Following in the footsteps of the Force eTap AXS Wide driveline introduced in May, SRAM has now added a similar gear for a wide range of gears for the flagship Red eTap AXS group set.
The key addition is a new Red eTap AXS Max rear derailleur, which actually does not use a longer pulley cage as you would expect. Instead, it has a modified upper knuckle that drops the entire gear slightly down for a more appropriate chain spacing and chain wraps with larger cartridges than what is available with the standard version. Everything else is transferred, including the pulley cage, the parallelogram, the Orbit fluid clutch, the battery and so on.
This change allows the Red eTap AXS Max rear saver to now handle a 36-tooth cassette wheel, while the regular one reaches 33T. SRAM also says that the rear saver should not be used with a large cassette wheel smaller than 28T, but it is unlikely to roughen many springs.
Of course, SRAM’s official position is that the current Red eTap AXS rear saver cannot be modified to work with the 10-36T either. That said, the modifications to the Red eTap AXS Max tracker change very much like what you would get by adding something like a Wolf Tooth RoadLink adapter plate.
In any case, the alternatives to the chain tools with Red eTap AXS are unchanged – and there is no equivalent “Wide” crankset with a wider Q-factor as with Force – so the lowest possible climbing equipment you can get with Red is 33-36T instead of 30- 36T . But it still gives you an under-1: 1 climbing gear while also giving you a generous 46-10T topping (equivalent to a 50-11T).
Of course, you can always choose one of the larger chainring combinations if you want, and there is still the freedom to go with a 1x or 2x layout as well.
When it comes to cassettes, SRAM has unfortunately not added a 10-36T red level cassette to match; the only option is the XG-1270 model from the Force family, with its heavier PinDome construction instead of the red cassette’s lighter (and more expensive) fully machined design. SRAM has at least given the XG-1270 a new nickel-chrome finish for a more exclusive look.
“SRAM is always working with new product designers,” reads the company’s official statement on the subject, “but does not comment on any potential future product development.”
And speaking of Force, the 10-26T XG-1270 cartridge has been discontinued altogether, probably due to its low adoption rate (which is not surprising).
The suggested retail price for the new Red eTap AXS Max rear saver is US $ 710 / AU $ TBC / £ 610 / € 685 – and the battery is not included. The updated XG-1270 nickel finish cartridge costs US $ 185 / AU $ TBC / £ 170 / € 190. Both should be available for purchase immediately.
More information can be found at www.sram.com.