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Next-gen SRAM RED group leaked?

spy shots of new 2024 SRAM Red AXS road bike group components
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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?

spy shots of new sram red shifter levers
Photos from @MoBaohua / SRAM

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.

Upgraded ergonomics?

SRAM patent drawings for new road bike brake levers
Image: SRAM / USPTO

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!

Lighter brakes?

spy shot of new sram red brake calipers

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?

spy shots of new sram red derailleur and cassette

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!

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29 Comments
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mud
mud
30 days ago

The fact that the UDH has not been widely adopted by the brands probably killed that notion, plus the added bulk.

Jamie
Jamie
29 days ago
Reply to  mud

You have literally no idea what you’re talking about. Truly. The industry does not follow what’s “In the news” right now, it runs on 2-5 years of pre-planning and constant feedback of product managers, engineers, and oem brands behind closed doors.

Tim
Tim
29 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

I’ve been riding for many years and didn’t know the length of the planning cycle (except for component groups) or what it consisted of. In fact, I’d never given a thought to it until now. Probably most people don’t think about it, either.
No need to browbeat someone for not knowing as much as you. Small things matter. Peace.

joe m.
joe m.
29 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

The development cycle of these bicycles and components does take a couple of years but I still think its worth mentioning about the derailleur not using the UDH mount like Transmission. The UDH has been out for a few years now. Most companies use it on their mtn bikes. Surely the people who are designing a companies mtn bikes talk to the people who are designing the road bikes right? The engineers working on designing this groupo probably talk to the engineers who designed the Transmission groupo right?

It’s well known that the Transmission derailleur is comparably pretty heavy. That’s likely the reason for not incorporating it into this road groupo, not because they weren’t aware of it when they designed the groupo.

I also think you are mistaken if you think that the industry doesn’t pay attention to what the industry “news” is.

ShopMechanic
ShopMechanic
26 days ago
Reply to  joe m.

It’s actually the same engineers working on MTB and Road rear derailleurs most of the time.

mud
mud
25 days ago
Reply to  Jamie

Chill out. I haven’t seen the UDH on many road bikes, have you? Maybe a few gravel bikes, but Red is not a group that is commonly specced on those.

Andrew
Andrew
28 days ago
Reply to  mud

From what I understand from other news sites, is that one of the challenges with UDH is width of the rear triangle especially with bikes with shorter length chain stays. This may be challenging with road bikes in particular. I suspect that at some point we will see some form of UDH standard adoption across the board. It just makes sense to standardize something like this. I have an inventory or derailleur hangers just to cover all of the different bikes I own, thats a PIA.

Jamie Levett
Jamie Levett
30 days ago

Great. Can we now get rid of battery holders and cable routing in frames to acomodate Shimano junk?

Darin
Darin
29 days ago
Reply to  Jamie Levett

Shimano is better than SRAM.

fitness
fitness
28 days ago
Reply to  Darin

Except in last years big three Grand Tours

Rob
Rob
29 days ago
Reply to  Jamie Levett

Tough crowd

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
30 days ago

Looks like I’m keeping my 12sp adapted Red mechanical groups

Tom Wenzel
29 days ago

RD looks like the old Sachs RDs of yore. Oh, wait, what…

Gerald
Gerald
28 days ago
Reply to  Tom Wenzel

Its an electronic Plasma.

wwm
wwm
29 days ago

It’s not very attractive

Rob
Rob
29 days ago
Reply to  wwm

Would not make a good mate.

Jay Ess
Jay Ess
27 days ago
Reply to  wwm

Campy Super Record EPS wishes it was that unattractive.

Workonsunday
Workonsunday
29 days ago

I do wonder how far we are from release. Didnt see any pro bike leak shots at all. Hard to imagine they kept it under wrap for that long and so close to summer release

Chris
Chris
28 days ago
Reply to  Workonsunday

I’m guessing Sea Otter or The Tour. But I agree, if was happening soon we would have probably saw some spy shots from the pros by now.

The one thing that is nice about SRAM they typically have new parts in stock soon after they announce it.

Rob
Rob
27 days ago
Reply to  Workonsunday

Probably May/Giro but things can change. MSR/Classics season would make sense.

Dann
Dann
28 days ago

No downside to it being leaked, obviously. SRAM gets all the free press now and lots of press at launch as well.

ShopMechanic
ShopMechanic
26 days ago
Reply to  Dann

There’s actually a pretty big downside… people making incorrect negative assumptions about the group. Happens all the time.

Evan
Evan
28 days ago

these pictures look AI generated to me. The shadows behind the cassette/rd look fake and why is the whole thing floating randomly in space; the caliper has no hose; everything is just kind of blurry

They could be real of course but they look very blah overall. It’s at least a very poorly done photoshoot.

Tim
Tim
28 days ago
Reply to  Evan

If you take a look at the picture of the brake caliper, you can see what looks like a ribbed gasket coming in from the top, it’s just nestled really close in to the fork.

ShopMechanic
ShopMechanic
26 days ago
Reply to  Evan

It’s a render guys. SRAM did that with the last 2 road and MTB group launches and they are doing it again. Doesn’t mean it isn’t AI, but being a render does not make it fake news.

Seraph
Seraph
28 days ago

I really hope that this is just an AI rendering and not the final shape for the hoods. I love the current/older Red AXS hoods. These “new” ones look like GRX had a baby with Campagnolo

Oliver
26 days ago

Bigger pulleys make sense. Sram is the groupset with the biggest frictions. This groupset will be better !
I’d like to know if chainrings options will be similar or if there will be also a standard choice.The derailleurs of pros should be available because there are many riders who are not pros but need large chainrings. Pro riders are good at velocity but it should not be reserved to pro riders to ride a 54T, especially with super aero bicycles available in 2024 on the market.

Greg Matyas
25 days ago

I really enjoyed everything about the gen1 eTap Red group on my gravel bike, but the brakes were a deal breaker. Power was sufficient, but got so tired of the gaggle of geese sounds, I put on an Ultegra Di2 2×12 and never looked back.

Dan Connelly
25 days ago

One of the big factors in Dura-Ace 12-speed being lighter than SRAM Red is the battery weight. It will be interesting to know if SRAM has lightened the battery in this new generation.

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