Got a first generation SRAM Red eTap wireless shifting group? Need a new derailleur? Or just want better chain management?

SRAM has quietly released an updated eTap rear derailleur for their original wireless road group, and it gets some of the best AXS features. But it’s still only for their 11-speed group. So, you get the looks of the latest 12-speed AXS, but will only work with the original eTap 11-speed shifters.

comparison of original SRAM etap 11 speed rear derailleur with new AXS version

OK, so why?

SRAM told us that, from a production standpoint, it just made more sense to use the updated tech and design. And that’s good news for anyone needing to replace their rear mech…this one is much better.

The shifting motor is faster and more precise. it gets X-Sync ceramic bearing pulleys. But best of all, it adds their Orbit hydraulic damping “clutch” to the pulley cage. We shot some killer slow motion in our AXS launch video that shows how well it works. Check out the full AXS launch coverage for more details on all of that tech.

To be clear, this one gets many of the AXS unit’s physical features, but does not operate on the AXS wireless signal and will not work with the AXS smartphone app. It’s only a replacement for the original’s eTap shifting system.

It fits up to a 32t cog with their WiFLi mid-cage option, and a short cage is offered, too. Retail starts at $649 (€593 / £529, including VAT), available now.

(UPDATE: This story originally published with images of the first generation eTap derailleur and has been updated with correct photos of the new unit and additional information on compatibility)


    • The old-gen 11-speed eTap derailleur will fit a 42t cog with a Wolf Tooth Road Link. I imagine the same is true about this new one, albeit voiding the warranty I’m sure.

  1. Hey Tyler,

    you wrote the article about the new AXS-look to the 11sp Red eTap derailleur (“A2” model) and then used the pic of the old “A1” short cage and the WiFli version of the same. So that’s an unfortunate mistake.

    One point you should clarify, especially as this article (as of right now) is using pix of the short and medium cage version of the original Red eTap derailleurs, is that there is only one version of the new A2 derailleur. That makes sense because the older short-cage derailleur worked with cassettes up to 11-28 and the new AXS 12sp works up to 10-33, so there is no need to have a separate “WiFli” (medium-cage) derailleur to work with the largest 11sp Red cassette (11-32).

    A more subtle question concerns the idea that SRAM uses the “AXS” moniker to describe the wireless interactivity and integration of the newest SRAM wireless drivetrains and systems including the Reverb AXS dropper post. Up till now the 11sp eTap is NOT part of that family, meaning that one cannot use the AXS smartphone app to interact/tune the drivetrain.

    The SRAM website makes no mention of AXS with the A2 derailleur, so I assume that this new eTap derailleur is not accessible through the AXS app. I guess I’ll call SRAM tech later today to clarify.

    • All of your points are correct. The article is actually pretty confusing.

      What it should be saying is that SRAM released an updated AXS-style eTap 11-speed derailleur, in one cage length, that adds a fluid clutch and up to a 32t cassette cog compatibility.

      • An additional question to ask is whether the new A2 derailleur blocks shifting into the 1st position cog when in the inner ring of a double drivetrain, in the same way that the eTap AXS 2×12 setups react. The original eTap 11sp derailleurs will allow the small x small combo.

        • So I can confirm that the A2 derailleur shifts on 11 cogs regardless of the position of the front derailleur, and it does seem to faster shifting than the A1 derailleur. I haven’t had the opportunity to test it as a 1x, but I think I might be able to cheat the quoted max cog limit of 33T.

    • Correct, the original images were the old one, they’ve been corrected with the new one and a side-by-side comparison…sorry about that. I’ve reached out to SRAM for clarification on the other questions inside this article. And yes, I’ve asked them about 12-speed mechanical, and they’re aware of the demand and interest, and I’m pressing them to answer in their own words…hold, please.

  2. The photos in the article show just the old wifli cage and short cage derailleurs, not the updated one.

    SRAM AXS Derailleur – App compatable
    SRAM Etap Derailleur – Not app compatable

    AXS is not backwards compatable with the new A2 derailleur.

    • can you elaborate please. I’m looking to use an etap AXS with 11 speed cassette. I can’t find any information on the web if this mix can be done.

  3. The old 11-speed eTap is working fine with a 11-36t cassette on a 2x system (Chainrings 30/46). Which is great steep hills. Having a clutch in the derailleur makes ist a great gravel setup.

  4. I’d love to see an 11-50 RD compatible with the original etap system so I can have a mullet build. It’s never going to happen though ☹️

  5. Has anybody experience in shifting speed compared to the old red A1? I am annoyed of the slow shifting speed but not willing to upgrade the whole groupset to axs. With a like speed to the actual axs I would go with the new A2

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