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Master Mountain Bike Groupsets Like Pro to Dominate Trails Easily

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Mountain biking is a thrilling outdoor activity that requires a bike built for rough terrains, steep climbs, and fast descents. To get the most out of your mountain bike, you need to understand the different components that make up a complete groupset. 

A groupset comprises the drivetrain, brakes, and shifters, among other components that are vital to your bike’s performance.

Choosing the right groupset for your mountain bike can be a complex task. With so many options available in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. 

However, having a basic understanding of the different groupsets and their components can help you make an informed decision when buying or upgrading your mountain bike.

Therefore through this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about mountain bike groupsets, including the different components, their functions, and how to choose the right groupset for your riding style and preferences. 

I am pretty sure that this guide will provide you with valuable insights and information to help you make the right decision.

What is an MTB Groupset

Mountain bike groupsets

When you first hear the term “groupset” in the context of mountain biking, you might assume it refers to a singular component. 

However, a groupset actually consists of multiple components that make up the drivetrain of your bike. It’s essential that these parts work together seamlessly to provide optimal shifting performance. 

Aside from the drivetrain and shifting components, an MTB groupset also includes brakes that are designed to be compatible with the other components. 

Manufacturers generally offer these components as a complete set, although it’s possible to swap out or customize individual components to better suit your specific needs.

List of Components included in MTB Groupset

1. Brakes

In recent times, mountain bike brakes have become a separate category from the groupset they were traditionally a part of. While it is still possible to match your brakes with your preferred groupset, it is now more common to mix and match due to the popularity of disc brakes.

Basically, disc brakes can be divided into two categories: hydraulic and mechanical. Hydraulic brakes use a fluid system borrowed from the automotive industry to transfer force from the brake lever to the brake pads. 

This sealed system is low maintenance and easy to operate. On the other hand, mechanical disc brakes are often the preferred option for lower-end mountain bikes, as hydraulic systems can be too expensive. 

They use a wire cable to transfer force from the brake lever to the brake pads and are not sealed, making them vulnerable to dirt, rust, cable stretch, and other forms of wear. 

As the brake pads wear out, simple manual adjustment is needed for mechanical disc brakes, whereas hydraulic systems typically have automated adjustments.

2. Bottom Bracket

The bearings that allow the crankset to spin are known as the bottom bracket, which is attached to the frame. As there are different frame designs, there is a wide range of options available for bottom brackets. 

The two primary types are threaded, which screws into place, and press-fit, which is pressed into place and relies on tight tolerances.

3. Crankset

In a bicycle, the crankset serves as the point of attachment for the pedals and the component that your legs spin in a circular motion while you pedal. 

In modern mountain bikes, the crankset comprises the crank arms, chainrings (located at the front), and the axle that links the two crank arms.

Mountain bike cranksets are basically classified into three distinct groups based on their chainring count.


The classic triple crankset features three chainrings, with the largest typically having 42 or 44 teeth. The middle ring generally has 32 or 34 teeth, while the smallest inner ring has 22 or 24 teeth. 

This setup provides the widest gear range but has considerable redundancy in gear ratios. 

Cross-chaining can be an issue with a triple if the lowest or highest chainring is paired with the opposite lowest or highest sprocket on the cassette. 

Triple cranksets are becoming less common in modern high-end mountain bikes and are gradually disappearing from the entry-level market as well, with double and single-ring drivetrains becoming the standard.


Double cranksets gained popularity when SRAM and Shimano introduced 10-speed drivetrains, offering a more narrow gear range with less overlap than a triple. 

The inner ring usually has 22 to 28 teeth, and the larger outer cog provides a gear suitable for faster riding with 34 to 36 teeth. 

Although double cranksets are available on entry-level to high-end bikes, their popularity is also declining.


In the past five years, wide-range 1x drivetrains with a single chainring have become the most significant mountain bike drivetrain trend. 

Known as ‘1x’ (one-by), this setup has long been popular for downhill mountain biking, where a wide gear range is unnecessary, and chain security is crucial. 

With the introduction of SRAM’s XX1 and subsequent 1×11 and 1×12 groups, the single-ring drivetrain is now the standard for mid- to high-level mountain bikes and is increasingly found on entry-level models due to the release of SX Eagle and NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrains.

