Review: 6 Months with SRAM'S Wireless Eagle AXS XX1 Drivetrain

Sep 19, 2019
by Mike Levy  



At a certain point, adding another cog isn't going to do much. Some will argue that we crossed that line more than a few years ago, but here we are in 2019 with twelve cogs, one of them the size of a pie plate, no front derailleur, a huge gearing range, and not much to moan about on the performance front. And you don't even need to hand over your entire savings account to get it, with SRAM's GX group delivering everything most of us will ever need for around five hundred bucks and a 400-gram penalty over the more expensive bits.

So why bother spending three or four times that amount on the fancy stuff?

It's not difficult to convince ourselves that more expensive is more better. Especially after paying for it. It's not vanity if it weighs less, right? Traditional high-end drivetrains are a prime example of diminishing returns, but Shimano's Di2 system, while certainly not perfect, proved to me that electronically-controlled shifting is the only way to have an appreciable, worthwhile jump forward in real-world performance. Cables do work very well, sure, but getting the good stuff gives you only marginal gains, and no amount of carbon or titanium can deliver the metronome-like consistency and precision that electronics bring to the table.

The 12-speed Eagle AXS drivetrain is SRAM's take on electronic shifting and, unlike Di2, it's wireless. It also costs $2,000 USD for the shifter, derailleur, cranks, chain, cassette, and all the bits you need in the XX1 guise that's tested below. All that adds up to 1,451-grams, but you can buy each component separately as well.

Eagle AXS Details

• Intended use: cross-country, trail, enduro
• 12-speeds, 500% range
• Encrypted wireless network
• 20+ hour battery life
• AXS app configures buttons
• Weight: 1,451-grams
• MSRP: $2,000 USD (XX1, tested), $1,900 USD (X01)
• More info: www.sram.com/sram



Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review

Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review
Here's the $2,000 USD box and what comes inside of it when you buy the Eagle AXS XX1 group whole.


It's not apples to apples, but let's compare AXS XX1 to its mechanical counterpart when it comes to price and weight. At 1,451-grams for all of the components, AXS XX1 is actually 5-grams lighter than cable-operated XX1, despite the batteries. There's a bit of weight saved by not having to use a steel cable and housing, and the clip-on battery is just 25-grams. AXS does cost $500 USD more, but you're not paying for the weight loss - you're paying for the wireless control.

What about 11-speed XTR Di2? Keep in mind that Shimano released their wired electronic drivetrain four years ago so it's a bit dated at this point, and it's down a cog as well. Not entirely fair, but here it is. Depending on how you set it up, you're looking at around 1,600-grams for a single-ring drivetrain and a $1,990 USD price tag. The newest mechanical XTR, M9100, has been impressing us since we got on it a few months back, and it costs about $1,435 USD. It weighs around 1,568-grams before you add the necessary cable and housing.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
This $700 derailleur is the crown jewel of the AXS group.


The Details

The derailleur: This thing is pretty neat. You know, for a derailleur. Hidden inside is a tiny electric motor that spins at 80,000 RPM, as well as a tiny gearbox that converts that to left and right action. Your derailleur has just one clutch? Eeesh. With AXS, you get two of them; there's the usual one-way clutch at the cage pivot for chain retention, but there's also the very important-sounding "Overload clutch." Its job is to isolate that tiny gearbox from impacts, like a rock strike or even just your bike falling over.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review
Spot the little black box (left) at the center of the parallelogram? That's where the motor and Overload clutch are hiding. The XX1 derailleur gets a carbon outer cage (right) while X01 is full aluminum.


The ominously named clutch uses a one-way bearing, a friction device, and a little cylinder that slides in and out to release the gearbox from the derailleur, but all you'll hear is the faint "vvvvt'' sound of it realigning itself a split second after impact. Like a $700 robot.

The Eagle AXS XX1 derailleur weighs 350-grams on my scale, without its 25-gram battery clipped onto the back of it.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
The $200 shifter looks pretty normal, minus a cable not being required.


The shifter: Without a bunch of gear wheels and the need to pull or release a cable, SRAM had the opportunity to go with a sleek, integrated design that might have even been difficult to spot at first glance. Instead, what they came up with looks a lot like, well, a shifter. For good reason, though; after making a bunch of different prototypes, it turned out that big ol' easy to reach paddles made the most sense, and there needs to be room for the CR2032 battery as well.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review
The small button (left) is used for paring and trim adjustment functions. The three paddles (right) are actually a single piece that toggles back and forth on one pivot. Small springs provide some tactile feel, as does slight indexing and audible click.


If you had a derailleur inferiority complex, you're about to have a shifter complex. While your shifter has two paddles, this one has three. The two under the bar are mostly where you'd expect them to be, but there's a third button that can be reached from above by bumping it with the knuckle of your pointer finger. It's the knuckle button. You can use the AXS app to configure which buttons do what, and if you have the e-Verb dropper post, you can have all four buttons however you like.

The Eagle AXS XX1 shifter weighs 82-grams on my scale, including the CR2032 battery and standalone clamp, and it costs $200 USD.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
Don't like the color? You can use a standard XX1 cassette because the two are identical, finish aside.


The other stuff: The $449 cassette is the same 363-gram X-Dome job from SRAM's standard XX1 group, and the same goes for the $85 chain, both of which get the divisive 'Rainbow' finish that I'm a fan of. Plenty of others aren't, though. Could you ever imagine Shimano using such a color? How about never. The cranks are the very light (436-grams w/ 34-tooth ring) XX1 Eagle Dub SL arms that go for $515 USD.

Batteries are included, with the derailleur being powered by the same 25-gram, clip-on unit that gives life to the e-Verb dropper and their Red road drivetrain. SRAM says to expect around 20-hours of juice when it powers the AXS derailleur, which is about half as long as when it's being used on the seatpost. A small LED lets you know when it's time to stick it in the charger. Up at the shifter, there's a CR2032 watch-style battery that you can find at your closest corner store when it dies after a couple years of use.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review
The 25-gram battery (left) is said to last around 20-hours before needing to be charged. If you want a spare, they cost $50 USD.


There's also a free companion app (iOS and Android) that isn't required to use AXS day-to-day, but it does allow you to customize the function of all your new buttons. You can make your Reverb button on the left shift to a lower gear, that weird third 'knuckle button' on your shifter can control the post, and the last button can drop to a higher gear. Or any other way you might want to do it.


How it all works: It has to wake up before it goes to work. All of the AXS components will auto-sleep, just like me, and auto-wake if you do so much as move your bike by a few millimetres. You grabbing your bike will jolt the computer to life, and when the time comes to shift, a signal is shot out to the derailleur over an encrypted wireless network, at which point the little motor fires up from zero to mach chicken nearly instantly. All you'll hear is the 'vvvvt,' a sound you better get used to, of the derailleur moving the chain.



Installation

How long does it take to install AXS? It takes far longer to remove your old cable-controlled relics than it does to put on the new derailleur and shifter, at which point it's time to introduce the two and tell them to talk to each other. You do this by holding down the pairing button on the derailleur until it flashes green, then doing the same to the shifter. Lastly, turn the pairing off by pushing that derailleur button again.


Eagle AXS XX1 review
Eagle AXS XX1 review
The included instructions are top-notch and easy to follow.


You'll need to set the usual limit and B-tension adjustments (it comes with a chain gap tool, so zero excuses), but there's obviously no cable tension to adjust. I lieu of that, a trim function lets you make micro-adjustments to where the derailleur sits. Hold the shifter's pairing button down while shifting in the direction it needs to go and it'll move ever so slightly; the top pulley wheel needs to line up with the cog when you're in the second-highest gear. Because it moves the exact same amount with each shift, it'll also be lined up with the other twelve cogs.

I reckon most people get could this on their bike and running within 20-minutes, including taking off your off old drivetrain. And if you can pair a Bluetooth speaker to your phone, you can pair the AXS components as well. SRAM even has a great how-to video that's worth watching.


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Performance

Yes, I get it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with your mechanical drivetrain or how it performs. Of course, I understand not wanting to be hours into the forest only for your battery to die; charging is just one more thing to remember. I realize that you already know how to shift gears, too, and the last thing you need is help from some gosh darn computer.

But this AXS stuff is good. Really good.

First, let's really boil down how to shift, and especially what you're doing with your thumb. Regardless of whether you have a SRAM or Shimano drivetrain, you simply push the thumb paddle when you want to change to an easier gear, right? Kinda, but things are happening that probably come as second nature to you. Picture the chain in the middle of the cassette but you want to shift to the next larger cog. You know to push the thumb paddle, but not too much because then you'll shift two gears instead of one, but also to push it until you feel the first click and then maybe just a smidge more to get the chain over there. It's just pushing the thumb paddle, sure, but there's a technique to do it correctly.


SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
With two different types of mounts and large paddles, the shifter is easy to reach. I ended up preferring the standalone clamp (not shown) with the shifter nearly right up against the grip.


If you've been riding for a year or two, you probably do all that without thinking much about it, and quick. It's not exactly difficult, even in the heat of a technical battle with rocks and roots, but don't kid yourself: Even today's single-ring drivetrains require skill and timing to use smoothly, and they'll tell you when you don't get it right.

AXS doesn't let you make mistakes, though, and the shifting offers perfect, metronome-like consistency. Every. Single. Time. Just like XTR Di2, in fact, but without the giant cigar battery and rat's nest of wires.

The paddles give a tactile 'click' when you hit them, and one push will give you one shift - it's a button, so there's no throw to it. You can hold the paddle down and the derailleur will move the chain over the entire cassette in either direction, but that particular task is still done faster with a cable. If you're in a small cog and need to dump to a much easier gear in a hurry, pushing the mechanical thumb paddle is going to be quicker. AXS is just as fast as a mechanical drivetrain when talking single shifts, though, but it doesn't feel any faster.


SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
A lot of hard miles and not a single bad shift. AXS offers incredible consistency.


Shimano's new mechanical XTR group does beat AXS in one area: Shifting under heavy pedalling loads. The fresh XTR is magic at shifting when you're not supposed to, whereas AXS seems to be about par for the course on that front.

