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The SRAM road groupset is a range from the SRAM Red eTap AXS pro-level to the mechanical and reliable Apex.
In between these two extremes is a world of mechanical and electronic groupsets solutions full of ideas and choices.
The US brand is most likely still best known for its mountain bike equipment, which has led to the creation of many innovations – especially 12-speed gearboxes.
But don’t underestimate the position of the SRAM in road cycling, not only because of its the supremacy, but also because of its quiet revolution of the road bikes groupset.
If the practicality of the road bikes group is typical of Shimano ultegra while Campagnolo is renowned for its quality, SRAM ‘s super-power is creativity with the new brand toys that defies this issue.
That said, it can be argued that the three brands are as realistic, creative, and elegant as each other, but the narrative above is general.
SRAM Road – the most recent
Ok, AXS is the big news. This electronic and wireless community is significant because it reveals a lot about SRAM ‘s journey path – cross-compatibility.
The lack of standardization among cycling components is one of the most important bugbears of cyclists. The relatively small number of large manufacturers and a large number of small component engineers has not led to any cross-compatibility.
This means you have to make a choice and stick mostly to one brand of components per bike groupsets without being a workshop whizz.
What SRAM does, however, is to add cross compatibility on a large scale first with Eagle and now with AXS.
Although only compatible with your brand, the easier exchange between hierarchical levels and even MTB and Road components makes sharing more difficult for the industry.
With standardized systems like Eagle and AXS it is easier for third party suppliers to mass-produce products that drive everybody in the right direction.
The AXS groupset platform with interchangeable components is currently available to Eagle X01 and XX1 along with the SRAM Red eTap and Force eTap. Although we have no plans to incorporate other hierarchies, several more SRAM MTB groups will soon enter the world of wireless move.
SRAM 1X on the street
In 2015, SRAM released its bold 1X system into a world still familiar with 2X chainsets. Since then, their front-mech spurring device has become the defining success of the company.
But in its early days the technology had some convincing to do.
The first experience from Cycling Weekly of 1X clearly rejected it for serious road racing. In a segment titled ‘Who won’t want 1X Lane,’ they wrote “Racers who are searching for super smooth ratios can always get better with the regular 2/11 groupset, just like the TT riders who run hillier races.”
Things have changed quite drastically as SRAM is sporting with their single-ring set-up a rising roster of racing talent.
The initial issue for the riders was that a chainring would cost a number of gears compared with a 2X chain package.
But a 1x drivetrain with 10-42 cassettes has a range of 420 percent identical to an 11-32 cassette combo and is broader than any other combo of 53-39.
Since its launch, SRAM has worked hard in woodshed to ensure at least equal, if not superior, 2X gear ranges and smoothness of shifting.
The SRAM Path has its hierarchical
Compared to its wide and confusing MTB echelons the SRAM road hierarchy is relatively simple. There are only four major subdivisions: the entrance stage tier is Peak, followed by the Competitor midrange, which is sponsored by the Force and Red scale.
These subdivisions include a variety of additional options, such as 1X or 2X hydraulic disk brakes and AXS and eTap electronic options only for Red and Power.
The 2X structures can be numbered ’22,’ so you can see Apex 22 or Red 22. 1X systems of SRAM are numbered ‘1,’ meaning Rival 1 or Force 1.
Even the cheapest choice for SRAM offers high-tech and experiences such as 11-speed gearing, DoubleTap shifting and the prospect of drop-offs or flat-bar bikes. And not just trickle-down technology, with components such as the Apex shifter with similar internals to the Rival group and the Power group.
SRAM’s cross-compatibility with its AXS framework has been largely achieved, but many consumables within the initial groupings share this potential too. This means that you can upgrade in stages and step up to a lot of rival and force (some outliers-review before buying) to gain (or increase) experience.
Apex can be used in 1X and 11-speed variants as a 10-speed 2X device. It is also available in white uniquely.
Rival is renowned for its flexibility and features everything from TT to adventure bikes. Again, the variety of the available choices has allowed cyclists the ability to adapt to their riding style. The 1X11, 2X11, and the 10-speed choices make it easy to find the best configuration between a hydraulic disk brake or a rim stopper, a big ratio cartridge, a DoubleTap shifter and more.
