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SRAM's electronic AXS drivetrain is one of the most revolutionary mountain bike components since the dropper post, and the XX1 version is the lightest and highest performing version of them all. Our buddy Eric recently installed it on his bike and has been loving the instantaneous shifting. Read on for more!
So for starters, this thing is expensive, no doubt about that. It’s $1,000 for the upgrade kit which includes all you need to upgrade your existing 12-speed eagle setup. Why did I spend a grand on just an upgrade kit you ask? Because of reasons. I love blowing all my money on bike stuff!
So down to the review. If you’re running all SRAM, to begin with, the hardest part of the install is removing all the ancient mechanical equipment. Just remove the old shifter from the handlebar and bolt in the electronic shifter if you’re using MatchMaker clamps. We also have a full article and video outlining how to install your AXS Eagle drivetrain.
The derailleur setup is basically identical to a mechanical one: set the high and low limit screws and adjust the b-tension using the included b-gap tool. Super simple. For a hardtail, in my case, you just put the gap guide on and make sure the arrow lines up with the upper pulley.
If you have a full suspension, you need to make that adjustment at sag so you might need a buddy to help you/ drool over your new piece of kit. After that, you just need to charge the battery and then pair everything together. Once you have everything together, everything should work great and shifting will be spot on. If it’s not, you can make micro-adjustments using the shifter. Just hold the AXS button on the bottom of the shifter and shift either up or down to move the derailleur in tiny increments.
The AXS app is available for your smartphone and makes install and adjustment easy. I like using the APP to help make adjustments because it tells you what position the derailleur is in so you can keep track of how adjusted it is to go back to how it was if you need it.
Out on the trail, I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this thing is. Once it's dialed in on the stand, it will stay dialed in.
No cable stretch, no half shifts or over shifts. Just crisp reliable shifting every time. It’s incredible.
The battery life is great as well. I’ve been riding with this derailleur for a few months now and I’ve only had to charge the battery once. I did however buy a spare battery to keep in my bike bag just in case. You never know! I can’t begin to say how great this new technology is. And the best part is that you can buy the GX AXS upgrade kit for $400 less! You get a little bit of a weight penalty, but the motor that does the shifting, as well as the shifter is basically identical.
If I had to go back, I would probably go with the X01 AXS kit for $200 less, because I’m not too concerned about weight and I could put the savings toward something else on my bike, like an AXS Reverb! All in all, I do not regret my purchase. This derailleur makes me glad that I’m alive and well in this day and age for mountain biking. The technology is incredible and is only improving. If you go with any of the AXS upgrades, whether GX, X01, or XX1, you will not be disappointed!