The SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12-Speed HRD Groupset is a wireless, 12-speed electronic groupset that offers an impressive array of features and versatile gearing options.
As the second-tier groupset in SRAM’s road range, it provides a more affordable alternative to the flagship Red groupset without compromising on performance.
The shifting performance is seamless and efficient, with customizable shifting modes to suit individual preferences.
Despite its slightly higher weight compared to the Red groupset, the Force eTap AXS delivers reliable performance on the road.
In this review, we’ll check out the key components of the Force eTap AXS groupset, highlighting its exceptional shifting, innovative design, and overall value for riders.
SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12spd HRD Groupset Key Features
Here’s a table highlighting the key features of the SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12-Speed HRD Groupset:
|Groupset Type||Wireless, 12-speed electronic groupset|
|Shifting System||Electronic shifting with wireless communication between shifters and derailleurs|
|Levers||Chunky design with hydraulic master cylinders, ergonomic hoods, adjustable reach and brake point, single large paddle for shifting|
|Front and Rear Derailleurs||Reliable performance, fluid damper for reduced chain slap in rear derailleur, Yaw technology in front derailleur for chain alignment throughout travel|
|Crankset||Centrepiece of the groupset, X-Range gearing for tightly spaced options and wide-range cassettes, double crank options of 46/33t and 48/35t, 1x crank options from 36t to 48t, compatible with DUB bottom bracket|
|Cassette and Chain||12-speed cassette with various ratios, affordable design with three smallest cogs machined from one billet, narrower construction of chain for better cog clearance and strength|
|Brakes||Reliable and modulated braking performance, hydraulic disc brake version with flat mount calipers, rim brake version with non-series S-900 brakes, DOT5.1 brake fluid used in hydraulic brakes|
|Connectivity and AXS App||Built-in connectivity for customization via the AXS app, assign functions to switches, personalize shifting modes, monitor battery life|
|Weight||Approximately 2,815g for specific component configurations, slightly heavier than the Red eTap AXS setup|
SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12-Speed HRD Groupset Review
While it may lack the glamour of the flagship Red groupset, it provides an affordable way to experience the benefits of a wireless groupset. Here’s a breakdown of each feature so that you can understand why this is a good option for you.
Smooth and Seamless Operation
The SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD levers showcase a sturdy design, featuring substantial hoods housing the hydraulic master cylinders. Though the aesthetics may not rival the Red version, the ergonomic design is excellent.
The brake levers and shift paddles are easily accessible from both the hoods and drops, with a gentle flare aiding natural finger placement. Conveniently, you can adjust the reach and brake point through user-friendly bolts above and below the levers.
On top of that, the shifting experience with the Force eTap AXS groupset is smooth and seamless. Utilizing a single large paddle on each shifter, the shifting is purely electronic, ensuring precision without mechanical linkages.
Furthermore, the left paddle controls shift to easier gears at the back, while the right paddle handles harder gears. Front shifting is significantly improved compared to earlier SRAM DoubleTap mechanical groupsets.
However, the shift paddles provide a satisfying click, allowing for multiple sprocket shifts by merely holding the paddles down. For further customization, the shifting arrangements can be fine-tuned using the AXS app.
Innovative Design for Reliable Performance
The front and rear derailleurs in the SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset offer reliability and innovative design features. The rear derailleur accommodates a maximum cassette sprocket size of 33t, with the smallest chainring available being 36t.
While this gearing might not suit highly adventurous riders without integrating Eagle AXS components, it remains compatible with the SRAM AXS ecosystem. Notably, the rear derailleur incorporates SRAM’s Orbit fluid damper, effectively reducing chain slap without the resistance associated with mechanical clutches.
Additionally, the front derailleur employs Yaw technology, enabling it to rotate and maintain alignment with the chain throughout its travel.
Versatile Gearing and Solid Power Transmission
The SRAM Force eTap AXS crankset is a centerpiece of the groupset, providing a broad range of gearing options and reliable power transmission. Although it may not boast the same aesthetics as the Red version, it does offer the advantage of individually replaceable chainrings at a lower cost.
