With Ronny James Dio blaring in the background we prepared our palette for the swap. The mission ahead of us was one Open One+, currently built with SRAM’s highly capable and first to market ultra wide range (10-50t), and first to market 12-speed mountain group called Eagle. (Cue bird of prey screech here).
The fine folks from Chicago decided it was time for a change with the Eagle cockpit; they said "move over bacon now there’s something cleaner." Call it eTap Eagle, call it wireless mountain, they call it AXS. And we cleaned up our One+ Eagle demo bike by making that swap.
Away with the derailleur, the cable and housing, ditch that shifter, and as a bonus, punch out that bottom bracket—we’re not only going AXS Eagle, this one is stepping up to DUB.
Apart from that bearing swap, the translation to the wireless shifting was tantamount to the blink of an eye. Brake levers remained, the MatchMaker mount accepted the eTap thumb shifter, as expected. The lever feel is pretty much also as familiar feeling as the road eTap we’re all used to. What’s different is the button access that their shape and location provide.
With the new cable-free clutch derailleur mounted, chain threaded through, digitally paired with the shifter, limits set, done and dusted, it's ready to ride! We even kept the original Eagle cassette and chain—despite really being tempted to run the new “Rainbow” [in the Dark] chain that features a beautiful swirly color pattern on its surface.
Pairing was a piece of cake of course, we look forward to exploring all the features and customization options that will be available to riders with the phone app. Granted, our cockpit would have cleaned up even more with the inclusion of a different fork remote, but we’re waiting to see what else SRAM has in development for wireless suspension lockout. That being said a 27.2 diameter Reverb would do this Open One+ a solid allowing it to utilize the complementing RockShox AXS dropper post remote.
That’s the heart of the new system as well, hence the name adaptation I guess too. eTap and AXS; the latter refers to the group’s feature of “access” by its customization: the Eagle derailleur will be able to work with the new road AXS levers and vice versa. Blips will be programmable to work with a dropper on your road bike, etc etc etc.