Just in case you missed the news earlier this month, the 1X Wonder is the nickname for the newest PowerGlide cassette by SRAM: a 1170 model with a range of 11-36.
As SRAM makes clear in their promotional material, this cassette was designed with the Force CX1 drivetrains in mind, extending their previously widest cassette (the 11-32 WiFli) to a 13 percent lower gearing. The actual gearing is 11-12-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36. As we’ve noted before, there is rarely a system with only benefits and no drawbacks, and the versatility of range comes at the expense of spacing between each gear.
SRAM notes that the 1X 11-36 cassette is only compatible with “a Force CX1 Medium Cage Rear Derailleur featuring X-HORIZON™ ‘straight parallelogram’ shifting.”
We are certainly intrigued by the addition to the system, and not just because our legs are screaming for a lower gear on our single chainring setups. While there is plenty of good reason for the popularity of single rings in cyclocross, our largest complaint is that it is impractical on longer rides that demand a big gear and a big range. The wider range could invite the possibility of adding a larger chainring come gravel bike and adventure race season, while still making climbs accessible.
The cassette is only compatible with 11-speed hubs, has a claimed weight of 366g, and will be available next month for $118.
Stay tuned for our impressions on cxmagazine.com