That said, holding the AXS paddle down is certainly easier than pushing a thumb paddle through its entire stroke once, and especially if you need to do it twice. If you have hand issues, as one rider did who used this very AXS test group, it's tough to beat how easy AXS makes it as lever throw is a thing of the past. It's not quiet, though, with a 'vvvvvvt' sound coming from the derailleur every time you push the paddle. You'll get used to it, but it'll be fodder for your riding buddies until the novelty wears off.

No word of a lie, I can't say there was a single bad shift over more than sixty rides and 45,000 meters of vertical gained and lost. Muddy? The robot don't care. The hose? The robot don't care. Getting beat up by Whistler Bike Park's braking bumps for hours on end before heading to the GLC for some well-earned chicken strips? The robot definitely don't care.

My right-hand gets on pretty well with SRAM's (and Shimano's) mechanical shifters, but the three-way AXS paddle never felt bang-on to me when I had it mounted on the Matchmaker clamp that also holds the brake. With the brake where it needed to be, I found myself pushing on the outer third of the paddle, or just the edge of it, more often than not.

SRAM is pretty good with the options, though, and using the standalone clamp let me bring it closer to my apparently stubby thumb. That way, I could literally just bump the shifter with my thumb in a split second, and it made the knuckle button easier to reach, too.
David Pharand photo.
The Eagle AXS XX1 group saw about 60 rides and 45,000 meters of elevation change during testing in the Squamish and Whistler area. Photo David Pharand

Maybe too easy - I sometimes found myself shifting by accident, either from tapping the button more than I wanted because I was getting a bit loose, or just accidentally hitting it with my hand. Turning the multi-shift function off in the app solves this. AXS is all about consistent, easy use, and flexibility, so you might as well make an effort during set-up to get the most out of it.

Reliability has been good, but there are a few non-AXS-related grumbles to report on. The sixty-ish rides that have been put on the drivetrain were split between myself and another rider, with the numbers adding up to right around 45,000-meters of climbing and descending. In that time, battery life sat around three weeks, or about fifteen to twenty rides, before the red LED said it was time to give it some juice. We both went past the twenty-hour mark multiple times before charging, but terrain and fitness, and therefore how much you shift, will be a big factor in battery life.


SRAM Eagle AXS XX1 review
There were more than a couple of rock strikes. The Overload clutch is very effective, and you can even hear it work if you listen carefully after an impact.


I wasn't quite brave enough to keep riding until the battery was fully drained, but there's zero degradation in shift performance well into the red light being on. The only thing that stopped AXS was a broken chain, likely due to a shift under heavy load that caused a tooth to peel one of the chain's outer plates from the rivet. It's not all that common these days, but I've also broken a Shimano chain in the last year or two.

What about SRAM-specific issues that aren't uncommon, like the narrow/wide pulley wheels coming out of time with the chain, or the derailleur bolt backing out of the hanger? Zero issues with the latter, and that includes it being used on three different bikes. Unfortunately, SRAM is persisting with their narrow/wide pulley wheels that, when they come out of time with the chain, cause a rough feeling through the pedals. Drop it down to the 10-tooth cog before shifting back up to instantly fix this annoying quibble.

One last thing to note is that it's not the quietest derailleur out there, with it sometimes making an obvious rattle when the bike is getting bucked around over rough ground.
Photo by Phil P.
Our AXS test group, including the dropper post, in the middle of a two-day, 3,200-meter backcountry trip into the Chilcotins.

Would I buy it? For me, $2,000 is a hell of a lot of coin, regardless of what I'm spending it on, but that's just a decent night out for a lot of other folks. To be fair, I doubt that I'd drop $1,500 on mechanical XX1 when GX does the things I'd need it to do... But, if I was going to spend that kind of money on a drivetrain, I'd do my best to come up with another $500 to lose the cables and housing. It is that good. Alternately, pairing an AXS derailleur and shifter with a less expensive crankset and cassette isn't a terrible idea.



Pros

+ Incredibly consistent shifting
+ Easy to install and set-up custom shift controls
+ Wireless = simplicity

Cons

- Pricey
- You might not like the 'vvvvvt' or rattle sounds
- Batteries = remembering to charge them



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesYou can say that computers and batteries don't belong on your bike, and you can certainly moan at the cost as much as you want, but the bottom line is that nothing else on the market offers this combination of simplicity, consistency, gearing range, low weight, and overall performance. Mike Levy








325 Comments

  • 153 4
 Not that I am low on budget, but when I need to replace my GX Eagle derailleur for 85€, I am not really happy about it. Don't want to imagine situation that I would smash AXS derailleur for 500€. I would cry big time.
I don't doubt that AXS is working perfectly, but for that kind of money, that is nope for me. Would rather spend it on new FOX36 Factory...
  • 26 1
 True- Im currently riding Shimano Deore 11-42 10speed.

With a small front chainring its plentlyful and a der. or cassette will only cost me 30€.

Eagle is nice but the NX Cassette is very heavy sadly
  • 44 0
 Got that price I'd want to have a breakaway frame to protect the derailleur. Maybe one day, but not today.
  • 76 2
 Would be a shame to miss a ride because you broke your AXS rear mech indeed. So here is my pro tip: always buy a spare AXS rear mech for just in case. You can thank me later.
  • 5 5
 @NotNamed: Forgive my ignorance but I am still on a 11-36 shimano xt, what model is the deore 11-42? Is it an aftermarket cassette with a shimano derailleur?
  • 6 1
 @GBeard: I have to look it up, but I think it is the HG500 cassette. It is also on the current Kona Process 134 SE (like the first generation Kona Process).
  • 9 3
 I'll happily use this. But not until its about $300
  • 6 0
 @vinay: that's actually a mate of mine lives by. If he can't afford two then he will model down until he can
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: same here. £90 to replace my whole drivetrain (inc jockey wheels) and it works quite well most of the time.
  • 4 1
 Same here. Rather have 11sp xt, with spares, maybe snag an xtr cassette when on clearance, and keep turning my cranks always, with no downtime..with Shocks though, I'm weak af hahaha
  • 1 3
 @tobiusmaximum: best comment here. Dont forget the Turq.
  • 5 0
 @GBeard: XT 11 spd cassette comes different gear ratios 11-40, 11-42, 11-46 and costs about $75.
  • 7 0
 @vinay: Wise statement. I'm on XTR Di2 and have an XT Di2 rear mech in my spare parts bin. Not only are the derailleurs expensive, but they are very hard to come by at your LBS so if it breaks, you're off your bike for quite a while, and at a very high cost. But I've had zero issues in two seasons with XTR Di2 and absolutely LOVE it. zero maintenance. zero adjustments. Perfect shifting every single time.
  • 8 2
 My GX Eagle derailleur is the only derailleur that I have ever bent and I did it three times in one year. Also the only drivetrain I have ever broken a chain on (also 3 times in one year). Back on SLX/XT 11spd for the cost of a new GX cassette and I have had zero issues.
  • 14 1
 @voltagelmtd: if I bent three mechs in one year, I’d be on singlespeed for five years just to get over it.
  • 12 5
 To be fair, if you even breath on a GX eagle derailleur it will bend
  • 2 0
 @NotNamed: I just read Dome Job and that was that.
  • 3 14
flag duzzi (Sep 19, 2019 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 Hard to understand why one would spend this ridiculous amount of money for a shifting system that weights a ton (820 grams for derailleur + cassette + battery + shifting pad is more than ANY dual system and most 1x), and shifts worse under load than mechanical Shimano.
  • 1 0
 @tobiusmaximum: haha building one up as we speak
  • 15 0
 @tobiusmaximum: Am dentist, and I can't afford this shit. Even if I could, I'd rather spend that money on a new frame to build up, or a fork, or set of wheels (alu for me at this point), etc.
  • 2 0
 That's probably my biggest motivator. I've never broken a derailleur but I have crunched 4 cassettes on my current bike. With the NX Eagle cassette at about $100 and various sub-$40 11-36 cassettes available, it's a pretty easy choice.
  • 13 1
 Nowhere in the cycling world is shifting performance so critical to performance as in XCO World Cup racing. Those guys mash their gears at crazy watts. Nino has been running AXS longer that anyone while Van Der Poel ran cable actuated new XTR.

We all know the result. So where is the real world advantage for AXS or electronic shifting in general?
The only real benefit I see is wireless lock-outs to cut down on cable clutter but that could exist separate to shifting. The biggest advantage has to be marketing/increased sales.
  • 11 1
 @drpheta: You heard it here first people! Even a dentist can't afford this... time to find a new career prospect for all of us here :/
  • 2 0
 Yep, 11speed XT on my dentist bike
  • 1 0
 @simooo: That's what I said about Di2, but has price come down? Nope.
  • 10 0
 @monkeybizz: No fooling, but dentistry is legit going down the gutter in the US. Dental Insurance companies (namely the largest dental insurance company out there) are squeezing dentists and the patients while pocketing the premiums. It's absurd. My patients get denied on a lot of treatments that are recommended, legit, and the standard, and even when they do get approved I have to take a loss a lot of times. My choices are to cut the cord on insurance, or use lower level materials, or cut costs elsewhere (staff, type of procedures, etc.)

Dental school is getting more expensive ($100K total cost of education PER YEAR), with bigger class sizes (read: more dentists graduating flooding the market like what's happening in pharmacy), and lower reimbursements from insurances, as well as insurances dictating how to treat patients if under contract with insurance.

I own my own practice, and I still work for other people on the side to pay my bills. I sure as shit am not having my kids take over my practice. I'll sell it to the highest bidder (private doc or conglomerate dental management org). I've already vowed to keep my kids away from healthcare.
  • 5 0
 @Lagr1980: me too but I stick with the xt rear mech and have the xtr shifter. The shifter makes a bigger difference and is less likely to get crash damaged
  • 7 1
 @monkeybizz: but im guessing a real doctor could.
  • 1 1
 @drpheta: Unfortunately it's the big conglomerates that do all this crap, it's too bad there isn't a system in place. A lot of places (such as Germany) in Europe have some pretty amazing coverage when it comes to this kind of stuff. But of course, you get a lot of pushback from uninformed people about having a national health care system in place for this stuff with regulated rates. Anyways I feel like we're getting too political on PB but sorry to hear man :/
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz: I get that the conglomerates are the ones working with DD, BCBS, Met, et al to lobby for these changes. The problem is the little guys like us are powerless when the $$$ is pushed into our dental society's leaders from the same people they're supposed to protect the public from. Dirty politics isn't limited to the government, and it's sad that money talks so much.

