More durable, easier to install, easier to fix; Eagle gets a major update for the 2024 model year, and so do SRAM's Level and Code brakes

It’s 11 years since SRAM 1x groupsets hit the bike world, 6 years since SRAM Eagle with its dinner-plate proportioned cassette arrived on the scene, and around 4 years since we got the wireless AXS system. For 2024, SRAM has unleashed the next iteration of SRAM Eagle Transmission, boasting a raft of new materials, designs and innovations… and also an overhauled SRAM brake lineup with changes to the Level and Code brakes.

Want to know what it’s like in action? Read our review of the new SRAM XX Eagle AXS transmission.

The new ecosystem features three groupsets, comprising significantly updated and redesigned derailleurs, cassettes, cranksets and chains. A new AXS handlebar control unit, the ‘AXS Pod’, is programmable and can be mounted for either left or right-handed use. Two of the groupsets – the XX and X0 – are electric mountain bike compatible with direct-mount chainrings to suit a range of systems including BOSCH, Brose and Shimano STEPS.

Need to know:

  • New T-Type parts are not backwards compatible
  • Stealth brake body and lever design sits closer to the handlebars
  • New SRAM Level four-piston brakes
  • Easier to install, maintain and adjust
  • Promises increased durability and robustness
  • Three groupsets: XX SL Eagle, XX Eagle and X0 Eagle
  • New, more ergonomic ‘Pod’ design shift controls
  • Full Mount derailleur bolts directly to frame/axle using UDH interface
  • Allows shifting under heavy load
  • Power meter options for most cranks
  • XX and X0 are eMTB compatible
SRAM direct mount deraileur Eagle AXS 2024

The new SRAM Eagle derailleurs are now direct mount for better precision, strength and durability

We’re pleased to see the system has been designed to be easier to fit and adjust, and also fix with replaceable parts on derailleurs. SRAM also makes much of the reported increase in durability and robustness of the system. This is certainly a good thing, not least because this system is definitely not cheap! The base model SRAM X0 Eagle groupset (not including cranks) comes in at £1240 / $1299, with the top model clocking in at an impressive high £2355 / $2199 for the XX SL Eagle groupset.

SRAM brakes updates

Before getting into the extensive SRAM Eagle drivetrain updates, let’s take a look at the changes to the SRAM Code and Level brakes.

Engineered to complement the Eagle updates, one of the most obvious changes is the aesthetics. No more hoses sticking out from the brake body at jaunty angles; instead, the new ‘stealth’ body sits more closely aligned with the handlebars, with the hoses emerge alongside rather than outward for a much neater look.

SRAM Level brakes update 2024

The brake hose now sits much closer to the handlebars

In the Code lineup is the SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth and Code Silver Stealth. Designed for heavy-duty use with four-piston braking, it uses DOT fluid, comes with durable metal brake pads as standard and offers tool-free reach adjustment. The range topping Code Ultimate Stealth features a carbon blade with titanium caliper hardware, with forged aluminium body. The Code Silver Stealth has a forged aluminium body and blades with stainless steel caliper hardware.

There are two options for the new SRAM Level brakes; the 4-piston option which is designed for trail riding and modern XC racing, and the lighter 2-piston option. Again, all use DOT fluid, are based around a forged aluminium body, with steel-backed organic brake pads as standard.

For each of the 2- or 4-piston options, the Level comes as either Level Ultimate Stealth or Level Silver Stealth. The Ultimate model comes with carbon blade and titanium caliper hardware, while the Silver model comes with aluminium blade and stainless steel hardware.

  • SRAM Code Ultimate Stealth – $300.00 €360.00 £320.00
  • SRAM Code Silver Stealth – $265.00 €320.00 £285.00
  • SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth 4-piston – $300.00 €360.00 £320.00
  • SRAM Level Silver Stealth 4-piston – $195.00 €235.00 £210.00
  • SRAM Level Ultimate Stealth 2-piston – $285.00 €340.00 £305.00
  • SRAM Level Silver Stealth 2-piston – $185.00 €220.00 £200.00

Eagle Transmission updates

And now onto the chunkiest update, and there’s a lot to cover here so settle in for the long haul.

SRAM Eagle derailleur design

Derailleurs have always been one of the most expensive, and most vulnerable, components in the drivetrain. SRAM says the new Eagle derailleurs have been significantly re-engineered to be more robust.

SRAM XX Eagle deraileur 2024

The new SRAM XX Eagle derailleur

Compatible with the UDH (Universal Derailleur Hangers) interface, they are also designed to be mounted directly to the wheel axle, with mountings bracketing either side of the frame providing a much more secure attachment. This also means less adjustment is required to align the derailleur with the rear cassette; no more tweaking various limit screws to get the position correct. SRAM claims that this mounting system gives zero tolerance between T-type cassettes and derailleurs.

As a result of this mounting system and the new design, the derailleur sits more closely and more compactly in against the bike frame and cassette, offering it more inherent protection from knocks and bashes,

The bottom pulley is designed to align with the chainring, meaning a reduction in wear and tear as there are fewer cross-directional forces on the chain as it passes over the front-chainring teeth, and also a lower likelihood of chain drop when shifting.

SRAM XX Eagle AXS e-bike transmission

The Magic Wheel in action

This lower pulley also has a remarkable feature. SRAM call it the Magic Pulley and it’s certainly an amazing optical illusion until you get your head around it. It’s designed to still allow the chain to move should anything get caught within the pulley wheel. If a stick gets stuck, the outer teeth continue to turn around the inner section of the pulley wheel. The derailleur is also designed to allow shifting under load.

Finally, of interest to anyone in favour of saving money and resources is the fact that the derailleurs have been designed to be rebuilt, so if a portion of it breaks, that should not necessarily mean the whole shebang has to be replaced.

