With the introduction to the new Eagle drivetrain, there has been many other companies that are competing to get the same large range with a 11 speed drivetrain. E*13 just released there TRS Race and TRS+ 9-46T 11 speed cassettes, Box Box Two 11-46t Cassette, SunRace MS8 & MX8 11-46t cassettes and of course Shimano's SLX and XT 11-46t cassette. Even with the new GX Eagle, which is more affordable not everyone can make the switch. With all the new products coming out for 11 speed drivetrains, I was curious whether a Sram Rear Derailleur will work on a ranger bigger than 42 teeth that Sram advertises.
While we are taking it all apart we might as well explore the weight difference in the cassettes as well. The weights are shown below (not pictured is Sram's GX Eagle 10-50T cassette which comes in at 447g):
Sun Race 11-42 Cassette coming in at 446g
Shimano SLX 11-42 Cassette at 479g (take a few grams off for zip time and lock ring)
Shimano XT 11-46 Cassette coming in at the lightest but most expensive at 436g
I'm testing a Sram NX1 rear derailleur with a Shimano XT 11-46t cassette. Currently I'm running a Sun Race 11-42 cassette. When making the swap it was pretty easy since I didn't have to adjust my limit screws. When the 11-46t cassette was installed I started to shift up the the 46t and with out any adjustment it did make it into the large cog no problem. The top jockey did rub on the cassette a little, so I turned in the B screw about 2 full turns. That was enough adjustment to make the set up fully functional. There was still about half of the B screw adjustment left on the Sram Derailleur. This make me wonder if the derailleur could clear some of the new 11-50t 11 speed cassettes that will be releasing this winter. Once we can get our hands on one we'll have to give it a try. But so far the answer is you can easily use a 11-46t cassette with a Sram 11 speed rear derailleur if your looking for a little more range.