I'd rather sell to a private practice doc than a conglomerate, but they're strong arming everyone with private equity money. We can't keep up. So, it's work your ass off to pay down that debt, save up if possible, and get out of dodge before the whole thing collapses.
  • 1 0
 @wearitwell: I see what you did there!

Haha.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: Dude, I'm on a 9speed 11/40 sunrace/alivio setup. The probability is a 10speed sunrace cassete. With 11 speed you can use sunrace 11/50.
  • 1 0
 @dwojo: And that's how you keep riding hard!
  • 2 0
 I propose that instead of dentists we assign software developers as the new "rich" meme.
  • 3 0
 @GBeard: lol I know software devs, defs not the rich ones.
  • 1 1
 @tobiusmaximum: Chek how eagle srsm rear mechs protrude compared to Shimano... Easier to get fuc*kd.
  • 1 0
 @Lagr1980: They practically sell themselves! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @voltagelmtd: Well, that's uz u were on the GX level.. I've yet to have an issue since the inception of srams 11 speed.. Other than some premature wearing chain rings of course... Remedied by switching to race face cranks.
  • 2 0
 @drpheta: crazy! I'm a grubby tradesman... I can afford this shit!
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: ease of install as well.. These things are flying out the door at my lbs... People buy it..
  • 1 0
 @monkeybizz: Ya, but what's his story.. Is he paying child support or a gold digging ex.. Maybe he's driving a 300k whip and lives in a 1.3 mill house...
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: HG500 for da wiiiin
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: That last sentence pretty much sums it all up.
  • 1 0
 @neons97: you've made wise career choices Wink
  • 3 1
 @tobiusmaximum: PB may needs to create a DENTIST LABEL for this kind of stuff
  • 2 0
 @monkeybizz: I second that... being a software dev myself.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: You don't "work hard" to get rich these days, you sell your soul to the media Kardashian style.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: Shimano Deore M6000.... You can also Upgrade your old Shimano cage for 42t cassettes but it will cost rougly the same I believe.
  • 1 0
 @GBeard: and I use a Sunrace Cassette but there is a Shimano one too as others said
  • 2 0
 @bohns1: If you're referring to me, I'm far from that descriptor. My daily driver is a mid range Toyota SUV, and I saved up a few years to buy my two bikes.

Most of my income goes to paying off my debt. Being a young dentist sucks in America, but I'm held hostage with my debt at this point (which doesn't disappear if I go bankrupt).

Love my bikes though!!
  • 1 2
 @chrismac70: the shifter does not make a bigger difference. Actually doesn’t make any difference at all. Cassette and chain is what makes the difference followed my mech then shifter.
  • 4 0
 @drpheta: good attitude to have man.. I think most of us have some sort of debt.. I went the trades route myself just so I could make money while apprenticing in my field.. Its not dentist wages but it's nothing to scoff at either.

I just keep my life more simple.. No holiday trailer, boat or motorcycle in my garage.. Couple of nice bikes, snowboards and a hockey stick really and I'm a happy camper..
  • 4 0
 @bohns1: We have it so good, that we're scoffing at overpriced wireless drivetrains, when our budget cable actuated ones would be a dream build just 5-10 years ago.

Keeping a simple life and appreciating what we have is the way to live. I'd rather a sweet bike to ride in the woods than a fancy car all day any day. Cheaper, healthier, and makes me smile way more.
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: it won't cost anything but a longer b-screw and in some cases 30mins of time to modify the derailleur cage.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why I'm getting down voted for asking a legitimate question, and I don't need to upgrade what I have as it still works fine and I also have the KOM on the steepest hill where I live using my 32-36 gearing.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: Don't mind the voting systems. The trolls got accounts too. Still, I hope you noticed people have answered your question.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I did, thanks for your answer.
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: amen brother - makes me feel better knowing others in the trenches feel the same. I provide slx-xtr levels of care, benefit companies provide coverage for 8spd stx-rc, and I’m stuck trying to help patients bridge the gap.

‘11 Jekyll 1x10 xt ftw!
  • 1 0
 He’s right! private equity is sub 1%, cheapest any of us solos can get is 3.5% if we are lucky - and they have economies of scale for supply, technology, etc.

If you jokers don’t want conglomerates then support your local dentist shop! You can’t get teeth end of season on crc for the cheap... can’t even get shimano there anymore!
  • 2 0
 @recon311: right brotha

I provide XT-XTR Di2 levels of service as well... for now. One day I hope to be free of the insurance hostage situation.
  • 1 0
 @drpheta: I couldn't agree with u more. I bought an sb130 frame and built it up with components from my past bike.. Makes me smile way more when I see it compared to any vehicle I've ever owned bar none...
  • 90 5
 Yeah I could afford it, I'm just worried that all this oil slick will contaminate my brake pads.
  • 79 1
 That's a clear indication you installed your wheel the wrong way around.
  • 6 0
 @vinay: But with top sprockets being bigger than most disc rotors, I can see how it would be easily done!
  • 5 0
 @vinay: this gives me the idea of a combined driveshaft - brake system. You’ll need only one disk.
  • 6 0
 @mitochris: Like, if a gear was fixed to the wheel?
  • 1 0
 You ain't tryna ride.
  • 1 0
 @mitochris: Custom chopper motorcycles have used combined rear sprocket/brake rotors for years. Always sounded like a recipe for disaster to me!
  • 4 0
 @vinay: wait, the brake rotor doesn't go between the cassette and the dropout? Crap... brb...
  • 53 1
 No doubt everyone will read the entirety of this resoundingly positive review before commenting.
  • 46 8
 Cue the 'Does nothing that my SLX can't do for 1/10th of the price'
  • 24 7
 But really, doesn't SLX or GX do that? Between this and e-Bikes, the industry sure is trying to make this sport so much "easier" for us. I mean, its so taxing on your thumb to shift a gear. The only thing the industry is trying to make easier is separating you from your money.
  • 15 0
 It does many things my singlespeed can't do for roughly 17 times the price. But I'm okay with that.
  • 6 8
 @SlodownU: It can be hella taxing on your thumbs over time. I hurt my wrist back in January, and a few rides into the MTB season I jammed my thumb hard as hell dropping my post (I suspect due to the wrist injury, but still.) It gave me problems all summer and only recently seems to have really healed. Bring on the buttons.
  • 8 0
 @SlodownU: Exactly. Is pedaling, shifting, using your seat post, navigating, etc., really that hard? I enjoy the challenge and appreciate feeling connected to the bike, being able to carefully control pedal inputs, precisely shifting with timing to match, having to study a trail map before you ride so you don't get lost, relying on spatial awareness and landmarks instead of a gps, keeping the bike simple so you can conduct field repairs. Ha ha sometimes I still manage to get lost and have an impromptu adventure! Not saying people shouldn't buy this stuff, I just don't understand it.
  • 13 0
 I think the bigger worry is that it CAN'T do some of the things that traditional high end systems (particularly XTR) can do, while being more expensive and more complex (in needing to charge batteries at least).

It can't make jump shifts. That's a big drawback for me in up and down riding. It can't shift as well as XTR under power. Both those are issues that I'd consider when deciding on a high end drive train.

Now, you could argue that you shouldn't be shifting under power anyway, but that is more a result of drivetrains not being able to handle it and so mountain bikers adapting than any real performance advantage.
  • 6 0
 @MarcusBrody: agree. Multi shifting is definitely a critical and standard capability for a drivetrain.

As for shifting under load, while you're not "supposed to", we all get caught out on the trail from time to time and being able to do this seamlessly is definitely desirable.
  • 4 0
 @Ktron: I actually suspect that if drivetrains were capable of it, we'd shift under load regularly. I'm now conditioned to avoid it, but that often is in conflict with the smoothest peddling cadence. If we could shift underload there would be no need to downshift a tiny bit too early or try to give the bike that extra pump so you can let up for a second and get the shift in.
  • 1 3
 @mnorris122: Dude,sounds like u need some serious time in a place called the gym..
  • 3 2
 Does nothing that my SLX can’t do for 1/10th of the price.
  • 2 0
 @bohns1: thanks, I'm sure you can give me plenty of tips for exercises that will strengthen the radial collateral ligament. You having a fun thumb day brah?
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: sure! Pip extensions and pip flexion for starters.. Also, if ur over 35...Get those test levels checked.. Top ups are a huge benefit if u got a lot of miles on your engine... Noimsayin brah!
  • 1 0
 That’s what I thought until I realised that the lever pull is so much lighter without a cable. Didn’t see the point until then still not paying this much for a derailer but soon as xo / gx versions come out I’m on it. Going to pay for itself on freezing cold days where you can’t feel your thumbs.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: It is still a lot of money if the injury is temporary. I injured my thumb too in a crash previous winter. Shifting was definitely hard and every subsequent crash set me back a little. But it got better, it doesn't really bother me now. It is not really something that would make me invest in something this expensive. What does XT Di2 cost? That would be the cheaper option. If your frame allows for a double ring up front, you could even enjoy the wide gearing range. I realize dual front rings are no longer hip but I don't recall PB having ever properly tested the side swing front mechs which are supposedly much better than the stuff they started to hate.

Shifting under load though, I can see that make sense. We now downshift before we really need to, which lowers our speed which in turn may actually make a subsequent downshift necessary. I think I climb faster if I take chances and don't downshift and accept that I may have to get off if I can't stomp that heavy gear. Shifting under load gets you the best of both worlds. Stomp the heavy gear as long as you can and only downshift when you really need to.

