Twelve speed drivetrains


SRAM has a twelve-speed cassette now. Are there downsides to this? Is the chain thinner and weaker, more likely to break? Is shifting more tetchy? Is it better, some ways? I have a personal agenda, I’m shopping for a fat bike, and a lot of them have single chainrings and 11-speed cassettes, I’m wondering if they’re going to end up with twelve speeds. I like wider gears, it’s cool, but do I need 12 speeds to get there? Why not just make a wider cassette with eleven speeds, or ten, even.


@Chefwick I briefly discuss this in the article I wrote about SRAM Eagle:

It seems like yes 1x12 is here to stay and yes it truly does have some major benefits. However it may be a few years before a more consumer level is available. So for now 1x12 Eagle is high end, light weight and probably less durable then most need out of a drivetrain. SRAM has introduced both the NX and GX 1x11 drivetrains which both seem quite consumer friendly and durable.

Companies like One Up have been making cassette cogs that work as replacements for the stock big ring. This allows you to control your gearing on the top and bottom end when combine with the single chain ring of your choice. This may also be an option for you.