The all-new SRAM XPLR gravel bike component line goes beyond the drivetrain, adding a Rockshox Rudy suspension fork, moto-inspired single-wall carbon rimmed Zipp wheels, and an impressive new air-sprung Reverb AXS dropper post that both drops and suspends the rider.

All of this moves forward with the help of wider 10-44 12-speed cassettes, new chainrings, and, of course, another new AXS derailleur option for Red, Force, and Rival…

TL;DR: What’s new with SRAM XPLR?

sram axs xplr gravel bike drivetrains on a bike

The XPLR (pronounced “explore”) group is a gravel-specific set of components, each optimized specifically for drop-bar gravel bikes. The components include:

  • Two 10-44 12-speed cassettes, one Red/Force level and one Rival level
  • Three AXS rear derailleurs (Red, Force, Rival) optimized for 10-36 to 10-44 cassettes
  • Rockshox Rudy suspension fork with 30mm or 40mm of travel
  • Reverb AXS dropper that locks out at top out, but provides suspension once dropped
  • Zipp MOTO XPLR single-wall carbon wheels designed for the roughest roads

SRAM told us the goal for their new “ride however you want to ride” gravel group is to provide the sweet spot of gearing, so you always have the right gear whether you’re on gravel or tarmac. And with the suspension, to give the rider more control and comfort over any terrain.

Sound interesting? It is, and we explain it all below with an exclusive look at how the new Reverb air spring works. But first, let’s cover the new gearing…

SRAM XPLR cassette & derailleurs explained

sram axs xplr gravel bike drivetrains on a bike

Starting with the new drivetrain parts, SRAM has added two 10-44 cassettes specifically for their 12-speed road and gravel groups. It’s a slight bump up from the 10-42 options of their 11-speed mechanical groups, plus one more cog to improve gear steps.

sram xplr 10-44 wide range gravel bike cassettes for 1x drivetrains shown from front

For the AXS 12-speed groups, this new wide-range gravel cassette perfectly splits the difference between the 10-50 Eagle MTB cassettes popular on mullet builds, and the 10-36 cassette that debuted with the Force Wide group and later gained a compatible Red AXS derailleur.

sram xplr 10-44 wide range gravel bike cassettes for 1x drivetrains shown from behind

Both one-piece XPLR cassettes have a 440% range and use their XDR freehub body. The only difference is the material on the 44-tooth cog. The higher-end Red/Force-level XG1271  uses an alloy cog, and the Rival-level XG1251 uses steel.

sram xplr gravel bike gear range chart

By using a smaller 10-tooth cog and 12-speeds, SRAM is able to provide more top-end and slighter closer gear steps than a comparable 11-speed wide-range cassette.

SRAM says these are NOT mountain bike cassettes, and they’re designed specifically for use with SRAM’s 12-speed Flattop road chain, not the Eagle MTB chains. Which means they are not designed to work with an Eagle AXS mountain bike derailleur, either.

Cassette Specs:

  • 10-44 spread for 440% gear range
  • XDR mount
  • 10/11/13/15/17/19/21/24/288/32/38/44
  • Claimed weights: 373g and 412g
  • MSRP: $210 and $150

red force and rival xplr wireless rear derailleurs for 1x gravel bikes with wide range cassettes

Joining the new 10-44 cassette is a new 1x-specific AXS rear derailleur. Yes, that’s another new derailleur design intended for a specific cassette range. SRAM has a lot of 12-speed AXS derailleurs now, with three versions for road and gravel bikes, plus their Eagle AXS MTB derailleur.

Fortunately, these new XPLR derailleurs will also work with the 10-36 cassette, too. And they come in Red, Force, and Rival varieties to match whatever else you have on your bike.

They pair with existing AXS controllers, including the mountain bike shifters if you wanted to build a flat bar gravel bike, so all you need to add is the new derailleur and cassette to get the wider gearing. And maybe a new chain as it might need to be longer.

OK, but WHY a new derailleur?

sram axs xplr rear derailleur closeup detail

Because it’s optimized specifically for 1x drivetrains and wider ranges cassettes.

“We’ve wanted this gearing for a long time. One derailleur can only do so much,” explains Brad Menna, SRAM Road product manager. “There are performance constraints when you try to make one derailleur cover too broad of a range. If you stretch it too far, it becomes a performance compromise.”