I'm not the kind to buy into the latest tech but I can see myself get the new Shimano stuff five years or so from now. SRAM Eagle, much less likely.
  • 34 1
 I can see stuff such as this becoming common as time goes on. With it being more common hopefully the price will come down as well. For now I'll stick with cables.
  • 7 1
 Just buy gx axs when it comes out and avoid paying the massive premium for r&d costs. annoyingly sram seems to keep the prices cranked high end parts even when it has trickled down to the low end and selling for next to nothing.
  • 4 0
 I've seen some road guys with wireless, but have yet to see anyone on dirt with them. Cable shifters are just not enough of a hardship to move to wireless, especially since they've evolved to the point that they have. I'd rather pick up a perfectly shifting XTR (which now even works under load) set on sale at the end of the year if I needed something new.
  • 1 0
 There are a two draws of electronic for me: No degradation over time due to dirty cables and a strong front derailleur that just mashes the chain from ring to ring whether it wants to go or not. My MTB is really easy to change the (full-length) housing on, it's a yearly maintenance thing that really isn't that bad, and there's no front derailleur!

Road electronic drivetrains (especially on bikes with shitty cable routing) absolutely seem like the bee's knees and I want one so bad.
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson: yep, in a couple years the GX AXS derailleur and shifter will be available (likely with a couple updated/improved features)... few months later, lightly used versions on PinkBike will be available.
  • 2 6
flag monkeybizz (Sep 19, 2019 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 @mnorris122: okay so cold weather riding = fast battery drainage, in mtb changing under load could lead to premature motor and gear wear especially since mtb is mostly uphill on the climbs. Dead battery in the middle of a ride = hike a bike, bent derailleur? good luck.

I can see the appeal and what electronic shifting can bring to the table but I would wait a few iterations until they figure everything out Big Grin . There's a reason why shimano doesn't release this kind of stuff right away... They're reliable whereas i'm confused why sram is actually mostly used in MTB, it's shit shifting and I always have problems with it. My shimano drivetrain, not a peep ever.
  • 6 1
 @monkeybizz: Shimano released their mountain bike electronic shifting group four years ago. XTR Di2. Susceptible to all the same issues you stated, just has wires to mess with. What are you talking about that Shimano doesn't release this kind of stuff right away. Did you read the article? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson: sram’s got to pay the bills somehow. So many people think they need xo or XX that they subsidize the R and D for cheaper stuff for the rest of us. I even know ski bums that eat ramen every night but throw down on XO because they think they need it to compete in local xc races. When AXS trickles down to GX, I’ll give it a go. Meanwhile, I’ll suffer through my cable setup that’s light years ahead of what I rode when I got into this sport.
  • 2 7
flag monkeybizz (Sep 20, 2019 at 11:28) (Below Threshold)
 @TucsonDon: still more reliable than what shit sram scrapes off the bottom of the barrel. I don't know if AXS is for XC or enduro but I don't care enough about them to actually go look and check
  • 20 0
 Disclaimer: I am not a dentist, lawyer or otherwise. I have kids, mortgage etc and I come home from work covered in dirt and sawdust. Also, sorry for the essay.

I love to ride bikes, all types but mostly choose MTN. I have ridden Ultegra Di2 on my road bike (bought as a stock set up on a used bike for less than $3K) I bought a cross bike this year to race on and to liven up my xc trails in town here as my mtn bike is a bit too much for them. My CX bike came with Sram Force AXS and I can attest to the fact that its awesome. So was the Di2. AXS is better, although the vintages might have something to do with this and the fact that AXS is new to me this season

Sure, the bike was not cheap by any means but I saved and sold etc, who gives a shit. Its my money and the kids are fed, clothed, housed and happy. blah blah blah.

The best use of the wired/less drivetrain is when things get muddy and grimey - CX racing in mud, snow is a prime example. I think that his is where the drivetrain has a great place in the world. Ive not used Di2 in the mud but the same premise would apply. Without cables to get shittied up it seems the shifting stays great and crisp and you're also not forcing cables through housings etc and potentially breaking stuff in the shift pod with excessive force.

You could say the same thing for MTN, but, it is looked down upon to ride the local trails in the mud, so most people usually don't here in CO. I do ride in the snow however (not on a fatbike) and more than once I've had a frozen shift cable. But for the few rides a year I do, it's not really an issue - I'm sure the cold would suck the life out of the battery anyway.

I still choose to run the stock mechanical drivetrain on my MTN bike as I like to ride in the backcountry and to everyones point, I do not want to replace an expensive spare mech or run out of battery power. On that note, if you do break a mech on a ride, it'll just become a single speed for the remainder of the ride anyway. Ill stick with cables until the battery life is significantly improved to a once a year charge. (I don't charge that hard and have never broken a derailer anyway) - I have snapped a chain though....poor shifting in my earlier years

I am no way elite-est when it comes to this stuff, however I do like the progression and engineering behind SOME of the new products. Most product progression in all sports comes from a trickle-down effect from racing (or pro level competition etc) so the R and D behind it will ultimately drive a high user price.

I'm under the opinion that high end products will always command a high end price regardless of whether they produce high end function. Just think back to 24 spd 3 x 8 XTR however long ago. For the time this was the high end product fetching the high end price. It had, by no means, better performance than todays GX or SLX - which do not command the high end price.

Perhaps I'm wrong? I am in no way judging those that choose how to spend their money in any way. I choose how to spend mine and appreciate certain products and innovation. Instead of showing hate (even if its in jest), perhaps thank those people that choose to buy these high end products that force the demand and thus the trickledown effect will continue to proved those that are smarter with their money with great prices on great products - eventually.

Yes, this was a bit long winded, but it starts to annoy me sometimes when people knock innovation and progression because the initial offering is expensive. No new item is for everyone all the time - in any industry.

Just my 2 cents
  • 6 17
flag nurseben (Sep 19, 2019 at 9:16) (Below Threshold)
 Except that, it doesn't do anything different than the cable operated variant, so lets be clear about "innovation", making something more expensive does not always make it "better".

I do not consider electronic actuated shifting to be substantially better than cable actuated shifting, whereas the move from cable actuated brakes to hydraulic actuated brakes really did improve braking performance.

Kinda like the arguments for and against carbon components: They are more expensive, but if they are really better then consumers will note that difference and vote with their pockets.
  • 8 0
 @nurseben: I've owned SRAM Eagle XX1, now I have AXS. Huge difference! Have you ridden both for yourself? Do you know from experience? Yes in the end its moving a derailleur but in this case it's moving it for you perfectly every time via an electric motor. It's physically doing the work for you. There is a big difference here.
  • 1 0
 @rockyjonny: Thanks for the info.
  • 5 8
 @rockyjonny: Doing what work? Oh, you mean it reduces all that effort it takes to push a lever with my thumb or finger, gotcha. For a second there I thought you were saying it made pedaling easier Wink

Like I wrote, my wife's bike has XT 11sp eshifting, so yeah, I am familiar with it and sure, it's kinda cool, but I also worry a lot about her being stranded on the trails due to a malfunction, not to mention it's expensive.

So no, I don't think it's all that significant of an innovation, and I do think it's unnecessary.
  • 9 1
 @nurseben: we get it, you’re a self righteous revolutionary.
  • 2 3
 TLDR
  • 19 0
 My nan used to talk about the wireless, and now here we are.
  • 24 12
 Wireless does not mean simplicity. It complicate things even more. There are no wires on the bike, but there are wires and chargers and batteries at your home and in your pockets...
  • 13 0
 I like my guitars with real strings, same applies to my bikes!!
  • 2 0
 @panchocampbell: Chi-chi-chi-le-le-le!
  • 2 0
 Chargers and batteries complicate things for you?
  • 12 3
 Interesting that this was faultless for him. In the Rebecca’s Private Idaho Queens Stage Race (~250 riders, 3 days, gravel bikes but on mtb trails for day one) there were a few of these setups. Two different people had issues one of which ended up with a dead derailleur on day one. With the SRAM team car there for support I would assume they could fix things like this (rider was a Pro woman). At any rate chatting with one person about it they indicated that in the multi-hour racing you charge those batteries before every ride because the of the number of shifts. Cold also cuts the battery life. Overall impression was a big thumbs down for me despite these reviews that describe how awesome it can be when working right... unless you shift more than one gear at a time... like every racer on a hilly mtb course ever.
  • 1 0
 Like any technology there can be some infant failure issues. I had problems with my original AXS road RD out of the box, warranty replacement was flawless for 3K miles
  • 8 0
 I have the XX1 AXS on my Megatower. I also have the dropper. They are both awesome. The only thing i worry about is forgetting my batteries in my bike shed and realizing i dont have them at the trailhead. I have XTR on my other bike and would say that the SRAM is superior.
  • 7 0
 For those that travel with their bike, the ability to remove the derailleur and keep it with you while the bike in the bag is being flung into the belly of the plane is a welcomed advantage. I'll look forward to that option in 10 years once NX level wireless occurs (not counting on it).
  • 3 1
 Would have to break the chain for this to work, but I know what you are getting at.
  • 1 0
 @salespunk: which is a two second job so?!
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: get it, but also technically links are single use, blah, blah, blah. I currently just pull my RD and tuck it inside the rear triangle. Not having a cable would make it much easier.
  • 11 1
 more impotant, whats the deal with that rocket tatoo ?
  • 3 0
 I´m pretty sure it´s cuz your thumb is activating the speedy gears that you need to gain the speed to be launched in a jump....no sure if the index finger has a granny related tattoo
  • 1 0
 Ohhhhhh..., I see it now..., thought it was something else Smile
  • 7 1
 I'm expecting Shimano to release their XTR DI2 version by summer of next year, hopefully before the Taiwan Cycle Show. That would be a very interesting showdown vs AXS.

