Two years ago, SRAM made waves with the release of their X01 and XX1 AXS wireless electronic drivetrains
. The concept of instant shifting, and the extra-clean look that results from ditching cables and housing was intriguing to many riders, but the $800 - $1000 price of admission was a substantial stumbling block. The height of that financial hurdle has now been lowered with the introduction of GX Eagle AXS, and it's likely that AXS drivetrains will become a much more common sight out in the wild.
$600 will get you a derailleur, shifter, battery, and a charger, everything that's needed to make the switch to the world of wireless shifting. Granted, that doesn't exactly qualify as a value-oriented option, since the price is still three times that of a regular GX derailleur and shifter, but it's a step in the right direction. The derailleur alone is priced at $370, without the $55 battery, and the shifter is $150 USD.
GX Eagle AXS Details
• Compatible with all Eagle drivetrains, 10-52 tooth cassette compatible
• Overload clutch system
• IPX7 waterproof
• Derailleur weight: 454 grams (w/ battery)
• Shifter weight: 68 grams
• Price: $600 USD (shifter, derailleur, battery, charger)
What differentiates the GX group from the X01 and XX1 AXS groups? In one word, weight. The GX AXS derailleur weighs in at 454 grams with the battery, compared to 390 grams for the X01 derailleur and battery. The main reason for that 64-gram difference is the material used for the pulley wheel cage – it's aluminum on X01, and steel on GX.
Otherwise the features of the two derailleurs are identical. They'll both accommodate up to a 10-52-tooth cassette, and they have SRAM's Overload Clutch mechanism that disengages the motor gearbox in the event of an impact, which allows the derailleur to swing inboard and then move back into place. It's a handy feature, and one that can help extend the lifespan of your shiny new robot derailleur.
The shifter paddle shape is identical to what's used on the X01 and XX1 groups, and SRAM also offer a different paddle shape that's closer to a traditional shifter for $20. It's possible to change the shifter paddle assignments via SRAM's AXS app in a matter of seconds. I prefer to have the derailleur move the chain up the cassette when I push upwards, and down the cassette when I push downwards, while I know some riders prefer the opposite orientation.
One final feature of the GX AXS derailleur that's worth mentioning is the new battery cover that's designed to ensure the battery doesn't get knocked off mid-ride, or to prevent sneaky riding buddies from stealing and hiding it when you're not looking. The cover is available separately for $20, and will also work with X01 and XX1 AXS derailleurs.
Stay tuned for a long term review later this year once I put a whole bunch of miles in on these parts.