Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
There hasn't been a lot of new styles of drivetrains in years. But we have to admit that electric shifting is pointing us in the right direction. Not only don't you have cable tension to worry about, your shifting is smooth ALL THE TIME. See what one of our customers thinks about their new electric derailleur!
First of all I was unsure of going to wireless shifting, but decided to give it a try since I was building up a new road bike. I always thought I would stick with cable actuated derailleurs, but reading up on the overwhelming positive reviews, especially for the AXS line had me feeling confident I wouldn’t regret it. I chose the SRAM Force AXS XPLR with the 44t max cog and it was going on my road bike as a 1x road bike, which I have had before, but with cable actuated derailleurs. I do think it’s a bit ridiculous that when you pay almost $400 for a derailleur you then have to spend an additional $60 for a battery for that derailleur, but that doesn’t have anything to do with worldwide cyclery, that’s just the SRAM price and I guess all that fancy technology comes at a price.
Setup was pretty straight forward, but I did struggle to get the Microshift setup just right, but realized I was doing it wrong, it may take a video to help you get it setup as it is different than cable actuated derailleurs and that’s what I am used to. Don’t forget to set the b gap up to the specific cassette you are using, it comes with a pretty cool red tool that makes this straight forward and pretty simple, but if not setup correctly then it can cause bad shifting or some noise.
The shifting is so precise and quiet it is awesome! I really like the way you can customize it with the app and if you want to hold the shifter to shift all of the way up the cassette or down the cassette. Plus not having to worry about cable tension or replacing cables and housing is going to be nice. The battery lasts a long time, claimed 60 hours I believe, and to my experience that seems accurate. I do take the battery off during any transport to prevent it from draining the battery, because it senses motion and will drain the battery (that is what I read anyway). I have to admit the first time I took my bike out I got about half a mile down the road and went to shift and it would not shift. I looked at the derailleur and saw the red battery cover on there still and I had forgotten to put the battery on. Hopefully I won’t make that mistake again.
Now for the real question, would I choose wireless or cable actuated if I had to choose again? I don’t see any downside to the AXS derailleur so far, it shifts smoother and seems quieter. I guess if anything it may be that you have to keep up with that little battery, but I wear glasses and always have my case with me for my prescription sunglasses, so I just always leave it in that case. As of now I have no complaints about the SRAM Force AXS XPLR derailleur and I believe I would purchase it again if I had to make the choice again. Oh plus it looks pretty awesome with the iridescent look to it, which looks really cool especially if the sun hits it just right.