However, SRAM has the advantage of being able to integrate electronics with suspension (RockShox) and possibly even telemetry/data acquisition (Quarq) on top of AXS, so that might be the next big thing.
  • 6 10
flag zyoungson (Sep 19, 2019 at 5:21) (Below Threshold)
 But then you have to use rockshox...
  • 2 1
 @zyoungson: Better than creaky Fox crowns.
  • 6 0
 Does the AXS drivetrain retain the chain in the 50 and 42-tooth cogs when you backpedal? (I'd love to see a video of someone backpedaling 20 revolutions in the two or three easiest gears in every drivetrain review.)
  • 4 0
 supposedly, the chain should not go out of place if the chainline is correct. (using the correct chainring for your bike).
  • 2 0
 My AXS X01 does. 32t up front, 50t rear.
  • 1 0
 @HopeFbn: I know that’s the theory but I didn't see it work in practice on the stock drivetrains that came with two of my last three new bikes.
  • 2 0
 @Marcencinitas: oh, that is bad.
on the bikes I have recently had, is just one that gives me that kind of problems, and I am using a SRAM Rival 1, I just hope I am being able to switch to GRX sometime next year, I am not very pleased with that Rival, on the other hand, I have a Remedy 8 with GX and it does work fine, a X Caliber, some road bikes and stuff.
  • 4 0
 That's a chainline issue.
  • 5 0
 My only experience with electronic shifting is on my road/gravel bike. I have Ultegra Di2 2x11 and it's performance is sublime. However where I ride this bike there's essentially zero chance of a stick, some other projectile or a rock strike taking out my rear derailleur.

There's no way I would invest in Eagle AXS (even though I really want it) without at least the cage being 100% replaceable. I've "downgraded" all my current MTB's over the last 2 years to Eagle GX rear derailleurs for this reason. While I've had a fair amount of success straightening the outer cage and replacing the inner on various Eagle derailleurs, on average I have to replace one derailleur per year across 3 bikes. Where I ride my MTB's, it's basically a mine field and it's only a matter of time before a derailleur gets destroyed.

That would be a $700 hit every time with AXS, the equivalent of 6 GX derailleurs, and while I could afford it, it would piss me off beyond reason and I got other things I'd rather spend the money on.

So SRAM, at the very least, make that that cage fully replaceable, PLEASE! Oh, and that cage better NOT be like $300.
  • 2 0
 I don't get all of the people downgrading their RD's. I have NX, GX, XO1 and XX1 and can tell you the difference in shift quality and slop between levels is astonishing. NX and GX to some extent feel like the mount bolt is loose because there is so much play in the bushings even brand new (building up a new bike right now with GX). XO1 and XX1 are the exact opposite, zero play even after 1000 hard off road miles. In has 30 years of riding I have taken out maybe one RD? I would personally much rather have better shifting with the risk of having to replace a more expensive part.
  • 5 0
 I took the plunge and bought the upgrade kit. I am totally happy with mine, shifts 100% better than the GX Eagle mech and shifter (as you would expect), and charging the battery 1x per month isn't really that big of a deal. No doubt it's pricey and out of reach for a lot of people, but I wanted it and sold off a bunch of spare parts to pay for it. I don't regret it at all.
  • 9 5
 Clutch still working?

Had 3 X01 mechs lose their clutch action, they don't really start with much tension, certainly a lot more chain slap than the previous 11 speed mechs.

Going to stick an XTR mech on next week, with the existing x01 shifter and cassette.
  • 13 0
 Lol good luck with that
  • 8 2
 I wonder if the people that moan about this refuse to use their wireless central locking on their car in favor of the real metal car key?
  • 10 0
 Not everyone has remote locking bro Frown
  • 6 0
 Here i am, f*ck those wirrless remotes and always u are not sure to have close your car Wink #steelisreal
  • 6 2
 Whilst this does seem like a small improvement,there a larger issue that needs to be addressed. Can we have a rear brake that doesn't need to have the olive cut off and rebleed every-time I want to swap the brakes on bike. Cables for the rear derailleur really aren't that big a deal.
  • 7 1
 Formula makes quick release hose fitting that doesn't require a bleed.
  • 24 3
 Better yet, let's just simply have externally routed rear brake lines. like we did before the fashion police banned them.
  • 3 0
 Just wait for Sram hoseless brakes to cone out.
  • 2 0
 @bde1024: stick on mounts is what I did. Looks a bit odd, but it's silent and easy to deal with.
  • 2 0
 @bde1024: THIS!!! I just got the new Hightower and was a little bummed when I found out SC chose to go internal on the rear brake when it had been external for so long...
  • 5 1
 I like the performance of mine but the shifter sucks. It needs to be a little less clicky and a tiny bit more force to use. You can tap it all the time without knowing lets say putting the bike on a rack etc or moving around.

Is it worth it? probably not but I don't like constantly fine tuning the indexing which you need to do most of the time with SRAM setups.

And don't complain that it is expensive because it's a high end setup meant for people that don't care about that.
  • 2 0
 I found that to be a bit annoying too but it has never seemed to be an issue while actually out riding unless I’m doing a hike a bike and accidentally shifting it one gear when hitting the controller with my hand/arm.

Sram always does seem to need more fine tuning but heck, the trim adjustment sure beats the heck out of a barrel adjust! That’s for sure
  • 1 0
 I haven't had to adjust the trim on mine since setting it up about three months ago. I ride about 100km a week.
  • 1 0
 @Treadly: yeah I’ve only had to do it once, and only one click.
  • 7 0
 Jalopnik review: the Porsche gt2 rs is very fast and shiny
Community: rahhhh my 1st gen miata is good car and cheap to fix
  • 9 2
 Waiting for cables brakes
  • 1 0
 Seriously, I hear they are the best!
  • 2 0
 @MikeLevy How would you compare the performance / ergonomics between the AXS and XT(R) Di2 while riding?

Installation is obviously different, but once set up & running, can there be distinguished any bigger positives/negatives when comparing the everyday usage to the Di2 offerings? Is one crispier shifting or does the tactile feel make any difference?
  • 3 2
 I can compare: DI2 can be tuned in shift speed, which is a good and often used feature. AXS not. 1 battery vs. 3 is a pro for DI2 as well. Shifting is typical sram vs. Shimano. Sram more crisp, Shimano more fluid-soft. Shifter lever Shimano is bulkier.
  • 3 2
 Oh, and the tactile feel on sram is like a digital button = nice. On Shimano they mimicked a mechanical fell = less good/normal.
  • 1 0
 @Lasse2000: check out the di2 road bike climbing shifter. it's basically just 2 buttons, and it's compatible with the mtb di2
  • 6 1
 If we can figure out a way to hook it to an e-bike battery we could create the most unpopular thing on Pinkbike ever!!!
  • 32 30
 I rode XTR. It’s nice but honestly it’s GX level. XO1 and XX1 are a clear step above.

I bought AXS. As good as advertised. Blows XTR away. Yes, it’s stupid money but YOLO! Yes, because I spent stupid money on it I’m going to say it’s better than XTR but it’s true. It works. It’s awesome. And has stood up to rocks and my terrible riding.

And the overused trope about SRAM beta testing on consumers while Shimano releases only perfect product... please stop. Ride this and then ride the XTR brakes which Shimano STILL CAN’T FIX THE BITE POINT ISSUES WITH (seriously. It’s been five years)

It’s a wrap for Shimano. They will have electric GX while Shimano is figuring out if they should even go wireless.
  • 20 2
 Wow that's 100% out of phase with my experience. Been running XTR all season and its absolutely a better drivetrain than X01. I have X01 on my 2nd bike as well so I have jumped on and rode it recently I waste too much time on MTBR and you're first person I've heard with this experience. Not arguing with you though - enjoy your SRAM. !
  • 6 1
 @preston67: I just moved away from SRAM myself primarily because the clutch was not as good or reliable vs Shadow Plus. I had my doubts on XTR but still took the plunge. It's been absolutely perfect for me so far. Best brakes and drivetrain I've ever used.
  • 13 3
 @Verbl-Kint: Shimano brakes though? You can pry my SRAM brakes from my cold dead hands. My experience with Shimano brakes has been subpar.

My gx derailleur on the other hand.. please take it. I'll try slx 12 speed. It can't be worse, right? Gx was sweet when new. Just the other day I had to loosen the cable tension to get it to shift right. Cables don't magically tighten on their own, but apparently gx derailleurs magically Bend in the lightest breeze.

I have never had so many problems with a derailleur. I had a deore 9 speed. Didn't adjust it once in around 5 years. Shifted fine. Gx I'm guessing with every other ride.
  • 5 1
 @preston67: Same for me, switched from X01 to XTR and won't be going back anytime soon. Had already switched to X01 from the GX on my old bike whick already was a notable jump.

@wibblywobbly Just curious, what of the XTR made it feel like 'GX level' to you?
  • 6 0
 @eh-steve: Same here. Went through 2 GX mech this summer riding in the same trails I rode "problem free" for the last 2 years with a Deore.

Definately going back to Shimano... Probably SLX as the price point seems good.
  • 6 4
 This is sarcasm right? Eagle was a rushed product to beat Shimano's 12 speed and take the vast majority of the market. And it definitely worked. Everyone drank the Kool-Aid. Including me. XO1 and XX1 shift well, but not even close to the XTR. My 11s XTR with an eThirteen 9-46 cassette shifts better than Eagle XO1 that I have on my other bike. And that's a known clunky shifting cassette. And with drivetrain released 5 years ago. XTR is in a completely different level of fit, finish, and shifting quality. SRAM can market wireless and oil slick and a whole bunch of other nonsense, but the King is back.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know if the X01 derialler(the mechanical one) is any stronger than the GX der? Sram says the X01 cage is forged as opposed to cast like the GX.

I just got a bike with GX and I will be pissed when it bends, lol.
  • 5 0
 @skerby: From my experience of working at a bikeshop we do get quite a bit more bent GX derailleurs than X01, even when factoring in the higher sales of GX.
  • 5 0
 @eh-steve: I know what you mean. It seems impossible to get gx to shift properly for more than half a ride before it starts to make scraping sounds trying to ghost shift
  • 2 0
 @chrismac70: Sounds about right.

