SRAM Eagle 1×12 Drivetrains: Good News, Bad News

Upon learning of the new system SRAM announced recently it was nearly impossible to avoid daydreaming about the possibility of running a 36t chainring  (I run a 32t today) while actually improving the climbing gear ratio.  That’s just incredible. Never mind that probably the most important advancement for me, assuming true, is the improvement in durability (see 1×11 Drivetrain Competition) .

If this new system is in fact more durable and the frequency of replacing chains and cassettes is reduced enough the total cost of ownership would go down (even though the initial cost is STEEP)!

All (most) of this is really good news.

And now for the bad news.  I just heard back on my inquiry to Quarq and was informed their XX1 power meters are incompatible with the new Eagle system and at this time they “have no announcement about a replacement”. So if you are an XX1 user today with a Quarq power meter, at least for now, it seems you must choose between riding with power and the new 1×12 SRAM system.

Riding with Power

Thursday I officially became a bike geek. I now have a power meter on my bike. This is an important element to my training effort for the Leadville 100 MTB race (exactly 16 weeks from today). Using a power meter is much more effective than a heart rate monitor for at least two reasons:

  1. Power measures current output, heart rate measures body reaction to output.
  2. Heart rate levels should decline with fitness and are also subject to other variables which don’t translate to output: excitement, caffeine, etc.

And for an 8-10 hour ride one needs to maximize efficiency which means higher power:heart rate ratio which can only be measured with both devices. Continue reading Riding with Power