Upon seeing SRAM RED eTap AXS in the flesh, and seeing its considerable performance, we wanted to see this technology brought to a more-attainable price point. Finally, we have it in the new SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x Disc Brake groupset, which retains essential technology, ergonomics, and performance from RED eTap and brings it to the masses.
Check out our in-depth review on SRAM RED eTap AXS HERE
If you’ve ever laid a finger on an eTap groupset, you’ll know the basic ergonomics: left shift paddle move the chain left as a downshift, right shift paddle moves the chain right as an upshift. Tap both paddles simultaneously and the chain shifts between large and small chainrings. And like RED eTap AXS, the SRAM AXSTM app allows riders to see battery status, change component behavior, personalize controls, get maintenance reminders, and update firmware. Want to use your eTap AXS controllers with a Eagle AXS drivetrain and Reverb AXS dropper seatpost? The AXSTM app allows you to do that.
Another carryover is the derailleur design. The rear derailleur covers all road AXS group cassette options, and features the same motor from RED. Other notes include larger cage pulleys for faster shifts with stainless bearings, and SRAM’s Orbit damper that keeps chain slap in check. The rear derailleur cage uses an aluminum derailleur cage instead of carbon, and steel hardware in place of titanium and aluminum, but batteries are interchangable between all AXS groups.
One area of divergence between SRAM Force eTap AXS and RED is the disc brake calipers. It goes to a two-piece body construction and a fixed hose connection instead of the one-piece machining and rotating banjo of RED. Only flat-mount disc brakes are available, with 140 mm and 160 mm rotor options available.
Up front, the front derailleur swaps the RED aluminum cage for stamped steel, adding a bit of weight but again saving quite a bit of cost. Like RED eTap AXS, the front derailleur now offers ample clearance for a 700 x 42c tire, and has a cage profile optimized for the smaller jump in chainrings (13 teeth as opposed to 16 teeth of a standard 2x chainring) for faster shifts, regardless of chain load. Again, the front derailleur chips and motors are the same, meaning shift speeds should be almost exactly the same as RED.
SRAM’s new Force AXS cassette covers 10-26t, 10-28t, and 10-33t options. The Force AXS cassette uses stamped and pinned cogs paired to a one-piece machined group of the four smallest cogs, with the largest cog still made of aluminum.
SRAM made a lot of noise with their new crank and chainring construction, but Force AXS simplifies it quite a bit. Instead of the one-piece two-ring option, SRAM went for individual chainrings and a bolt-on chainring option, seen on most major groupset choices. 46/33t and 48/35t options are available. Further, SRAM offers a spider-specific power meter that can be removed and replaced at any time instead of a powermeter built in to a chainring found on RED eTap. They pair to a solid-arm carbon crank which uses the same DUB bottom bracket standard.
Take your pick. With choices regarding power meters, chainring size, crank arm length, cassette size, rotor size, and bottom bracket standard, there are a number of options to suit your needs on your road bike or gravel bike.
Have any questions about SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x Disc Brake groupset? Send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call during business hours.