SRAM road groupsets: All of SRAM's 1x and 2x groupset options

SRAM Force groupset
(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM road bike groupsets offer the most diverse range of options of all the big three brands. Its groupsets have eclipsed both Shimano road groupsets and Campagnolo groupsets in the sheer range of offerings. They cover both road riding and gravel biking, where SRAM was a pioneer with wider range 1x options well before Shimano gravel groupsets or Campagnolo Ekar came to market.

SRAM is also the only brand to offer fully wireless electronic shifting with its eTap AXS groupsets, and, until the most recent iteration of Shimano Di2, had the lead on in-built configuration via a Bluetooth app.

SRAM groupsets are used by seven Women's WorldTour teams and in the men's WorldTour by the Trek-Segafredo and Movistar teams, as well as adding Jumbo-Visma to its roster in 2023.

Here's a run-through of the SRAM road bike groupset range and what it offers. But first, a quick guide to SRAM's groupset terminology.

SRAM road groupsets: Terminology and hierarchy

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SRAM divides its road bike groupsets into four ranges. At the top is RED which is its premium groupset used by its sponsored pro teams. Next down is Force, then Rival, and finally Apex. The same hierarchy is applied to its 12-speed AXS electronic groupsets and its older 11-speed and 10-speed groupsets.

AXS is SRAM's name for its 12-speed wireless electronic groupset tech, and its accompanying configuration app. The 11-speed SRAM RED electronic groupset was labelled eTap and SRAM ported this label to its 12-speed eTap AXS groupsets too, but it's now dropping the eTap from the nomenclature, just calling them Force AXS, etc. 

Within each groupset tier, there are double chainring 2x and single chainring 1x (aka one-by) options. AXS groupsets also add wider range XPLR cassettes and derailleurs, aimed at gravel riders. 

SRAM road groupsets: Range overview

SRAM Red eTap AXS

(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM RED AXS

12-speed and wireless, it's the ultimate in modern shifting with a wide range of options3

Specifications

Shifting: Wireless
Braking: Disc, dual pivot rim
Speeds: 1x12, 2x12
Weight: 2101g 2x rim / 2,518g 2x disc
Cranks: 165mm - 177.5mm
Chainrings 2x: 46/33, 48/35, 50/37
Chainrings 1x: 36t, 38t, 40t, 42t, 44t, 46t, 48t, 50t
Cassette: 10-26t, 10-28t, 10-33t

Reasons to buy

+
Fully wireless shifting
+
Cross compatibility with MTB components
+
Wide range 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive at RRP
-
Power meter and chainrings are a one-piece inseparable unit
-
A little heavier than Shimano Dura-Ace

RED AXS is the second generation of SRAM's wireless groupset which saw the entire system overhauled from the ground up. Available in both rim- and disc-brake varieties, the addition of a twelfth cog to the rear cassette has spawned a new XDR cassette and freehub body and chain standard. 

At the back, the rear mech features Orbit - a speed-sensitive fluid damper which does the same job as a roller-bearing clutch. The fluid damper allows the derailleur cage to rotate forward smoothly during shifting so as not to overtax the motors or battery. This new system also eliminates chain slap and improves security; meaning the same derailleur can be used with both 1x and 2x front chainrings. 

The standard rear mech works with cassettes up to 36 teeth and two chainrings, but the SRAM RED XPLR derailleur allows you to fit a 10-36t or 10-44t cassette with a single chainring for gravel or 1x road duties. Both front and rear derailleurs have their own separate batteries attached to the back of the derailleur body to power their shifting for a claimed 60 hours. They are quickly removable for recharging on a USB powered cradle.

If you are running a 2x setup, the front derailleur has been reshaped to make more room for gravel wheels and is claimed to clear up to 42mm tyres. The front derailleur cage's yaw design means that, unlike Shimano Di2 units, the derailleur doesn't need to self-trim as you shift up and down the cassette. At both ends, the derailleurs have new chips and motors which provide faster shifting than 11-speed RED eTap. 

The cranks will accept both single and double chainrings, which are all single piece in construction - you can purchase them with a built-in Quarq power meter. While this creates a stiffer and lighter unit, if you wear out or damage one of the chainrings, you'll need to replace the entire unit, including the power meter. The retail cost is over €1000, although SRAM offers a 50 per cent discount on a replacement unit. 

