Surf City Cyclery got the opportunity to have a first look and test out the brand new Sram Red Electronic ETap Wireless Shifting system. Here is what we thought:
In a world of high-tech gadgets, Sram has gone against complexity to deliver the simplest shifting system we have seen. The concept is pretty straightforward; the right shifter shifts the rear derailleur into a smaller cog, the left shifts into a larger cog, push both together to shift the front from one position to the other. Similar to paddle shifting on an F1 race car. Sram has done away with doubletap and although it took a few shifts to remember the system, it becomes pretty intuitive. You won’t ever have to worry about hitting the wrong button. The shifters and brakes are easy to reach in any handlebar position. At first we felt the shifting was slightly slower than Di2, and you were able to feel the clicks which some of us preferred, however this differs depending on rider preference.
Sram Red Etap is completely electronic meaning there are no wires, a battery is located on each derailleur, and the shifters are paired electronically with the derailleurs. Each derailleur has its own pairing button, which you press to put it into pairing mode. Then just press on one of the shifters, and the system will link this action with the relevant derailleur. The process is made even easier by the LED lights on each derailleur, which tell you whether the pairing has been successful or not.
Batteries are interchangeable and charge fully in only 45 mins to last about 60 hours. These batteries also feature an automatic sleep mode that sets itself to sleep when you’re not actively shifting and will wake up when a lever is pushed.
TIME TRIAL & TRIATHLON FRIENDLY:
Of course, Sram has considered the aerobar set up and we love the versatility in the options. Aside from the shifters positioned behind the brake levers, SRAM Red eTap will enable you to position up to four satellite shifters, called “Blips” anywhere on the bike. For time trial bikes, these Blips are connected by wires to a control unit called a Blipbox which then transmits the signal on wirelessly to the derailleurs. Again similar to Shimano Di2, the Blipbox is a junction box positioned somewhere on the frame. You can even use this Blipbox to customize your shifting on any handlebar setup, even drop bars.
|WEIGHT||260g (shifter set)|
|SPEEDS||2-speed front, 11-speed rear|
|COMPATIBILITY||SRAM RED eTap®|
|RECOMMENDED GROUP||SRAM RED eTap®|
|TECHNOLOGY HIGHLIGHT(S)||AIREA™, eTap®|
|MATERIAL||Brake lever is carbon, shifter is plastic|
This gives a complete groupset weight of roughly 1775g, 137g lighter than the mechanical version.
Currently, there is no hydraulic brake options.
We were very impressed by the new Sram Red eTap. The system is easy to operate, the ergonomics feels good, visually it is clean and simple, and initial use works really well. Some of us prefer the feel of the click, and louder noise of the shifting compared to Di2. Check back, Surf City Cyclery will be one of the first shops to stock the new SRAM eTap early 2016.
Additional Sram Red info HERE.