Review | SRAM AXS Eagle – Wireless Shifting That Works

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David tests out the flagship SRAM AXS Eagle XX and X01 groupsets – will the wireless drivetrain stun him with its performance?

Historically, I’m not a fan of mixing mountain bikes and electronics, but I have ended up riding AXS Eagle more than probably anyone else in the office. I’ve now ridden it on three bikes: The oh-so-pretty rainbow XX1 on A Yeti SB130 that SRAM got to us earlier in the year to try out; for most of Autumn, X01 on a Nukeproof Mega 275C, and finally, on Chipps’ super fancy Ibis Ripley Mk. 4.

I’ll tell you what I thought later; first, let’s take a look at the individual components.

Oh, and it’s SRAM AXS like ‘access’ and not A. X. S. like some boy band. You know, like it gives you access to your gears. Like that…

AXS Granted

Working from the bars back, the SRAM AXS Eagle shifter is different to what you may expect. A single paddle has a lip at the bottom and a ramp at the top. By default, pushing either of those will shift up and down, but it’s a button press rather than a lever push. If you want a comparison on feel: slightly firmer than a button on an arcade machine, but not by much.

The button pushes are the same way around as a normal shifter: push at the bottom to move the chain up the cassette, push at the top to move to a smaller sprocket. The button also wraps around to the front of the shifter, built so pushing it with an index finger there also activates a shift to a smaller sprocket.

All of this can also be reprogrammed in the app, though the front and upper buttons on a right hand shifter can only do the same thing as each other. The shifter itself takes a CR2032 watch battery, and SRAM quote a battery life of 25 hours from one. 25 hours of use, that is, not nearly-one-a-day. I didn’t have to change any over the months I spent testing AXS Eagle-equipped bikes. The shifters are motion sensitive and go to sleep to conserve battery life.

Going further back from here… no, further, there are no cables… yep, bit more, all the way to the back of the bike, there, there’s the mech. Magic, and a painless journey to the rear axle with absolutely no cable routing to deal with.

The rest of this review is for members only.

Review Info

Brand:SRAM
Product:AXS XX1 / X01
From:sram.com
Price:£1900 for X01 cranks, chainring, bottom bracket, rear derailleur, cassette, shifter, chain, charger and battery. (XX1: £1950)
Tested:by David Hayward for 3 months

Comments (9)

    And in five years’ time you’ll need to keep an old phone running an old OS to run the old app that SRAM no longer support to manage your now ‘ancient’ AXS version 1 drivetrain.

    You don’t need to use the app at all. I run AXS on all of my bikes and haven’t even downloaded the app. You just fit it and it works. Simples.

    And if you need an indication of battery charge, just press the button on the mech and the little led will glow either green, amber or red. Simple.

    Personally I have to applaud SRAM fornpushing the envelope in engineering terms, people never knew they wanted such tech until Shimano and SRAM introduced it.
    You also have to applaud the early adopters as without them the trickle down effect simply won’t happen, as for the haters and doubters, if companies stood still and failed to push the envelope in terms of product development and accessibility then we would all be riding triple chain ringed clunkers from the 80’s, every company gives us choices, Good, Better, Best and Luxe, you decide your budget and buy accordingly, simples.

    I have to say it’s fabulous – I have it on 2 out of 4 bikes, soon to be 3 of 4. I’m keeping the 4th bike old school though as I have a pile of spare gear cables and fittings to work through

    That dropper battery is right in the line of fire off the back tyre.

    I also love it, especially the futuristic whizz with each gear shift. But as good as it is the jockeys still succumb to ice the same as non electronic mechs 🙂

    “I also love it, especially the futuristic whizz with each gear shift. But as good as it is the jockeys still succumb to ice the same as non electronic mechs ”

    Not in Arizona!!

    I’m sold on AXS and taking the plunge with an upgrade kit. The only thing that stings is that AXS is considerably cheaper on the continent. Even factoring exchange rates, it feels pricey in the UK.

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