Chainring sizes for 1x drivetrains vary, ranging from 38-tooth chainrings for competitive cross-country racers to 28- or even 26-tooth chainrings on some fat bikes. Most 1x drivetrains come with 32- or 30-tooth chainrings. 

These drivetrains feature a chainring with tall, non-ramped teeth and alternating tooth widths that correspond with the chain’s inner and outer links. 

Both attributes help keep the chain in place without a front derailleur or chain guide. The single-ring drivetrain is simpler, lighter, and often easier for beginners to operate due to the absence of a front derailleur and associated shifter.

4. Cassette

The cassette refers to the set of rear cogs that attach to the rear wheel. The number of gears a bike has at the back is determined by these rear cogs, and most modern mountain bikes usually have between eight to twelve gears on the cassette.   

5. Chain

The chain serves as the link between the front crankset and the rear cassette. It is essential for the bike’s propulsion, as the bike has no drive without it. Made of steel, the chain consists of a series of interconnected links that are designed to rotate smoothly but are resistant to twisting.

6. Derailleurs

The derailleurs on a mountain bike guide the chain between the cogs. They are typically operated by a cable that pulls them in one direction while relying on spring tension within the derailleur to pull them in the opposite direction.

The rear derailleur, which consists of a series of springs, can slap around on rough terrain, resulting in a lot of noise and the possibility of a dropped chain. 

To combat this, “clutch” equipped rear derailleurs have become the standard for intermediate and better mountain bike derailleurs. The clutch creates friction in the cage that the chain runs through, resulting in a quieter ride and a reduced chance of a dropped chain.

Some derailleurs now incorporate small servomotors, which control the movement electronically. This is referred to as electronic shifting and comes at a premium price. 

However, it eliminates the risk of mud, water, or general wear affecting shift performance, as cable-operated (mechanical) systems rely on precise cable tension and cable condition to move the derailleur between gears accurately.

7. Shifters

The shifters on a mountain bike are located on the handlebars for easy access and are responsible for changing gears. Usually, the shifters are directly connected to the derailleurs using a mechanical cable.

The prevalent shifter type found on a mountain bike is the “trigger” shifter, where you use either your thumb or forefinger to change gears. 

However, there is also a less common grip shift design where you twist the grip to change gears. All in all, each brand has its own unique shifter style.

What Range of Gears do MTB Groupsets have

MTB groupsets come in a variety of gear ranges, which are determined by the size of the chainrings and sprockets and refer to the difference between the highest and lowest gear ratios. 

The gear range is a crucial factor in a bike’s performance and versatility, and it’s more important than the number of gears. When comparing MTB groupsets, it’s essential to find the right gear range that matches your riding style.

It’s worth noting that a 22-gear drivetrain may have the same gear range as an 11-gear drivetrain. However, the former offers smaller steps between gears, making it better suited for climbing, while the latter provides larger steps, which can improve acceleration.

A broader range of gear ratios is beneficial for riders who tackle varied terrain, enabling them to ride faster on straight sections while also making it easier to climb steeper hills without dismounting. 

If you primarily ride steep off-road terrains, you may not need higher gears, but certain downhill MTBs come equipped with high gears to facilitate acceleration on gnarly descents.

What Brands of MTB Groupsets are there

If you’re looking for an MTB groupset, your options primarily consist of two major brands: Shimano and SRAM.

Shimano, the Japanese manufacturer, offers a wide variety of bike components with various specifications and is a market leader in most segments. 

Their MTB groupsets cater to every rider and budget, from affordable entry-level components to high-tech products for racing professionals and hobby riders. Many of their products are compatible, provided they are designed for the same number of gears.

Meanwhile, SRAM, the American brand, is known for innovative and performance-oriented shifting solutions. They played a significant role in refining two-by cranksets and were the first brand to launch one-by groupsets for mountain bikes, which remain one of their main products.

Both Shimano and SRAM offer complete groupsets and individual drivetrain components, allowing you to find the perfect solution for your mountain bike. So, let’s delve deep into what they offer:

Shimano’s Mountain Bike Groupsets

Shimano arranges its mountain bike groupsets in a hierarchy, from the least expensive and technologically advanced to the most advanced. The order is as follows:

Shimano Tourney

At the base of Shimano’s mountain bike groupset hierarchy is Tourney. It’s commonly used on department stores or children’s bikes and is available in different configurations based on the intended application, such as touring, road riding, or light mountain biking.

