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SRAM Red AXS etap - questions

I am currently running mechanical DA 9100. I have been 'kicking the tyres' on SRAM red as I like the idea of wireless shifting, among other features. 12 speed I can take or leave - but it seems you cannot get hold of 11speed SRAM etap anywhere anyway.

1) can you only run SRAM flat top chain with SRAM AXS 12 speed? Or will, say, KMC X12 work? I read that the oversized rollers on SRAM chain mean you are locked in to the SRAM chain?

2) Will the SRAM chain run ok on DA 9100 11 speed chainset? I have a Stages power meter so I don't want the additional cost of swapping chainset.

3) Will the SRAM Red levers work ok with DA rim brake calipers?

Or maybe I will wait and see what Shimano do with DA next....

Thanks for your input!


  • paulbnixpaulbnix Posts: 515
    I've had 11s Red Etap for about 4 years now and your post raises some concern with getting replacements so I had a search.

    I found a pair of shifters and it looks like SRAM have created a new rear derailleur for 11s using the AXS as a basis so that is available.
    I couldn't find a FD but I didn't look that long.

    If you could find an FD then you could go wireless and keep your brakes and chainset.

    The batteries and charger are the same for both the original Etap and AXS.
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,398
    1. Theoretically, you're locked in to using the Sram chain. There's lots of reports online of people using other chains, but the problem is that while those other chains will run and shift alright, the longevity will likely suffer because the roller dimensions don't match.
    2. Not with the standard chainrings for the same reason as above. However, Rotor make AXS compatible chainrings with a Shimano compatible asymmetric 110 BCD 4 bolt pattern, so there's an option there. Also, your chainrings are probably currently bigger than is ideal and with a bigger gap between the chainrings. AXS generally has 13t between the small and large rings, a compact or semi-compact have a 16t gap, so even if the chain would run on the chainrings, the front shifting may suffer.
    3. They won't feel exactly the same, but will work. The Shimano lever pulls more cable, so you'll need to set the pads closer to the rim to get decent braking before the lever comes to the bar. Some people may actually prefer that. It was somewhat common to pair Shimano calipers with Sram levers a couple of years back before Sram released a direct mount rim caliper.
  • I have said this on other threads but 11 speed etap is not easy to get hold of. You will find little bits of stock but other than the new RD with the damper I have been told by a number of bike shops that Sram do not manufacture any 11 spd etap components anymore.

    Can confirm the levers work perfectly with the DA rim brakes, had this set up myself.

    With 12 speed axs, I'd recommend you hear it in person if you were tempted. It is noisy as hell (red and force). I have seen it being fitted in a couple of bike shops and when the mechanics showed it me I was very surprised. I have sram on all my bikes and have no issues, but wouldn't touch axs.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    Utter sh1te. It’s not noisy as hell at all. I run top end Campagnolo mechanical and electronic groupsets on all of my bikes bar one. On that bike I run a Red/Force AXS mix and it’s whisper quiet like the other groups. If your AXS has been fitted by an inept mechanic or home builder then yeah, you might get some noise, but if it’s done right it’s a superb system.

  • It's certainly is not utter sh11te. Sram have a dedicated troubleshooting page on their website for noise created by Force axs as they had complaints. Their advice includes using wet lube, damper rings and allowing a bedding in period. No brand new cassette or groupset should need this to perform quietly. If someone told me only to use wet lube to prevent noise I'd think again about buying it.

    The red axs I heard was set up on a bike by a cytech level 3 mechanic who works on the RAAM as a support mechanic. I would hardly say he was inept, and he admitted it needed a fair few miles to "bed in".

    I am sure many people have quiet axs drive trains but there is clearly an issue if Sram themselves have a page on how to reduce noise.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,112
    Blah blah blah
  • 'Ich lieb' dich nicht, du liebst mich nicht
    aha aha aha'
  • pmannion9pmannion9 Posts: 253
    Well there is obviously an issue as they had to make new dampning rings for the Force cassette..
    One of the solutions they recommend is to change to RED cassette and chain - And the cost involved in that is crazy !!!
    I got a new bike with Force AXS last summer. First experience of electronic shifting etc...I love the easy of shifting and how it works and feels but the drive train noise I find so annoying and that is coming from Shimano Ultegra & Dura ace 10 speed bikes..
    2013 Kinesis Racelight TK3
    2011 Cannondale SuperSix
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite
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