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…
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.
|Product:||AXS XX1 / X01|
|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|