SRAM is offering three one-piece cassettes milled from a single steel billet; 10-26t, 10-28t, and 10-33t, which combine with both 1x and 2x chainrings — the jumps between the 2x chainrings are 13-teeth in every combo. Even if you opt for a smaller chainring at the front, the 12-speed cassette offers an extensive spread of ratios thanks to the 10-tooth cog. In most cases, this offers a broader range than traditional road gearing. There's a new iridescent option too, if you want to show off a bit. 

The 10-tooth smallest sprocket means that SRAM 12-speed cassettes are only compatible with road bike wheels with an SRAM XDR freehub.

Complete RED chainsets are available in 46/33t, 48/35t and 50/37t. This sounds as if it would give low gearing, but when paired with a 10-tooth cassette sprocket, this still offers a bigger top gear than the more commonly-found 53x11. You can also buy a separate power meter kit, which adds 52/39t, 54/41t and 56/43t options, designed for pro riders and time trials.

SRAM sells single chainring cranksets with between 36 and 50 teeth in two-tooth increments as they feature a narrow-wide tooth profile to better mesh with the chain,  and 48t, 50t and 52t power meter kits. All have filled-in, rather than drilled chainrings to up their aero quotient.

To make room for that extra cog at the back, the gear spacing has once again got smaller resulting in a narrower chain. SRAM has bolstered the chain by introducing a new flat-top construction, which is claimed to add strength and improve shift performance.

The new groupset is integrated into SRAM's AXS ecosystem, meaning it will play nice with the Eagle AXS derailleur should you want to use the 12-speed MTB cassette on your gravel bike, or the RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post should you feel the need to get extra rowdy. 

AXS can also talk wirelessly to a companion app and allows you to customise the shifting controls, including the Blip remotes as well as monitor the battery life and firmware updates. 

Most RED AXS groupsets are supplied with SRAM HRD hydraulic disc brakes and levers, but you can also purchase RED rim brakes and the associated mechanical shift/brake levers. SRAM sells aero brake levers for TT bars as well as wired and wireless Blips satellite shifters that can be linked into the AXS system.

SRAM Force 2023 groupset

(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM Force AXS

Trickle-down tech at its finest

Specifications

Shifting: Wireless
Braking: Disc
Speeds: 1x12, 2x12
Weight: 2922g 2x disc
Cranks: 165mm - 177.5mm
Chainrings 2x : 46-33t, 48-35t, 50/37t
Chainrings 1x: 40t
Cassette: 10-28t, 10-33t, 10-36t

Reasons to buy

+
Same guts and performance as RED AXS, just a bit heavier
+
Huge range of configurations

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than Ultegra Di2

SRAM Force AXS is the perfect example of trickle-down technology. It's had an upgrade in early 2023, which has given it a new look and simplified some components.

Yes, it's slightly heavier and less bling than the Red equivalent but on the road, Force AXS offers more or less the exact same performance. The new Force AXS groupset even looks more like RED than its predecessor: Instead of the separate chainrings and crank spider, it gets the one-piece direct mount chainrings used by RED. As with RED, the power meter is integrated, so you need to replace the whole unit once it's worn out. 

All the electronics are the same, but the new Force groupset has had its shift levers slimmed down. This makes them easier to grip, but removes bite point adjustment for the brakes and the option to fit wired Blips satellite shifters, although you can still use wireless Blips.

Other differences carried forward from V1 Force AXS include the cassette, which is pinned together as opposed to a one-piece machined unit. There's a 10-36t option for use with double chainrings, giving a little more range than RED, although the 10-26t option from RED is dropped.

Like the Red AXS groupset, the rear derailleur also employs the Orbit fluid-based damper meaning the same derailleur works for both 1x and 2x applications and offers added chain security. There's also a 1x-only XPLR derailleur which works with a Force-level 10-44t cassette.

The crank arms are aluminium wrapped in carbon rather than hollow carbon fibre. Force eTap AXS still gets a flat-top chain, though the pins are solid and the chainrings are stamped rather than milled. 

With its emphasis on gravel riding, SRAM offers single chainring and double chainring Wide cranksets. These have a 5mm wider axle than a standard chainset that shifts the chainline 2.5mm outboard, allowing you to fit wider tyres. They also offer lower gearing, with a 40t single chainring chainset and power meter and 43/30t chainset and power meter (with separate chairings and spider) sold. There's a Wide front derailleur that's needed to work with this.