These new derailleurs are 1x specific thanks to a new B-knuckle and pulley cage. The B-knuckle is longer, dropping the derailleur down and back slightly more than their 2x road derailleurs, which helps it clear the larger 44T cog without having to use a longer cage or a further offset upper pulley.

sram axs xplr rear derailleur closeup detail

The 44T compatible AXS derailleurs will have XPLR printed on the top of the B-Knuckle.

That shorter pulley cage, along with the offset of the cage itself, keeps shifting tight and should provide great chain management. But, the cage is not long enough to handle the extra chain required for an additional 13-tooth jump between front chainrings, hence the 1x-only designation.

Derailleur Specs:

  • For use with 1x chainrings only
  • Compatible with 10-36 and 10-44 cassettes
  • RED: $710, 293g (317g w/ battery), Ceramic pulley bearings, Orbit damper
  • Force: $350, 308g (332g w/ battery), Steel pulley bearings, Orbit damper
  • Rival: $255, 327g (351g w/ battery), Steel pulley bearings, spring clutch

Note: Pricing is without the battery, so add $55 for that. Also interesting is that the Red XPLR derailleur uses an alloy cage, just like the Force and Rival, whereas their Red “road” AXS derailleurs have a carbon fiber cage. SRAM says this sped up development, and that a carbon cage would have had minimal weight savings over alloy for this mid-length design because they would have had to use more carbon to get the impact strength they wanted.

Seriously, I can’t keep their derailleurs straight…

Fortunately, SRAM provided this FAQ on exactly that:

sram axs rear derailleur comparison FAQ screenshot

Easy, right?

There are new, lighter one-piece chainrings, too

sram 1x gravel bike chainrings for red and force carbon cranksets

For Red and Force cranksets, they have new direct-mount 1x chainrings. They use the same current cranks that are on the market today, and use the same 8-bolt mounting pattern as the spiders on double chainrings, just with one-piece chainrings. It saves about 32-35 grams over a spider+chainring setup.

sram rival axs xplr 1x gravel bike drivetrain

The new SRAM Rival XPLR group.

The recently updated Rival group actually came with 1x direct-mount chainrings from the start, but for RED and Force, these are new. They’re available in 38, 40, 42, 44, and 46 tooth options. These chainrings work on the Force Wide cranks, too, since the offset is built into the spindle on the “Wide” cranksets, not the chainrings.

Since the crank/chainring interface is the same across the line, it lets you easily add their Quarq powermeter spider later on to any of the cranksets…though the Rival cranks are available with a less expensive spindle-based power meter.

comparison spec chart for all sram road and gravel 1x crankset options

The direct mount chainrings are $99 (Red) and $60 (Force). Pricing and details for the complete cranksets with 1x chainrings shown in chart above.

Rockshox Rudy XPLR gravel suspension fork

2022 rockshox rudy suspension fork for gravel bikes

The idea of suspension for gravel bikes is gaining steam, with more brands adding a short travel fork optimized for drop bar riding…but Rockshox had been noticeably absent, until now.

A while back, Rockshox’s product manager chopped down a SID, tried it on his gravel bike, and liked it. So he made a bunch of samples and sent them out to their pros to try out. The consistent feedback was that everyone liked the improved traction, control, and comfort. But they couldn’t just chop down a mountain bike fork and make it work…if for no other reason than aesthetics. But also, other reasons…like performance.

They say the goals were to give the rider more confidence with less body and hand fatigue, with more control on rough terrain. That, and maintain traction and steering precision by reducing the likelihood that the wheel gets bounced or deflected off obstacles.

side view of 2022 rockshox rudy suspension fork for gravel bikes

The new Rudy XPLR (and yes, it’s RuDy, not RuBy) gets their Charger Race Day damper (introduced on the latest SID SL), because it’s the lightest damper they make…about 100g lighter than anything else.

It also had the features they wanted for a gravel fork, like a rock-solid lockout, a wide range of rebound adjust, and most importantly, lower overall compression damping. That means it works really well for the small chatter found on gravel roads.

closeup details of the 2022 rockshox rudy gravel bike suspension fork

For the spring, they used a new Solo Air spring that’s designed specifically for gravel and e-gravel bikes. The air volume is smaller, much closer to what’s in a rear shock, which made it a tricky fork to develop because there’s not as much volume to play with when designing the spring curve they wanted.