My rear wheel is now true, new rear rotor, new derailleur hanger, cleaned jockey wheels, inspected cage etc and It IS a lot better. Good as new? No. Ghost shifts suck but the worst is trying to downshift and it magically decides to upshift. I click one upshift, get 2 downshifts instead. WTF?!

Anyhow, last couple rides it has been ok. I am still trying to wrap my head around it shifting great after coming from the shop, but then needing loosen the tension the next ride. I'm guessing I bumped the derailleur on something but that seems pretty significant, as in I'd remember doing something to it near the end of my ride.

I assume it's just the close tolerances of 12 speed, so anything is out of wack it's magnified. I haven't ridden Shimano 12 speed yet. I've ridden SLX 11 speed. Way different from gx eagle. Notchier maybe? When gx eagle is working right I love it. Quick precise shifts. Feels awesome. Of course that all goes downhill when my bike ghost shifts on a punchy technical climb and I hit my junk on the stem.
  • 2 0
 i reckon brakes on both sides sit outside of this comparison, which is about drivetrain. I don't use sram or shimano brakes, for different reasons.

but yeah, confirmation bias maybe... and are you talking about 1x12 xtr? hasn't exactly been out long.
  • 3 0
 @eh-steve: I was having similar GX der issues, constant adjustment and mis-shifts every ride. Changed cable, hanger, and spent an hour trying to get it decent and even then was barely okay. Put on XT 12sd this week and it was such a simple quick install and it was mint, first ride the other night and it was the first time in a couple months where I didn't have a single mis-shift.
  • 1 0
 @Almazing: what chain do you use for your XTR + e*thirteen 9-46 combo?
  • 3 0
 @Verbl-Kint: I use an XTR 11s chain. They're crazy discounted so I might as well get the best.
  • 5 0
 Cons? "You might not like the 'vvvvvt' or rattle sounds." I think Loris Vergier would disagree with you.
  • 2 0
 I need this in my life.. Putting money in a box every now and then until I can get one of those. I was very close to being convinced by Di2 but there were still cables. I tried this during a bike test in Lenzerheide and it's even better than I thought. First World problem, I guess.
  • 2 0
 I've had mine for about three months and it has brought new joy to mountain bike riding. I have a 26 BMC Fourstroke 01 so I got a rear wheel especially built to take the XD driver hub. It runs perfectly and the changes are very fast, instantaneous. It's not an incremental improvement, it's a quantum leap. I ride about 100km a week in the Australian bush and the derailleur has survived without any damage or problems. Forgetting to charge the battery isn't really an issue, you can go on multiple rides on one charge, My bike weighs in at about 10.5 kg, having less cables gives the bike a minimalist look, all the clutter is gone. I don't think I could go back to old fashioned cable gear changing. Just do it!
  • 6 4
 My 10sp xtr drivetrain shifts perfectly every time as well, as does every quality one if you know what you’re doing. New xtr’s ability to shift under heavy load is way more appealing to me.
  • 2 3
 It will but will need much more maintenance to maintain that perfect shift - dirt in the cables..stretch in the cables...dirt in the shifter unit - it all impacts the precision and requires adjusting (unless you live in a dust/dirt/water-free place on the planet) - so you will need to spend more time maintaining that quality with a cabled system.
Many people are quite happy with that amount of effort (in reality, it probably equates to 5 minutes extra a month so really isn't massive) - but this system means all that time is saved, also no need to replace cables and reset adjustments.
It is a different way of doing the same job.
  • 2 2
 I make a point of not replacing cables, because when they bed in and loosen up they are prime. Cant stand the slightly sticky feel of fresh shifter cables
  • 1 0
 Install Middleburn cable oilers in the last few cm between frame and rear mech.
- you can blast the dirt right out of your cables
- if you damage the cable outer, you only need to replace the last section instead of the full cable (which is a hassle especially for those with internal cable routing)
- you can say you've got Middleburn stuff on your bike and look smug.
  • 1 0
 @ShoodNoBetter: I've got almost a thousand miles on the xtr stuff and I've adjusted cable tension once since setup. Every shift is perfect.
  • 3 0
 @zyoungson: Sounds like you are installing them with glue and not a wee squirt of lube/grease...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Better installing nearer the shifter than the mech so the lube covers more of the cable...will take a bit longer to get the muck out, but it will ensure more of the cable is lubed regularly and keep things very smooth.
  • 1 0
 @CullenHerring: That sounds normal...once the cable has stretched it won't stretch again, but if you ride in manky conditions then it will get filled with mank that will starts messing with the shifting. Very dependent on the conditions you ride in (you are now about to tell me that you ride through submerged mud baths and everything remains perfect...;-)).
  • 1 0
 @ShoodNoBetter: I don't think a cable needs regular lubrication. It only needs a relube if the original lube has disappeared. But that doesn't really happen with the cable inside the housing. I prefer to keep the cable oilers near the mech because the muck usually enters from below so that's the area I want to blow clean. Plus I don't want to squirt any lube into the shifter. Haven't tried but it seems to me it wouldn't do any good.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Keeps the pivots on the mech smooth. Each to their own, I've seen many cables full of mank so it doesn't matter where the oiler is, if you are riding in proper manky conditions and the dirt if covering the whole bike, it will get in via bottom and top of cable runs (and inside shifter units) - so having a flush of lube in the whole system helps - but depends on riding conditions.

Absolutely nothing wrong with cable systems, but comparing wireless to cable is pretty pointless as they both have different pros and cons. Comparing just on price and it is obvious who the winner is, but the systems are more than just price (if that were the case, no-one would be running XT or XTR as SLX is just as good (cue everyone who thinks otherwise jumping in...)).
  • 1 0
 @ShoodNoBetter: Only truly muddy ride Ive done on it was the shenendoah 100, but it rained over an inch the day before so it was quite bad trail conditions.
  • 1 0
 @ShoodNoBetter: Just replaced my inner cable today. It still appears like the lower bit (near the mech) looks worst, the end near the shifter is just fine. I can imagine things can be worse for you up in Scotland but no for me it seems like the end near the mech is where the gunk goes. Also of course because that's where you have some amount of exposed cable that goes in and out of the housing. At the shifter end it goes straight from the outer into the shifter, it isn't really exposed. I ride with both Shimano Zee mech as well as shifter. So yeah for me having the oiler only near the bottom is sufficient. There were three in a pack though so there it doesn't cost anything extra to also install one near the shifter. Though personally I wouldn't do that. I haven't tried it but I just don't like the idea of blasting lubricant (and any dirt at carries along) into the shifter. If you'd do that, I'd recommend to shift to the largest cog (unless you've got rapid rise...), then don't pedal but shift to the heavier gears as you pull the outer cable from the shifter. You can then lube through the cable oiler without blowing anything into the shifter.

Makes me wonder if it would be helpful to have some kind of flexible boot over the exposed end of cable at the mech-end. If you could keep that clean, you'll also be pulling less gunk up into the outer cable. Though as with any kind of sealing, it may do a decent job at keeping gunk out but it will do an even better job at retaining gunk that has managed to get in.

From now on, I'll try to clean the exposed bit of cable at the mech-end after each ride. Never realized it was worthwhile. I was lucky last weekend. Snapped my (16 month old) inner cable near the end of my ride. Only had to push up a few meters near the end. Would have been a massive disappointment would this have happened earlier that ride Smile !
  • 2 1
 For me the advantage here is an ability to hang it on anything, cable be damned. A comparison between XTR and XX1 mech and we would split for preference. They have a different feel like Ford and Chevy. I have never been a fan of that 10 tooth cog or XD drivers or cassettes that cost more than some drivetrains,but that's just me.
  • 1 0
 I too was excited about the prospect of an Eagle gravel bike with road brifters. However, riding my GX Eagle mtb on pavement a few times revealed that the ratios are spaced too far apart for my liking. Current 1x road setups do not provide the range necessary for my local terrain.
  • 2 0
 @jpcars10s:
Agree I wish sram offer different cassettes with different gear ratios
  • 2 1
 I think the concept is pretty neat, but not quite there yet.

Out of curiosity, how long do you think it will take for this to be a common sight on the trails? Will this be the top spec for the next 5-10 years, or will there be an SLX-level electronic shifting thanks to trickle down™?
  • 2 0
 I'd have loved a more detailed comparison with XTR Di2, not just on price and range (which anyone can look up), but on shift feel, consistency, battery life, reliability, setup, etc.
  • 3 0
 I’ve had way more bricked di2 systems both in the shop and popping up on race day than the old etap, even at events where it’s close to an equal split. AXS hasn’t been out long enough to compare, and xtr is dying for an update. I think performance wise, sram is the way to go in the current market. Feeling wise, axs has more positive feedback that a shift happened. Sometimes on downshifts with shimano you don’t get enough feel from the button.

Shimano has a more in depth setup and adjustment process, for good or for bad. Shift speed, synchro shift for 2x drivetrains, etc.

Current gen DA/ultegra systems have had a disproportionate amount of problems In my experience compared to the last gen stuff. Most issues are fixed with a quick error check and charge up and suddenly it works perfectly again. Sticky brake systems, batteries draining themselves for no reason, etc. Granted, that’s just the road but since shimano seems to be focused on that in recent years it’s not promising.

I still run di2 on my road bike, still undecided on whether it’s time to go to axs on the mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 "If you had a derailleur inferiority complex, you're about to have a shifter complex. While your shifter has two paddles, this one has three. The two under the bar are mostly where you'd expect them to be, but there's a third button that can be reached from above by bumping it with the knuckle of your pointer finger. It's the knuckle button. You can use the AXS app to configure which buttons do what, and if you have the e-Verb dropper post, you can have all four buttons however you like."