The Power of SRAM
Many believe that the SRAM Force etap axs is the ideal balance between efficiency and cost, with lower weight and pro-level improvement. Its 1X difference in cyclo-cross circles has been groundbreaking and is still highly respected by cyclists everywhere. It was a shock to many that it joined the exclusive AXS Wireless Shifting Club, which provided the masses with ground-breaking technology.
SRAM Red is an emblem of modern road cycling that was launched in 2007. It can be found on motorcycles for pro drivers and professional cyclists, the height of SRAM creativity, weight saving and price. One of the lightest groups available, SRAM is packed with the standard features, such as a trim-free Yaw front derailleur, obviously only in the 2X configuration, nice ergonomics, and the first group with hydraulic brakes.
In 2012, Red 22 was launched, marking the first 11-speed road for the brand. The SRAM Red is the dream group of cyclists everywhere – quick, clean, quiet, reliable, fast, and smooth.
AXS SRAM Red eTap
SRAM Red eTap AXS is the second embodiment of SRAM ‘s electronic wireless groupset community. Shifting is operated by switches on the brake levers, which send a signal to the derailors. When you click on the right button the rear of the derailleur switches to larger sprockets, while you press to smaller sprockets. Clicking both moves the front derailleur at the same time.
Red eTap AXS is a 12-speed group with a 10-tooth youngest sprocket on each of the three cassettes available. These cassettes fit only on wheels with the XDr freehub body from SRAM which is 1.85 mm larger than the body from mountain bike XD to remove the chain from the biggest sprocket. (The dents of the massive mountain bike sprockets of SRAM’s 12-speed mountain bike are mounted within the inner body edge of the freehub.) You can select from 10-26, 10-28 and 10-33 cassettes.
There are double and single-line chainsets and they both have smaller chains than most common chainsets. You have 50/37, 48/35 and 46/33 double clanger options. This typically produces gear ranges with a higher top gear and lower bottom gear than previously commonly used.
SRAM Red AXS from elsewhere.
New engines and electronics in gear and shifting mechanisms produce more rapid changes than Red eTap, the first generation.
One rear mech rules them all, at least for the lane. It has an internal fluid damper to decrease the chain gap and works for all three tape options and single or double chains. However, there is good news for range of gears tinkerer: the Eagle AXS mountain bike can be used to control the drop handlebars so you can set up a 1X device with a super-low gear, if you need it.
It’s personalizable. It’s adaptable. You can set it up anyway with a mobile app that interacts with the device. Do you want to adjust how the shift works so that the correct tap yields lower than high gears? You can
Do you want the machine to switch the front mech so that you only have to press one button? You also can have this or the device will balance the front mech changes, bringing you to the rear sprocket which reduces the amount of the gear jump to a minimum. The app also tracks the battery level and will be able to track chain wear in future updates and inform you how far the device has changed.
Electronic SRAM Groups
Although not the first one to combine electrical and mechanical control, SRAM works hard to become the final word in power-assisted shifting. There are two key battery-powered groupset families in their arsenal, but the line begins to blur.
In 2015, eTap was first introduced to SRAM Red power meter. While not the first electronic shifting system, it was the first wireless system to be mounted easily. It also introduced the interchangeable battery device midride micro-adjustment device and led to the launch of the iconic WiFi rear derailleur, designed for broader gear range and faster changes.
SRAM’s eTap Blip device was also a game changer to allow you to place shift action buttons anywhere on your handlebars or on your bikes.
AXS SRAM eTap
For road groupsets of SRAM Red and SRAM Power, eTap AXS is currently available. The wireless electronic system represents an significant move for the battery-operated drive trains of the company, which represents a vision of integration and cross compatibility of components, including between road and MTB. AXS can be changed, customized and used to collect ride data using an application to communicate with the device.
“You can talk to your motorcycle and your motorcycle can talk to you,” says SRAM. All right, so you can’t just talk about the weather, but AXS provides more seamless experience than ever before.
AXS also saw SRAM join the 12-Speed pantheon of the path, of which Campagnolo was the only pay-up member so far. During SRAM ‘s tour this year, SRAM is also expected to add more experienced riders to its development roster.