SRAM brings eTap to affordable Rival 12-speed

CHICAGO, USA – Rival is the next 12-speed group set on which SRAM has introduced eTap wireless electronic shifting. The system works exactly the same as on the Red and Force, launched in 2019, but is much more affordable. Obviously, the group carries a little more weight.
SRAM introduces the eTap wireless electronic shifting on the Rival. – Photo Remco Veurink

The heart of eTap is the way of shifting. Up or down shifting can be done via the left or right shifter. By pressing both shifters at the same time you change the front derailleur. The front and rear derailleur have their own batteries and the communication is wireless. This distinguishes SRAM from competitors who have separate shifters for the rear derailleur (right) and front derailleur (left).

Other gear ratios

The Rival eTap AXS parts group includes shifters, rear derailleur, front derailleur, brake calipers, brake discs, crankset – whether or not 1X and with or without Powermeter – 12-speed cassette and 12-speed chain.

Is that all? No. SRAM also opts for other gear ratios. For example, a 10 is the smallest rear sprocket for which a separate XD body is required. As a result, the front blades can also be smaller to offer the same or even higher gear. SRAM has extensive diagrams online for further explanation. The Rival eTap AXS crankset comes in two versions; 48/35 and 46/33.

Gravel bike range

They also make the ‘wide’ version, a 43/30 for gravel bikes. A single front blade is also available for 46 or 40 teeth. The Rival cassettes are available in 10/30: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 27 and 30 and 10/36 – same line-up but with 28, 32 and 36 as three largest ones. A SRAM Rival groupset without power meter retails for €1,411. Including power meter the price is €1,636. The price difference between the more expensive SRAM groups and the new Rival group is mainly due to the material used. For example, the Rival group in a 2X version weighs more than 3,200 grams. A Force 2X weighs more than 200 grams less, RED 650 grams less.

Differences with Red and Force

The Rival eTap may be the heaviest of the three eTap groups, but SRAM did not hold back on the most important parts. The motors inside the derailleurs, the receivers and the steering system are exactly the same as in the top group sets. Where you come across carbon in the more expensive groups, it is aluminum, steel or plastic in the Rival. Another difference can be found in the brakes. The bleed nipples, for example, are simpler and therefore cheaper. Furthermore, the rear derailleur of the Rival group does not have such a nice damper to prevent the chattering of the chain; a traditional spring should do that.

The Rival shifters are adjustable and therefore fit both large and small hands. The affordable Quarq power meter is also compatible with the Rival AXS groupset. The unit weighs only 40 grams and runs for about 400 hours on a single AAA battery.

AXS: mix it up

The Rival additionally comes with the AXS technology. This means all components of the 12-speed RED, Force and Rival, but also the AXS mountain bike gear, can be interchanged and easily mixed with each other.