Launched in plenty of time for the 2014/15 cyclo-cross season, SRAM is obviously keen to make hay while the sun is shining on its three-out-of-four gold medals at the recent Cyclo-cross World Championships in Hoogerheide.
Taking inspiration from both its pro athletes’ requests for lighter weight and greater simplicity, and technical knowledge gained from its XX1 mountain bike groupset, the Chicago-based company has launched Force CX1.
Using just a single front chainring and absolutely no chain catcher, it’s the set up David Millar wished he had during the 2004 Tour de France prologue (when his chain fell off thanks to a lack of front mech).
At the heart of the system is SRAM’s chainring profile, which they call X-Sync. A wide tooth, narrow tooth profile is used, which sounds odd but bare with us as it’s actually quite simple. By making the chainrings only in even numbers, SRAM has been able to alternate the tooth sizes to fit within the available spaces in the chain links, this stops the chain from being able to derail itself. Simple but clever.
As a full cyclo-cross specific groupset, SRAM’s Force CX1 is a first for the industry.