A short travel fork with a small air spring could have meant it was going to ramp hard, but they wanted it to be supple. Typically, a soft, supple fork is achieved with lower air pressure. But lower air pressure means it’s going to blow through its travel and end harshly.

closeup details of the 2022 rockshox rudy gravel bike suspension fork

They solved that by adding an elastomer “jounce” bottom out bumper that starts working at 50% of the stroke. It’s specifically shaped to come on softly initially, then progressively increase its support to better control the last half of the travel and cushion the bottom out.

So, soft fork, without a hard bottom out, that’s able to track the ground well and effectively use all of its travel.

closeup details of the 2022 rockshox rudy gravel bike suspension fork

Why not go inverted like the RS-1?

Compared to a SID, the RS-1 was a stiffer fork. But it was also heavier. And perhaps a little too stiff and too heavy for a gravel bike. Not to mention the freely spinning lowers made wheel insertion a little tricky if not downright frustrating…and required a special hub/axle interface.

Rockshox also said that they’re really good at making magnesium lowers and lightweight alloy uppers, so why not use that expertise? Lastly, making it this way is far more affordable, so the Rudy is a lot less than an inverted gravel fork with a carbon body would have been.

closeup details of the 2022 rockshox rudy gravel bike suspension fork

The compression adjustment has two settings up top – Open, and Locked Out. The rebound adjustment is handled by a small Torx bolt that sits flush on the lower right leg, and it has a far wider range of clicks.

All aftermarket forks come with a mini-fender that attaches to the crown. But, thanks to stealthy lower bosses hidden at the bottom of the dropout, you can attach full fenders if you want.

The lowers, crown, and everything else are machined as much as possible to save weight. The claimed 1227g weight is with the steerer tube cut to 230mm steerer, the same length as their mountain bike forks. But the forks come with 320mm steerers in case your gravel bike has a much taller headtube.

rear view of 2022 rockshox rudy suspension fork for gravel bikes

Rudy XPLR Ultimate tech specs

Here are the quick specs:

  • 30mm and 40mm travel options
  • 700×50 max tire size
  • 30mm stanchions are lighter and look better on a drop bar bike
  • 12×100 thru axle, includes Maxle Stealth
  • 1,227g claimed weight w/ 230mm cut steerer
  • 160mm direct flat mount brakes, will work with up to 180mm rotors
  • 45mm offset only for aftermarket, 51mm available for OEM
  • MSRP: $799  (€869 / £799 including VAT)

They say we’ll see it as OEM placement on a number of bikes, some of which are designed from the outset with suspension corrected geometry…but not all of them. The Ruby XPLR has a 425mm a-to-c with 30mm travel.

For starters, it’ll only be available in the 12×100 axle standard, but if demand grows for the Road Boost standard, they’ll offer that, too.

On a typical bike, it’ll add about 20-25mm of axle-to-crown height on many current gravel bikes. So, it will slow down your steering a bit, but it’s kinda like throwing a 120mm fork on your 100mm XC bike…it’s not that noticeable.

Reverb AXS XPLR suspension dropper seatpost

 

reverb axs xplr suspension dropper seatpost shown on a bike

The Reverb AXS XPLR dropper post is all new…not just a chopped down version of the mountain bike post. It’s built specifically for gravel in the most wonderful way possible…it adds suspension travel as soon as you drop it.

Meaning, when fully extended, it’s locked out (think, Topped Out, Locked Out), but drop it even 1mm and it uses an air spring as a suspension seatpost. They call it ActiveRide, and the amount of suspension you get out of it, and the firmness, depends on how much air pressure you put in it. To do this, it’s a full air system, there are no hydraulics in it like the mountain bike Reverbs.

internal cutaway view of the reverb axs xplr dropper seatpost with suspension

How does the dropper-turned-air spring work?

“We didn’t want to just make a post that went up or down, we felt like there was a different use case for gravel,” says SRAM MTB PR rep Chris Mandell. “We wanted to make something that could help a rider keep their butt on the saddle and really lay down the power on rough roads.”

Here’s how it works:

When it’s topped out, there’s effectively no negative air spring, so it’s a very rigid system. But when you open the valve to drop the post, it opens up access to a negative spring, and thus allows proper “suspension” movement.

