SRAM AXS 03

Ben Reviews: SRAM AXS Wireless Drivetrain

It comes as no surprise that electronics and mountain biking would become more harmonious as the technological advancements progressed. Of course, e-bikes joined the market, which at first, were widely controversial, now have found their place on the trails. So what about wireless components? Well, earlier this year, SRAM launched their Eagle AXS drivetrain, a fully wireless groupset boasting unparalleled control and personalisation.

It’s not just a case of taken existing components and slapping on a wireless receiver either, SRAM has totally redesigned the derailleur to work better with electronic communication from the wireless remote, rather than under tension from cables. To achieve this improvement, SRAM has manufactured a bespoke derailleur with a shorter cage for 10mm more ground clearance, and more chain wrap on the cassette to sit slightly further forward. SRAM claims that the AXS wireless groupset “shifts under load, over the roughest terrain, uphill, all without changing your grip on the bar.”

For a whopping £1,900 retail value, we just had to find out what all the hoo-ha is about.

Ben Reviews: SRAM AXS Wireless Drivetrain

“Before my Transition was stolen from the shop, I was running the new SRAM Eagle AXS wireless groupset, and I’d gotten pretty familiar with it over time. There are some stark differences between electronic and mechanical drivetrains, so I figured it best to break it down into my personal pros and cons:

PROS

  • The ability to personalise your set-up and really fine-tune your settings makes this system extremely responsive and precise. Once you spend the time playing with the settings, you have total peace of mind in how your bike will perform and respond when you’re out riding.
  • Initially, I thought this would be a right faff to set up, but actually, it was pretty easy. Because you don’t have any cables, you don’t have to worry about routing anything through a frame and being able to use your phone to set things up made it really easy and straightforward – even for a technophobe like me.
  • Again, because there are no cables, it just makes everything look a lot neater on the bars and having no cables rattling around was silence to my ears.
  • If you have a couple of bikes with the same size seatpost, the dropper is easily transferrable across bikes.
  • The battery system is universal so you can swap the battery between the dropper and the derailleur, but you can also swap the battery between other AXS groupsets as well, like road.
  • The whole system is fitted with impact protection. This means that if your derailleur takes a knock on the trail, it’ll disengage and return to its original position.

CONS

  • The instructions aren’t the clearest when it comes to fine-tuning your set-up. I had to resort to Google to clear things up a little.
  • It’s pricey. At £1,900, it’s not a cheap upgrade. However, SRAM does offer upgrade kits now for around £1,000 which includes a shifter and derailleur which is excellent if you don’t need a new chain or cassette.

With regards to weight, it’s pretty similar to the mechanical drivetrain. Other differences, which aren’t necessarily good or bad, is that there is less feedback through your hands when shifting, you tend to feel it more in your legs!”

For more information about SRAM Eagle AXS, drop us a message or call into the shop.