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SRAM eTap and XX1 Eagle Groups

As one of the two top component manufacturers, you expect top notch stuff from SRAM especially when you are talking about their top groups. You hope for technological break throughs which is exactly what they gave us with their last two top tier groups, eTap and XX1 Eagle.

The XX1 Eagle group not only improved on the quick, effective shifting of its predecessor, but gave us the range of a 2X10 setup in the simplicity of a 1X. That range is made possible with the massive 50 tooth cog that sits at the top of the new cassette. In many cases, it’s bigger than the rotor sitting on the opposite side of the wheel. Couple that huge, dinner plate of a cog with the tiny 10 tooth one and you have a drivetrain that gives you 500% range bringing back the bailout gear we used to love when we had multiple rings up front.

Of course, the big break through is giving that range without bringing back the front derailleur. This leaves the cockpit clean. By giving up the front shifter, dropper post levers can now be mounted on the left side of the bar in that perfect spot.

Everything else you would expect from the group is spot on. Shifting is crisp and continues with the traditional SRAM positive lever feel. Weight is what you would expect, super light. The best thing about it is that it is backward compatible with any 11 speed bike meaning you can breathe some new life into your bike by upgrading to a new drivetrain.

SRAM was a little behind the curve with producing an electrically driven shift system. Both Shimano and Campagnolo have had multiple groups available for years prior to the release of eTap.

The feature that set eTap apart is the complete elimination of the cables, being the first wireless shifting group. The group has two batteries mounted to each derailleurs which sync with the shift levers (also ran by small watch batteries). Setting up the group is super easy. Bolt it on, sync the shifters, make any minor adjustments needed for the differences in wheels/cassettes/frames and you are set. There is no running wires or cables through the frame.

The often overlooked feature that SRAM revolutionized with their latest road offering was how intuitive the shifting is. Instead of having two buttons on both sides like its competitors, eTap has one lever per shifter. The right shifter makes the rear derailleur go up, the left makes it go down. Want to shift the front derailleur? Just hold both buttons at once and it will move up or down depending on its starting location. Simple, easy and surprisingly effective.

Just like the XX1 Eagle, eTap hits on all the other features you would expect from a high-end group. It’s lightweight, durable and great looking.

Swing by the shop to try them out. We have bikes with both groups in the store or if you want to freshen up your current steed, we can do that as well.


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