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Verdict: 
Radical new groupset impresses with wide range and smaller cassette gaps but it's jolly expensive
Weight: 
2,518g

It's always exciting when a new groupset is launched but few have caused such a stir as SRAM's new Red eTap AXS, which not only goes 12-speed but takes a radical new approach to gear ratios in an attempt to better cater for the diversifying nature of cycling.

  • Pros: Wide range gears, close ratios, quieter
  • Cons: Heavier than Dura-Ace Di2, not backwards compatible, expensive

 

At the worldwide launch for the new groupset, I was given the opportunity to ride the new groupset on two rides on two different bikes. The brevity of the riding doesn't permit me to make a full and thorough assessment – that'll come when I get my hands on the groupset for a longterm test – but first impressions are often invaluable and provide a good indication of what to expect with further testing.

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My first ride was on a beautiful Specialized Tarmac SL6, a bike I know very well from my S-Works review a while ago. Out into the Arizona desert on rolling roads with lots of cracks and rough surfaces to contend with, set to a backdrop of a million cactus, and I immediately felt at home.

sram david arthur 3

I'm not one to jump to conclusions, but colour me impressed! There's a familiarity to current eTap, but it's what happens when you start shifting up and down the cassette that you get a feeling for what SRAM has achieved.

There's no adjustment or relearning needed to get your head around the new groupset. It just works. The Tucson terrain isn't dissimilar to my local Cotswolds roads (if you swap the cactus for cottages) with frequent gradient changes that require a lot of gear changes. If you're fussy about your cadence this is a huge benefit and is one of the biggest appeals of the new groupset.

Press a gear button and the gear change comes very quickly and with very little perceptible noise; the new distinctive Flattop chain has more clearance between the cassette sprockets and in any gear combination there was almost no noise. SRAM has updated the motors and chips and says the shift speed is quicker, but to be honest it's difficult to say in this isolated test whether it really is more rapid. It still doesn't feel as lightning fast as Shimano's Di2.

Spinning along on a 48/35 chainset with a 10-28 cassette, a gear range that is wider than a comparable 52/36 and 11-28 setup, and all felt very normal. On paper, the range is wider, with more top and low end, but identifying that is tricky without first riding the same test loop on the other groupset. I will say the gears were suitable for the rolling terrain around Tucson.

sram david arthur 5

By far the most appreciable difference is the increased single-tooth jumps on the new cassette. This 10-28 cassette provides seven single-tooth jumps, compared with four on an 11-28 or 11-30 11-speed cassette. It's something you can feel straight away, and I was able to maintain a happy cadence on the rolling roads we were shown by local guide Gordon Fraser (2004 Canadian national road race champion and three-time Olympian, and a really nice guy with a lovely collection of classic road bikes).

The new rear mech with its Orbit fluid damper is another bonus too. The Tucson roads are in places rough and severed by huge cracks, but the rear mech kept the chain taut and minimised noise and stopped the chain flapping about, with seemingly no impact at all on the shift performance.

On gravel

Its benefit was much more apparent on the gravel ride. For this I swapped to a Scott Addict CX with SRAM's widest range setup, a 46/33 chainset with a 10-33 cassette, which provides 1:1 gearing for winching up steep grinds. I would have loved to have tried out the new 1x configuration but unfortunately there weren't enough bikes to go around. There is still a lot of love for 2x on gravel and adventure bikes, though, so let's not write it off just yet.

190110_SRAM_Launch-3922

Scudding across the top of the washboard dirt road with clouds of dust kicking up in my slipstream, the groupset performed flawlessly. The Orbit rear mech kept the chain securely on the sprockets – there wasn't one dropped chain in our group – and it also ensured our progress was conducted with no chain slapping noise.

Front shifting performance has often been criticised on SRAM groupsets over the years. This new groupset is a big improvement, largely thanks to bringing the size difference between the two chainrings down from 16t to 13t. SRAM has tried to reduce the reliance on front shifting by moving the range to the cassette (so yeah you can stay in the big ring longer!) but every time I did change rings up front it was smooth, quick and quiet.

