Bike element producer SRAM simply introduced an understated however important leap ahead in mountain bike expertise. And whereas it’s going to price you a cool $2,000 for the brand new AXS groupset alone, the tech marks a serious milestone for the trade at massive.
Let’s be blunt: The subsequent massive factor in biking is right here, and it’s very costly. However whereas it’s not going most of us can have an opportunity to strive it quickly, the SRAM AXS system marks a serious improve for biking that can doubtless affect the remainder of the market (learn: be reasonably priced) sooner or later.
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Introduced this month, the SRAM Eagle AXS groupset has turned the bike trade on its head. Many shops tout it as the largest game-changer in mountain bikes since … effectively, perhaps ever. However until you’re a pro-level rider, this next-gen tech is likely to be onerous to know. So we’re right here to inform you why AXS has trade specialists flipping out and why it’s related to your life.
SRAM AXS: What Is This Sorcery?
AXS is a bit of biking equipment that “personalizes” a motorbike to a rider through an app and shifts gears with out cables. And if it develops as deliberate, it may even regulate the fork sooner or later. That is all fairly nice, given that it’ll virtually definitely work effectively and reportedly shaves a number of grams from SRAM’s top-of-the-line Eagle drivetrains.
In fact, there’s a kick within the groin. The groupset alone prices as a lot as a used Toyota Corolla. So proper now, this isn’t for everybody — it’s for the most effective of the most effective. However the SRAM AXS system marks an enormous shift (no pun meant) for bike tech as we all know it. And sooner or later, it may vastly affect the bike you, or your youngsters, journey.
In brief, SRAM has put collectively a heck of a bundle. Speartip expertise hardly ever comes low-cost, so to be honest to the model, it’s potential this can trickle down right into a funds equipment sooner or later. So let’s put aside the sticker shock for a second and dig into this new product.
Plain English: Why SRAM AXS Is a Large Deal
No Extra Cables!
SRAM AXS permits for clear, quick, and predictable shifting each time whereas by no means having to fret about inside cable routing once more. And you’ll mount a dropper publish on any bike no matter cable routing choices. It takes minutes to put in. Drop within the publish. Clamp on the controller. Go journey.
All AXS elements work collectively interchangeably. Riders have tried to Frankenstein a mountain bike derailleur with drop-bar shifters for years, however the cable pull isn’t suitable. The brand new AXS tech merely sends an digital sign that tells the derailleur to shift. That means, you may combine and match AXS Purple and AXS Eagle for the right gravel bike arrange. And throw on a dropper, too!
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With the AXS app, you may absolutely customise buttons to manage any a part of the system utilizing your cellphone. Whereas it’s cool now, it opens up tons of alternative sooner or later to customise suspension lockouts, dropper management, and shifting.
It Makes Your Bike Smarter
AXS offers your bike a mind. The way forward for this tech is large — the system may foreseeably suggest chainring sizes primarily based in your most-used gears and energy output. And it may even suggest a suspension setup primarily based on path/fork suggestions.
Proper now, AXS positively sits within the superbike class. However it exhibits SRAM is taking an enormous leap towards the long run. With years of testing, this technique may trickle down into extra reasonably priced choices sooner or later. Suppose disc brakes and 1x drivetrains: Everybody was skeptical till they trickled right down to nearly each bike available on the market, and now we love them!
Each the dropper publish and derailleur run on the identical sort of rechargeable battery. So you may swap them if one is getting drained, or carry a single spare that can work on both piece. Whereas it’s not utterly proof against useless batteries, it’s fairly foolproof.
SRAM AXS Groupsets
The SRAM AXS system is available in two groupsets. The cross-country-oriented XX1 Eagle goals to carry the lightest-weight supplies. It leads the pack at $2,000. The XO1 Eagle groupset gives the identical 500 % gearing vary with enduro specs. This offers a bit of extra sturdiness at a barely greater weight and a $100 price financial savings.
The product makes use of SRAM’s proprietary wi-fi communication system to shift gears and actuate a dropper publish. All of that is nice if not overly stunning given SRAM launched its wi-fi eTap system three years in the past. And Eagle, its beforehand highest-end groupset, got here out about two years in the past. However AXS appeared on quite a few pro-level bikes over the previous few years, so the event time on this tech continues to be important.
It’s superior stuff for certain. And now that the 2 have merged right into a cable-free system, the bike world is definitely atwitter for good cause.
In brief: The AXS drivetrain is lighter, extra ergonomic, and simpler to arrange than its predecessor. It’s additionally cleaner, sooner, and extra predictable — even beneath load. The paired management levers give the rider on the spot enter to the bike with out wires. It’s IPX 7 waterproof, which means it might probably deal with temporary immersion and has a built-in mechanism to guard towards impacts.
RockShox Reverb AXS Wi-fi Dropper Publish
The wi-fi dropper publish is a barely extra novel thought and an evolution to a liked/hated a part of mountain bikes.
Few elements trigger as a lot adoration on a mountain bike once they work. Dropper posts are superior! However it appears droppers break nearly as incessantly as they operate. Nonetheless, the easy new Vent Valve tech SRAM paired with the AXS launch ought to alleviate many dropper-related points.
Eradicating the cable routing definitely cleans the strains of the bike by eradicating another component from the cockpit. We haven’t had the prospect to make use of any of this technique but, however a number of early reviewers famous no noticeable lag time and wonderful efficiency within the new Reverb AXS dropper.
Get the Reverb AXS for $800 when it hits the market this spring. And sure, that’s a premium worth, greater than double the Reverb Stealth ($349).
In brief: With out cables, you may simply mount a dropper publish to nearly any bike in minutes. AXS Reverb additionally has zero delays, not like cable or hydro actuated droppers. The brand new dropper system fixes main points with dreaded bounce. SRAM’s new Vent Valve tech, a part of the AXS launch, offers a straightforward repair when air enters the oil. This fixes sag and play, so no extra want to totally service the publish.
Future Gear Is Cool and Could Get Cheaper
If you happen to’re like me, you’re in all probability drooling barely at this tech, then checking your checking account to appreciate, no, this isn’t actually in my funds.
It could be onerous to justify this groupset on something however the nicest bike. So given the $2,000 groupset, we’re speaking within the neighborhood of a $10,000 bike should you go along with carbon wheels (duh!) and the wi-fi dropper. Ouch.
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However elite bikers will definitely shill out for the tech. And with high-level testing, it’s conceivable some iteration of the brand new AXS system will work its option to extra reasonably priced bikes.
Clearly, that is the innovative. Yeah, this bike transmission prices the identical because the one you’d put in your Honda. However your Honda isn’t a Lamborghini Diablo, a Lamborghini transmission prices an entire lot extra, and AXS is the Lamborghini transmission of the bike world.
Professional racers and severe amateurs, in addition to these with thick wallets, will line as much as choose up AXS quickly. And better of all, traditionally, this sort of tech trickles down over time. And that’s why I’m most thinking about it for the lots.
The wi-fi AXS system may definitely drive a lot cheaper groupsets sooner or later.
And these are the sorts of improvements that get us gear nerds fired up. I can now realistically dream of a clear cockpit on my mountain bike, no wires flapping within the wind. It’s a actuality right now for severe mountain bikers. I simply hope it trickles right down to leisure shredders, too.
By Sean McCoy
Editor-in-Chief Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up searching and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman within the Caribbean, the place he realized crusing and wooden-boat restore. Primarily based in GearJunkie’s Denver workplace, McCoy is an avid path runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.