New derailleurs mean new parts to design and few things get me more excited than new blingy bike components! The release of the 1x specific Sram XPLR derailleurs is 100% aimed at the gravel scene. Surprisingly, a 1x setup with a 10-44 cassette makes the perfect drivetrain to attack the Kona Ironman course. Even crit racing on a single ring is making things more foolproof. No more front gear shifts while rubbing elbows with the best continental sprinters. The XPLR groupset offers so many options! All it needs is an oversized cage that can take a beating and reduce friction.

Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage for SRAM XPLOR

Kolossos for Sram XPLR

The Design

The XPLR groupset occupies the middle between the small 12-speed road cassettes in the Sram lineup (designed to be used with a front derailleur) and the massive Eagle cassettes designed for mountain biking. As a result of this, the Kolossos oversized derailleur cage for XPLR looks as if the Kolossos for eTapAXS and Kolossos for Eagle had a baby. The upper pulley is offset to increase gear range, but not as much as the Eagle Kolossos pulley. The cage is our shortest ever as a result. My favorite design to date!

Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage for SRAM XPLOR

Kolossos for gravel racing

Gravel racing dominates the racing scene at the moment. Every week, thousands of riders line up to challenge themselves to race a hundred miles or more. With long hours in the saddle, small performance upgrades can really pay back dividends. Imagine a few watts saved for eight or nine hours back to back. You will feel the difference in the last hour.

Like all Kogel cages, the Kolossos for Sram XPLR is built for rough terrain: stiffer than the stock cage and made of aluminum so you can bend it back into shape if an unfortunate rock slams into it. 

Since Kolossos is a product meant to reduce drivetrain friction, we set them up ex-factory with our low-friction road seals. They offer some protection against the elements, but not a lot. 

Your gravel race probably doesn’t care. It might be dry and dusty or you might meet ankle-deep mud. To make sure you are equipped for any surprises, all Kogel Bearings products can be retrofitted with cross seals for the best protection. They add a bit of drag, but also keep the dirt out, ensuring that your bearing friction in the last hour is the same as in the first hour. A bearing service and seal swap is a 15-minute operation, seals are cheap, so you have the option to pick the best setup for every race.

Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage for SRAM XPLOR

Kolossos for 1x road and triathlon bikes

Road and tri-bike riders have always been keen to ditch the front derailleur. Let’s face it: no matter how many carbon parts or servo motors we add to a front derailleur, it will always be a piece of clunky technology from the dinosaur age. Shifts are slow and using a small front ring adds drivetrain friction.

With traditional 1x setups on road and tri bikes, riders had to compromise due to the small gear range of available road cassettes: Run a medium-sized front ring, which adds chain friction compared to a full size 52 tooth ring, or install the 52T and hope you will not find any hills on the course.

XPLR seems to find the perfect balance: Install the big front ring, use the 44-tooth cassette as a bailout gear for the hills and never worry about another front gear change again. Triathletes seem to be sold on oversized derailleur pulleys for years now. Roadies might need some convincing. Imagine more power from your legs to the wheels, a super stiff cage that does not budge in G-out crit corners, or while hopping a curb that came out of nowhere! There are so many opportunities, I am excited to see what the future will bring for single-ring road and tri bikes.

Ard Kessels