190110_SRAM_Launch-3656

While I had no issues during the two rides, I did spot a few other journalists struggling with dropped chains during the road ride. It'll need a lot more testing on familiar roads over a longer period of time to really get under the skin of this new groupset and properly give it a hammering to see how it stands up to demanding use.

Ergonomics, brakes & power

Ergonomics are largely the same as current eTap. Some might have hoped SRAM would have reduced the size of the hoods, which are taller than Shimano Di2, but it hasn't, they are the same as they were. But SRAM has fettled with the rubber and added some texture to improve the feel and grip in the hands. It's also textured the shift paddles, which makes the shifting experience nicer.

190110_SRAM_Launch-0525.jpg

 

The brakes are the same hydraulic discs; no changes here other than the new rotors, and power and feel seem broadly the same as what I'm used to with current SRAM Red eTap.

The integrated power meter connected easily to the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computer I was using to track my rides, and delivered numbers consistent with those being pumped out by my Powertap P1 pedals.

Customisation

I was able to use the AXS app to customise the shifting of the new groupset, and experimented with the two automated modes: sequential (similar to Shimano's Synchro Shift) and compensating (similar to Shimano's semi-Synchro Shift).

Sequential takes care of front shifts which makes riding easy as you don't need to worry about what chainring you're in. I'll admit to preferring to control the front mech myself. More useful was the compensating mode, which, following a front shift, moves the rear mech to maintain your cadence. This worked very well on the rolling Tucson roads with their short, punchy rises.

190110sramlaunch-1374

If during a ride you decide to switch back to manual mode (you can't use the app to make changes when you're moving), you can simply press a small button behind the shift lever to get back complete control.

It's neat stuff and adds to the increased customisation of the new groupset. You could do other things like changing the shift button layout from the default too, and assign blip buttons and so on.

Summary

Cycling is changing. Bikes are changing. SRAM has taken this into consideration with its new flagship groupset and stepped away from the norm and dared to make a few brave decisions that, on paper at least, offer the tantalising benefits of wider gear ranges and smaller ratio gaps.

For too long cyclists have fixated on the equipment used by pro racers, but that's starting to change and there's been a big shift towards gear setups that are actually better suited to normal people in real-world riding.

sram david arthur 2

With this increasing range comes bigger gaps between the sprockets – not good if you're fussy about cadence – but SRAM's new groupset attempts to solve this issue and provides a wider range than any comparable groupset while also closing up the gaps for smooth shifting progression. Plus you can mix and match mountain bike and road components and customise the groupset to meet your particular demands, all brought together by the optional AXS smartphone app.

Based on my two short rides, Red eTap AXS works brilliantly. If you want a wider range and closer ratios, SRAM Red eTap AXS is easy to recommend. Is it enough to warrant upgrading from current eTap or any other 11-speed groupset? That is harder to say; I'd like to spend a lot more time on the new groupset before coming to any conclusion.

It's not compatible with any other groupset on the market, even Campagnolo's 12-speed groupset, and I'll go out on a limb and say it probably won't be compatible with Dura-Ace 12-speed whenever that happens. So it's all in or nothing.

sr_factory_builds_inline_rose_190110_sram_launch-1074

It's also jolly expensive, but this is a flagship groupset aiming for the very best performance, so it was never going to be cheap. Like most new technologies, there is always a premium until development costs are paid off and the technology trickles down the range to more affordable lines. So while it might be out of range now, in a few years' time it will be more accessible. Especially with SRAM revealing that Force eTap is coming in April.

With all that said, I'm impressed that SRAM has dared to do more than just sling on a 12th sprocket. It has devised a whole new approach to the groupset that delivers key benefits that give it the edge over current groupsets and, I feel, does better cater to the way cycling is changing. I think there's even more potential in this groupset that we've not yet seen.

The real test will be how it's received by the people expected to buy it, so time will tell if SRAM's new approach pays off. I have a hunch it will do.

Stay tuned for a full review soon...

Verdict

Radical new groupset impresses with wide range and smaller cassette gaps but it's jolly expensive

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road.cc test report

Make and model: SRAM Red eTap AXS First Ride Review

Size tested: 48/35t, 10-28t

Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

SRAM says:

Road riders are going beyond where we've ever gone before. We're going further and faster. And when the road stops, we keep going. One thing hasn't changed: We want to push those boundaries without any distractions. Exploring new limits has never been easier. SRAM RED eTap AXS™ - Simply Beyond.

