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SRAM’s AXS System: Why It Matters Even Though You Probably Can’t Afford It

SRAM’s AXS System: Why It Matters Even Though You Probably Can’t Afford It

Bike element producer SRAM simply introduced an understated however vital leap ahead in mountain bike know-how. And whereas it’s going to value you a cool $2,000 for the brand new AXS groupset alone, the tech marks a serious milestone for the business at giant.

Let’s be blunt: The subsequent huge factor in biking is right here, and it’s very costly. However whereas it’s unlikely most of us may have an opportunity to attempt it quickly, the SRAM AXS system marks a serious improve for biking that may doubtless influence 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 business on its head. Many shops tout it as the most important game-changer in mountain bikes since … nicely, perhaps ever. However until you’re a pro-level rider, this next-gen tech could be exhausting to know. So we’re right here to inform you why AXS has business specialists flipping out and why it’s related to your life.

SRAM AXS: What Is This Sorcery?

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AXS is a bit of biking package that “personalizes” a motorcycle to a rider by way of an app and shifts gears with out cables. And if it develops as deliberate, it might even modify the fork sooner or later. That is all fairly nice, given that it’ll virtually definitely work properly 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 one of the best 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 might vastly impression the bike you, or your youngsters, journey.

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Briefly, SRAM has put collectively a heck of a package deal. Speartip know-how not often comes low cost, so to be truthful to the model, it’s attainable it will trickle down right into a price range package 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 Massive Deal

No Extra Cables!

SRAM AXS permits for clear, quick, and predictable shifting each time whereas by no means having to fret about inner cable routing once more. And you may mount a dropper publish on any bike no matter cable routing choices. It takes minutes to put in. Drop within the submit. Clamp on the controller. Go journey.

Cross-Compatibility

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. Which means, you possibly can combine and match AXS Purple and AXS Eagle for the right gravel bike arrange. And throw on a dropper, too!

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Customized Controls

With the AXS app, you possibly can absolutely customise buttons to regulate any a part of the system utilizing your telephone. 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 provides your bike a mind. The way forward for this tech is large — the system might foreseeably advocate chainring sizes based mostly in your most-used gears and energy output. And it might even advocate a suspension setup based mostly on path/fork suggestions.

Trickle-Down Tech

Proper now, AXS undoubtedly sits within the superbike class. However it exhibits SRAM is taking an enormous leap towards the longer term. With years of testing, this technique might trickle down into extra reasonably priced choices sooner or later. Assume 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!

Interchangeable Batteries

Each the dropper submit and derailleur run on the identical sort of rechargeable battery. So you possibly can swap them if one is getting drained, or carry a single spare that may work on both piece. Whereas it’s not utterly resistant to lifeless batteries, it’s fairly foolproof.

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SRAM AXS Groupsets

The SRAM AXS system is available in two groupsets. The cross-country-oriented XX1 Eagle goals to deliver 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 provides somewhat extra sturdiness at a barely greater weight and a $100 value financial savings.

The product makes use of SRAM’s proprietary wi-fi communication system to shift gears and actuate a dropper submit. All of that is nice if not overly shocking 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 vital.

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It’s superior stuff for positive. And now that the 2 have merged right into a cable-free system, the bike world is definitely atwitter for good cause.

Briefly: The AXS drivetrain is lighter, extra ergonomic, and simpler to arrange than its predecessor. It’s additionally cleaner, quicker, 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 could possibly deal with temporary immersion and has a built-in mechanism to guard towards impacts.

RockShox Reverb AXS Wi-fi Dropper Submit

The wi-fi dropper submit is a barely extra novel concept and an evolution to a liked/hated a part of mountain bikes.

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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 often as they perform. Nevertheless, the straightforward 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 yet one more factor from the cockpit. We haven’t had the prospect to make use of any of this technique but, however a couple 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).

Briefly: With out cables, you’ll be able to simply mount a dropper submit to nearly any bike in minutes. AXS Reverb additionally has zero delays, in contrast to 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, supplies a simple repair when air enters the oil. This fixes sag and play, so no extra want to completely service the submit.

Future Gear Is Cool and Might Get Cheaper

In the event you’re like me, you’re in all probability drooling barely at this tech, then checking your checking account to understand, no, this isn’t actually in my finances.

It will be exhausting 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 together 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 strategy to extra reasonably priced bikes.

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Clearly, that is the leading edge. 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 critical amateurs, in addition to these with thick wallets, will line as much as decide up AXS quickly. And better of all, traditionally, this type of tech trickles down over time. And that’s why I’m most occupied with it for the plenty.

The wi-fi AXS system might definitely drive a lot inexpensive 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 immediately for critical mountain bikers. I simply hope it trickles right down to leisure shredders, too.

Sean McCoy
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 discovered crusing and wooden-boat restore. Based mostly in GearJunkie’s Denver workplace, McCoy is an avid path runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.

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