So, effectively, it’s like an extremely strong positive air spring to hold you up during lock out, but once you drop into the travel, it’s like sitting on a typical air spring with a negative spring to ease you into the motion…like your fork, or rear shock.

internal cutaway view of the reverb axs xplr dropper seatpost with suspension

Except that it’s also still able to maintain the lowered position while using that travel…and that’s their secret sauce. Rockshox is being coy on the exact inner workings while they wait for the patents to go through, but they did say there’s no physical, mechanical lockout…it really is only the air pressure that’s holding the saddle up at lockout.

Inside the air spring, there’s no bypass dimple to pressurize the negative spring either. Instead, there’s a dynamic seal to equalize the chambers once you drop into its travel. And you only need to drop 1mm into the travel to open things up and have it act as a suspension seatpost.

SRAM recommends setting the air pressure (via the Schrader valve on the bottom of the post) to 2x your rider+kit weight, but you can deviate from that to tune it to your liking. So, just be aware that if you set it up really soft and, say, drop the post halfway into the travel, if you hit something big while seated, you could bottom it out. But that’s mostly OK…

There is a bottom-out bumper in there, but the real reason not to be too concerned with this is that it’s also unlikely you’re going to be seated and hammering while the post is significantly dropped…because we really only drop the post when we’re getting off the saddle to descend some gnarly terrain.

rockshox reverb xplr dropper seatpost with suspension profile views

Reverb AXS XPLR tech specs

  • 27.2mm diameter only
  • 50mm and 75mm travel options
  • 350mm and 400mm lengths (50mm travel only gets 350mm length)
  • Includes battery & charger
  • AXS controller sold separately (see below)
  • Oval/Round (7×9, 7mm round) clamp standard, Oval (7×10) clamp sold separately
  • Compatible with most oversized seat bags
  • Claimed weight: 567g for 75×400 size (591g w/ battery)
  • MSRP: $600  (€600 / £500 including VAT)

Reverb AXS XPLR controller options

The Reverb AXS can be controlled with any of the existing AXS shifters, blips, or triggers. Options include:

  • Flat Bar: RockShox AXS Controller; Blip Box with Multi Clics or Blips
  • SRAM RED and Force 1x: Multi Clics or Blips in lever ports; 2x tap on Shifter levers
  • SRAM RED and Force 2x: Multi Clics or Blips in lever ports
  • Rival 1x: Blip Box with Multi Clics or Blips; 2x tap on shifter levers
  • Rival 2x: Blip Box with Multi Clics or Blips

For 1x systems, the “2x tap” control means a simultaneous push of left and right shift paddles…similar to how you’d perform a front shift on a 2x drivetrain. We’re thinking one of the Multi Clics/Blips might be a more intuitive method, but the nice thing is you have options. Just set up whatever you want inside the AXS app.

Zipp 101 XPLR gravel bike wheels

zipp 101 xplr moto wheels shown on a gravel bike riding singletrack

These are Zipp’s first gravel-specific wheels, and one of few gravel wheels that aren’t directly based on road bike wheels. We’ve seen a lot of brands launch “gravel wheels”, but they mostly all look like road wheels, perhaps with a few tweaks to the design to make them offroad capable.

Zipp took a different approach. Yeah, their latest 303 series are great offroad, but they thought they could do better. With those latest 303 (and the more recently revamped 404) wheels, they went after more than aerodynamics. The system approach also targeted vibration and traction as a way of improving rider comfort and efficiency.

closeup of single-wall carbon fiber rim on zipp 101 xplr gravel bike wheels

With these new Zipp 101 XPLR wheels, they take that a step further, using the single-wall design from their 3 Zero MOTO mountain bike wheels to maximize all the ways they could improve rider comfort, reduce fatigue, and maximize total system performance. And then they reduced the likelihood of pinch flats, and enhanced traction.

Here’s how it all works:

zipp 101 xplr single wall carbon rim diagram showing ankle flex

Zipp’s MOTO single-wall rims allow for better and more total compliance, and more types of compliance. The big one is “Ankle Compliance”, which allows the rim to tilt around the spoke’s nipple.

Think of it like your foot being able to flex at your ankle in the transverse plane, so your foot can adjust to the ground. It’s only a few millimeters of flex per side, but it takes the edge off angular impacts and provides better traction.

zipp 101 xplr gravel bike wheels studio shot showing front and rear

The rims have a hookless, tubeless design with a 27mm internal width, which sounds huge, but their road wheels are 23-25mm wide. These are optimized for 38-45mm wide tires, but you could go as small as 35mm or, at least according to ETRTO guidelines, as big as 2.6″ (65mm).