On tarmac or gravel, 1x or 2x, eTap AXS™ gives a quiet, secure, and smooth ride. Thanks to the ultra-lightweight Orbit™ fluid damper and a unique Flattop™ chain, you'll ride more confidently and efficiently than ever - no matter the terrain.

Road bikes are faster and more capable than ever before, and riders are expanding what's possible with drop bar bikes. X-Range™ offers wider range, more useful and smoother gear progression, as well as smarter shift settings - enabled by AXS™.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

SRAM lists these features:

12-speed for wider range and closer progression

Wireless shifting

Control, personalise and monitor components via the AXS app

Enhanced shifting options with Sequential or Compensating modes

Orbit chain management with fluid damper; quieter, simpler and more efficient

XDR mounting system to enable the use of cassettes with fewer than eleven teeth

Compatible with previous eTap batteries

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
6/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

It's not cheap! It is SRAM's flagship groupset aimed at racers and premium bikes.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Based on two short rides, it impressed.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Works brilliantly with quick and quiet gear changes, and with wider range and more single-tooth gaps.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Not backwards compatible, expensive, heavier than current eTap and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, divisive looks.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

In the configuration I tested with a power meter it's more expensive than Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 but it does provide a wholesale new approach to gearing.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Based on first impressions, the groupset impresses but further testing will be needed to provide a detailed review.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 31  Height: 180cm  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

35 comments

Avatar
twitchykraut [1 post] 4 months ago
1 like

About the number of one tooth jumps: SRAM's 11-speed 11-28 cassettes have 6 one tooth jumps, the 4 you refer to are Shimano's. 

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PRSboy [505 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

Wot?  £3,800? For a groupset?

And still a 7/10 for value?

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Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I’ve never got my head around this “smaller gaps” claim when one more cog is added. Sure, you might get an extra one in the middle compared to an 11 speed of the same extremes, but you don’t magically close up all the other gaps with one cog. Especially when all you get here is an added 10 tooth cog. You don’t get any closer gaps at all

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philhubbard [189 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
PRSboy wrote:

Wot?  £3,800? For a groupset?

And still a 7/10 for value?

 

Don't worry it will be discounted soon. ETap 11 was £1800 RRP without cassette, chain or powermeter. You were looking around £3300 at retail for that all in

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adamrice [14 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I was skeptical of the claim that SRAM had achieved closer spacing and a wider range, but I ran the numbers and their claim basically holds up.

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joules1975 [603 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Nick T wrote:

I’ve never got my head around this “smaller gaps” claim when one more cog is added. Sure, you might get an extra one in the middle compared to an 11 speed of the same extremes, but you don’t magically close up all the other gaps with one cog. Especially when all you get here is an added 10 tooth cog. You don’t get any closer gaps at all

I think you might need to read the info further and maybe look at the maths.

They haven't just added a 10 tooth sprocket. Add that allows the chainrings to be reduced, thus giving a lower 1st gear without increasing the large sprocket, indeed that large sprocket can also be reduced slightly compared to similar range standard groupset, thus meaning the new cassettes have reduced spacing between gears.

The whole concept here is actually really interesting and very welcome, but the cost is just nuts.

Someone (SunRace?) needs to produce SRAM XDR compatible cassettes at a sensible price, or Shimano need to come up with a similar, but cheaper alternative cassette format (do I recall seeing something along those lines from Shimano recently?).

Then we need to wait a few years for the concepts to trickle down to sensible people prices.

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longassballs [138 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

I think it's great; I just can't afford it.

As written it will make a lot more sense once Force is released and there is a whole 'eco system' with other groups in time, much like Eagle. I'm not an engineer so I don't share the 10 tooth efficiency concerns but like chain wear & CR replacement this will all become apparent in time. I guess if you can afford it you can also afford to be a little bit of a a guinea pig

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Stueys [33 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

As ever with Sram, bless them for innovating, they keep things interesting.  But, pricing is nuts and I would have liked to have seen a roadie specific rear derauiler that did away with the clutch and subsequent weight.

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Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
joules1975 wrote:

I think you might need to read the info further and maybe look at the maths.

