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Technology has taken over the mountain bike industry with the introduction of wireless drivetrains and components. SRAM has been leading the way with their AXS drivetrain groupset which offers both reliability and incredible good looks. In this review, our customer tests out the new XX1 Eagle AXS rear derailleur. Read on!
Let me begin by saying that I am a sucker for new technology. I am not a tried and true type of guy when it comes to bikes and bike parts. I like the cutting edge ideas and equipment. But I am an average guy with maybe above average bike skills. However, if the design or part doesn't work, I will get rid of it immediately.
This is the second Eagle AXS derailleur I have purchased. The other is living on my gravel bike. Why? Because I think they are excellent and I wanted consistency in shifting between the two bikes.
Background - I ride east coast singletrack. It's full of quick ups and downs, roots, rock gardens which require a ton of shifting, application of power, and quick moves. It's hell on drivetrains. If they don't shift well or consistency, my trails will expose the weaknesses.
"How does it shift?" My answer is, "It's great because I haven't been paying attention to it. Maybe that's the beauty; when it works right, it's invisible.
Adjustment - The AXS system makes it easy to adjust. No more or less than a mechanical system. Get it set right and leave it. No cable stretch. No changes. Oh, and if you bash it, it returns to where it started. I have tested that. The micro-adjust acts just like a barrel adjustment. But I think it's better and easier. It's been the most stable setup yet.
Software - Easy to set up too. But can be finicky to update. Just make sure you follow the directions. I did run into an error with it, but I deleted and reinstalled the app. As was well again. If you go fully into the software and create an AXS account, it will track a lot of data for you. This is how I quantified how much I shift. On a typical ride, I shift as much as 400 times. There is other stuff too and no doubt SRAM is gathering data for use in other products and systems.
Issues - I had a few questions. SRAM tech answered the phone and helped me.
Ways to improve - Sure. Replacement of parts if it really gets damaged. A core charge program maybe. That makes its lifetime part. For $700, many would sleep better at night.
Is it worth it? That's not for me to decide. I do like it and don't see myself moving away from it. It's been super reliable and fun to have. Sure it carries a high price tag and should. It's an outlier product. Better than a mechanical system? Yeah, I say so. Going to change your life? I hope not. Worth a look? Absolutely.
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