In 2020, Tourney received an update, featuring two new 6- and 7-speed mechs, as well as updated shifters, front mechs, cranks, and cassettes. Tourney is offered in 6-, 7-, and 8-speed systems, paired with triple or double cranksets.

Shimano Altus M2000

Moving up the hierarchy is Shimano Altus M2000, which is commonly found on entry-level mountain bikes.

The latest version of Altus M2000 features a 9-speed cassette, combined with a triple crankset with 40/30/22t chainrings. However, the Altus rear derailleur doesn’t use Shimano’s Shadow Plus clutch technology for chain stability. 

Instead, it uses the Shadow design, which reduces the profile to minimize the risk of damage from obstacles on the trail.

Shimano Acera M3000

The next groupset in Shimano’s hierarchy is Acera M3000, which incorporates corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel on certain components.

Acera M3000 is a 9-speed groupset that can be paired with a 40/30/22 triple crankset or a 36/22 double crankset. It also features a wider range of 11-36 cassettes.

Shimano Alivio M3100

Above Acera is Shimano Alivio M3100, which also has 9-speed and can be paired with a triple or double crankset. Alivio is a great starting point for those looking for a trail-ready mountain bike.

It’s the first mountain groupset from Shimano to feature a two-piece crankset with an external bottom bracket, resulting in increased stiffness. Acera, on the other hand, uses an Octalink bottom bracket, while Altus and Tourney use square-taper bottom brackets.

In 2020, Shimano updated the front derailleurs, gear shifters, cranks, cassette, and chain of the Alivio groupset.

Shimano Cues U6000

Shimano’s Cues groupset is designed to replace the Alivio, Acera, and Altus groupsets, as well as certain components in the Deore mountain bike range, ranging from 9-speed to 11-speed. However, it’s not yet featured on any new bikes.

The groupset features the same cassette spacing and cable pull across all tiers, allowing parts to be interchangeable.

According to Shimano, the U6000 tier is most likely to be used on mountain bikes and is available with a double or single chainring. The rear derailleur can run as 10-speed or 11-speed, with a maximum cassette size of 50-tooth for 1x setups.

The Cues range offers various crankset options, including two-piece and HollowTech.

Shimano Deore M6100, M5100, M4100

In 2020, Shimano revamped the Deore range, upgrading it from the original 10-speed only M6000 version to 11- and 12-speed with technology from SLX, XT, and XTR.

The M6100 12-speed is exclusively 1x and features entirely new parts, including Microspline cassettes with a range of 10-51 teeth, Shadow RD+ rear derailleur, and cranks with Dynamic Chain Engagement+ technology.

The new M5100 11-speed groupset looks nearly identical to the M4100 10-speed groupset, and they share the same technology. Both are available in 1x and 2x setups, with the 11-speed rear derailleur compatible with a 51-tooth rear cassette sprocket.       

Shimano SLX M7100

Shimano SLX M7100 is a significant groupset in the Shimano hierarchy, providing the same number of speeds as XT and XTR in a more affordable package.

In general, SLX offers similar features and functionality to the higher-end groups, with slightly lower shift quality and increased weight. Notable features of the SLX groupset include a 12-speed cassette with options for 10-45 and 10-51 teeth.

Shimano Deore XT M8050

Shimano Deore XT M8050 is the Di2 electronic shifting version of Shimano’s XT drivetrain. However, the M8050 series hasn’t received the same updates as the cable-operated XT groupset since the M8100 series was introduced, remaining as an 11-speed system.

The benefit of the electronic system is consistent gear shifts and minimal maintenance. Additionally, the Di2 system offers sequential shifting, also known as Synchro Shift, which enables the operation of both the front and rear derailleurs with a single control. 

The system decides whether to shift at the front or rear for the next closest jump.

The Deore XT M8050 Di2 groupset uses the same crankset, cassette, chain, and brakes as the respective XT 11-speed mechanical groupsets.

Shimano Deore XT M8100

Shimano Deore XT M8100 is positioned just below the professional-grade XTR groupset. With 12-speed, it includes nearly all of the top-end design features of XTR, providing most riders with all the necessary performance, with a slight weight disadvantage.

