Over the weekend, X user @MoBaohua posted three images of what appears to be the anticipated next SRAM RED group. They show a very different hood and lever shape, a streamlined and hollowed-out rear derailleur, and a tightly-spaced cassette. Read our 2024 Predictions from a couple of weeks back. We aren’t too surprised to see it’s really coming soon.
Here’s what we can tell so far…
First, the disclaimers: SRAM has not announced a new Red group. But based on timing and the age of the current Red group, it’s very likely launching this year. Second, they have not commented on the veracity of these images nor are they likely to, that’s just how this works. Third, the images are low quality and we’re living in the age of incredible AI image generation, so….
Is this a new 2024 SRAM Red eTap AXS that’s leaked on X?
All that said, if they’re real, the most exciting part seems to be the revised brake levers. Slimmer and shorter overall hoods, even more so than the recently revamped Force and Rival groups, lead to a very new lever shape.
The recess just below the hood should help it clear your fingers better when braking hard, which is a big deal. The paddle seems taller, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if that interferes with fingers on the drops. Equally interesting is the apparently higher lever pivot location, which should give us more leverage over the brake lever and allow for more nuanced braking.
And that little rubber plug at the top of the new carbon lever blade looks a lot lie where we would find the access hole for a brake lever reach-adjust bolt.
Of course, there’s no telling any of these are real, but they do match patent drawings from mid-2023. Those drawings also reveal a button on the inside top of the hood, which could allow remote control of a cycling computer. If it’s an AXS button, it could also (finally) allow one-handed shifting in either direction from a single shifter…something that we’ve wished for when trying to hold a bottle, snack, or phone while on a climb.
We’ve read plenty of unsubstantiated online rumors that following SRAM’s purchase of Hammerhead back in 2022, that the new Red group will also come with a newly-integrated cycling computer head unit. So these could likely be the control buttons for those, without taking your hands off the bars!
The calipers appear much smaller, with a larger gap between it and the mount, and less material around the pistons. Combined with the slimmer levers, these could be substantially lighter weight than before, helping put SRAM RED back in the weight-weenie pole position.
The rotors look leaner, too, with deeper scalloping around the circumference, larger vents, and much less material on the aluminum carrier.
Still 12-speed, but lighter MTB-inspired Red rear derailleur?
The rear derailleur looks leaner, particularly with the cutout on the outer parallelogram. The weight-weenies are really rejoining now!
That part does not look to be user replaceable like on the new T-Type Transmission MTB derailleur, mainly because the rear-ward pivot sits inside the B-knuckle, not outside.
Two features really stand out, though:
- It is not UDH – it’s using a standard derailleur bolt attachment, not a concentric one like Transmission. This makes us think UDH is still primarily a gravel and MTB thing in SRAM’s eyes. But road bikes will remain focused on the lightest possible weights. The inclusion of high/low limit screws reinforces this notion.
- Larger lower pulley – This appears to have a 14-tooth lower pulley with the same breakaway design as T-Type. We feel like the breakaway aspect seems less important for road. But we do like that it’s bigger. Bigger wheels mean less resistance, just ask every aftermarket cage maker.
The angled view of this cassette makes the first six cogs appear much closer than the current cassette, but both share 1-tooth jumps for the first six cogs with a 33-tooth big cog. Current smaller cassettes get 1-tooth jumps for the first seven cogs and we assume that’ll carry over, along with 2x chainring combos up front.
It remains 12-speed, but that chain looks to have huge cutouts on the outer plates to save weight. That’s something the current Red chain does not have, but the new Eagle XX SL does.
Thoughts? Did we miss anything?
What do you want to see from a new SRAM RED group?
Let us know in the comments!