As part of the AXS ecosystem, Force AXS components can talk to Red AXS and Eagle AXS parts and can be mixed and matched without concerns about compatibility. The new Force AXS groupset is disc brake only.

SRAM Rival AXS groupset

(Image credit: SRAM)
Electronic shifting at a budget price

Specifications

Shifting: Wireless
Braking: Disc
Speeds: 1x12, 2x12
Weight: 3200g approx 2x, 2800g approx 1x
Cranks: 160mm - 175mm
Chainrings 2x : 46-33t, 48-35t
Chainrings 1x: 40t, 46t
Cassette: 10-30t, 10-36t

Reasons to buy

+
Lowest priced electronic groupset option
+
Robust materials
+
Same 2x, 1x and Wide options as Force AXS

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavier than Shimano

SRAM Rival AXS ports the brand's 12-speed wireless electronic shifting to a third price point. It uses less exotic materials than RED or Force AXS - think steel instead of alloy for the front derailleur cage, alloy instead of carbon fibre for the brake levers and a weight that increases by around 230g over Force and 700g over RED. 

The Orbit rear mech damper from SRAM's pricier options is replaced by a mechanical clutch. The hydraulic disc brakes don't feature SRAM's Bleeding Edge design, making it a bit harder to bleed them and they too are heavier than RED or Force AXS components.

You still get much of SRAM's 12-speed functionality though, with the same wireless gubbins and AXS app compatibility, as well as mix-and-match potential if you fancy a bit of RED with your Rival or a mullet build with an Eagle AXS MTB rear mech and cassette.

As with the new Force, you can't use wired Blips with the shift levers and there's no bite point adjustment to the (disc only) brakes. There's only a single sided power meter option, which is also available as an upgrade (although all Force power meter configurations except the normal width double chainring are also single sided).

Also similar to Force, there are Wide single and double chainring options and a Rival XPLR 1x-only rear mech and 10-44t cassette for gravel riders.  

SRAM Red eTap

(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM Red eTap

Now old but still gold

Specifications

Shifting: Wireless
Braking: Disc, dual pivot rim
Speeds: 2x11
Weight: 1970g rim / 2236g disc
Cranks: 165mm - 175mm
Chainrings 2x: 46/36t, 50/34t, 52/36t, 53/39t, 55/42t
Chainrings 1x: N/A
Cassette: 11-25t, 11-26t, 11-28t, 11-30t, 11-32t

Reasons to buy

+
Intuitive shifting
+
Wireless

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't customise shift commands

SRAM's Red eTap was the first commercially available wireless road groupset, which laid the groundwork for AXS. While it's been superseded for a couple of years now, it's still available and a top-performing option for roadies looking for electronic shifting and content will 11 speeds. RED eTap marked SRAM's intuitive shifting system; push the paddle on the right shifter for a harder gear, the left shifter for an easier gear, and both together to shift at the front. 

Available in both rim- and disc-brake HDR versions, it was the first product to feature SRAM's Airea wireless protocol. According to SRAM, it decided against Bluetooth or ANT+ because the company wanted to avoid interference and stave off would-be hackers, too. 

Red eTap turns 11 cogs at the back and is compatible with brakes, chains, chainrings and cassettes from the Red, Force or Rival mechanical groupsets if you're hoping to mismatch and save cash. 

There are no cables connecting the shifters to the derailleurs. Each derailleur is powered by a separate battery and SRAM says the rechargeable cells should last about 1000km. In contrast, the shifters are powered by CR2032 coin cell batteries but only need to be replaced every couple of years. 

Unlike the AXS kit, Red eTap is not equipped with any sort of clutch or damper, so there's no 1x solution. There are standard or WiFli versions of the mech which can handle up to 28t and 32t cogs respectively. 

SRAM Red 22

(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM Red 22

Still one of the lightest groupsets available

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc, dual pivot rim
Speeds: 1x11, 2x11
Weight: 1778g rim / 1984g disc
Cranks: 162.5mm - 177.5mm
Chainrings: 46/36t, 50/34t, 52/36t, 53/39t, 55/42t
Cassette: 11-25t, 11-26t, 11-28t, 11-30t, 11-32t

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Positive and accurate shifting
+
Comfortable hoods

Reasons to avoid

-
Doubletap takes some getting used to 
-
Hydraulic levers have a divisive aesthetic

Red 22 is the most weight-weenie friendly groupset out there, weighing in about ~200g less than Dura-Ace 9100 and Super Record. Mechanical shifting is also still a hyper-reliable method of shifting that can be fixed at the roadside using traditional methods. 

