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Sram launches all new Red eTap AXS 12-speed

6 Feb 2019

Page 2 of 2Sram Red eTap AXS 12-speed round up


Sram has overhauled its flagship Red eTap wireless shifting groupset, delivering more gears and a complete rethink on gearing

Sram Red eTap AXS 12-speed component-by-component roundup

Rear derailleur

The rear derailleur has gained a little bulk over its predecessor, but with good reason. It’s now compatible with both 1x and 2x set-ups and to keep it simple there is just a single derailleur to cover all the available options. At the heart of the 1x compatibility is a hydraulic damper Sram calls, Orbit chain management, which essentially controls the swing of the cage to maintain higher chain tension and keep the drivetrain smooth, efficient and quieter, no matter what the terrain.

Sram also claims a new motor and more advanced chips within the electrical hardware increase shift speed over the old design. Larger jockey wheels and ceramic bearings aim to further increase efficiency and add durability. The battery remains unchanged, and is therefore compatible with current eTap batteries.

Front derailleur

The front derailleur looks fundamentally unchanged but there are some subtle differences, mainly to allow more rear-tire clearance, in keeping with its potential use across a broader range of bike styles. Uses the same eTap battery as currently available.


The all-new chain with its unique flat top link shape is the result of Sram’s engineers adding material back in to the plates to achieve the desired strength required for the narrower and lighter 12-speed chain.

Providing more space between the outer plates of the chain and the cogs on either side, Sram also suggests leads to quieter running and more precise shifts. A hard chrome plating to the inner link plates and rollers should reduce wear and prolong chain life.


The cassette is the basis of the whole new X-Range gearing. Still intricately machined from a single piece of steel making it one of the lightest and most durable cassettes on the market.

All the new cassettes now feature a 10-tooth start that is the basis to providing the wider gearing range. Designed to work with an XDR driver body, for which many wheel brands are now making compatible options. It allows for the 10t cassette without requiring new rear axle standards, cassette tools or hub redesigns.

Here are SRAM XDR explainer and installation videos:

Explainer -
Installation -

Shifters/brake levers

Obviously what hasn’t changed is the fully wireless electronic shifting and options for either full hydraulic disc brake or mechanical rim brakes. The easy to adjust lever reach and disc pad contact point adjustment are also carry over features. A textured, soft-feel hood cover and a new grippier feeling shift button are both tangible new additions.

Less noticeable behind the scenes is Sram’s latest Bleeding Edge technology, simplifying maintenance. Pairing to the AXS phone app now enables reassignment of the shift buttons to any chosen function, should the user wish to personalise the system.


In reengineering the chainrings as a single-piece construction Sram has opted to integrate its Quarq DZero power meter directly into the rings. Sram suggests it provides the best results in terms of weight, stiffness, and durability. It’s accuracy is stated as +/-1.5% something Sram says is not affected by climate conditions during a ride.

Power is measured for both left and right legs separately. For 1x set-up, single chainring options using Sram’s wide-tooth, narrow-tooth profile for increased chain control are also all available with power, including direct mount aero chainrings (48 and 50 tooth). 36-46t variants have a spider-based power meter.


Sram claims the new crankset is lighter, stiffer and more durable than its predecessor. Utilizing its own DUB bottom bracket axle standard is partially responsible for some of the weight savings, but also ensures more simple compatibility across all the current standards.

Disc rotor

The new disc rotor is an update on the current offering, more streamlined and lighter to
complement the new drivetrain. Rounded edges make for easier wheel installs and are UCI-compliant for racing. Available as CenterLock or 6-Bolt fitment.

Rim brakes

Despite discs looking like they will soon reign supreme, Sram has still given plenty of attention over to producing a new rim brake offering for the new eTap AXS groupset.

The new brake calipers, it says, have improved on all fronts. Most importantly is clearance for broader tyres (up to 28mm), but they are also lighter, more aerodynamic, and offer more braking power.


For the time trial and triathlon market the eTap AXS BlipBox is now easier to integrate and can be mounted inside a stem faceplate, inside a feed box or frame pouch. It’s also AXS enabled, for almost limitless aero configurations and easy personalisation.


Chainring options

2x: 50/37, 48/35, 46/33 (all available with or without power meter)
1x: 50t (aero), 48t (aero), 46t, 44t, 42t, 40t, 38t, 36t (50t and 48t power meter integrated, other sizes power meter via spider)

Cassette options: 10-26t, 10-28t, 10-33t

Disc Brakes are flat mount or post mount compatible and can be used with either 140mm or 160mm rotors

Disc Brake Rotors: 140mm or 160mm Centre Lock or 6-Bolt fitment

Groupset weights

*Note: Adding power meter increases weight by 36g

2x Disc Drake 2,518g
2x Rim Brake 2,254g
1x Aero Disc Brake 2,103g
1x Aero Rim Brake 2,070g

UK prices

2x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake (with power meter) £3,794
2x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake (no power meter) £3,349
2x Rim brake (with power meter) £3,604
2x Rim brake (no power meter) £3,159
1x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake (no power meter) £2,849
1x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake Aero (with power meter) £3,362
1x Hydraulic Road Disc Brake Aero (no power meter) £2,917
1x Rim Brake Aero (with power meter) £3,004
1x Rim brake Aero (no power meter) £2,559

Groupsets include rear derailleur, front derailleur (if applicable), controls, brake calipers, rotors (if applicable), crankset/power meter, bottom bracket, cassette, chain, battery(s), and charger.

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Page 2 of 2Sram Red eTap AXS 12-speed round up