They haven't just added a 10 tooth sprocket. Add that allows the chainrings to be reduced, thus giving a lower 1st gear without increasing the large sprocket, indeed that large sprocket can also be reduced slightly compared to similar range standard groupset

i think you need to look at some physics here. Let’s take a cassette 

11-12-13-14-15-16-19-22-25-29

Right? Now let’s put a 10 on the front 

10-11-12-13-14-15-16-19-22-25-29

where are these closer gaps? Forget about chainring sizes, that’s got nothing to do with how close the gaps on a cassette are. Any idea where they filled in the gaps?

But if you really insist on talking about chainrings, then smaller rings will of course “widen” these gaps as the gain ratio leans more into the favour of the cassette

Avatar
Drinfinity [198 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Nick T wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

I think you might need to read the info further and maybe look at the maths.

They haven't just added a 10 tooth sprocket. Add that allows the chainrings to be reduced, thus giving a lower 1st gear without increasing the large sprocket, indeed that large sprocket can also be reduced slightly compared to similar range standard groupset

i think you need to look at some physics here. Let’s take a cassette 

11-12-13-14-15-16-19-22-25-29

Right? Now let’s put a 10 on the front 

10-11-12-13-14-15-16-19-22-25-29

where are these closer gaps? Forget about chainring sizes, that’s got nothing to do with how close the gaps on a cassette are. Any idea where they filled in the gaps?

The key point from Joules is “similar range”. Starting at 10 you only need to go up to 26 to get about the same range as your 11-29, hence closer spacing. That’s why going to 10 on the lowest makes so much more difference- it’s 10% smaller than 11. *

Or you can get more range for the same spacing- either way, a win.

Still a bit £££.

 

 

*(Ok, so 11 is 10% bigger than 10, but you get my drift)

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taberesc [12 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

For that price, the styling feels downright cheap. The crankset is especially ugly, like an OEM product. On all the sample bikes I’ve seen it sticks out like a sore thumb, it needs to aesthetically integrate with the frame. Not for me. Just my two cents. 

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taberesc [12 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

For that price, the styling feels downright cheap. The crankset is especially ugly, like an OEM product. On all the sample bikes I’ve seen it sticks out like a sore thumb, it needs to aesthetically integrate with the frame. Not for me. Just my two cents. 

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Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Drinfinity wrote:

The key point from Joules is “similar range”. Starting at 10 you only need to go up to 26 to get about the same range as your 11-29, hence closer spacing. That’s why going to 10 on the lowest makes so much more difference- it’s 10% smaller than 11. *

I never mentioned the range though, I’m talking about the gaps. The same claim was made when Campagnolo 12 was launched, and the same when 11 speed came out, that one extra cog in the cassette makes for closer gaps between gears. Obviously the range is similar, anyone with access to a gear calculator can run those sums in a few minutes and can see that the actual tooth number is secondary to the gear inch

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Tass Whitby [82 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Nick T wrote:

Drinfinity wrote:

The key point from Joules is “similar range”. Starting at 10 you only need to go up to 26 to get about the same range as your 11-29, hence closer spacing. That’s why going to 10 on the lowest makes so much more difference- it’s 10% smaller than 11. *

I never mentioned the range though, I’m talking about the gaps. The same claim was made when Campagnolo 12 was launched, and the same when 11 speed came out, that one extra cog in the cassette makes for closer gaps between gears. Obviously the range is similar, anyone with access to a gear calculator can run those sums in a few minutes and can see that the actual tooth number is secondary to the gear inch

Might the info here help? https://road.cc/content/tech-news/255799-sram-red-etap-axs-12-speed-wire...

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aegisdesign [132 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
joules1975 wrote:

Someone (SunRace?) needs to produce SRAM XDR compatible cassettes at a sensible price, or Shimano need to come up with a similar, but cheaper alternative cassette format (do I recall seeing something along those lines from Shimano recently?).

Possibly Hyperglide+ from mountain biking. It uses a micro-spline freehub and 10-45 or 10-51t 12 speed cassettes. Only available on XTR level currently. 