Thats not 100% right. The upper thumb button / front index finger button is effectively the same thing on a pivot. There are only 2 functions on the shifter.
  • 1 0
 ha ha, I do the knuckle shift too. It's more like a twitch of the hand rather than a conscious finger movement.
  • 1 0
 The XTR Di2 System I ride is the same in terms of perfect shifting, zero adjustments. The benefit of a wired system with a larger battery is that I get about 8 weeks of riding out of it before needing to recharge. Unlike AXS which is a lot shorter capacity. And two batteries to worry about.
  • 3 2
 I'm offering my blackhat hacking services to XC and enduro teams all around the world. For $50,000 I'll hide in the trees next to a track and hack your competitors drivetrain. Kate Courtney going up hill? Enjoy that ten tooth cog. Richie Rude coming down hot? Sudden granny gear.
  • 3 0
 Even for 50K, I wouldn't risk having an angry Richie Rude running after me.
  • 1 0
 I got AXS after I severed the FPL in my right thumb. My thumb is pretty shot still, even with PT, but this stuff is helping me ride instead of sit on the couch. That's the biggest positive of this groupset in my eyes. Maybe when I can throw a traditional shifter I'll go back to mechanical, but this AXS stuff shifts so well I doubt I'll use anything different in the future.
  • 1 0
 When the fancy schmancy electric bathroom paper towel roll holders run out of juice, we have some serious problems. Or when the auto faucets don't work because the sensor is off. I can't help but think continuing to solve analog problems with more tech is going to bring about unintended consequences.
  • 1 0
 Only place I can really see a racers advantage for this is when redlining and lactic acid fills the hands and meat of the thumb muscle. Sometimes I find myself not being able to depress a lever even though a small input at race pace because of this
  • 1 0
 If we had wireless shifting as standard for the last 20 years and then someone created cable shifting as a budget option, we’d all be complaining that cables are not suitable for dirt, mud, etc, they are unreliable, can easily snap, often need tension adjustments, a pain to install, and are slow and clumsy to use.

Modern mtbs are amazing, someone has to break new ground once in a while or we’d still be riding 70 degree headtubed, rim braked, klunkers. And if that’s your thing, well, rad on man.
  • 1 0
 When I can't get my Eagle XX1 mechanical to perform great after 1000 miles, new housing and cable, new chain, aligned rd hanger, and proper b-tension, it's time to go back to SRAM 11 or jump onto shimano. Many of the people I ride with are having the same problems. Feel like we were duped into 12x.
  • 1 0
 Nobody cares about you Shimano fanboys!! I ride hard and had a gx eagle setup didn’t even have to adjust the derailer once in 1 year of smashing and plenty of scars on it!!! My Shimano is the best lol give it a rest now I have xo1
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Thank you, very well written and all points/questions where addressed as well.
  • 1 1
 3 things.
1. It wakes up on any movement. So how much battery is it sucking while hanging off my truck on a multi-day road trip?
2. If I really needed/wanted electronic shifting, I'd buy Archer Components D1X Trail system for $390 or probably cheaper with one of their 15% off sales.. Works with any derailleur, 10, 11, 12, or 13 speeds... Possibly the ergonomics aren't as good as the AXS, but after reading the review, didn't sound like Levy was 100% on those either.
3. What happens when you bend your hanger on a ride? How easy is AXS to adjust and get your bike to stay in a gear again? The trim adjustment feature on D1x is adjustable to each gear which theoretically make it easier to adjust the system to a wider range of functioning gears than a global trim adjust like on AXS with a mangled hanger (and maybe damaged derailleur).
  • 1 0
 For long tips where the bike is in motion but not being ridden, I'd just take the batteries out and install the dust covers. Might just be a good idea simply because they are easy to steal and if people notice that you might get to your destination with no batteries at all. For the bent hanger, AXS might even be simpler, you can't tune every gear by itself but I'ts probably quicker for a quick fix than the D1X.
  • 5 0
 Personally, I demo'd the Archer D1x Trail when my LBS got a unit in, and after 5 minutes on it I had decided to buy AXS. Just not nearly as refined, and realistically it was worth selling a few more things to pay the higher price and not always think about "what if". YMMV.
  • 1 0
 Since you can buy the components separately, couldn't you just run a GX or NX cassette, and then just buy an AXS shifter, mech, and chain? Then you're at about $1k instead of 2.
  • 1 0
 I believe AXS upgrade kits run about a grand for just the shifter/der.

X0 cassettes are way nicer in terms of weight and durability compared to GX and a world better than NX - and NX gets you an 11t high gear.


Also, the chain is the most important thing durability wise in an Eagle groupset, so it doesn’t make sense to scrimp and save on that either.
  • 5 2
 What's a rats nest look like? - Curious Albertan
  • 2 0
 Is that the same cromag ti hardtail that was recently parked outside of cromag? I think so...
  • 1 1
 Different one. The one parked outside Chromag HQ is Ian's. The one in the Chilcotin is Phil's
  • 1 0
 @leelau: dang. And here I thought I was super bike nerd. Thanks for the clarification.
  • 4 0
 @leelau: 28T front ring on that thing; what a weakling. Must not be a very strong climber. I guess there's not many hills in Ontario.
  • 3 1
 @cooperquinn-wy: well Windy Pass is nothing like the ragnar of the Niagara Escarpment but perhaps they made do
  • 4 0
 I still shift manually.
  • 3 0
 Interactive cycle software. The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic!
  • 2 3
 Worth to purchase for me.
Upgrading from GX to axs X01 cost me 780euros, doing the same for basic X01 was around 400euros, might aswell shell the money and going wireless.

Also the cage length is shorter by 10mm and the second "clutch" might save the derailler when the mechanic one might brake so...
  • 4 1
 Its SICK!!! Love my Etap and will 100% upgrade the Fuel with this.
  • 3 0
 Something something gearboxes. And blah blah blah dentists.
  • 1 0
 This is nice, i think it could bring unbeatable experience in case you will use it daily, however I would not consider it for bike that being used infrequently
  • 7 9
 This will need either solar charging or some Tesla level battery before its a finished product for me, we sometimes do very long epics and, as much as it may be my fault, I am bound to forget checking my charge on one occasion and shoot myslef in the foot (or legs).
  • 2 3
 Agree. It needs to be 60% of the price and the battery to last 20 days not 20 hours, then I may consider a shifter and mech combo.
  • 3 0
 Solar energy would be a hassle. Ideally it would be the energy dissipated by your suspension damping that powers this device. In which case pneumatic would probably be easier than electric. Was thinking up some concept of piezoelectric damping for a study project one day, but never close to realization. In case of pneumatic actuation, we're back at Shimano Airlines again. Bummer Shimano doesn't make bike suspension where the damper inflates the pressure tank for the gearing. Would never get you consistent damping of course, but it is just fun to think about.
  • 3 0
 is it 20hrs like 5 4hr rides or 20hrs of shifts? which is like thousands of shifts?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: How about carbon a nanotube piezoelectric generator? Could have the power generation built directly into the frame.
  • 1 0
 @Trailsoup: You would not be able to get that done as an add though so upgrading to this system on a bike you already love would be off the table.
  • 1 1
 @nojzilla: I read it as the battery life in hours? 20 hours full to flat I reckon...
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Not solar for full power, just a back up boost if you run out of battery? (I dont know, just know I would run out of battery at some point!)
  • 9 0
 Easier solution that's available now - just buy a backup 2nd battery if it's that big deal.
  • 3 1
 It seems like they could have put a 1 or 2 watt generator in one of the pulleys and had the derailleur self power. If you've ever ridden a bike with a generator hub, those are barely noticeable. That, to me seems like a really easy solution to the biggest shortcoming on these other than the price.

Or offer that as an option (because the XC guys this is aimed at don't ride for more than a few hours at a time and would never take an efficiency hit for quality of life).
  • 1 1
 @trillot: let that sink in for a minute.. a second battery for my derailleur..
  • 2 1
 @Beez177: Wouldn't it charge from a powerbank? If you run out of power, it seems to me it shouldn't take too long to charge the mech to at least finish the ride as intended. And at least you can use that same powerbank for charging other electronics (phone, some lights for if it gets a bit late, HR monitor etc). Such a spare AXS battery seems very product specific to me. That said, I recall Di2 wouldn't charge from a powerbank and requires a dedicated charger, not sure how it works with AXS.

If it doesn't charge from a powerbank but you do fancy electronic shifting, ideally wait for a competitor like Box or TRP to release a model that does.
  • 4 0
 I’ve had friends use it for bikepacking and most of them already have a power bank with them anyway. It literally only takes about an hour to charge the battery. Even then, charge it in your car on the way to the trailhead and I bet you’ll be fine.

Stop getting all nit picky Mr “epic”.
  • 3 0
 @nyles: Seriously, if you can afford AXS you can afford to keep an extra 25g battery squirreled away in your pack or in a frame bag just in case, or bring a power bank. I'm sure you could get enough charge to finish the ride in the time it would take for a snack break. Solar panels? Generators? Give me a break, might as well go back to mechanical shifting at that point.