Deore XT is offered with either a single or double crankset and a wide range 10-45 and 10-51t cassette for 1x and 2x drivetrains.

Shimano XTR M9050

Shimano XTR M9050, the flagship electronic shifting groupset, is only compatible with 11-speed, similar to the M8050 XT series groupset. When it was initially available, it shared most of its components with the top-tier M9000 groupset. 

Since the introduction of XTR’s M9100, finding a complete 11-speed XTR groupset has become more difficult.

Like the XT Di2 groupset, XTR M9050 offers Synchro Shift and can be powered from the in-built battery on an electric mountain bike. However, some downsides include the high cost and the need to periodically recharge the battery if running the Di2 system on an acoustic bike.

Shimano XTR M9100

Shimano XTR M9100 represents the pinnacle of Shimano’s groupset range and is frequently utilized for racing purposes. XTR combines top-end design with lightweight materials, such as high-grade alloys, carbon fiber, and titanium. 

It is typical for XTR to provide features that no other groupset level has, such as multi-shift release when downshifting.

The most recent M9100 groupset has four drivetrain options to choose from. There is a wide-range 1×12 drivetrain with a massive 10-51t cassette, a tighter range 1×12 drivetrain with a 10-45t cassette, a 2×12 drivetrain with a 10-45t cassette, and a 1×11 option intended to save weight with a 10-45t cassette.

In the past, XTR was divided into Race and Trail categories. The latest M9100 series consolidates many of the groupset’s components into one line. However, there are still Cross-Country and Enduro categories for brakes, as well as pedals.

Cross-Country focuses on weight savings, removing features such as tool-free brake lever adjustments and Ice-Tech brake cooling fins to save grams.

Enduro is the more feature-packed and ‘everyday’ option, with a few extra grams providing increased brake power and adjustability.

This latest XTR groupset also employs an entirely new freehub design that is incompatible with previous Shimano mountain bike groupsets.

Shimano Zee M640

Shimano Zee M640 is Shimano’s entry-level gravity groupset and the first of the discipline-specific groups. It is a more affordable version of Saint.

Zee is designed for downhill and freeride, and it is only available with a 1x crankset. It is constructed heavier (and sturdier) than the similarly priced SLX groupset. Unlike SLX, Zee is a 10-speed groupset.

Shimano Saint M820

Shimano Saint M820 is designed as a top-level option for those who participate in downhill racing. Saint is a gravity-focused 1×10 groupset, similar to Zee, built to withstand the rigors of freeride and downhill.

SRAM’s Mountain Bike Groupsets

Let’s now discuss SRAM’s mountain bike groupsets, which are also arranged from the least to the most technologically advanced, and follow this order:


SRAM X3 is not a complete groupset but rather the most basic level of SRAM’s componentry, serving as the entry level for SRAM’s mountain bike components.

SRAM offers cassettes, chains, and cranksets as separate “non-series” options within this range.

The shifters and derailleurs are designed for 7-, 8-, or 9-speed drivetrains and make extensive use of plastics with metal derailleur cages. These components are suitable for light recreational riding but not for trail use.


Similar to SRAM X3, SRAM X4 is not a complete groupset, and it typically only includes a shifter set and rear derailleur. It’s common to find other brands mixed in with SRAM X4 parts.

These components are often found on budget bikes, and X4 shifters are available in 7- and 8-speed versions. The mechs span from 7-speed up to 9-speed.


SRAM X5 is often the first groupset you’ll find on entry-level mountain bikes. It’s a suitable option for recreational riding on trails, although it doesn’t come with a clutch on the rear derailleur.

Various versions of the rear derailleur are compatible with 7-, 8-, 9-, and 10-speed cassettes with a maximum cassette sprocket capacity of 36 teeth. This 10-speed groupset is available with a 2x or 3x crankset, but a 9-speed version of the cranks is still available.


SRAM’s X7 groupset offers a step up from the X5 with added features. The 10-speed group has a clutch on the rear derailleur, which improves chain retention. 

Additionally, the X7 shifter has a more precise action than the X5 and is compatible with SRAM’s MatchMaker system, which enables riders to use one clamp to secure shift levers and brakes. The X7 groupset is available with a 2x or 3x crankset.


The SRAM X9 groupset, which can be compared to Shimano’s SLX, was a reliable and sturdy option in SRAM’s product lineup. 

