Force eTap AXS, grab it while you can
Force eTap AXS has recently been upgraded, but it’s still worth a punt.
You may have seen that SRAM Force eTAP AXS has been upgraded. The new groupset is called – pause for fanfare – Force AXS. SRAM have removed the eTAP, I guess that we all know it’s an electric rather than mechanical gruppo now. So no need for the eTAP moniker anymore. And while you can read all about the new Force, getting your hands on any of it will involve a bit of a wait.
But why wait? Force eTAP AXS is still available and is still a quality groupset. And with many outlets looking to shift their “old” stock, now might be a good time to pick up a bargain. Force eTAP AXS was SRAM’s second tier groupset, below Red, and as such was good value for those wanting to go wireless.
When Force eTAP AXS came out in 2019 it was an affordable – compared to Red – truly wireless groupset. While Shimano relied on wired connections for their Di2 groupsets, SRAM had ditched the cables. This gave a much cleaner look to bikes, especially for those after a super-aero bike. And with wireless connectivity, you could simply download an app and communicate with your shifters. This allowed you to set up shifting options and keep an eye on battery levels.
SRAM chose to mount their batteries directly on the derailleurs, so no need for a hidden internal battery. These are easy to install and if one was to “run flat”, you can simply swap them over; allowing you to get home on a 1x set-up. And being so small you can easily carry a spare on you; if you are of the belt and braces type!
Another innovation from SRAM was their shift to a 10 tooth cog. This small (in size) change allowed them to drop the size of their chainrings. This saved a bit of weight, but more importantly allowed a larger range of gears compared to traditional set-ups. And with the original Force you can still change individual chainrings, if you want. The new Force chainset uses double chainrings that come as a unit, so you have to change both at the same time. While this allows for weight savings, it does remove the option of just replacing one.
Another bonus with the Force eTap AXS rear derailleur is you can forget about cage length or chain capacity. Whether you run 1x or 2x everything will mesh, as long as you stay in the AXS range. You could even run an Eagle AXS MTB rear mech if you want even lower gears.
A quick look at a local bike brand showed their Force eTap AXS equipped aero bike reduced by £500. Making it £200 cheaper than the same bike with Ultegra Di2, a nice saving.