New Tech! SRAM Force eTap AXS – Detailed & Demoed



– When SRAM released their groundbreaking wireless
eTap groupset in 2015, one of the first questions asked was, inevitably, when will
the tech be available on their more affordable Force groupset? And then, when SRAM released
their second generation eTap AXS groupset, inevitably, one of the first questions asked was, seriously, when is it coming to Force? Well the answer is now. (upbeat music) More affordable wireless shifting, it has happened, and
the biggest news here, is that functionally, new Force eTap AXS shares exactly the same DNA
as its bigger brother Red. Before we get on to what does
separate the two groupsets, we're gonna quickly recap the key points of new eTap AXS, and as you can see, SRAM have very kindle
sent us a new groupset on this rather stealthy new Orbea Orca, so that we can show you. (upbeat music) Number one, and still the big news, there are no cables, and no wires. It is wireless. Shifters communicate with the derailleurs via SRAM's own protocol, and both shifters and
derailleurs also feature the same hardware and software
as new Red AXS as well, meaning that they react just as quickly, they move just as fast, and
they're also compatible. Now, as you can see, the
groupset has also been redesigned around this new flattop chain, with its larger rollers,
and narrower side plates, which also means that the profiles of the cassette teeth and chainring teeth have also been changed as well. Now the aim with this, SRAM say, was to improve the shifting,
make it even quieter, further improve the durability, as well as allowing for
12 sprockets at the back. That's right, you have
12 cogs at the back. It shares the same X
range gear ratios as Red. Now this is in essence where SRAM have made the chainrings
slightly smaller up front, as well as keeping the gap between big ring and
little ring consistent to 13 teeth, no matter which
chainring options you choose. Now that has allowed them then to fine tune the functionality
of the front derailleur. The range of your gears then
handled by the cassette, where you have a smaller
10 tooth sprocket, instead of an 11, which actually gives you a higher top gear than you
would otherwise be used to, as well as reducing the gaps between the sprockets at the back. The rear derailleur also has the same Orbit fluid-damped
chain management system, so when shifting, the
derailleur arm is free to move forwards and backwards, so you get the same smooth and easy shifts that you'd be used to, but when the derailleur arm
is forced to move quickly, ie. when you're riding over bumpy ground, that damper then adds resistance, meaning that you don't get any chain slap, and your chain stays in place, if you're running a single
ring one-by setup up front. You can also connect it up to
the new AXS smartphone app, which, among other things, allows you to customise the
functionality of the groupset. So for example, you could change which button activates which shift, or turn on sequential shifting, which is where you can just forget about the front derailleur, or turn on semi-sequential, which is where every time you choose to shift at the front derailleur, you get smaller compensation
shifts at the cassette, to lessen the jump. (upbeat music) The similarities between
Red and Force go on, and on. Like, the lever ergonomics, and the braking performance, all meaning that in use,
the two feel really similar. But there must be differences in order for Force to retail
for $1,000 less, right? Well yeah. Essentially though, it
boils down to materials, and manufacturing processes, meaning that Force is more affordable, and also slightly heavier. Slightly. So the disc version two-by, like this one, is 365 grammes heavier, and the like-for-like rim brake version is 347 grammes heavier. Now in total, in spite
of those extra grammes, the disc brake groupset still weighs only 2883 grammes, without a power metre, and the rim brake version, 2448 grammes. And interestingly, the bulk
of those weight differences are actually concentrated
in one component. The chainset. And grammes aside, it
actually probably presents the biggest departure
between these two groupsets. A Force two-by chainset like this one is 183 grammes heavier than
the equivalent Red one. Now none of that additional weight is down to anything like
bottom bracket standards. This also shares the new DUB standard, that with the right
bottom bracket will fit into just about any frameset imaginable. Instead, the differences are firstly down to the construction technique. This, as you can see, is
made out of carbon fibre, but the Red one is made out of
a hollow carbon construction that SRAM call Exogram. And then, secondly, it comes down to the chainrings themselves. Now one of the big talking points on the Red groupset was the fact that both rings are machined from the same piece of aluminium, and then bolted directly
onto the crank arm. The idea is that they're stiffer, and they're lighter, but they are also, therefore, more expensive, if
