A couple of snapshots were enough to drop the bomb in the mountainbiking world. SRAM pushed forward its wireless shifting system, the XX1 Eagle eTap, which began to see active service. It was an expected move, nontheless this didn’t cut back on the excitement the news brought. So, 2 years after the SRAM Red eTap was launched, the wireless system for road, the mountain bike range is going to receive its share of wire-free electricity. Foto comment:
In 2016, SRAM was launching the road wireless system, and 2 years after that the step of transferring the technology to the mountain bike range got completed. The time gap may look big, but when you witness the end-product, you can’t help feeling the waiting was worth it. Simplicity has never been more obvious and more functional than now. Easy to install, the entire kit includes just a shifter and a rear derailleur. No cables, no hoods, no joints, no nothing.
In relation to its complexity, the Red eTap had a starting price of 2.700 euros, although nowadays you can find it for even 1.100 euros, with all components included – shifting levers, derailleurs, charger. Judging by this precedent, you can expect a similar starting price for the Eagle eTap, though lower would make more sense, since less parts are involved, and a drop in the price as time goes by.
The photo above indicates we’re dealing with a shifter that will host two buttons, and a derailleur. SRAM will use the same one-chainring drivetrain to a 12-sprocket cassette, keeping true to their single-chainring-for-life policy.
The design is simple and clean, and coupled with the huge 12-gear cassette, it looks more than appealing. Also, the handlebar is as barren as on a singlespeed bike. In regard of weight, the SRAM Red eTap derailleur tips the scale at 239 grams, battery included, compared to the 165 grams of the mechanical version. The 75 grams of difference mean little, since you remove all of the cables and hoods. As for the SRAM Eagle XX1 eTap, weight differences will probably be similar, therefore expect the same perks.
Autonomy should be in the range of 1.000 kilometers, depending on the weather conditions, which is more than reasonable.
So, there’s nothing to do but wait for the official launch, where we can find out all the technical details and commercial ones as well. Oh, and don’t forget testing…