Tbf I would imagine many people would opt for a slightly heavier but longer-life battery (a la di2) if available, but I'm sure the 25g battery is super attractive to racers. Not that it's hard to remember to charge your battery once in every 20 hrs of riding anyway.
  • 1 0
 @bkm303: It is probably easier to remember if you have to do very regularly than if you have to do it once every two weeks. Like people who commute on bikes with pedal assist know they need to charge the battery when back home every workday. But to lube their chain... They pack their bike, close the door, ride away, squeak... oh yeah mental note lube the chain when back home. At best, they manage to do it within the next three rides.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Sounds like 20 hours of your bike moving, when AXS is woke up. I'm sure excessive shifting would make it die slightly faster.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: I have got 12 days guiding @ 6 hrs per day (at least) from my X01 AXS derailleur when I deliberately ran it to flat. I do carry a spare but I am also in the back country so prefer to be cautious. And yes it does charge from a power bank (if you have the battery charger dock with you)
  • 2 0
 This is why i love mountain bikes it doesn't stop :-)
  • 3 1
 Bleed ur brakes bro.
  • 6 5
 Because it has a motor the logic seems to be that this is now a motor bike.
  • 2 1
 ``Hidden threads`` negatively propped are certainly the most clever comments I`ve seen so far. Geeks will approve.
  • 1 0
 Gearbox "So what you're saying is shifting under load is not the correct way to shift, interesting" lol
  • 2 1
 Gearbox: "Just wait five minutes while I do this shift" haha
  • 2 1
 @I’m glad you picked up on the issue of noise with the rear mech. I’ve been using AXS X01 all summer and it’s been incredible except for the noise, which is really annoying! It’s the B screw hitting the hanger and it happens because there’s no cable to act as a damper when the mech body moves in response to an impact. I’ve trued putting mastic on the hanger, but it’s no better - I’d be amazed if SRAM’s athletes haven’t complained, so there must be a fix/bodge out there somewhere..?!
  • 1 0
 *tried!
  • 2 0
 @BCDragon: some people have been locking the B knuckle in place by adding some washers under the mounting bolt to get some preload (or something like that). There were some comments about it in one of the articles on the new TRP drivetrain.
  • 3 0
 @BCDragon: Funny, I had the same problem. Took it in twice for service because it was noisy but both times it came back the same, finally figured out the problem.
  • 1 0
 @BCDragon: Interesting you say that, because I've been running an X01 AXS groupset all summer as well and I haven't noticed any noise from the rear derailleur.
  • 1 0
 I don’t get the big deal, they had wireless shifting with the automatix hub
  • 2 1
 You "Lived" with Axs Sram. Must be rough by' having to ride around on the Gucci of mounts all the time. ha
  • 2 0
 What titanium bike frame is that?
  • 1 0
 hahahaha
  • 3 0
 Chromag Ti
  • 2 3
 "The fresh XTR is magic at shifting when you're not supposed to, whereas AXS seems to be about par for the course on that front."

gotta make the criticisms verrrrrry subtle eh.
  • 3 1
 No, not really eh
  • 1 0
 I have it and it's the best thing since toilet paper! Love technology when it works just right!
  • 2 0
 heres hoping for that trickle down
  • 3 5
 Honestly AXS is absolutely nothing special. You made a fancy rear derailleur, but what has that addressed? The musings of a wealthy man that wants to brag? It's certainly not price-practical, instead priced such that it's unobtaininum to many riders, and even those that can afford it don't want to shell out $500+ on a replacement if it gets smashed in a nasty crash. And there's no sight of these being more affordable, even though the reality is that the technology is not so fancy that it justifies the price. When I can buy a Boosted board, which offers far more advanced technology and expensive components, for the same price as a this then there's something wrong with the pricing scheme. That also employs much more expensive batteries, bigger/more expensive motors, and tons of R&D. Which means that SRAM is just mooching for money on the fancy EAGLE setup.

When I first saw Shimano's offering, I was excited because it offered something that we don't see much of: front derailleurs. Because, let's face it: a single front speed is a huge limitation: there is only so many gears you can slap on the rear, meaning that your % change is always going to be relatively small. Having multiple speeds was always the practical solution to that, but it came at the price of garbage front shifting technology (even with XTR) and dropped chains. These electric setups remove the horrendous shifting, which is huge. I imagine that with some creative work it might even be possibly to deal with it on a pseudo narrow-wide that allows dropping the chain to the next gears without dropping it on jumps. That would be the innovation we need it see.

And, SRAM, you need to make a GX and X0 model of this at a reasonable price. Because none of this is that special or fancy. Not truly when you think about it: it's a fancy motor/servo to replace the cable.
  • 2 1
 this is dope asf. if i could of afforded it on my hightower i just ordered i 100% would of done
  • 1 0
 Wow dude...you kick the shit out of things...I'm impressed at this technology!
  • 1 2
 Great for my ebike - hope the next gen is directly integrated into ebike computers. My Hal 8000 is one generation away from taking care of everything for me!
  • 6 9
 No major improvement to any of derailleur's attributes or performance doesn't solve to root of the problem. The derailleur itself.
For this price, you can have Effigear or Pinion gearbox, or one of the latest linkage forks. That'd be more meaningful and sport-progressing and your ride-progressing investment than this tamagotchi.

I've read through entire text and the only advantage of electro-shifted derailleur over mechanically shifted one is ease of installation/setup. For me as for a dedicated derailleur hater, this is the only advantage I can see in this product.

Please, industry, JUST DEVELOPE THE FVCKING GEARBOX !
  • 6 9
 "This $700 derailleur is the crown jewel of the AXS group"

15 years ago (ish) i bought my first "proper" mountain bike: a 2004 Giant XtC 4, with sick new Hydraulic Giant MPH brakes (Hope C2 knock offs) and a terrible Suntor fork (hat i upgraded pretty rapidly to a mazocchi MXComp.)
Expensive, to me then, at £500.

A few bikes and a few frames later, I paid £2300 for my 2015 Orange five.

WTF is going wrong with this industry that a £7k bike is mid range you can spend $1000 on brakes, and a rear mech is $700.

Not cool guys
  • 5 1
 But you still have super cheap options, semi-cheap options, mid level options, and normal high end options. That brands are making super fancy mega wow options is rad and they are not taking away any of your more basic options. In fact, your mid level options in 2019 are twice as good as your 2004 mid level options. Today's 110$ Eagle GX rear derailleur is astoundingly better than an 80$ rear derailleur of 2004 (price is adjusted for inflation). And that is actually pretty cool.
  • 1 1
 If your budget is 2300 today you can get a really nice bike. No need for a 7k bike unless you are chasing podiums.
  • 9 0
 GTFO with this crap. A £2300 new bike of today will blow a £2300 new bike from 5 years ago out of the water, it's not as if we're moving backwards in terms of price/performance. SLX 11 or even Deore wide range can be had for dirt cheap and are a practically bulletproof. Lower/mid-tier forks actually kick ass now (ie. 35 Gold, Rev, Z2, Aion, Rhythm, etc). There's not a single part on the bike that has gotten worse at the same price point (possible exception being bottom brackets).

Expensive shit like this is only a problem if it's going to bother you to not have your bike all blinged out. If not, budget components are better than they've ever been.
  • 2 1
 You f*cking people don’t get it!! The technology is new= exspensive . After awhile it trickles down and you get better components for the same price!maybe you have seen this happen? Evolution!! Scary right
  • 1 1
 Nice review as always! Looking forward to reading a review on the 9spd Box components
  • 1 0
 Will it shut down tomorrow to save some CO2?
  • 1 2
 Annnnd another reason Downcountry is the future. Shifting isn't that important on the boring toad climbs or the downhill. Save yourself $2k.
  • 2 1
 Thanks, I’ll keep my XT drivetrain Smile
  • 2 1
 overall this is cray-all-day.
  • 2 5
 For $535 USD I purchased a Shimano XT 12sp deraileur, a shifter, a chain, two 10-51 cassetes, and two DT microdrivers.

They were easier to adjust and work better than any SRAM 12sp system I have tried.

My wife has a Shimano 11sp eshift system that works well, using a Sunrace cassette to extend range.
  • 1 2
 Just waiting for the moment I get to bash my derailleur against some rocks and realized 2x that prices gets me a sweet nukeproof frame...
  • 1 1
 Aw man even the frame this stuff is on is stupidly overpriced! Noice 2 for 2
  • 2 5
 Mechanical rear derailleur is quite simple in construction: cage, spring, cable, two pulleys and 3 screws. It's easy to maintain, easy to fix on the trail, does not need to be charged and has been working perfectly fine for decades. Now let's throw all that away and replace with battery powered one just to have slightly more consistent shifting and not burden yourself with oh so difficult act of adjusting mechanical shifter. Only problem it solves is new source of income for bike companies.
ps. this review should be ebike tagged , bikes equipped with axs are not fully operational without electricity.
  • 2 1
 Oil slick was lame ten years ago in BMX and nothing has changed.
  • 1 2
 If your riding buddy had this,could you buy a spare shifter,hack into their derailleur,and with the shifter discreetly hidden in your pocket randomly change their gears?
  • 1 0
 No.
  • 1 0
 Hilarious
  • 1 2
 I'd like to think that a drivetrain close to $2K doesn't need "dead simple to follow installation instructions" because it would include installation and lifetime servicing.
  • 1 3
 I don’t trust anything SRAM! My new bike sits in the shop waiting for the fork to come back from Rockshox. Lockout doesn’t work. Poor service and QC. Had the bike all of two weeks and the fork never worked right.
  • 1 0
 It's a great idea but for that price completely it makes no sense.
  • 4 4
 Does having this get you access to the Dentist mtb’ers club?
  • 1 0
 Maybe we can ask to forgo membership even if we can afford it one day anyways.
  • 2 3
 Yet to see an electronic drive train on the trail, don't expect to see many in the best future.
  • 5 6
 Con - adding batteries in the first place is a con for the environment when cable shift was working just fine
  • 1 1
 All those graphics on the battery looks like end of a movie..
  • 2 1
 I'll wait for GX AXS.
  • 1 3
 The real question is does the RD sound like it wants to explode when putting a wee bit of power down like all the rest of sram crap?
  • 1 1
 I just want wireless brakes with (almost) unlimited power
  • 1 1
 Shifting Really Annoys Me
  • 1 1
 XTR 1x12 mechanical here I come...
  • 1 1
 The thought of my battery dying is a show stopper for me.
  • 1 1
 Hey Pinkbike why i see this electric bike crap?
  • 2 3
 Another bike product for gear snobs with more money than sense.
  • 4 5
 This is a solution AXSing for a problem.
  • 2 4
 Well noted, when I will become a dentist I'll surely buy. Meanwhile can you post an XT long term review?
  • 3 0
 You don't want to work in peoples' mouths bro. Fugg dat.
  • 1 3
 Odds are shimano will introduce a Deore Di2 long before SRAM trickles down wireless to X7.
  • 3 0
 Doubtful... Shimano has said that to get Di2 down to a 105 price point on the road side would start getting bulky and heavy... But, with the rate at which electronics change, that statement may already be outdated..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: It's Moore's Law bro.
  • 3 0
 100% true since X7 hasn't existed in years.
  • 3 1
 @youknowitsus: HAHAHA as a Intel employee this makes me laugh hard.
  • 1 2
 ride gearbox!!!! #zerodebikes
  • 1 2
 This is a garbage product
  • 1 4
 With the shit warranty from Sram I never going to buy this stuff!
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