The DoubleTap Shifters move the chain with a positive click; half a push shifting the derailleurs down to a smaller cog, and a longer stroke pushes it up the cluster. Red 22 also allows cross chaining without the need to trim the YAW front derailleur — though SRAM doesn't necessarily recommend riding this way.

The rear derailleur is available in a standard- and long-cage WiFLi version which allows for a 28t or 32t cog at the rear, and there are front chainrings available from 35t up to 55t. 

SRAM Force 22

(Image credit: SRAM)

SRAM Force 22

Best for the privateer racer

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc, dual pivot rim
Speeds: 2x11
Weight: 2054g rim / 2232g disc
Cranks: 165mm - 175mm
Chainrings 2x: 46/36t, 50/34t, 52/36t, 53/39t
Cassette: 11-25t, 11-26t, 11-28t, 11-32t, 11-36t

Reasons to buy

+
No loss in performance, just a few extra grams on the scale
+
Lighter than Ultegra 11-speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Rim brakes lack in power

Remember what we said about Force AXS eTap and that it's mostly the same as Red just a bit heavier? Well, the same applies to SRAM Force 22. It uses the same DoubleTap mechanical shifting, features the YAW front derailleur and there are both standard and WiFLi versions of the rear derailleur.

Available in both rim- and disc-brake versions, Force 22 is lighter than Shimano Ultegra too, but it's also more expensive. 

With carbon-fibre cranks, Force sees a two-piece arm and spider design which adopts the hidden bolt design used in the previous RED 10-speed crank. Chainrings come in combos ranging from the burly 53/39, down to a mountain friendly 46/36.

SRAM Force 1

(Image credit: SRAM)

Force 1

High-performance CX and gravel grinding groupset

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc
Speeds: 1x11
Weight: 2446g
Cranks: 162.5mm - 177.5mm
Chainrings 1x: 38t, 40t, 42t, 44t, 46t, 48t, 50t, 52t, 54t
Cassette: 11-25t, 11-26t, 11-28t, 11-32t, 11-36t, 10-42t

Reasons to buy

+
Clutch rear derailleur
+
Narrow-wide tooth profiles

Reasons to avoid

-
Cassette has a few big jumps

Previously known as CX 1, SRAM Force 1 takes the same materials and performance as Force 22 but ditches the front derailleur. SRAM forced the extinction of the MTB front mech as well as led the road/gravel/CX 1x movement. 

Only available with hydraulic disc brakes, the main difference between Force 22 and Force 1 is in the rear derailleur and 1x crankset. Force 1 is designed for bikes likely to spend most of their time away from paved roads, so it's no surprise to see it borrowing design features from the brand's MTB derailleurs, including a roller-bearing clutch. This system adds a bit of friction to shifting but drastically reduces chain bounce and dropped chains.

The second big difference is the narrow-wide X-Sync tooth profiles found on the front chainrings and jockey wheels. Alternating between tall square teeth and traditional triangles, the wide edges grip the chain and prevent it from falling off, while the sharp teeth keep everything running in line. X-Sync chainrings are available in sizes from 38t up to 54t. 

The rear derailleur can handle both an 11-36t road cassette and a 10-42t MTB cassette, granted you fit an XD driver body and long cage.

SRAM Rival 22

(Image credit: SRAM)

Rival 22

Just like Red at a fraction of the cost

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc, dual pivot rim
Speeds: 2x11
Weight: 2348g
Cranks: 170mm - 175mm
Chainrings 2x: 46/36t, 50/34t, 52/36t
Cassette: 11-28t, 11-28t, 11-32t

Reasons to buy

+
Lighter than 105 gearing options
+
Crank and frame compatibility

Reasons to avoid

-
Same lack of brake power as Force

Occupying roughly the same space as Shimano's 105 groupset, Rival 22 leans heavily on technology from Force and Red. With the 22 moniker, you get a double chainset paired with 11 gears at the back, utilising the same DoubleTap trim-free shifting over the entire cassette.

