VIDEO Review: SRAM eTap Review on Gravel – Part One

SRAM’s revolutionary wireless gear shifting system has been in development for some time, and was recently made available to the cycling public. If you’ve been paying attention, you would have caught our world-first video sneak peak of the system in action, way back in January 2015 at that year’s Tour Down Under.

Forward to August 2016, and we’re about to run our SRAM eTap system through the gamut of gravel training rides and gravel racing. JOM has installed it onto his personal Ritchey Breakaway Titanium CX gravel travel bike (being featured soon). This video shows what’s inside the box, pairing the system and running it through it’s paces on the workstand.

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  1. Avatar reid

    ooh, that front der battery clearance is no bueno. Might they have to come out with a different front der for cx use? that’s a oversight.

    • JOM JOM

      Hey Reid, yes, clearance is tight and not optimal for CX or gravel.

      I hope someone at SRAM has seen my video…

  2. Avatar Heffe

    I’ve always run away from anything with junction boxes and wires, but this looks real nice. If you have a red wifli derailleur lying around, can you see if the cage fits on the etap derailleur? thx 😉

    • JOM JOM

      Heffe, you read my mind… will keep you posted if it eventuates.

  3. Avatar Ryan

    I see that the 11-32 cassette works with the short cage eTap, yay! I’m guessing cross-shifting does NOT work and could possibly snap the short cage derailleur. I’m also curious about swapping a WiFLi cage onto this short cage eTap. I know WiFLi cage eTaps are now available but Sram is well over pricing them. $610 USD…insane!

    • JOM JOM

      Even at cost price the Wifli derailleur is very overpriced. I’ve cross shifted the short cage version from a 46T chainring to a 32T cog on the rear on the repair stand, but I wouldn’t run it live on the road.

  4. Avatar Ryan

    OK, I thought you said your chainrings were 48/34 in the video. In any case, the setup I’m getting on the SpeedX Unicorn X (live Kickstarter campaign until Feb. 7th) will be 50/34 chainrings combined with “hopefully” an 11-32 cassette. I say “hopefully” since during the Kickstarter campaign several things have changed about the bike. Most changes have been for the better but some have not. It looks like we will likely get the WiFLi medium cage eTap, but were in the midst of trying to get an 11-32 cassette from what they have currently (11-28).

  5. Avatar Ryan

    I should have added that I know cross-chaining is a no-no anyway. I used to work as a bike mechanic, so I’m familiar with telling people to avoid big/big and small/small. I’m just considering a worst case scenario that if we end up with a short cage eTap and wider range 11-32 cassette and the 50/34 chainring that even though Sram doesn’t recommend it, it might actually work. I would do my best to avoid cross-chaining, but since I’ve never experienced eTap, mistakes might, and often do, happen.

  6. Avatar TreyH

    Front derailleur clearance is definitely a deal-breaker for me. I doubt SRAM modifies it for a gravel-compatible version any time soon, but one can hope.

    • JOM JOM

      Surprising they recommend this for cyclocross despite the possibility of clearance issues in that genre.

      • Avatar Jake

        And hopefully SRAM can add a clutch to the rear derailer to decrease chain slap on gravel/cross bikes

    • JOM JOM

      Hey Matt, many thanks for the question. I hope to finally have Part 2 available in the next couple of weeks. Part 2 has been a long time in the making, but I wanted to really put the system to the test over the long term.

      • Avatar Matt

        Looking forward to it! I’m in the process of building a gravel frame with etap so wondering how much of an issue rear tire- front derailleur clearance is and if there’s a way to improve clearance. Thanks for putting in the time to make the review.

        • Avatar vivek

          Hi Matt,Did you receive an answer for your question.I am also keen to know how Kae Takeshita managed a 43mm tire with an etap front deraileur.Tx vivek

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