SRAM has updated its second-tier Force AXS groupset with changes including a reshaped HRD Shift-Brake hood, a redesigned front derailleur and new integrated chainrings that are designed to deliver faster and smoother shifting. There’s also the introduction of a spindle-based power meter to the Force groupset. Complete SRAM Force AXS groupset prices start at £1,533 and go up to £2,228.
Now called SRAM Force AXS rather than SRAM Force eTap AXS, the new groupset comes in a Unicorn Grey iridescent laser foil finish with the cassette and chain available in a Rainbow option. Compared with the previous generation, SRAM says that it offers a weight saving of 94-104g, depending on the exact setup, while prices remain the same.
Let’s go through the key components.
Find out how SRAM Force AXS groupset performs in our first ride review
SRAM Force AXS HRD Shift-Brake System £228
SRAM says, “We optimised the Force AXS hood shape to provide increased finger wrap for more hand sizes, so you can stay secure sprinting for town lines, committing to the rut in a muddy cyclocross race, or chattering down a long gravel descent.”
Check out our complete guide to SRAM groupsets
The hood shape is noticeably different from previously, the reduced radius bringing Force into line with third-tier Rival. SRAM has achieved this by removing the pad contact adjustment (you still get reach adjustment), saying that few people made use of this facility, and ditching the auxiliary port for attaching a Blip for remote shifting. You can, though, add up to six Wireless Blips (three on each side) without that auxiliary port.
The top of the hood is shorter than previously, the brake lever is carbon fibre (whereas it’s alloy with SRAM Rival), and the shift paddle is textured to avoid slipping.
SRAM says, “The new Force AXS shift paddle shape is refined to maintain easy access to shift locations while removing the risk of pinching fingers or into the handlebar tape when pulling the brake lever.”
SRAM Force AXS offers only hydraulic disc brakes; there’s no mechanical braking option.
SRAM Force AXS Rear Derailleur £302
The SRAM Force AXS Rear Derailleur is available in both standard and 1x-specific XPLR versions.
The standard version comes in a single cage length that’s designed to work with any cassette size from 10-28T to 10-36T and with 1x (single chainring) and 2x (double chainring) systems. Previously, there were two different cage lengths available, the shorter one of which could be used with a 10-26T cassette.
Take a look at our SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset review
As before, the Force AXS Rear Derailleur features SRAM’s Orbit fluid damper to control unwanted chain movement over rough roads, whereas next level down Rival uses a more basic spring clutch.
SRAM Force XPLR AXS Rear Derailleur £306
The Force XPLR AXS Rear Derailleur is a 1x-specific component designed mainly for gravel use. It works with 10-44T XPLR and 10-36T cassettes.
Again, you get SRAM’s Orbit fluid damper to limit high-speed cage rotations caused by bumpy surfaces.
SRAM Force AXS Front Derailleur £198
SRAM says that its updated Force AXS Front Derailleur comes with a new cage shape that’s designed with the new integrated chainrings (see below) to make shifts faster and smoother.
As with all of SRAM’s electronic systems, there’s no need to trim (adjust) the position of the front derailleur when you move the chain across the cassette.
SRAM Force AXS Wide Front Derailleur £198
The Force AXS Wide front derailleur uses all of the same technology as the standard version (above) but it’s optimised for wide chainsets with 43/30T chainrings.
Its wider position on the bike provides clearance for wide tyres up to 700c x 45 and 27.5 x 2.1in.
SRAM Force Crankset £295
SRAM offers a whole bunch of different Force cranksets (we’ll go with ‘crankset’ over ‘chainset’ because that’s the terminology SRAM uses). The big change is the use of integrated chainrings on the standard 2x crankset, which essentially means that the two chainrings are a one-piece construction.
Check out our Shimano Ultegra R8170 Di2 Disc Groupset review
SRAM says, “Previously only available in Red, our integrated chainrings are light, stiff, and incredibly durable”
SRAM has also added a 50/37T chainring option that was previously available only at Red level. The 48/35T and 46/33T options are still available.
As mentioned, SRAM says that the integrated chainrings and the new front derailleur design result in faster, smoother shifts.
Whereas SRAM Rival has aluminium crank arms, Force uses carbon.
The Force Crankset is also available in a 43/30T Wide version with a longer-than-normal spindle for both road and mountain bike width frame bottom bracket standards. This has non-integrated chainrings and is used with the SRAM Force AXS Wide Front Derailleur.
“Our 43/30T chainring combo combined with a wide chainline increases tyre clearance while providing ideal gearing for venturing off-road,” says SRAM.
The downside of integrated chainrings is the cost of replacement when they wear out. You’re looking at £236 for a replacement Force 2x Chainring kit.
SRAM also offers a Force 1 Crankset (£295) with a single direct mount chainring in both standard and Wide versions.
SRAM says, “For extreme terrain, the new Force AXS controls and 1x cranksets can be paired with an Eagle AXS rear derailleur, Eagle 10-50T or 10-52T cassette, and Eagle chain for a super wide 1x gearing.”
SRAM Force AXS Power Meter Crankset £772
SRAM offers the Force AXS Power Meter Crankset with a power meter integrated into the chainrings rather than the spindle, similar to Red eTap AXS integrated power meters but with a black finish. However, it’s only an option if you go for a 2x (double chainring) setup. This design is said to keep the weight down, and you get left/right power balance.