This groupset included most of the performance features found in higher-end models, but it utilized less expensive manufacturing techniques and materials to maintain affordable prices, resulting in a slightly heavier weight.

The X9 groupset was designed to handle demanding trails and came in both 2x and 3x configurations. Shifters and derailleurs on the X9 groupset were crafted using more aluminium than plastic, and the crankset featured hollow crankarms to reduce weight.

However, the X9 groupset is no longer being produced by SRAM. 


The SRAM SX Eagle groupset is the least expensive option within the Eagle lineup.

Unlike the GX Eagle and higher models, the 12-speed cassette on the SX Eagle groupset is compatible with a conventional Shimano-style freehub, which restricts the smallest sprocket size to 11t instead of 10t. 

This design choice, however, contributes to a lower price point for the groupset.


The SRAM NX groupset is the most budget-friendly among SRAM’s 1×11 options. This groupset includes the X-Sync chainring with narrow/wide teeth design and an 11-42t cassette that provides a broad range of gears.


The SRAM NX Eagle groupset fills the void between the GX and SX Eagle drivetrains. It showcases the newly designed derailleur with Type-3 Roller Bearing Clutch technology, capable of working with 10- or 11-tooth smallest cassette sprockets.

However, unlike the GX Eagle that utilizes SRAM’s XD driver body, the NX Eagle PG-1230 cassette doesn’t support the smallest sprocket size of 10-tooth. The XD driver technology is only available in SRAM’s first 12-speed drivetrain, the GX Eagle.


SRAM GX groupset is a well-liked choice among mid-priced bicycles as it incorporates numerous designs and internal features of the top-end 1x options.

Contrary to the NX groupset, GX offers 1×11 and 2×11 configurations, as well as a specialized 7-speed downhill groupset.


SRAM’s GX Eagle groupset was the latest addition to the 1×12 line and was developed with the intention of eliminating the need for front derailleurs while still being budget-friendly.

In June 2020, SRAM made some improvements to the GX Eagle groupset, including a 10-52 tooth cassette, redesigned derailleur that accommodates the lowest gear, and updated cranks with both carbon and alloy options.

It should be noted that the GX Eagle cassette, which is assembled using pins, is heavier than the X01 and XX1 cassettes, which are made from a single piece of hardened steel and feature extensive machining.


SRAM introduced its AXS electronic shifting technology to the more affordable GX Eagle groupset in March 2021. The GX Eagle AXS shares much of the technology and internal components of SRAM’s pricier AXS groupsets but with heavier steel components instead of carbon fiber or aluminium.

It’s fully compatible with all of SRAM’s current 12-speed Eagle components and can also be used with AXS drop-bar shifters for gravel bike setups.

Aside from a complete groupset, a GX Eagle upgrade kit is also available, which includes the rear derailleur, shifter, and charger. This enables riders to switch to electronic shifting while keeping their existing 12-speed components.


The SRAM X0 groupset was once regarded as the top-performing option that balanced performance with affordability. 

It was a 10-speed groupset that utilized carbon fiber for weight reduction and precision machining for improved shift accuracy. Although primarily offered in a 2x configuration, SRAM also provided a triple crankset option for this group.

However, the X0 groupset is now only partially available. Only the front and rear grip shift gear changer, trigger shifters, and front and rear hubs are still available for purchase.


Initially released as SRAM’s budget-friendly 1x groupset, the X1 groupset has been overshadowed by the more recent NX and GX 1x drivetrains in SRAM’s hierarchy.

However, the X1 groupset remains a dependable option for riders looking for a reliable 1×11 drivetrain. It features many of the same characteristics found in the top 1×11 groups but with a slightly heavier weight.             


In 2014, the SRAM X01 groupset was one of the most coveted options on the market. Alongside X1 and XX1, X01 garnered acclaim from reviewers for its unique 11-speed configuration that featured a significantly different cassette and rear derailleur design than 10-speed setups. 

This setup provided an impressive 10-42t gear range without the need for a front derailleur.

The X01 groupset sits just below the top tier in SRAM’s 1×11 lineup. It’s an excellent choice for riders seeking the same level of performance as the top groupset but is willing to tolerate a negligible weight increase.