you ever need to replace them. These Force ones though are, as standard, two chainring construction, bolted on to a removable spider. It does mean that in line with it being a more affordable groupset, should you ever need to replace one, it won't be quite as expensive. Now, if what SRAM say about
the durability is true, ie. that the chainrings will last for upwards of seven years of heavy use, then it could well be quite a while before you ever need to think
about replacing one anyway, but, it it is good to know. Now you can see as well that there is a Quarq power
metre option available on Force as well. This is a more traditional
spider mounted power metre, so the kind that we've been used to. (upbeat music) Sticking with the chainset,
one last difference, and I did tell you there were a few, is that there's no 50/37 chainring combo on Force, whereas there is at Red, nor is there a single
ring 50 tooth option. And while interesting, it's
perhaps not wholly unsurprising, given that 50/37 is like,
they're big gear ratios. That's like the racer's choice. Now, if we move backwards to the cassette, it too, remember, shares the same space as an 11 sprocket cassette, and indeed also fits of course onto the XDR driver, which is
like a redesigned freehub body to allow you to fit that
smaller 10 tooth on there. But, the difference is
in the cassette itself. So whereas Red is machined
from one piece, Force is not, and that adds about 50 grammes in weight, but doesn't change the functionality. And one last thing that
might be of interest, is up on the shifters. So, they've only got
one Blip port per side, as opposed to two. Now those are the bits that allow you to plug in remote shifters. You can see I've got two on the tops here, that allow me to shift
from a different position. Now one of the things
that previous generation mechanical Force became known for, was by being pretty
much the go-to groupset for gravel riding and cyclocross, when in its single
chainring, one-by setup. It is absolutely everywhere. And while there is no
updated mechanical version of Force on the horizon, that one-by option is
still gonna be available, but whereas that has a 10 to
42, 11 speed cassette option, the new Force eTap AXS, the largest cassette only
goes up to a 33 tooth, and also that rear derailleur, just like with Red, only goes up to a maximum capacity of 33 as well. It is of course, as
we've been talking about, designed to be run one-by. There are stacks of different
single chainring options up front, for example, but I would guess that a lot of people that might have been running one-by, would now be tempted to go back to two-by, given that you still have the
same equivalent easy gears, so one-to-one gear ratio, but you get a much higher top gear. So, 10-46 for example, as opposed to, I don't know, 10-40, or 10-42. You also get much smaller jumps on the cassette at the back, as well as benefiting
from that quiet ride, because you still have the chain
management system on there. Now personally, for cyclocross, I'd probably still go with one-by. Maybe a 40 tooth chainring up front, with a 10 to 33 cassette at the back, but for gravel riding, I think I'd probably go two-by, given that fast tarmac is of course part of the remit of a gravel bike, so having that higher top gear would probably come in handy. The front derailleur
allows you to fit tyres up to 40 millimetres wide, potentially even more,
depending on the design of the frameset. And of course, that quiet ride from the chain management system. Now if you did really want
a monster one-by setup, with huge gear ratios, you can take advantage
of the compatibility with SRAM's new Eagle AXS
mountain bike groupset, which has a 10 to 50 cassette at the back, which, interestingly,
for the nerds out there, is actually the same as the 10 to 42 11 speed Force cassette, but the 12th sprocket is of course that gigantic 50 tooth. You would of course need to
run an Eagle rear derailleur, plus chain, and then either a road or mountain bike option up front. But you would then get
an absolute monster setup for epic, well, I don't
know what, frankly. So that is Force eTap AXS. The groupset we've all
patiently been waiting for. All the functionality, less expensive, a little bit more weight. Now for many of us, I would expect that weight difference
isn't gonna matter a jot. The fact that the
functionality is the same is the key point. For others I would guess, the fact that there is a
no expenses spared approach to that top-tier Red,
is gonna win you over. Either way, it's certainly
an amazing example of trickle-down technology. As we film this, the price for the two-by rim brake version is $2468. The disc brake version is
just $200 more, at $2648. Now of course, if you
want a one-by version, that is slightly less expensive, given that there is no front derailleur, on only half the number of chainrings. Do make sure you let us
know in the comments section what you think about this. Give the video a big
thumbs up if you like it, and if you've got any questions, stick them in the
comments section as well. We will do our best to answer them. If you would like a little
bit more information about the X range gear ratios, we have a video on that. You can get through to it
by clicking on screen now.