The levers feature the same ergonomics as their more expensive cousins in both the rim-brake and hydraulic-disc versions, but all the carbon bits have been replaced by aluminium. If we're honest there's no real loss in performance, the scale just reads a bit higher.

At this level, a 52/36t is the largest chainring combination available, along with 50/34 and 46/36. At the back, the cassette is available in 11-26t, 11-28t and 11-32t and can be had in both short cage and WiFli rear mech options. 

Sram Rival 1

(Image credit: SRAM)

Rival 1

1x on a budget

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc
Speeds: 1x11
Weight: 2690g
Cranks: 165mm - 177.5mm
Chainrings 1x: 38t, 40t, 42t, 44t, 46t, 48t, 50t
Cassette: 11-42t

Reasons to buy

+
Simple and efficient
+
Clutched rear mech

Reasons to avoid

-
Gear changes denoted with a loud clang

Just like Force, Rival is also available as a 1x specific group. There are no carbon bits to be found here but, most importantly, the Rival 1x rear mech features both a roller-bearing clutch and the X-Sync narrow-wide jockey wheels and chainrings. Available as a short- and long-cage version, the derailleur can accept a 36t or 42t 11-cog cluster. 

Like Force 1, Rival 1 is only compatible with hydraulic disc brakes. 

SRAM Apex

(Image credit: SRAM)

Apex

Entry-level gear pioneer

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Dual pivot rim
Speeds: 2x10
Weight: 2419g
Cranks: 170mm - 175mm
Chainrings 2x: 48/34t, 50/34t
Cassette: 11-23t, 11-26t, 11-28t, 11-32t, 11-36t, 12-25t, 12-26t, 12-27t, 12-28t, 12-32t, 12-36t

Reasons to buy

+
Range of gearing

Reasons to avoid

-
10-speed
-
Crank

Apex occupies the entry-level step of SRAM's road groupsets. There are only 10 sprockets on the rear cassette but Apex still sees crisp DoubleTap shifting. The derailleur hasn't been updated to the Yaw profile, so to avoid chain rub as you move down the cassette, you'll need to trim as you go. 

Apex was the first to offer a 32t rear cog, though it didn't take long for Shimano and Campagnolo to follow suit; the rear derailleur is available in short- and WiFli long-cage varieties. The crank looks a bit dated, however, the chainrings maintain SRAM's Powerglide teeth and are available in 50/34t and 48/24t sizes. 

SRAM no longer lists Apex 2x10-speed on its website, although you can buy replacement shifters, so it looks as if this groupset is ripe for retirement.

SRAM Apex 1

(Image credit: SRAM)

Apex 1

Entry level 1x is ready to shred

Specifications

Shifting: Mechanical
Braking: Disc
Speeds: 1x11
Weight: 2719g
Cranks: 165mm - 175mm
Chainrings 1x: 40t, 42t, 44t
Cassette: 11-42t

Reasons to buy

+
11-speed
+
Clutch-equipped rear mech
+
Crank with chain guide

Reasons to avoid

-
Weight
-
Shifting a little stiff

Trickling all the way down to the entry-level Apex is the roller-bearing clutch rear derailleur and its long cage capable of accepting a 42t cassette. The front chainrings still have the narrow-wide X-Sync teeth but are backed up with a chain guide for added security. Confusingly, although 2x Apex is 10-speed, Apex 1 is 11-speed. That means that the two Apexes are not compatible, but Apex 1 will work with Rival 1 or Force 1 bits.

Even as an entry-level option, the SRAM disc calipers are hydraulic, though they do offer a cable-driven lever should bikes be equipped with a mechanical actuation. 

SRAM, its brands and its tech

Who is SRAM?

SRAM is an acronym for Scott, Ray and Sam, the three founders of the American-based firm that started out producing grip shifters for road bikes in 1987. While these shifters didn't sell particularly well, SRAM adapted the technology for off-road use and it became an instant hit among the mountain biking fraternity. 

Since then the company has made significant strides as far as technological developments and world-firsts go, having introduced wireless shifting as well as pioneering wider, lower road bike gear ranges and the 1x and 12-speed drivetrain revolutions. 

What else does SRAM do?

SRAM doesn't just make road and gravel bike groupsets. It's a big player in mountain bike components, rivalling Shimano. A significant part of its MTB tech has spilled over into its gravel groupsets and to a lesser extent its road bike groupsets as well. 

