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.
Electric shifting, either you want it, or you don't. The main reason someone would shy away from it was the price. But, now SRAM has made their wireless shifting more affordable with the GX AXS. Our friend, Benjamin, has been running it for some time. See what they think!
I dragged my heels for a while before I was willing to shell out $600 for the SRAM GX Eagle AXS Upgrade Kit. I’d been interested for a while but even when SRAM brought wireless shifting to the GX line, the cost still felt too high. I finally decided to make the shift (ha!) and am happy I did. This is easily one of the best upgrades I’ve made to a bike.
Installing Eagle AXS is really easy,
especially compared to setting up a mechanical derailleur. I think the whole process took me only 30-45 minutes. The derailleur bolts on, the shifter bolts on, and then you pair the system with SRAM’s app on your phone. The pairing process is very easy and will feel familiar if you’ve ever paired a Bluetooth device with your phone. A couple of quick adjustments with the chain gap tool and I was ready to pedal. Getting rid of an extra cable and cleaning up my handlebars was also very satisfying.
The shifting is awesome and the maintenance is even better. I went from feeling like I needed to make bi-weekly adjustments to keep my bike shifting perfectly to never touching anything. I’ve had AXS on my bike for about 2 months and haven’t had to touch it once. It shifts just as well as it did on the first ride. My local trails are quite rocky and despite several bumps and knocks, it has kept its alignment.
How well does it shift? Really well. It’s quick, it’s quiet and it is forgiving if you shift under load. I have my shifter set up to shift continuously if I hold the paddle. This is especially nice when you come around a corner and need to unexpectedly drop several gears to clear an obstacle or make it up a punchy climb.
The derailleur itself is quite a bit larger than the GX derailleur it replaces. The ‘pszzt pszzt’ noise you get when you shift is a bit louder than a perfectly tuned mechanical derailleur. Neither of these is a big deal to me but small considerations if you’re worried about style and aesthetics.
I’ve charged the battery once- aside from an initial charge- in the past two months and probably didn’t need to. I ride 3-5 days each week so I have been impressed by the battery life. I have heard complaints from friends that long road trips can drain the battery (the derailleur wakes up when it senses movement) so I’ve been diligent in removing the battery if I’m driving further than the local trails. The battery and the battery cover have neither come loose nor moved at all throughout my time riding with them. I’ve been caught out in the rain and through a few stream crossings too and haven’t had any issues with waterproofing.
I’m building another new bike now and my experience with this setup convinced me to put an AXS groupset on this new bike too. If you’re tired of adjusting and maintaining a rear derailleur and just want to hop on your bike and have it shift perfectly every time, AXS is the way to go.