However, the Force eTap AXS crankset implements SRAM’s X-Range gearing, delivering tightly spaced options and accommodating wide-range cassettes. Cyclists can choose from double crank options of 46/33t and 48/35t, or 1x crank options ranging from 36t to 48t.
Moreover, the crankset’s DUB bottom bracket design ensures compatibility with most frames.
Durable Components for a Smooth Ride
The SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset features a 12-speed cassette, available in various ratios, including 10-26t, 10-28t, and 10-33t. While the XG-1270 cassette design might not be as premium as the Red version, it remains more affordable and durable, with the three smallest cogs machined from one billet and the rest pinned together.
And it’s essential to note that replacing the cassette can still be relatively expensive. As for the chain, the Force eTap AXS chain shares the same flat-top design as the Red chain, but with solid pins rather than hollow ones.
Its narrower construction offers increased clearance with adjacent cogs without compromising strength. It is crucial to pair the Force AXS and Red AXS chains with the Force AXS cassettes for optimal performance.
Modulated and Reliable Stopping Power
The SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset delivers reliable and modulated braking performance, especially with the hydraulic disc brake version. The disc brake calipers are flat mount only, so it’s essential to consider your bike’s requirements during assembly.
While SRAM does not offer groupset-matching direct-mount calipers, suitable third-party alternatives can be sourced if needed. For the rim brake version of the groupset, the non-series S-900 brakes are employed, although they might not blend aesthetically as well as the hydraulic disc brakes.
Riders should take note that SRAM hydraulic brakes use DOT5.1 brake fluid, necessitating cautious handling during maintenance.
Enhancing User Experience
The SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset offers seamless connectivity through the AXS app, enhancing user experience. While it’s possible to use the groupset without external connections, the AXS app allows for useful customizations.
Riders can assign functions to switches, personalize shifting modes, and monitor battery life via the app. On the other hand, the built-in connectivity eliminates the need for additional hardware, simplifying the process of pairing components directly with a smartphone or tablet.
This empowers cyclists to tailor their shifting preferences and elevate their overall riding experience with ease.
Lightweight Performance with Wireless Capabilities
The SRAM Force eTap AXS HRD 2x groupset weighs approximately 2,815g, depending on the specific component configurations chosen, such as chainrings, crank length, bottom bracket, cassette, and rotor size.
While it might be slightly heavier than the Red eTap AXS setup, it remains impressively lightweight considering its wireless electronic capabilities. Cyclists must remember that the groupset’s weight can fluctuate based on individual choices and bike requirements.
Nevertheless, the Force eTap AXS groupset delivers dependable and consistent shifting performance, more than compensating for any nominal weight difference.
#1. Is the SRAM Force eTap AXS compatible with other SRAM groupsets?
Ans: Yes, the SRAM Force eTap AXS is compatible with other SRAM AXS groupsets, including the Red AXS and Eagle AXS components, allowing riders to mix and match for a more tailored setup.
#2. How does the wireless shifting of the SRAM Force eTap AXS work?
Ans: The wireless shifting of the SRAM Force eTap AXS uses an electronic signal to communicate between the shifters and derailleurs, eliminating the need for traditional mechanical cables.
#3. Can I customize the shifting preferences of the SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset?
Ans: Yes, the shifting arrangements can be customized through the AXS app, allowing riders to assign functions to switches and personalize shifting modes according to their preferences.
#4. What are the gearing options available with the SRAM Force eTap AXS crankset?
Ans: The SRAM Force eTap AXS crankset offers double crank options of 46/33t and 48/35t, as well as 1x crank options ranging from 36t to 48t, providing a wide range of gearing choices.
The SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12-Speed HRD Groupset offers a range of appealing features and well-thought-out gearing options.
With its competitive pricing and reliable performance, the SRAM Force eTap AXS 2x 12-Speed HRD Groupset is a compelling option for riders seeking a wireless electronic groupset.