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Force XG-1270 12-Speed Cassette
With the move to SRAM's 12-speed road group, the need for a cassette with an extra cog is a given, however, SRAM took it upon itself to completely rethink gear ratios altogether. Thanks to its 10-tooth starting cog, borrowed from its mountain bike technology and afforded by its use of an XDR driver body, the Force XG-1270 12-Speed Cassette provides newer, wider gearing ranges for the modern road, gravel, and cyclocross rider.
Like its Red XG-1290 cassette, SRAM claims the 1270 is specifically designed for electronic derailleurs offering smoother and faster shifting. Where it differs is in its use of pinned cogs versus a fully machined cluster where it gains some grams but is significantly less expensive. It's Mini Cluster construction of steel reduces weight and increases durability and offers a longer lifespan when compared to cogs made of titanium or aluminum. It's only compatible with wheels using an XDR freehub driver, however, many companies already offer the driver so there's a good chance all your wheel needs is a simple freehub swap.
What we have really come to enjoy with the XG-1270 12-Speed Cassette is its ability to offer a more gradual gear progression between the cogs thanks to SRAM's X-Range technology. All 3-gearing options use the smallest possible jumps with at least five one-tooth increments for smoother shifting and a steadier cadence. When used with a 1x chainring or close ratio (13-tooth jump) 2x chainring, it's always easy to find just the right gear.
- SRAM's Force-level 12-speed road cassette
- X-Range gearing technology offers smoother and faster shifting
- More durable than titanium or alloy cogs
- 10-tooth starting cog helps provide a wider gearing range
- Engineered to work with an XDR driver body
- Mini Cluster construction reduces weight and increases durability
- More gradual gear progression between cogs for efficient pedaling
- Item #SRMD113
- Q & A
Cog Spacing Not "True to Life" Use
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I used a LBS mechanics bike for a couple days as he was encouraging me to upgrade to Force Etap AXS. It had the 10-33 cassette. The cog spacing is poorly planned for recreational users who ride more on the easier cogs than the harder ones. The cassette is 10-11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-28-33. SRAM promotes the single tooth jumps from 10 to 15, but these are the least used cogs for recreational riders. Riders now have even larger jumps than before among the easiest cogs: 24-28 is 4 teeth and 28-33 is 5 teeth. Compare this to the PG-1170 11-32 cassette: 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-22-25-28-32. So, 11-speed already had single tooth jumps for the five hardest cogs, BUT the easiest cogs were 3 or 4 tooth spacing at 22-25-28-32. With a 46/33 crankset in particular, I'd prefer smaller cog jumps at the easy end: 21-24-27-30-33. That would mean more choices and smoother transitions at both ends of the cassette. (To be clear, I'd make it 10-11-12-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-30-33). Cassette is well made, fairly light, looks good, works well with proprietary chain ($35 here at CC). Overall, SRAM improved the shifting but made riding at the easy end of the cassette less smooth, which is were recreational riders will spend most of their time.