Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to SRAM’s R and D headquarters in Schweinfurt, Germany for an exclusive product launch preview.
I was intrigued as to what the trip would reveal as many rumours throughout the industry have teased products that would see group set technology step to the next level.
After a day of travelling and a good nights sleep. I was welcomed into the foyer at SRAM with a pastry and a cup of coffee and was immediately struck by how polished the facility was. Surrounded by world champs winning bikes and iconic components from SRAM’s impressive back catalogue, everything shouted professionalism and progression in the same way visits to F1 facilities did.
We were invited into the large presentation room where all rumours were confirmed, we were introduced to the new SRAM AXS ecosystem of componentry;
AXS (pronounced access) is the first fully integrated range of wireless, cross compatible groupsets. and components including 12 speed eTap Axs, Eagle Axs and Reverb AXS
Sram have taken the bold step to integrate their eTap technology into products across the Road, Mountain and Gravel genres to produce the exciting prospect of
mixing and matching the best parts of all groupsets to create the best componentry package for your needs.
Want to run an eagle 1x setup on your gravel bike with drop bars? AXS will allow you to pair the Road shifters to the mountain bike derailleur.
Want to run your cross bike 1x with an electronic dropper? AXS can let you do that.
The integration of all of these components opens up new possibilities on future bike builds and is a genuinely exciting step forward in cycling technology.
After lunch we had the chance to try the new eagle AXS groupset and wireless Reverb AXS dropper. To be honest – I expected the shifting to be flawless and wasn’t disappointed.
The controller feels intuitive to use and the mech shifts crisply and cleanly despite my efforts to catch it out.
What I found truly impressive was the speed that the seat post acctuated when the controller was clicked – there is genuinely ZERO lag time
between hitting the button and the post reacting and the trigger feels more ergonomic than the older hydraulic units.
The day ended with a tour of the Sram R&D facility and an insight into the design and test process, many of which are closely guarded secrets. Being able to see the development of
the xx1 rear mech from a solid billet aluminium concept prototype to the finished article we are all familiar with was truly amazing.
The whole experience gave me the feeling that SRAM (and many other brands who compete) develop these products from the sheer desire to progress the sport and industry through applied technologies.
The groupsets can (rightly) seem expensive but the whole idea is using technology to create cutting-edge aspirational product that will filter down over the years to improve equipment at all levels in the future.
Many thanks to SRAM and Zyrofisher for the opportunity to visit. It was truly impressive.