SRAM's cheaper wireless mountain bike gears

No cables, because it runs on a battery (Photo: SRAM)
No cables, because it runs on a battery (Photo: SRAM)
  • SRAM AXS shifting is now available at a more affordable price point
  • The SRAM GX AXS Eagle upgrade kit allows riders to update their Eagle equipped bikes to AXS without changing the entire groupset
  • SRAM AXS components are fully customisable and seamlessly pair with the entire Eagle ecosystem 

SRAMS AXS is the ultimate in mountain bike gearing, as wireless technology allows for precise, reliable shifting in all kinds of conditions. 

But that comes at a price, which has meant that to date this technology has only been seen on pro bikes and big budget builds.

Technology migration is a thing in cycling and now SRAM’s more affordable GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain has been given the AXS treatment, bringing wireless shifting to the masses via their new GX Eagle AXS offering.

The arrival of SRAM’s 1x12 Eagle gearing system in 2016, was a game changer for many mountain bikers. The gearing range it offered allowed a mid-pack rider like myself to finally ditch their 2x setup. SRAM’s 1x12 system enabled riders to conquer the toughest climbs in races like the Absa Cape Epic, while still offering the right gear for attacking flat gravel roads, all without the hassle of a front derailleur.

No shifter cables and a much cleaner look, for your mountain bike (Photo: SRAM)

Bringing value for technology adopters

The GX range is SRAM’s third tier of components and has a great reputation for rugged durability at a price point that most riders can afford.

Featuring an expanded 520% range, seamless compatibility with the rest of the ecosystem and the ability to customize with an AXS app, GX Eagle is the perfect entry point to the world of electronic, wireless, shifting. The GX Eagle derailleur is engineered with a variety of rider preferences in mind. 

It is compatible with an expanded range 10-52t cassette as well as a 10-50t cassette. Both options give mountain bikers an excellent ‘granny’ climbing gear, for the steepest inclines. 

Riders might question the vulnerability of a battery-powered rear derailleur, which could be damaged by terrain strikes, when negotiating rock gardens. SRAM’s engineers have a solution to this issue, in the form of an incredibly resilient overload clutch, which protects against unwanted forces.

In the event of an impact, the motor gearbox disengages, giving the derailleur freedom to move, and instantly returns to its position for a seamless experience for the rider. The primary purpose is to protect the derailleur shift motor, but serves to protect your derailleur and derailleur hanger from damage as a by-product.

These are the components which make SRAM's new GX AXS Eagle wireless drivetrain (Photo: SRAM)

Runs on batteries and lots of data to use

SRAM claims the removable and rechargeable on-board battery provides up to 20 hours of riding time on one charge.

Featuring proven ergonomic touch points that make shifting effortless, the GX Eagle AXS controller is customisable, allowing the rider to decide which button does what through the AXS smartphone app. The system is completely dust and waterproof and mounting of the controller can be done with either of the AXS Discrete or tidy MatchMakerX clamps, to your ergonomic handlebar preferences. 

Shifting is via two buttons that can be programmed to function as low or high gear shifters and operated by the rider’s thumb, or a third rear trigger connected to the upper button for shifting via your index finger. These buttons can also be swapped out for a Rocker Paddle upgrade, if riders are looking for a feel closer to that of a conventional SRAM Eagle shifter.

A benefit of the wireless shifting, is data about how you ride. The AXS app gathers useful information, such as how many shifts have been made and how frequently each gear is being used. This can help riders to make more informed choices regarding front chainring sizes and more. 

SRAM’s GX AXS upgrade kit is the entry point into wireless drivetrain simplicity. It is compatible with any Eagle ecosystem’s cassettes and crank arms, allowing riders to make the change to AXS without needing to buy an entire groupset, provided they are already using Eagle products. This upgrade kit includes the derailleur, controller, matchmaker bracket, charger, battery, battery cover and a chain gap tool.

Launched alongside Eagle GX AXS is a new battery cover designed to protect the battery while installed on the derailleur. The SRAM Eagle GX AXS upgrade kit retails for R12 999 in South Africa.

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