But realistically, it’s designed for the big gravel tires most of us are riding these days, up to about 50-55mm. Which is another way of saying you’re only really limited on tire size by your frame clearance.

zipp 101 xplr gravel wheels closeup of hubs

Zipp 101 XPLR specs

  • 27mm internal width
  • Hookless tubeless bead
  • Centerlock brake rotor mounts
  • Claimed weights: 700c (1665g) and 650B (1590g)
  • TireWiz available separately w/ custom flush-fit grommet
  • ZR1 hubset with 66 points of engagement, same as Firecrest-level road wheels
  • 28 Sapim CX Sprint spokes per wheel
  • Comes with Kwiqsand or Carbon (shown) graphics
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • MSRP – FRONT: $850 (€870 / £780 including VAT)
  • MSRP – REAR: $950 (€970 / £866 including VAT)

About those weights, they’re not light by today’s standards for high-end, high-performance gravel bike racing wheels. But, SRAM says they’re about the same weight as the prior generation 303 Firecrest wheels. And these rims are about 100g lighter than the mountain bike MOTO rims.

We say, it’s “horses for courses”. If you’re riding really rough courses, these rims’ comfort and traction gains could outweigh the weight penalty. Think Grinduro, not Belgian Waffle Ride.

Zipp’s G40 gravel tires get rebranded as XPLR, but carry over otherwise unchanged…still only available in a 700×40, tan wall, 480g gravel tire. And the alloy Zipp Service Course SL-70 XPLR handlebar rounds out the family with a flared cockpit part designed for better hand positions on aggressive terrain.

When are the XPLR parts available?

gravel bike with all of the new SRAM explore gravel bike parts on it

SRAM Red and Force drivetrain parts will become available in August, with wider availability in September. Rival parts follow one month behind. Cassettes could be delayed up to one month behind the rest, particularly for complete bikes spec’ing them.

The Rudy XPLR Ultimate fork and Zipp 101 XPLR wheels start shipping in August, with wider availability in September (fork) and later (wheels). The Reverb AXS XPLR ships in September with more coming later in the year.

Basically, the first batch is limited, so get your order in quickly if you want them…or wait until later in the year. But, you can check their Bike Finder now to see who’s already spec’ing it.

Stay tuned for our first ride impressions and video overview, coming soon…

SRAM.com

41 comments

  1. threeringcircus on

    There must be a market for this fork, but the few times I’d like 30-40mm of travel would be far outweighed by rest of the time I’d be regretting the loss of stiffness (lockouts never fully lock out) and extra 1.5 lbs on the front of my bike.

    Reply
    • TheStansMonster on

      “SRAM says these are NOT mountain bike cassettes, and they’re designed specifically for use with SRAM’s 12-speed Flattop road chain, not the Eagle MTB chains. Which means they are not designed to work with an Eagle AXS mountain bike derailleur, either.”

      Reply
      • tilla on

        So you use the XPLR rear derailleur too with the flat top chain and problem solved, you have more sensible gearing on your mtb.

        Reply
  2. luddite on

    Well that’s all quite underwhelming. The dropper is exactly the opposite of what I’d want – if I drop the saddle I’m not sitting on it, so don’t care if it has suspension, but want suspension at full extension like the PNW one.
    And 1650g for carbon wheels? Where are they hiding the lead?

    Reply
  3. RideCX on

    I thought for sure that “Rudy” was a typo (“Ruby” could have been a throwback to their old Paris-Roubaix road suspension forks) but apparently not?

    Reply
  4. BertP on

    Here another ‘flatlander’. Using a 10-36 Sram gravel cassette and XDR body on DT240 hub on my MTB. Also using a Shimano 10-45 cassette (microspline body on DT240 hub) on an Sram AXS MTB drivetrain. In both cases with standard Sram MTB-chain. No problem and satisfied ‘-)

    Reply
  5. alloycowboy on

    Question #1, Why not go 1×13 like Campagnolo Ekar?

    Question #2, Why do I want a rim that deflects around the spoke holes, how is that going to help me hold a cycling line.

    Question #3, Why not go 100mm on the fork travel? 40mm of travel at 1,227g is just absurd. The SID SL weighs 1,333g with 100mm of fork travel.

