SRAM GX Eagle AXS Drivetrain Upgrade Kit [Rider Review]

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.

Not too long ago, Sram dropped the GX AXS. For those that weren't willing to spend a lot of money for wireless shifting, the GX made it a lot easier. Our customer has been running the system on their E-bike. See what they think!

SRAM GX Eagle AXS Drivetrain Upgrade Kit


When SRAM came out with the GX version of AXS I wanted it but my NX was shifting fine and there is nothing more reliable than a cable, right?  Well when the shifting started getting wonky and I was spending more and more time twisting the barrel to get it to work the way I wanted I knew it was finally time, I had my excuse to go electric.  Maybe the chain needed lube but the new derailleur sounded much better.  I have an eMTB so I am already into the whole app-tuning Bluetooth connectivity thing, I love being able to capture data and tweak settings with a friendly user interface so electronic was the way to go.

I pulled out the cable, put on a new UDH, because I wanted everything perfect, and started following the setup instructions.  Pressing the button the right way and getting the Bluetooth connected took a couple of tries but eventually, I got the derailleur moving. The controller showed up in the app but said it wasn't connected, but it was shifting.  Lining up the derailleur with the second cog was hard with my 2.6 rear tire and micro adjustments with the controller didn't seem to make adjustments, but again with a little re-reading and using my phone camera to see around the tire, I got it lined up.  To be honest, it was pretty close right out of the box, I'm not sure I improved.

SRAM GX Eagle AXS Drivetrain Upgrade Kit

Time to Ride.

I was excited about the single-button paddle, putting my thumb in one spot and shifting, no more twisting the wrist to reach.  I have arthritis and the light touch was perfect to prevent inflaming my thumb joints.  The problem was I had a hard time positioning the button.  I like up-shifts (smaller cogs) to be fast and always within reach without having to reposition my hand, because I am going faster and faster and don't want to loosen my grip on the bars, so I rotated the paddle forward.  But that made it so I was pushing up, instead of forward to down-shift (larger cog) which felt weird.  I moved the paddle in, out, forward, and back and never really got to a position where forward on the bottom down-shifted and forward on the top up-shifted and was always missing shifts.

I ordered the alternate paddle with the two buttons and that solved my actuation issue.  Positioned similarly to the mechanical controller with the forward button for up-shift and the larger inner button for down-shift the buttons fell easily into position and shifting was the buttery smooth light touch control I was expecting.

While the controller took some getting used to the crisp, precise shifting did not.  Right out of the box every gear was indexed perfectly and a light poke of the paddle resulted in an immediate, accurate change of gears.  So much better than the cable system, no more pushing to the next gear but the cable didn't quite get there so you have to un-shift and re-shift.  Poke the button, next gear every time.  In fact it does it so fast and cleanly if I am in an accelerating or decelerating situation sometimes I can't tell if it shifted, but another poke gets me to the right gear.

Final Thoughts

I understand some people are reluctant to rely on a battery that could be depleted and ruin their ride, but setting that aside I think every bike should come with this system.  It is on high build levels but I would retrofit the GX AXS onto a lower build without waiting for the original derailleur to wear out, it is that good.  Unless you ride a single-speed you care about what gear you are in and want it to be as easy and reliable as possible to get there.  The AXS system makes that the standard, not the goal of countless hours fussing with cable tension and barrel adjustments.  And I haven't even felt the need to go into the micro-adjust for each gear, AXS gives you total control over your shifting that is unachievable with a cable system.  Many take their bike to the shop because tweaking a mechanical derailleur is something of a black art, AXS moves those magic hands into an easy-to-use app that most will find very intuitive to use, so no more $100 tune-ups.

SRAM GX Eagle AXS Drivetrain Upgrade Kit

March 31, 2023

AXS › Eagle AXS › GX Eagle AXS › Rider Review › SRAM ›

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