2011 brought significant changes in the X7 Sram product family. Since the derailleur is among the most important components especially when you’re into a fierce battle with Shimano SLX, Sram was particularly careful when developing the X7 rear derailleur.
We could analyze the result riding on forest paths and various hills and our conclusion couldn’t have been clearer: the 2011 Sram X7 outclasses the previous model, and not just in terms of weight. It looks much better, it shifts quicker, and it’s more precise. Also, it can be bought with a carbon cage, which makes it very light, 239 grams only, and is compatible with 9 and 10 speed cassettes. Even more, it borrows technology from the higher spec X9 or X0.
We tested the 6061 aluminum long cage version, which brings 14 grams extra to the medium cage version. Even so, it is still 17 grams lighter compared to the previous version and 7 grams lighter compared to it main rival, Shimano SLX.
X7 uses a 1:1 actuation ration, a technology which already should sound familiar when talking about Sram derailleurs. Using the shifter to move 1 mm of cable will make the derailleur move exactly the same distance. However, you will rather benefit from the advantages of this system when riding races or in difficult conditions, when you need quick and precise shifting and not while using your bike for a Sunday lazy ride.
Gears are shifted effortlessly. Connected to a set of Sram X.5 trigger shifter, our X7 derailleur worked flawlessly which make me believe that he will do the same good job with X7 triggers. It doesn’t like shifting under load and it warns you through stronger noises. However, it completes its mission.
As for the rapidity of shifting, differences are quite small between X7 and X9, which makes the former a good alternative even to higher spec Sram derailleur, if you can ignore the weight issue. It never touches the frame, even when jumping over small ditches at full speed or descending borders.
Compared to Shimano SLX, its main rival, X7 can be regarded as a better product only in its carbon cage version, as it weighs less. It’s more refined than SLX, but unfortunately it loses the battle when it comes to price, as it is 15 euro more expensive, so it’s all about price and looks when deciding which one you should buy. If you need less weight, then the carbon cage model which is 29 grams lighter then it Japanese rival should suit you.
Available in three cage dimensions (short, medium and long), it benefits from an aluminum body and is compatible with a sprocket of maximum 36 teeth.
Weight: 253 grams with long cage