Like cycling clairvoyants, product managers often know the future. Well, the product specification future for the next few years that is. And every once in a while, they let a glimpse of that future accidentally slip out as websites get updated for upcoming models.
That may be the case with VSF-Fahrradmanufaktur and their GX-700 gravel bike – currently listed on their website with a “SRAM Apex AXS 12-Speed” build. Only, that drivetrain doesn’t yet exist.
Clearly, the image of the bike on their site show a mechanical SRAM Rival1 group so they haven’t leaked any photos of what would be SRAM’s most affordable wireless group, stealing that current title from Rival AXS.
The specifications though clearly list out what would be a 12-speed SRAM AXS drivetrain complete with a SRAM XPLR PG-1231 11-44t cassette. A Sram Apex 12-speed chain is listed which may be an interesting addition if it proves to be an inexpensive 12-speed replacement chains for SRAM’s higher end drivetrains. The Apex AXS components also include AXS shifter, and flat mount disc brakes with 160mm rotors front and rear.
Notably, the build includes a SRAM Apex 1 crankset which is currently not listed as 12-speed compatible on SRAM’s website. That suggests that there may be a new 12-speed compatible chainring coming for SRAM’s existing Apex 1 crankset.
The other thing to note? None of the references to the group include the word ‘eTap’. Now that could simply be an omission… or does it signal some other type of change for the wireless shifting groups to decrease price?
With this much detail, it seems unlikely that this isn’t a glimpse at the future. Though how far in the future, we’ll have to wait and see. Assuming this brings down the cost of wireless electronic shifting even further, will it make the system more appealing than ever?
Thanks to Patrick for the tip!