The Bottom Line
We have been using different models of the X-9 drivetrain each year since this review was originally published in 2004 and have yet to experience any real problems with any version.
- Great shifting performance
- Easy installation & adjustment
- Derailleur design doesn't hit or clank against chainstay
- Replacement parts may not be stocked in your local shop
- Thumbs up shifting may not be intuitive to all at first
- 1:1 Shift Ratio - For reliable shifting and easy adjustment
- Burly Return Spring - Makes for longer shifting performance in all conditions
- Direct Cable Housing Feed - For smoother and better shifting performance and less cable snags
- Fixed Position Parallelogram Design - Prevents deraileur from contacting chainstay
Guide Review - SRAM X-9 Drivetrain Review X-9 Shifters & X-9 Rear Derailleur
We used this system including the SRAM X-9 trigger shifters, SRAM X-9 rear derailleur, SRAM Hollow Point Chain and a SRAM rear cassette to replace a Shimano XTR drivetrain on a bike that had had chronic shifting problems. It has shifted flawlessly ever since.
I was pleased to discover that the SRAM X-9 rear derailleur doesn't clank against the chainstays on downhills like my Shimano derailleurs sometimes do. This is a really a nice feature, especially on FSR rear suspension frames. It makes for a much quieter ride.
Another positive of the X-9 rear derailleur is its direct cable housing feed that doesn't catch on branches as much as non-direct cable routed designs.
The SRAM X-9 rear derailleur and SRAM X-9 shifters make for an excellent upgrade. You will, however, have to get both the shifters and the derailleur if you don't already have a 1:1 shift ratio system such as another SRAM product.