX crankset is made of forged aluminum, and it consists of DUB system cranks and bottom bracket bearings comprising a lock ring. It’s found on the non-drive side and helps you set the bearing tension.

It has the X-Sync 2 Eagle chainring with a narrow-wide tooth profile. The NX cranks can work best with the direct mount chainring. So, getting frustrated because of a dropped chain is minimal.

Pros And Cons of SRAM NX

If you want to decide between SRAM NX vs GX, it’s good to look at its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll help you understand all these here.

Pros

  • It makes the lever lighter
  • Its chainrings and steel sprockets are long-lasting
  • The shifter has a better ergonomic design
  • It’s valuable
  • It’s compatible with the freehub body

Cons

  • The derailleur is not high quality
  • Its clutch isn’t adjustable
  • It has less gear range than the other groupsets
  • The cassette is heavier

What is SRAM GX

SRAM GX is another mountain bike groupset you can opt for. It entails more gears giving better performance. It’s above the NX groupset, making it have more cassette range. You will get a 10-52t cassette widening the range to about 520%.

SRAM GX EAGLE ACTIVE
SRAM GX EAGLE ACTIVE

Its features entail;

  • 12-Speed Groupset

You will have better performance with the GX, which provides smooth and clear changes on the terrain. You will not experience challenges when changing the cadence using the 10-42t easy gears. The 52t cog will come to your rescue when riding on longer climbs. The 52t cog will also save your back when going around steep climbs.

  • The Rear Mech

This rear mech consists of a pulley wheel offset, a longer parallelogram pivot hardware and a shorter cage. All these work together to improve the chain wrap and increase the lifespan of the cassette and chain. This enables you to enjoy using an improved shift.

  • The Cassette

What makes SRAM GX stand out is the cassette which binds cogs with 123 stainless steel pins. You can make bigger jumps using the 52t cog. But if you feel that’s too much, you can replace it with SRAM’s 10-50t cassette.

Pros And Cons of SRAM GX

Knowing the pros and cons of the SRAM GX will help you choose between SRAM NX vs. GX. Below are these in detail;

Pros

  • It’s durable and efficient
  • It provides for 520% gear range for better flexibility
  • It allows for smooth and clear shifting

Cons

  • It’s not an ideal choice for tough climbs
  • It’s expensive
  • The carbon finishing is not good

What’s The Difference Between SRAM NX Vs GX?

Most of the time, SRAM NX is viewed as an alternative to GX. However, if you buy an SRAM GX groupset, you’ve upgraded. The difference between the two lies on;

Cassette

The main difference between SRAM NX vs GX lies in the cassettes. The NX line has loose gears with plastic spacers and can work with all the standard freehub bodies. The cassette range for SRAM NX is 11-50t.

However, the SRAM GX cassette range is between 10-52t, and it has pinned cogs. Pin cogs indicate that the cassette is one unit.

Chain

Another notable difference between SRAM NX vs. GX is in the chain settings. The materials used to make the two chains differ. The SRAM NX chain comprises plain steel plates, while that of the GX is chrome with a nickel finishing. The chrome-treated GX chain makes the pins stronger and more durable.

Weight and Performance

You will also realize that the difference between SRAM NX vs GX is in their weight. The SRAM NX has a heavy crankset, cassette, chain and rear derailleur. The trigger shifters are the only lightweight parts on this groupset. The SRAM NX groupset weighs 2032g.

On the other hand, SRAM GX has a lighter crankset, cassette, and chain, with the only weighty part than the NX being the shifter. It weighs 1754g which is less than that of the NX line.

Even though weight doesn’t matter much, it determines the bike’s performance and how you handle it. You will have challenges climbing tough terrain with the weighty NX line. However, the SRAM GX will enable you to make a smooth shift uphill or downhill.

Price

Before you settle for SRAM NX vs GX, you’ve got to consider your budget. The SRAM NX is an affordable option if you’re on a tight budget. Its price range makes it an ideal pick for beginners who aren’t sure whether that’s a nice investment or not. If you’re unsure about continuing with the chainring setup, you have to settle for NX, which allows you to resell it later.

SRAM GX, on the other hand, is an expensive groupset that’s ideal for riders who are looking for a light bike regardless of its price. You will pay about $100 more to buy GX than NX.

Shifters

You will also realize that the SRAM NX vs. GX difference is on the shifters. The SRAM NX line has plastic shifters, which is why it tends to be cheaper. The plastic body makes it not a perfect choice if you like crashing. But it’s one of the lightweight shifters in the market with matchmaker mounts. The NX shifter also has a fixed bar clamp mount.

However, the SRAM GX has alloy shifters, making them durable and a good choice for tough trails. But it costs more than the NX, which requires you to dig deeper into your pockets.

Cranks

The cranks also contribute to the SRAM NX vs GX lines differences. The SRAM NX line has 6000-series alloy cranks with good strength, but it’s weightier than GX and not stiff. The SRAM GX line has cranks of 7000-series alloy. This makes it more rigid, stronger and lighter than the NX line.

The GX line crank is lightweight because of the alloy chainrings, while NX cranks have stamped steel chainrings. Apart from that, the SRAM NX cranks have additional lines above them, XX1 and X01. The two lines have cranks made of hollow carbon fiber and carbon fiber, respectively, making them stiffer and lighter. However, they’re not capable of withstanding rugged trails as the GX crank.

SRAM NX Vs GX: Which Is the Best Choice?

Your choice between SRAM NX vs. GX will depend on your experience level. If you’re a beginner on a tight budget but expect to upgrade later, the SRAM NX is a good choice. But the price doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer better performance as the other groupsets.

However, if you’re a pro rider who engages in high jumps or rides at high speed, the SRAM GX is a good choice. This is because it offers a bigger cog size and has 52t gears, enabling you to ride on tougher trails without worries. It’s also lightweight, allowing you to concur such terrains easily. But you will have to spend more cash to buy it as it’s $100 more expensive than the NX.

Bottom Line SRAM NX vs GX

Riding your bike is enjoyable if you have the right bike with the best gears. However, you will have a better experience with the best mountain bike groupset, which requires you to be keen when selecting one. 

If you’ve to choose between SRAM NX vs GX, it’s best to look at your budget against the performance and durability of the parts. The SRAM NX groupset is cheaper, with a steel plate chain, plastic shifters and 6000-series alloy cranks. 

On the other hand, the SRAM GX is lightweight and has a chrome chain with a nickel finish and alloy shifters. You can select any groupset from the leading SRAM brand that meets your demands and enjoys riding your mountain bike.

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