When it comes to mountain bike groupsets, SRAM is a big name. They are not just known for excellent off-road performance, but you get good reliability and much more.
Two of the most popular mountain bike groupsets SRAM produces are the SRAM NX and the SRAM GX.
With solid competition from Shimano with the Deore, XT, and XTR groupsets, they have done well to become so popular and fight off the competition. We often get asked by our amazing readers if they should buy the SRAM NX or the GX.
In this article, we’re going to be telling you what you need to know about SRAM NX vs GX so you know exactly what you’re getting when investing in these excellent groupsets.
We will be discussing the following:
- What Is SRAM NX?
- What Is SRAM GX?
- What Are The Differences Between SRAM NX Vs GX
- Which Groupset Is For You? SRAM NX Vs GX
Let’s get into it!
What Is SRAM NX?
SRAM NX is one of SRAM’s entry-level groupsets and sits just above the SX groupset in the SRAM MTB range. It comes in many versions, but the current and most popular available is the 1×12-speed Eagle we are discussing today.
- Weight: 2030 g
- Cost: $400-450
- Gearing: 1×12
- Rear Cassette: 11-50t
Coming in around $400 to $450 is great value for the money you’re spending. It offers an excellent range of 11-50t on the rear cassette, and being a 1x drivetrain with X-Sync technology, it makes it easy to shift around even on rough terrain.
The groupset in total weighs 2030 g, which, as far as mountain bike groupsets go, is not the lightest, but it’s definitely not the heaviest amongst other brand’s equivalents either. Surprisingly, it’s only 500g heavier than SRAM’s top-level XX01.
The SRAM NX is a dependable, reliable, and tough groupset that is the choice of many mountain bikers, and we can see why. It offers everything you would want in a mountain bike groupset and more for an amazing price.
What Is SRAM GX?
The SRAM GX groupset is the next level up from NX, but it’s important to understand they are very different when it comes to the finer details.
If you are looking for a little more performance and have a little more money to invest, then GX could be your best option.
- Weight: 1750 g
- Cost: $600-650
- Gearing: 1×12
- Rear Cassette: 10-52t
The SRAM GX groupset comes in around $600 to $650. It is more expensive compared to SRAM NX, but offers more. With a 10-52 cassette, you get another gear on the low end and also a couple more teeth on the top end, which could be the difference in a race.
It comes with the X-Sync 2 technology, giving incredibly smooth shifting, and even when the chain is pushed to its maximum in the lowest gear, it will still be quiet and silky smooth. Not only does it perform, but it looks great and only weighs 1750 g.
You also have excellent durability, and some of the components are made of metal compared to plastic, and the rear cassette is one-piece aluminum instead of multi-piece steel.
They haven’t just added a few bits to the NX. The GX is a groupset in its own right.
What Are The Differences Between SRAM NX and GX
The best way to understand these two groupsets is to break them down and tell you the differences between them in real-world terms.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to SRAM GX vs NX:
Let’s start with looks. The SRAM NX is a black groupset with white detailing and has been designed to have a very stealthy look. It has a lovely finish, and although it does look basic, in my opinion, it doesn’t come across as looking cheap.
The GX is quite different in the fact that instead of being black, it’s a dark gray, and everything looks a bit chunky and polished compared to the NX.
The GX does offer a much nicer finish and does look like a top-end groupset. The Eagle on the crank arm looks amazing.
Then we have cost, and when getting a groupset, it’s an important factor for many on a budget.
Coming in at around $400, the NX is incredibly good value for money, and we can see why it is so popular amongst many cyclists.
The GX comes in at around $600, and although it costs more, you are getting a better-performing groupset.
The SRAM NX is great if you are on a budget, but if you can stretch to it, the SRAM GX is worth the extra.
When it comes to quality, there’s a very big difference between the two groupsets. The GX is of higher quality, and it’s noticeable in quite a few places.
Firstly, the cranks. The NX is 6000 series aluminum, and the GX is 7000 series, making it stronger, lighter, and, in turn, faster.
Also, parts such as the shifter are made of metal instead of being made of plastic, the chainring is aluminum, not steel, and the cassette is a single piece compared to multiple.
The GX is better than the NX, and you can’t just see the quality but feel it when you ride.
After riding both groupsets in my time mountain biking, there’s a clear difference between the way they shift. The NX shifts well, and it’s easy to work around the cassette without too much trouble and offers a good experience.
Alongside the GX though, there’s a noticeable difference going from one to another. The GX feels a bit smoother and more redefined.
They both work great, but the better shifting is with the GX, and you can feel it.
When it comes to mountain bike gearing, having a wide range to work with is very important. When riding off-road, the climbs are steeper, the terrain looser, and you need all the low gears you can get.
Both the GX and the NX typically come with a 30, 32, or 34 chainring on the front.
On the rear is where it differs. For the NX, you get an 11/50t, but for the GX, a 10/52t. This not only gives you a lower range to play with up climbs but a higher range for when on descents.
Although a couple of teeth don’t sound like much, there will be a time you will find it can help you.
- If you want to understand gear ratios better, check out our Ultimate Guide To Bike Gearing here!
The weight of cycling components can be very important to some riders. The lighter the bike, the easier it is to move and the better your ability as a rider.
The NX comes in at 2030 g, which, as far as a budget mountain bike groupset, is a good weight and lighter than Shimano’s equivalent, Deore, at 2100 g.
The GX comes in much lighter at 1750g, roughly 13% lighter. To a professional rider or someone trying to break into the pro racing circuit, that does make a difference. Power to weight is very important when it comes to cycling performance.
Another important topic of discussion when it comes to SRAM GX vs NX is compatibility. If you want to upgrade in the future, then the NX might hold you back compared to the GX.
The NX uses a standard Shimano freehub body, while the GX uses the XD hub body.
You could use a SRAM GX derailleur on the NX cassette but not a SRAM NX derailleur on a GX cassette. For full compatibility, you will get more from the GX.
Which Groupset Is For You: SRAM NX Vs GX?
When it comes to the SRAM NX and GX groupset, there are important differences to consider.
Here’s what you’re getting if you choose GX over NX:
- Wider Range Of Gears
- A Groupset 13% lighter
- Stronger Components
- More Compatibility To Upgrade
- A Better Looking Groupset
It’s also worth considering what you’re getting if you choose NX over GX because that also comes with some advantages.
Here’s what you’re getting if you choose NX over GX:
- Saving Money On Purchase And Maintenance
- You Can Use A Shimano Freehub Body If You Have One Already
If you’re looking for performance and have a higher budget, then you are not going to be making a mistake investing in the SRAM GX. It costs more, but you get a lighter groupset that performs better with a wider range of gears and is much easier to upgrade later.
If you’re looking for a more basic mountain bike groupset to hit the trails and are not worried about bike weight or upgrading later, then you can’t go wrong with the SRAM NX. It’s amazing value for money and does its job well.
A Final Thought
When it comes to cycling, it’s easy to get caught up in overthinking equipment. The SRAM NX and GX are great ways to enjoy trails, and they are excellently designed.
We hope you enjoyed our article today and are now ready to choose between the SRAM NX vs GX!