SRAM’s AXS Eagle wireless shifting system has gone down very well since its launch just over 18 months ago. For those riders who got the 1×12 wireless shifter and mech on their new bikes, or those who upgraded to it, the functionality of the shifters and mech has appeared to have been pretty faultless. But what about the AXS lever shape?
It seems that not everyone was enamoured with the gently curving shape of the original AXS lever’s paddle shifter. It seemed, to use at least, that SRAM had abandoned the familiar shifting action of its mountain bike shifters, where thumbs lived safely under the handlebar, for a new system where the thumb now pushed forward towards the front of the bike for upshifts, rather than up towards the bar. Not necessarily worse, just different and a bit of a relearning experience for long in the tooth, as we ourselves reckoned in our first review of the groupset.
To save all the home inventors making new shifter paddles out of Sugru, or 3D printing them, SRAM has come out with a replacement lever that’s a little more like the traditional mechanical shifter in look. Of course, having a single, rocking plastic lever isn’t going to replicate the motion of two separate mechanical levers, but SRAM reckons that some riders will like what they’ve done with the ergonomics of the new paddle.
A new shifter will set you back £200… but the good news is that you can swap to a fresh AXS Lever paddle for £20, including a new bolt and fresh spring. The original AXS lever shape will still come stock on new levers.
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Respect to SRAM for recognising it was a real issue, and doing something about it (cheaply as well!). Too late for me for now though, I went back to cable operated Eagle X01 and am much faster and crash much less as I’m not thinking about how to change gear any more like I was with AXS!
SRAM Corporation, Shifter, Electronic gear-shifting system
World news – CA – New SRAM Eagle AXS Lever Shape For Riders Less Keen On The Future