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Today SRAM has announced some bigs news for the mountain bike (and gravel) world with its third-tier GX Eagle 1×12 groupset receiving an AXS (pronounced ‘access’) wireless option.
SRAM’s eco-system of AXS wireless components has stood mostly unchanged since its introduction some two years ago, but now the company is making clear moves to bring the technology down to more accessible price points. The new GX Eagle AXS rear derailleur isn’t cheap at US$370 (battery not included), but it’s a whole lot more affordable than the pre-existing X01 and XX1 AXS derailleurs that sell for US$500 and US$700 respectively.
The new GX AXS hits its lower price through the use of cheaper (and heavier) materials. A GX AXS rear derailleur, which features a steel cage, is 472 grams, while an X01 version sits at 364 grams.
Shifting performance should remain comparable to SRAM’s more expensive offerings given the same improved derailleur geometry, wireless protocol, servo motor, Lithium-Ion battery and even Type-3 roller bearing clutch all carry over. Rear derailleur battery life remains unchanged at a claimed 20+ hours, and the system retains its IPX7 waterproof rating.
Likewise, the new GX AXS derailleurs feature the Overload Clutch which in the event of an impact will momentarily disengage the derailleur motor in order to protect the unit and derailleur hanger. In theory, this should make AXS more resilient to direct impact versus a mechanical derailleur (still, beware of the dreaded stick).
The new AXS derailleur and controller (shifter) are designed to be a direct (and incredibly easy) fit for existing SRAM Eagle-equipped (12-speed) bikes. SRAM’s Eagle GX-level 12-speed chain, XD cassettes (10-50T or 10-52T) and DUB cranks remain unchanged.
This announcement isn’t only relevant to mountain bikers, but also gravel riders wishing to adopt a wide-range 1x system, too. Much like the XX1 and X01 AXS rear derailleurs, the new GX AXS can be paired with AXS road shifters for a wide-range 1x setup.
SRAM will offer the new GX Eagle AXS as individual components or as a US$600 “upgrade kit” that includes the derailleur, controller, battery, charger and other small items needed to convert an existing SRAM Eagle-equipped bike to AXS wireless.
SRAM has also announced an AXS battery cover, a lightweight plastic bash-guard that works with all AXS mountain bike derailleurs. This optional extra costs US$20.
You can learn more about the new SRAM GX Eagle AXS product, including a hands-on look, over at pinkbike.com.