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/xtr-m9100/CS-M9100-12.html

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philhubbard [189 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
aegisdesign wrote:
joules1975 wrote:

Someone (SunRace?) needs to produce SRAM XDR compatible cassettes at a sensible price, or Shimano need to come up with a similar, but cheaper alternative cassette format (do I recall seeing something along those lines from Shimano recently?).

Possibly Hyperglide+ from mountain biking. It uses a micro-spline freehub and 10-45 or 10-51t 12 speed cassettes. Only available on XTR level currently. 

https://bike.shimano.com/en-EU/product/component/xtr-m9100/CS-M9100-12.html

 

They've binned that idea last week according to a few sites

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Disfunctional_T... [409 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
adamrice wrote:

I was skeptical of the claim that SRAM had achieved closer spacing and a wider range, but I ran the numbers and their claim basically holds up.

No, sorry, mate... They don't.

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Dingaling [88 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

I don't get this move to move to 1x12. I am currently trying to get together ( on paper) the parts for a new bike to replace my current tourer. It is fitted out with xtr 3 x 9 - 44/32/22  with an 11-32 cassette. I'm having a problem finding something to replace that wide range of gears. The latest sram 1 x 12 would get close with a 40 chainring and a 10 - 50 cassette. Really? Is that what we are supposed to use? A chainring that will wear 3 times faster than a triple and a cassette that costs about 3 times my xt cassettes? Not to mention how ugly these huge sprockets look. Even considering  a 2x I don't see an advantage in dropping a small 22 ring for enormous 36, 42 & 50 sprockets.

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fukawitribe [2821 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Dingaling wrote:

I don't get this move to move to 1x12. I am currently trying to get together ( on paper) the parts for a new bike to replace my current tourer. It is fitted out with xtr 3 x 9 - 44/32/22  with an 11-32 cassette. I'm having a problem finding something to replace that wide range of gears. The latest sram 1 x 12 would get close with a 40 chainring and a 10 - 50 cassette. Really? Is that what we are supposed to use? A chainring that will wear 3 times faster than a triple and a cassette that costs about 3 times my xt cassettes? Not to mention how ugly these huge sprockets look. Even considering  a 2x I don't see an advantage in dropping a small 22 ring for enormous 36, 42 & 50 sprockets.

No, you don't see - but some others like it. It's a choice, and ugly is an opinion. I never really understand why people get so shook up about things like this.

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samcritchlow [1 post] 4 months ago
0 likes

I'd really like to hear a lot more about sequential shifting… In theory it sounds like a great idea for simple but perfect shifting, but it would be good to hear more about how it actually feels in practice.

I currently run a campag mechanical groupset and enjoy the 3-cog up/down shifting—which prevents the horrible jump associated with a front derailleur shift by shifting 3 at the back at the same time—but truly sequential shifting would involve more frequent movement of both derailleurs. Presumably the success of sequential shifting depends heavily on the speed and smoothness of each change? 

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adamrice [14 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:
adamrice wrote:

I was skeptical of the claim that SRAM had achieved closer spacing and a wider range, but I ran the numbers and their claim basically holds up.

Can you be more specific about what I'm missing?
No, sorry, mate... They don't.

Avatar
boardmanrider [104 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

I love reading the comments here; as if a bunch of couch surfers know more than SRAM. They didn't just pull some numbers out of thin air and slap a brand on it. The first version of eTap took 5 years to develop. I think it's fair to say that they know what they are talking about. As for the price, it's expensive for a groupset, but so is the top tier from Campagnolo.

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fukawitribe [2821 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
boardmanrider wrote:

I love reading the comments here; as if a bunch of couch surfers know more than SRAM. They didn't just pull some numbers out of thin air and slap a brand on it. The first version of eTap took 5 years to develop. I think it's fair to say that they know what they are talking about. As for the price, it's expensive for a groupset, but so is the top tier from Campagnolo.

sThis. As far as I can work out the disc groupset is cheaper at RRP than Campagnolo 11-speed Super Record EPS and the rim groupset is about 35 quid more expensive (inflation adjusted) than Dura Ace 9100 Di2 at launch. Both are very well respected groupsets which sell OK, some of the choices SRAM made (e.g. fully integrated power meter) seem odd, at least to me, but not so much the price. It's a premium product and the first iteration of a combination of new and old hardware and some new thinking - cheap it was never going to be initially, but it's hardly worth the hysteria in the media and elsewhere.