SRAM Eagle controls

Increased ergonomics for comfort and control are promised in the form of both the new Pod controls and the updated Bridge Clamp, which offers more mounting options than the previous Matchmaker Clamp.

SRAM Eagle Pod Ultimate Controller 2024

The Pod Ultimate controllers can be used either on the left or right, and have a high degree of adjustability

The AXS Pod controls consist of a flattish, squarish panel with two programmable buttons on the top surface and a side button to initiate pairing with other items in the AXS groupset ecosystem. The Pod can be mounted either on the left or right, and the buttons come with either concave or convex options. There is plenty of ergonomic adjustability to allow for the most comfortable and efficient fit.

There are two versions; the Pod ($150/€180/£160) and the Pod Ultimate ($200/€240/£215).

SRAM Eagle cassette

Echoing the changes across the Eagle ecosystem, the new cassettes still offer the wide 10-52t range we’ve come to know and love from Eagle, but with a few significant changes.

Firstly, low-end gear steps have been – in SRAM’s words – optimised, to provide less of a jump between the lowest and second-lowest cog. The three low cogs on the current Eagle system run 36T, 42T and 52T; the new Eagle runs 38T, 44T then 52T.

SRAM XX SL XX X0 Eagle cassettes 2024

From L to R, the X0, XX and XX SL cassettes

All the new cassettes feature SRAM’s X-Sync system, where the teeth on the various cassette cogs have been ‘mapped’ to ensure they are shaped to suit where the chain will make contact for inbound and outbound shift movements. This, SRAM says, means that the new SRAM Eagle system supports gear shifting under load. In SRAMs own words, ‘the harder you pedal, the better it shifts’.

SRAM XX SL Eagle Cassette 2024

The lightweight XC-focussed XX SL cassette

The lightest, XC-focussed XX Eagle SL cassette combines a hardened steel X-Dome construction for gears 4 – 12, and lightweight aluminium spider cogs for gears 1 – 3. The XX Eagle cassette also features an aluminium spider cog for the first gear.

In line with making things like installation and set-up easier across the board, there is a clearly-marked set-up cog, and all feature XD driver bodies.

SRAM Eagle chain

SRAM’s flattop chain design is already out there, and it’s a main feature of the new SRAM Eagle chains. This design features material added to the flat side of the chain plates to boost strength for the narrow 12-speed chains, and add large diameter rollers; these add durability and shifting smoothness.

The XC-focussed range topping XX Eagle SL flattop chain also features cut-outs on the outer plates which helps decrease weight.

SRAM Eagle Power Meters

With the upcoming 2023 World Championships, the imminent start of the ‘23 World Cup season, and the Olympics in the not-so-distant future, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a load more power meter integration with the new SRAM Eagle ecosystem.

SRAM XX crankset with Quarq power meter 2024

SRAM use Quarq power meters for watt measuremet

Available as power meter cranksets and spindle-only power meters, SRAM uses new Quarq power meters to either offer dual-side measurement (only available on the range-topping XX SL Eagle AXS Transmission Power Metre Crankset) or left side only, with total watts extrapolated from that measurement and relayed to a mounted display unit.

Compatible with RockShox Flight Attendant, all are powered by a user-replaceable battery, either a CR2032 battery or AAA lithium battery.

SRAM Eagle Cranksets

SRAM XX Eagle cranksets with power meter and bash guard 2024

Spot the difference: one SRAM XX Eagle crankset with bash guard, one without, and one with Quarq power meter

While the XX SL Eagle range-topping crankset will certainly get the headlines – what with its hollow carbon-fibre construction and being the lightest ISO-certified set on the market – it has to be said that the X0 Eagle crankset has caught our attention.

It’s got striking looks, has full aluminium construction, and with optional bashguard available and is power meter ready. Sitting between the two is the XX Eagle crankset, constructed from carbon fibre with foam core, plus direct-mount chainring, removable and replaceable bash guards, and is also power meter ready.

SRAM X0 Eagle aluminium cranks 2024

We like the look of the aluminium SRAM X0 Eagle crankset

SRAM Eagle Groupsets 2024

XX SL Eagle AXS Transmission

SRAM XX SL groupset 2024

  • Focus: XC
  • eMTB compatible: No
  • Price range: $2499/€2650/£2355, with power meter $2699/ €3250/ £2890
  • Derailleur: Silver, aluminium/carbon, 440g
  • Cranks: 165/170/175mm
  • Chainring: 32T, 34T, 36T, 38T
  • Cassette: 10-52t, 345g, steel/aluminium
  • Power meter variant? Yes
  • Bash guard option: No

XX Eagle AXS

SRAM XX Eagle groupset 2024

  • Focus: Enduro, Racing
  • eMTB compatible: Yes
  • Price range:  $2049/€2450/£2195, with power meter $2299/€2750/£2465
  • Derailleur: Silver, aluminium, 465g
  • Cranks: 165/170/175mm
  • Chainring:  30T, 32T, 34T, 36T
  • Cassette: 10-52t, 380g, steel
  • Power meter variant? Yes
  • Bash guard option: Yes

X0 Eagle AXS

SRAM X0 Eagle groupset 2024

  • Focus: Enduro, Trail
  • eMTB compatible: Yes
  • Price range:  $1449/€1550/£1400 to $1599/€1900/£1750
  • Derailleur: Dark Polar, aluminium, 475g
  • Cranks: 165/170/175mm
  • Chainring: 30T, 32T, 34T
  • Cassette: 10-52t, 380g, steel
  • Power meter variant? Yes
  • Bash guard option: Yes

Note: All weights listed here are reported weights