    Question #4, The Reverb AXS XPLR weighs in at 591 grams, would it not be better to have a rear suspension with lock out at around the same weight?

    Question #5, Why is there is no front derailleur option with a double chain ring crankset?

    Question #6, Why is the SRAM groupo naming system so confusing?

    Reply
    • carlos on

      Lateral deflection at the ground can help enormously with traction. The old GP4 or GL330 rims gave a great ride in cx races because of the low torsional strength. Alloy is probably a better material than carbon for this application. Problems with tubeless can be solved with good design and beefing up material in appropriate areas without negatively affecting performance.

      Reply
      • Sevo on

        1) see Sheldon brown
        2) Traction. Ask your moto buddies. Same tech they have effectively.
        3) Axel to crown lengths and this is a gravel fork. 60mm max is just fine. 40mm does wonders.
        4) but it wouldn’t be the same weight and I can’t retrofit that to my beloved gravel bike of choice.
        5) Tire clearance
        6) confusing? It’s quite clear and easy to follow.

        Reply
  6. SoCo on

    Stopped reading when I saw mention of an elastomer spring… (I understand its in parallel with air, but I already had a Manitou Mars.)

    Reply
  7. whatever on

    Full disclosure. I’m not a SRAM fan, mostly I hate their brakes, but can tolerate the drivetrains on mountain bikes, and good with their forks.

    However, there is so much not to like here, but I’ll keep it to a couple primary point, as the rest are more subjective.

    Suspension fork:
    Really just a watered down mtb fork with a premium price. Add that to the tires that are being now used for gravel. Not to mention the fork is going to suck energy. I’ll just ride a hardtail mtb with a bit narrow tires.

    Those Wheels:
    First nobody does single wall anymore. That also appears would be next to impossible to run tubeless. Yes I know it’s advertised as tubeless. But working the nipple back and forth in that single wall will generate leaks without some special counter measure that there is no mention of if it is in fact there..Next the side to side flex they are so proud of is going to put allot of additional stress on the tire bead to rim seal, all while being hookless. Next flexing the spokes and nipples like that will not go well for the longevity of those items, and then the junction with the rim? How are you going to prevent fatigue of the carbon at the point of passing through the carbon rim? Add to that the flexing will be like riding very weak rims where the rim moves back and forth affecting handling. Last thing I want is to ride over rough surfaces with squirmy tires on squirmy rims,a nd certainly not with any real speed on a downhill. Lastly, how strong are the wheels? Lots of gravel riders are into backpacking, are these rims up to the stress?.SRAM has a history of putting out products just aren’t ready for prime time use.

    To anyone that goes with this stuff, good luck.

    Reply
    • gregoryvanthomas on

      You do realize that they’ve had mtb rims of this design for a while now, right? And they work. And there are other companies doing single wall carbon rims. To seal, you tape, just like 99% of tubeless rims. As far as fatigue life, properly designed with carbon, the fatigue life is near infinite. Even with real world use, and just like so many other carbon rims, I expect the useful life of these rims to greatly exceed aluminum rims.
      I don’t much care for yet another specification of AXS derailleur, or the cassette’s lack of 2x use, but that’s another story.

      Reply
      • whatever on

        Do you actually trust SRAM to do it right? I sure don’t. Far to many failures in their history. As for whether some MTB do this or not, I’m not convinced at all by that argument. MTB pressures are lower as well. Also single wall rim once were the norm, but not anymore due to issues with single wall rims. I built a set of mtb wheels recently, and did not come across single walled rims to my knowledge. Perhaps I didn’t look closely at enough of them. I’m sure somebody makes them, but it seems the exception. Lastly, I refuse to use hookless for many reasons.

        Lack of 2X support, and new “standard” are other issues that I felt were already beat up pretty well elsewhere.

        Reply
        • Sevo on

          I trust those that are willing to put their name on a product and do it well. SRAM has here. Certainly has more credibility they a forum junkie going by the name “whatever”

          Reply
  8. carlos on

    For the fork: A coil spring with an elastomer damper works very well for 30 mm of travel. No need for more complicated dampers and air chambers. Suntour made a commuter fork with 30 mm travel, preload is adjustable, and it’s a blast over gravel with zero maintenance – although the geometry is a bit strange in that the front center gets longer with compression – fantastic for descending but very odd for hard cornering.