Take a look at the best power meters
SRAM says, “Our lightest, stiffest, and most accurate integrated power meter and chainring combo is now on Force. Quarq D-Zero technology is accurate to +/-1.5% and isn’t affected by temperature changes, and the consistent 13-tooth gap on the rings ensures fast and reliable shifting.”
Obvious question: when the chainrings wear out, does the power meter need to be replaced? The answer is yes.
“The power meter on the new Force AXS 2x chainring sets are fully integrated with the chainrings for the lowest possible weight and the highest possible accuracy,” says SRAM. “However, these integrated chainrings are made for extreme longevity to greatly extend the life of the ring and power meter assembly. Additionally, regular chain cleaning, lubrication, and timely replacement when worn will greatly improve the lifespan of the chainrings.”
You don’t need to replace the cranks, though – just the chainrings and power meter. With Red, SRAM offers a half-price replacement scheme. We hope it will do the same with Force.
A SRAM Force AXS Power Meter Upgrade (£396) is available which also allows you to add power measurement to an existing system. You can get 50/37T, 48/35T and 46/33T chainring combos.
Other SRAM FORCE AXS Power Meter Cranksets £565
SRAM also offers spindle-based power meters in the Force range. These measure your left-side power only and use that to calculate total watts.
You can buy:
Force AXS Wide Power Meter Crankset with 43/30T chainrings
Force 1 AXS Power Meter Crankset
Force 1 AXS Wide Power Meter Crankset
You can also buy a SRAM Force AXS Crankarm Power Meter Upgrade (£329) to add to an existing system. You get the non-drive side crank and integrated spindle with the power meter included within it.
SRAM Red XG-1290 Cassette Rainbow Colourway £358
If you want to customise your bike, you can now get SRAM’s XG-1290 cassette in a limited-edition rainbow finish. This is part of the Red range but it works equally well with SRAM Force.
The rainbow colourway is available on 10-28T and 10-33T cassettes.
SRAM Red Chain Rainbow Colourway £72
If you’re tempted by the rainbow cassette, you’ll be wanting a rainbow chain to match. Again, it’s a limited edition.
Four Battery Charger £130
SRAM is introducing a USB-C powered Four Battery Charger that’s designed to get you back on the road fast. SRAM claims a 60-minute charge time for four batteries, faster for one or two.
Here are SRAM’s official weights for the new Force AXS groupset components.
|Power Meter Crankset 48/35T (chainring type)||752g|
|Power Meter Crankset 40T (spindle type)||647g|
|Shift-Brake System (rear)||413g|
|Shift-Brake System (front)||399g|
|Rear derailleur (36T)||303g|
|XPLR Rear derailleur||312g|
|Rotor Paceline CL (pair)||32|
SRAM says that a 2x Force AXS groupset, including a power meter, now weighs 2,896g whereas it was 2,990g previously.
A Force XPLR groupset, including a power meter, now weighs 2,747g. It was previously 2,848g.
The new SRAM Force AXS disc-brake groupset is priced as follows:
2x with power meter: £2,228
2x WIDE gearing with power meter: £1,859
1x with power meter: £1,803
2x no power meter: £1,751
1x no power meter: £1,533
A groupset includes shift-brake system, rotors, crankset, chain, cassette, derailleur (front and rear for 2x, rear only for 1x), batteries, and charger. Bottom brackets are priced separately.
For comparison, a Shimano Ultegra Di2 8100 groupset (shifter/brake levers, brakes, front and rear derailleurs, power meter chainset, cassette, battery, chain, wires, charger cable) is £2,979.99 at full RRP.
The new SRAM Force AXS system is available now. We’ve heard of a couple of bikes fitted with the new groupset that have already been added to ranges…
Cannondale SuperSix EVO 4 Carbon 1 £6,750
The brand-new Cannondale SuperSix EVO, launched today, is available in a SRAM Force AXS build, among several others.
If you’ve not heard about the updated SuperSix Evo, head over to Aaron’s first ride review.
> Check out our Cannondale SuperSix Evo 4 — first ride review
You’ll already know that the SuperSix EVO is the lightweight road bike in Cannondale’s range; it has been for ages, although the frame is aero-optimised these days. Cannondale has made a number of tweaks with the new iteration, the most notable being that the fork isn’t now integrated and the head tube has gone under the knife.
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO 4 Carbon 1 is built up with a 48/35T chainset and a 10-33T cassette, and it comes with Hollowgram R-S 50 wheels.
Check out the Cannondale SuperSix EVO 4 Carbon 1 here
Liv EnviLiv Advanced Pro AXS £6,999
We told you about Liv’s all-new EnviLiv range last week, and now a SRAM Force AXS build has been added to the lineup. Liv is Giant’s dedicated women’s bike brand.
Liv says that for the 2023 models, it has taken aerodynamics to another level by introducing its Aero System Shaping technology. This means the frame tubes have been designed for minimal drag and weight.
> Liv updates and expands the EnviLiv range with lighter frameset and new components
The EnviLiv Advanced Pro AXS comes with a full SRAM Force AXS groupset, including a power meter.
The wheels are Giant SLR 1 with 50mm-deep rims front and rear.
Check out the Liv EnviLiv Advanced Pro AXS here