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SRAM Force eTap groupset to be launched in April

But how much it’ll cost is anyone’s guess

A search for SRAM Force eTap brings up just over a million results. So clearly one of the expectations going into the recent SRAM launch where Red eTap AXS was unveiled was for Force eTap. An announcement was finally made, but the US company was keeping schtum on the exact details of what it would look like and how much it would cost.

All SRAM did was confirm a much-anticipated Force level eTap groupset was coming in April. Which leaves us wondering, will the new Force groupset feature the same fundamental design as Red AXS or will it be closer to first generation eTap? And what will it look like and more importantly, just how much will it cost?

Review: SRAM Force 1

Our guess is a cheaper version of AXS with the same approach to gear range and ratios with a 10t cassette and smaller chainsets, but the use of less expensive materials to bring the price down substantially. It could release the previous version of eTap at Force level but that just wouldn’t make any sense following its complete revamp of the groupset.


Force is also currently available in two versions, the very popular 1x with hydraulic disc brakes and a clutch rear mech that we’re seeing on many gravel and adventure bikes, and the rarer Force 22 double setup with rim or disc brakes. The new AXS approach would neatly bring these two groupsets under one umbrella.

- SRAM RED eTap AXS – 12-speed wireless groupset with radical new approach to gearing launched + In depth First Look Video Q&A with SRAM engineers

If it is a cheaper version of AXS with the same set of chainset and cassette ratios, it stands to reason it’ll be compatible with Red so you could pick and choose different components - Red shifters and mechs with Force cassette and chainset, for example, as you can with current groupsets.

SRAM has a good track record in the mountain bike world of quickly trickling down groupset features to lower price points, achieved simply by the use of different materials and manufacturing processes. The same can’t be said of its eTap groupset, for reasons, we’re lead to believe, to do with the cost of the electronic components. It’s been four years since eTap launched which should be enough time for the price to come down, and all the initial development costs has been recouped.

We’ll update this article as and when we get more information. Let us know what you’d like to see from a Force level eTap groupset below.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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excy | 5 years ago

I was just about to buy the SRAM Red eTap WiFli groupset to replace my 5 year old Rival who shifters are on their way out.  This was fine as I'll keep the crankset and just put a new cassette and chain on along with the groupset to bring it from 10 to 11 speed...  Now I'm wondering if I should probably wait to see what configuration the new Force groupsets will be in incase it works out cheaper.  I'd rather it were 2x11 ins tandard ratios as 12 speed just feels like hassle, and more to change, which may just make it more expensive.

Chapo | 5 years ago

Comparing mechanical Red 22 with Force 22 the price difference is quite significant.

£1200 vs £750 for a full groupset.

So if Force eTap stays 11-speed and eventually settles at anything like £600 for the upgrade kit (shifters and mechs) - that will be interesting indeed.
(assuming the pound doesn't do a dive-bomb by April).


Sevenfold | 5 years ago

Would be interested to know whether Red or Force etap would work with more normal 50/34 or 48/32 chainsets e.g. Praxis Works Zayente or FSA once these have released 12 speed compatible chainrings.

kil0ran | 5 years ago

No way this will undercut Ultegra Di2 once the usual discounts are applied. Red eTap has had robust pricing since launch, feels like SRAM deliberately limit supply to the box shifters.

bogbrush | 5 years ago

Shirley the main hope is that this will undercut Ultegra Di2 meaning Shimano hurry up with 105 Di2

Liam Cahill | 5 years ago

Force eTap 1x Hydro with a clutch is pretty much the CX dream if it can beat Ultegra Di2 on price.

usedtobefaster replied to Liam Cahill | 5 years ago

Liam Cahill wrote:

Force eTap 1x Hydro with a clutch is pretty much the CX dream if it can beat Ultegra Di2 on price.

+1 on this but they'd need to use this new fluid clutch technology (I think they called it orbit) to overcome the power requirements to drive a current mechanical clutch rear mech.

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