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As soon as we heard the rumors and saw the spy photos, we knew right away we had to snatch up SRAM's latest version of its Red eTap AXS 2x HRD Groupset. We were already pretty enamored with its original 11-speed version and its simple shifting logic, but with more and more drop bar bikes venturing off the beaten path, SRAM added some meaningful updates to its electronic group. The end result is an intuitive groupset that adds another cog, makes us totally rethink current gear ratios, allows for customization, and is better suited for all-road, gravel, and cyclocross bikes. That's not even mentioning how easy it is to set up and travel with since there's no cables or wires to deal with.
This group includes right and left Red eTap AXS HRD brake/shifters with flat-mount calipers, two 160mm Centerline XR 6-bolt disc rotors, front and rear Red eTap AXS derailleurs with batteries, a battery charger, and a cord.
One of the most exciting new features with the group is its AXS integration. Once you connect the group to the AXS app via Bluetooth on your smartphone or tablet, you can easily personalize the groupset including button customization, numbers of up or downshifts when the buttons are held down, as well as sequential and compensating shifting. Sequential shifting reduces redundant gear ratios and maintains a better chainline by automatically shifting the front and rear derailleurs to the optimal gear as you up and downshift, allowing you to focus on the ride. This option is great for those already used a 1x setup. In this mode, however, you still have full control over the front derailleur to shift as needed. Compensating shifting simply shifts the rear derailleur to a self-selected number of shifts after making a front shift, so your change in cadence isn't drastic. This is something we already do with mechanical shifting but it's nice when the system's electronics can do it for us.
The new RED eTap AXS front derailleur returns with SRAM's excellent Yaw pivot design for trim-free cage operation. It rotates slightly when shifted into the small ring improving shifting while also preventing chain rub, no matter where it is on the cog out back. It also features an optimized cage profile for the new close-ratio (33/46, 35/48, and 37/50) X-Range front chainring combinations for smooth and quick shifting. Made from a combination of aluminum, steel, and composite, it offers the best durability and the lightest weight. It's completely compatible with existing eTap batteries and gravel riders rejoice: its battery placement is streamlined to allow for more rear tire clearance which SRAM claims is up to 700c x 42mm.
The rear derailleur also gets some exciting changes namely in its Orbit fluid damper chain management system providing a quiet, secure, and smooth ride, even over the bumpiest terrain. It also receives a new motor and signal for faster, more precise shifting and like the front derailleur, remains compatible with existing eTap batteries. One last thing, it uses the same cage length for 10-26, 10-28, and 10-33t cassettes so you can make changes to your gearing based on the terrain, all while using the same rear derailleur.
Please note to complete the groupset, you will still need to purchase a crank, bottom bracket, cassette, and chain.
To complete your groupset, purchase a crank, bottom bracket, cassette, and chain