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Disfunctional_T... [409 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes
adamrice wrote:

Can you be more specific about what I'm missing?

Your spreadsheet tables are filled with errors.

I'm attaching a comparison between the SRAM 10-33 12-speed cassette and hypothetical 11-36 and 11-37 ones. I'd prefer the 11-37 one. SRAM is just shuffling the numbers.

The only benefits of the 10-tooth smallest cog that I see are that it is slightly lighter and more aerodynamic. The drawbacks are that it has more friction and probably more chain wear.

Avatar
Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
3 likes

Shhh.. the Emperor’s New Gears are distracting the masses from the shock of disposable power meters and having to buy new wheels for a 10 they’ll never use

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Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

.

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adamrice [14 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Disfunctional_Threshold wrote:
adamrice wrote:

Can you be more specific about what I'm missing?

Your spreadsheet tables are filled with errors. I'm attaching a comparison between the SRAM 10-33 12-speed cassette and hypothetical 11-36 and 11-37 ones. I'd prefer the 11-37 one. SRAM is just shuffling the numbers. The only benefits of the 10-tooth smallest cog that I see are that it is slightly lighter and more aerodynamic. The drawbacks are that it has more friction and probably more chain wear.

 

I appreciate you taking the time to work on this. A couple of points:

  • You are calculating based on upshifts, I was calculating based on downshifts. That's going to change the numbers a little.
  • You are not taking into account the chainrings. Shifting between two gears in back will represent a different percentage difference depending on whether you're on the big ring or the little. 

I think these two differences in our approaches account for our different results. Also, FWIW, SRAM is making claims about how their group stacks up against other groups that currently exist, not against hypothetical setups.

Avatar
Disfunctional_T... [409 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
adamrice wrote:
  • You are calculating based on upshifts, I was calculating based on downshifts. That's going to change the numbers a little.
  • You are not taking into account the chainrings. Shifting between two gears in back will represent a different percentage difference depending on whether you're on the big ring or the little. 

Point 1: Agreed, the percentage change depends on whether you are upshifting/downshifting. I still think your charts have a lot of calculation errors.

Point 2: The front chainrings are irrelevant for calculating percentage differences when shifting at the rear. That's the way percentages work.

I didn't get into the total gear ratio range of groupsets, but a standard compact 50/34 crankset allows a broader range than SRAM's new 46/33. A 48/32 subcompact crankset is even larger. Gear ratios can neither be better or worse. They just are. Which you prefer is up to you.

The facts don't support SRAM's marketing claims.

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Eros Polly [2 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Nick T wrote:

Shhh.. the Emperor’s New Gears are distracting the masses from the shock of disposable power meters and having to buy new wheels for a 10 they’ll never use

I agree many riders don't need a 10 sprocket.

I never went smaller than 13 when racing and now have a 14 (rarely used) with  50/34  chainrings on an 11-speed 14-28 . 

If I went for a 12 speed SRAM I would be carrying 4 sprockets that I wouldn't use!

Avatar
Nick T [1273 posts] 4 months ago
1 like
Eros Polly wrote:
Nick T wrote:

Shhh.. the Emperor’s New Gears are distracting the masses from the shock of disposable power meters and having to buy new wheels for a 10 they’ll never use

I agree many riders don't need a 10 sprocket.

I never went smaller than 13 when racing and now have a 14 (rarely used) with  50/34  chainrings on an 11-speed 14-28 . 

If I went for a 12 speed SRAM I would be carrying 4 sprockets that I wouldn't use!

 

its the same with the new Campy 12 speed, I’ve got 12-25 cassettes on all my bikes. 8 cogs in a row with one tooth gaps, can you believe it? Talk about closer spacing, eh. I can count the number of times I’ve used 53-12 in anger on one hand, I’d happily lose that for another.

If I go 12 speed I’ll be stuck with an 11-29 or 11-32 and lose a number of sprockets I do use for a load of dead weight. 

Wide range cassettes are a joke. If you’re genuinely in need of a 34-32 low gear, then you’ve honestly got no business with a 50-11 up top

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