In particular that includes the focus on single ring groupsets and the rear derailleur tech to shift over really large cassettes, using a clutch to keep things running smoothly.

Whereas Shimano has historically developed its MTB and road bike tech separately, resulting in a lack of cross-compatibility, much of SRAM's MTB componentry can be run with its road bike groupsets. 

That allows the mix-and-match "mullet builds" favoured on some gravel bikes, where road bike shifters can be used with a wide-range MTB cassette and an MTB derailleur that can handle it. "Business up front and party in back", as SRAM says.

SRAM has emphasised the mullet as an option for its AXS 12-speed groupsets, where the electronic shifting allows you to use its Eagle AXS 12-speed MTB components at the rear, but its consistent cable pull ratios between road and MTB groupsets mean that you can build a mechanical mullet too if you want.


What other brands does SRAM own?

SRAM has used its strength in the groupset market to hoover up a significant portfolio of other cycling brands, adding them to its product family and producing cross-compatible products.

For roadies, Zipp wheels and components are the most high-profile SRAM-owned brand. Some Zipp components are cross-branded with SRAM products with the XPLR label, signifying that they're designed for gravel.

SRAM also own Quarq, integrating its power meters into its cranksets, as well as selling them as stand-alone products.

SRAM competes in the cycling computer head unit market as well, with its Hammerhead brand cycling computer. At present, there's only one product, the Karoo 2. It's well-regarded though and we can expect Hammerhead to extend its range in future, just as its main competitors Garmin and Wahoo have.

Another brand that SRAM has acquired in the last couple of years is the Time  pedal business. Twenty years or so ago, Time was a significant player in the road bike pedal market, but it's languished since, despite making the XPRO 15, the lightest pedal available at a claimed 174.6g a pair. 

It has clever blade tech as well, where the pedal binding stays open until the cleat is engaged, rather than the rider having to force the cleat into the pre-tensioned binding.

Now Time is back in the WorldTour with the Trek-Segafredo men's teams and three women's WorldTour teams. Expect SRAM to put money into revamping the Time pedal range. The most obvious development would be a pedal power meter, expanding the Time pedal range and giving Quarq its first pedal-based product.

More MTB cross-over tech comes from the RockShox suspension business. You can buy a RockShox Rudy XPLR suspension fork for your gravel bike and fit a RockShox Reverb AXS XPLR dropper post out back. As its name indicates, the Reverb seatpost is electronically operated and compatible with  AXS road bike components.

Finally, SRAM owns the Truvativ MTB component brand. Its cranksets have in the past been seen on a range of lower priced mountain bikes. At present, there are just three components sold bearing the Truvativ logo, so it looks as if SRAM may be merging the brand's product range into the SRAM portfolio.

What next for SRAM?

SRAM has been clever at integrating its diverse product portfolio across its brands, which we'd expect to continue. We'd anticipate further integration and broadening of its road bike offering, with products like new Time pedals and Hammerhead computers.

Hammerhead uses an Android-based operating system, which gives it a lot of cross-compatibility with smartphone tech, so even tighter integration is possible here. It's also been first to market with features like on-the-fly climb profiles when not following a pre-planned route. It's probably got other new features in the pipeline as well.

Zipp continues to innovate both in road and gravel wheelsets, with designs like its NSW wave-form wheel profiles. It's switched wholesale to hookless beads for its road wheels, making them cheaper and lighter and spearheading the drive to wider rims run at much lower tyre pressures. It even has pressure-monitoring valves to make sure that they're staying inflated. Lenticular disc time trial wheels are becoming hot tech, but Zipp has sold a lenticular disc design for years.

Zipp has some clever gravel wheel tech too, like its single-wall Moto rims, ported from its MTB wheelsets, which are designed to flex to conform to the surface as you ride over it.

SRAM itself is sure to continue its double-headed push in road and gravel, with more cross-compatible products. Many bike brands see the spill-over of single ring groupsets onto road bikes as inevitable and a few have put their money where their mouth is, selling frames without a front derailleur hanger.

As the number of available speeds grows, there's less and less reason to have a front derailleur to allow a wide spread of gear ratios with single-tooth jumps in the mid-range, which is where most riding takes place and fine-tuning your gear is most important.

Even the pros are abandoning their front mechs in some races, with Paris-Roubaix and flat time trials being the stand-out examples.

Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 


Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.