SRAM X01 Eagle

In 2016, SRAM introduced the X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, offering a 500 percent gear range through a massive 10-50t cassette. The term “Eagle” is used by SRAM to refer to its 1×12 mountain bike groupsets.

The X01 Eagle groupset is commonly utilized on the high-end trail and enduro bikes, featuring a full aluminium derailleur cage and foam core cranks. It weighs slightly more than its top-of-the-line counterpart, the XX1 Eagle, by 46g.

In June 2020, the X01 Eagle groupset received an updated cassette with a broader gear range of 10-52 teeth and a new derailleur capable of shifting into the largest sprocket.

SRAM X01 Eagle AXS

The AXS Eagle system from SRAM, which is available electronically or cable-actuated, is intended for use in more demanding scenarios such as all-mountain or enduro biking, unlike its lighter counterpart, the XX1 Eagle AXS.

Due to the system’s increased durability, it does come with a slight weight penalty. However, the functionality of the AXS systems remains consistent across the board.


Before SRAM’s introduction of 1×11 systems, the XX groupset was the company’s top-tier off-road drivetrain, featuring a dedicated 2×10 configuration and utilizing carbon fiber and titanium hardware to achieve maximum weight reduction.

However, the XX groupset has now been discontinued.


SRAM’s XX1 groupset is the company’s leading 1×11 speed option and was the groupset that spearheaded the 1x revolution upon its introduction in 2012.

At present, only the trigger shifter, grip shift shifter, rear derailleur, 11-speed chainring, chain, and cassette are still available for purchase.

SRAM XX1 Eagle

SRAM’s XX1 Eagle groupset is designed for cross-country racing and is positioned as the top-tier option.

Compared to the lower-tier X01 Eagle, the XX1 Eagle cassette and chain boast gold titanium nitride coatings, which are purported to enhance durability. 

The XX1 Eagle derailleur features a carbon outer plate on the derailleur cage, while the cranksets have some slight differences, with the XX1 Eagle crankset being hollow.

The difference in weight between the two groupsets is barely noticeable.

Similar to the 2020 updates made to SRAM’s GX Eagle and X01 Eagle groupsets, the XX1 Eagle groupset also received an overhaul with a new 10-52-tooth cassette and a 52-tooth compatible derailleur.


In 2019, after having a wireless option available for road bikes for several years, SRAM unveiled wireless versions of its top two mountain bike groupsets: the XX1 Eagle AXS and X01 Eagle AXS.

Apart from the apparent benefit of eliminating the need for cables, the AXS system includes a smart new shifter design and a derailleur equipped with a secondary clutch, allowing it to move in the event of a sudden impact, reducing the likelihood of damage. 

Additionally, there’s a corresponding wireless AXS Reverb dropper post available.

SRAM X0 T-Type Eagle AXS

The SRAM X0 T-Type Eagle AXS is a wireless groupset and serves as the entry-level option for SRAM’s new T-Type mounting system, which was launched in 2023. 

This new mounting system uses the brand’s own Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) standard and operates around the center of the axle.

The X0 T-Type Eagle AXS is only available in a 1x configuration, with a maximum chainring size of 32 teeth. The rear derailleur can accommodate a cassette of up to 52 teeth.

The aluminium crankset features a bash guard, and the groupset is approved for use with electric mountain bikes.

SRAM XX T-Type Eagle AXS

SRAM’s XX T-Type Eagle AXS is a brand new groupset that utilizes the company’s innovative new mounting system, eliminating the requirement for a derailleur hanger.

The XX T-Type is intended for use on 1x trail and enduro bikes, with carbon cranks available in 165mm, 170mm, and 175mm lengths and a 32-tooth chainring.

The X-Sync cassette allows for shifting while under power, and the rear derailleur is compatible with a cassette of up to 52 teeth.


SRAM’s XX SL T-Type AXS is intended for cross-country riding and is the lightest among SRAM’s new T-Type groupsets. The SL is lighter than the XX T-Type, and its carbon crank can be equipped with a 34-tooth chainring, with a power meter version also available.

The rear cassette features the same X-Sync as the trail-focused XX T-Type and has a range of 10-50 teeth.

A new AXS Pod ULT simplifies shifting by reducing it to a two-button operation, compared to the regular AXS Pods’ three functions.