43 thoughts on “New Tech! SRAM Force eTap AXS – Detailed & Demoed

  1. I’m sure all of these companies are working together and agreeing on prices. I’m sure this stuff can be made significantly cheaper, they’re just milking it.

  2. uuuh, I have a vision. OPEN Upper with this new etap – the perfect "overpriced hype"-union at casual 6.300 Euros (no wheels, hubs or anything else yet ofc).

  3. Hey Guys! For all around road based training and competition (triathlon), which cassette would you recommend ? 10-28 or 10-33 ? Having 48/35 crankset. Thanks !!!

  4. Has anybody experience with lifetime of SRAM components? I had always problems with to quick ware down and broken parts just after 1000-2000 km using shimano GS, then I changed to Campa, and everything was wonderful. I even could ride 10,000 km with one chain! SRAM looks like to be close to shimano?

  5. I just ordered one, but without a chain, a cassette and a crank to replace the Tiagra (yes, I know! 😏) My beautiful Salsa Warbird comes furnished with (Salsa doesn't sell the Sram Rival version here in Europe).

    I guess, I'll have to upgrade the Shimano 10-speed cassette to a 12-speed Sram. But the bloody thing is so expensive!

    Can anyone answer the following questions:

    – Are there more affordable 12-speed cassettes I can use with Sram Force eTap AXS derailleurs?

    – Do I have to use a flattop chain – or can I get away with a regular one?

    – Will Shimano chainrings work with Sram Force eTap AXS derailleurs / cassette / chain combination?

    – Will a cheaper Sram crankset work with the Force eTap AXS groupset?
    – Are AbsoluteBlack, Rotor, etc. narrow-wide OVAL chainrings compatible with the Sram Force eTap AXS groupset?

    – What does "AXS" stand for? I imagine, with a proprietary technology that has to do with the flattop chain?

    Questions, questions, questions…

  6. Just wonder if the Force AXS can be used to upgrade a 11speed bike to Wireless shifting? Not replacing the freehub body, chain etc

  7. Sooooo expensive. Was hoping for an 11s Force Etap, but this is Dura Ace and then some pricing. €2.400 for a groupset, who in their right mind can afford that?

  8. already skipping too many cogs on a 10spd drivetrain, who the hell needs 12 cogs? switched to a rohloff for far more range and never look back despite the weight gain. Titanium rohloff when? lol

  9. I notice there are a lot of videos about SRAM and Shimano groupsets, but none about Campagnolo groupsets. That's a shame! Please do some videos on Campa groupsets

  10. Put SRAM red e-tap groupset on my home built S-works, it was cool but the novelty wore off quick and the price was stupid so I took it off after 180miles and sold it now I'm back to ultegra mechanical and dont really miss the electric group. Its designed for pros and people that like to show off their money no real world gains.
    The bicycle component market like the dimond market prices dont actually match the value.

  11. Great Intro – can you do a performance comparison force AXS to Di2. Shifting performance, braking performance, battery life, the functionality of gearing, ease of use and whatever would set them apart to help choose which one to get.

  12. Will the new 12 speed Force AXS system work with a Red 22 crankset?
    Can't wait to see this new groupset in action at this years Belgian Waffle race in California in a few weeks. I'll be riding 7800 Dura Ace with 9-speed XT rear mech and 11-34 cassette. Riding partner will be on the new Force AXS. He had an Ultegra Di2 failure last year that nearly took him out of the race. Hoping for better luck with Force AXS. I agree with most that it is way to expensive.

  13. Glad the road shifters work with Eagle MTB rear mech, that's my current Di2 1x setup, road group with XT mech and big cassette, may go SRAM wireless on my next build.

  14. I've heard from others talking about the group set that they have missed first place in a race because the derailleur did not get the signal during a critical moment of shifting just before the finish line. Those who race in crits might want to think seriously about a group set with a hard wire. Mechanical shifting anyone?

  15. why don't you guys start out by saying your names? "Hi, this is so and so, for GCN…." I get lots of information but this one detail, and it bugs me.

  16. What about power? Does it have three separate power sources (front, back and shifters), given no cables? This would be like a screw-up invitation 😉

  17. The same people complaining about these group sets are probably the same ones buying the $4k+ Zipp and Enve wheels. Just saying. Talk about overprice bike gear. These wheels cost more than car and truck wheels and tires.

  18. I'm sticking with the old eTap. I just purchased the old kit for a new Emonda SLR frame set that I'm building. I just wished the old eTap had the App stuff, too. I thought the prices would've dropped heavily, but they have not, but I finally found a good deal. I guess stock is low and many have decided to go with the old eTap system. Oh well, Sram just keep pushing and forcing different technology.

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