    Reply
  9. carlos on

    Rims: There’s a lot more to explore in rims with low torsional stiffness that adjust locally to the terrain. I have an old set of tubular rims (FIR 120) – thin box section rims that weight 385g, and they ride amazingly well on local dirt roads when paired with supple 25mm or 28 mm tires. The rims adjust to ruts and imperfections and keep travtion high – very noticeable when cornering on ruts or cambers. Also very surefooted on the loose mush between car tire tracks. Noticeably less road buzz o n tarmac as well. Losing quite a bit in aeroness but well worth it in many situations. Definitely plenty of potential to refine these designs further and make more price-accessible rims. fwiw, I think that the rear wheel makes much more of a difference than the front. So if you’re tempted to try these Zipps maybe stick with regular wheel for front and box-section type for teh rear.

    Reply
  10. silverlining on

    SRAM imagineers Monday: “We could fix all of the problems with our existing brakes, forks, and seatposts.”
    SRAM imagineers Tuesday: “Nah, lets release a completely new product line that we’ll refuse to warranty, just like all the other stuff we import.”

    Reply
  11. Deputy Dawg on

    I’m covered (and only marginally interested) for gravel, but I’d LOVE this dropper for my xc bike. Please offer other diameters.

    Question: So, for a 200 pound kitted-up rider, you start with 400 psi in the dropper?!

    Reply
  12. ap on

    The negative blathering on here sounds like a bunch of snotty junior high kids. Chill out. I’m sure all of those SRAM engineers will be in touch with you soon because obviously you know how to design the most awesome super-duper products ever.

    You may not need a suspension fork on your gravel bike, but I can see it being a nice option to have depending on how nasty the roads are you venture on regularly. Nice to have options.

    The gearing looks like a nice sweet spot as well and seems to fill the void they had for gravel use. A 10-42 11 spd is ok, but the spread of the 10-44 in 12 spd gives a little better steps (especially compared to a 10-50). This will be a popular drivetrain.

    I expect you’ll see more single wall rims as mfgs continue to tune the ride. Thin profile mtb rims are increasingly common for similar reasons.

    Reply
  13. Sevo on

    I said the same thing until I got a gravel suspension fork from MRP. Now I don’t see taking it off my bike ever.

    Don’t knock it til ya try it. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Sevo on

    Kinda missing the point. Go ride a gravel bike with a dropper sometime and go between pavement and singletrack on a ride. Then you’ll see this is brilliant and a brilliant improvement.

    Reply
  15. Tomi on

    From what I understand that suspension feature on the dropper only works when it is dropped.

    I imagine the product development meeting at SRAM: what if we designed a saddle suspension that only works when you don’t have your ass on the saddle ?

    Is it april 1st already ?

    Reply
    • ap on

      You might want to go re-read the article. It’s only locked in the fully extended position, which totally makes sense. The majority of time you want the efficiency of a rigid post. But if you drop it at all (even 1mm, as the article clearly states), then you get suspension. It’s not all or nothing with a dropper.

      No, it’s not April Fools’, but apparently it is August Fools’ ;).

      Reply
      • Tomi on

        sounds so impractical. Have you ever used a dropper. It is nearly impossible to drop just 1mm while riding and only a few mm off the ideal height makes anyone feel uncomfortable/lacking power.

        Reply
  16. BlackWaterCyclist on

    In actuality this cassette is crap. There is not much difference between it and the 10-50.
    10,12,14,16,18,21,24,28,32,36,42,50
    10,11,13,15,17,19,21,24,28,32,38,44

    The only advantage is the 10 to 11 tooth. After that the jumps are actually larger than the eagle cassette until they get to the 19T and then from 24-32 they have the same gaps and then the last two are only 2% larger on the Eagle. It does not close the spread very well at all. I would just stay with an Eagle cassette or go with an e13 9-46 12 speed cassette.

    Reply
  17. Stefano Storoni on

    The only thing Sram really needs to upgrade is their brakes, they are just crap. Until that happens, I will never consider buying one of their groupsets except those with mechanical brifters, so I can use third party brakes.

    Reply
    • fitness on

      Been using their brakes on drop bar and mtb for years now. Disagree 100%. They work fantastic, newer generation has fixed any prior issues a couple standout bad models had.

      Reply

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