I normally would think coming out with cheaper products could only be a good thing. Except in this case.

So we already have three levels of Transmission wireless groups. They kind of stuck with the tried and true, GX at the lowest end, then XO for the mid, and XX and XXSL (why on earth not just keep it XX1?) on the high end. Great. They of course dropped carbon cranks from XO this time, leaving them only to the XX and XXSL. Which actually, makes sense I guess. If you are concerned with weight, XO probably isn’t for you anyway, you’d buy the XX stuff.

So why on earth am I complaining about this new S-1000 level? For several reasons:

1. The crankset looks incredibly heavy. How much heavy can they even make cranksets? The GX is kind of ugly, the XO at least has the cool hole in it. But these? Yuck. They look like the cheapest cranks you find on the lowest end bikes under $1K.

2. The cassette – this thing has no weights posted anywhere, because it’s got to be a boat anchor for sure. and that’s fine on cheap bikes. Who cares. But weirdly, they use the HG freehub still, and only in steel. They did this because they intend to use the cheapest wheels available, which for some reason, must come with the HG standard. If it’s a prebuilt bike, which this is the only way to get this group, just spec the same XD driver as all the other groups. This is IDIOTIC.

3. The rear mech itself – nothing to comment on, as it’s essentially a GX with a new clutch. No one cares about the clutch. It has one? Good enough. Nothing to see here.

My number one problem with this isn’t even Sram’s fault. Sram did nothing wrong with this group. Technically. No, I guarantee you, positively, 100%, that instead of suddenly giving you wireless gears on much cheaper bikes, you will now get this low end stuff on the same bike you just bought with GX on it. That’s right. If you had to spend $5K to get GX, now you get to spend $5K and get S-1000…whereas you then need to plan on spending another $1K to get back the GX stuff you really wanted.

This is simply going to give bike companies an easy way to pay less and charge you more. That’s it.

Pricing on mid to higher end bikes is now so high that I have officially, for the first time in 30 years, not wanted a new bike. Ever. Or a new car for that matter.

I’d rather them lower the cost of the bikes that use GX, rather than add a heavier, junkier option to replace GX. Because that’s what S-1000 is…it’s a replacement for GX, and GX now moves up to bikes that used to spec XO. And that sucks at a time when your dollar buys you much less, in every corner of your life.