The SRAM GX DH groupset is intended for downhill riding and is designed with that purpose in mind. It only has seven gears, and the derailleur can be utilized with either the PG-720 or XG-795 cassettes.

The GX DH groupset includes a shifter, derailleur, chain, and cassette.


The SRAM X01 DH groupset is specifically designed for downhill racing and can be purchased in either a 7-speed or 10-speed configuration.


SRAM’s EX1 groupset was created explicitly for the increasing e-mountain bike sector. The use of electrical assistance and its associated quick shifts places additional strain on components.

To address this, the EX1 groupset includes an 8-speed cassette, with the largest cog positioned 7mm inward from where it would be on an 11-speed setup to reduce cross-chaining. 

This allows for an extra-strong chain that is synchronized with specific teeth to minimize strain on the drivetrain while changing gears.

A bit about the Benefits of Mountain Bike Groupsets

Mountain bike groupsets offer several benefits to riders. Here are some of the key advantages:

Efficiency: Mountain bicycle groupsets are designed to work together seamlessly, resulting in a smooth and efficient transfer of power from the pedals to the rear wheel. This leads to improved acceleration and faster speeds.

Customizability: Many groupsets offer a variety of components that can be mixed and matched to create a personalized setup that meets the rider’s specific needs and preferences.

Durability: High-quality mountain bike groupsets are built to withstand the rigors of off-road riding, including rough terrain, dirt, and moisture. They are designed to resist wear and tear and provide reliable performance over time.

Shifting: Most modern mountain bike groupsets feature advanced shifting technology that allows for quick and precise gear changes, even under load. This can be particularly beneficial when navigating technical terrain or steep climbs.

Weight savings: Many mountain bike groupsets incorporate lightweight materials such as carbon fiber or titanium, which can help reduce the overall weight of the bike. This can result in improved handling and better performance on climbs.

Wrapping Up — Mountain Bike Groupsets

From the above discussion, it is clear that there are several factors to consider when choosing a groupset, including the number of gears, the brand, and the price. 

Ultimately, the right groupset for you will depend on your riding style, skill level, and budget. By doing your research and choosing wisely, you can find a groupset that will help you get the most out of your mountain biking adventures.

Do your research, consider your options, and get ready to hit the road with a powerful and reliable mountain bike groupset. Please share your thoughts and feedback on the article in the comments section. Please like, share, and follow our Facebook Page for more guides like this. Have fun riding!

Mountain Bike Groupsets — Frequently Asked Questions

Which mountain bike groupset is better, SRAM or Shimano?

Both SRAM and Shimano offer high-quality mountain bike groupsets that are trusted by professional riders and amateurs alike. 

Shimano is known for its smooth and reliable shifting, and its groupsets offer a wide range of options at various price points. They are also generally more widely available, making it easier to find replacement parts or get them serviced.

SRAM, on the other hand, is known for its innovative technology and excellent performance. Their groupsets typically have a more minimalist design and are favored by riders who prioritize weight savings and simplicity.

Is it worth upgrading a mountain bicycle groupset?

A new groupset can offer benefits such as improved shifting, better braking, lighter weight, and more precise control. It can also give you access to new gear ratios or larger gear ranges, which can make it easier to climb steep hills or descend technical terrain.

However, upgrading a groupset can be expensive, and it may not always be the best use of your budget. It’s essential to consider the overall condition of your bike and other components before investing in a new groupset. 

If your bike is old or worn out, it may be more cost-effective to buy a new bike altogether.

What size chainring do pros use?

For cross-country (XC) racing, most pros use chainrings ranging from 32 to 38 teeth. This allows them to maintain a good balance between pedaling efficiency on the flats and uphills while still being able to maintain a high cadence.

For enduro and downhill racing, pros typically use larger chainrings, ranging from 36 to 42 teeth. This is because they prioritize speed on the descents and have a higher top speed, so a larger chainring allows them to maintain that speed while still having enough gears for climbing.

It’s worth noting that the size of the chainring is only one factor that affects a rider’s performance, and what works for a pro may not necessarily work for everyone. The right chainring size will depend on your riding style, fitness level, and the terrain you typically ride.



I am a passionate, adventurous cyclist and my biking philosophy is to have fun, I felt the need to share my knowledge and learn more about bikes. I always ensure I adhere to all road rules. I hope that you will give biking a try. It’s a great way to get fit and have fun.

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