2023 SRAM Apex, AXS & Mech, 1 x 12-Speed only


On one hand cool on the other hand totally screws up the range of gearing for 1x.

Screws it up how?

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If they could just make a mechanical 12spd TT/bar end shifter that would make my life a WHOLE lot easier…

I was about to order the ratio conversion kit for my gravel bike as I’m finally building up some new wheels for it to go mechanical 12spd. Guess I’ll look into this first.

Had to search and just found one possible option from a 2nd tier brand:

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Not having the 10t means you’re sacrificing like 2 climbing gears in order to get high enough top speed.

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Interesting. They do have a sram “mtb” option. So with this cassette and an xplr mech der it could work if I am understanding the sram xplr/eagle compatibility from some of the articles you linked. And that would mean I could just swap that cassette between my existing 11spd trainer/race wheels. This release may fix my “problem” in an unintended way. Thanks for that link.

I realized after further reading that the new shifters are hydraulic only so that knocks that option out for my gravel bike. But seems like I should be able to figure out something for the tri bike with some of these parts.

This is different cassette spacing than the road 12spd stuff correct? So like you couldn’t take this new cassette on a pg hub body and swap that whole wheel onto a bike that had red 12spd right?

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OK. True for the default setups, but from my quick skimming it seems that upgrading to XDR for 10t high gear is an option. Just an extra step for those that need it.

I think this is essentially the same as the MTB 12x, not the Road version. So there is not an option to mix the new Apex stuff with other SRAM road AXS 12x. But that is all from very quick skims and I might be missing something.


That is what I was getting from it too. Oh well less useful for me, except maybe the tri bike, but should be a good addition to the product line especially entry level gravel bikes


I really really like this and think this could kill or stop a lot of market noise before it develops to something bigger.

That said, I think SRAM missed the price point on this groupset to squash competition, if you compare it to eRX (which I know isnt reputable) in an apples to apples the eRX can be had for about $700 (thats with a FD) to your door and is about 25g lighter than the Apex (remember im comparing apples to apples i.e Shifter, battery, calipers, RD).

The apex comes in at $823 before tax and shipping (if applicable) so for me we will say $875-$900. I think in my opinion an apples to apples to curve the in-coming chinese groupset force would have been to release this at a $725 value.

Granted my opinion is based on electronic upgrade and not on purchasing a new bike, my evaluation is also on an unknown product for support and reliability. BUT this is sometimes how new competition is created :man_shrugging:t3:

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As long as you don’t have both steep climbs and speeds much over 30 in your ride the gearing can be adequate.

My gut says that gearing will work well for a large part of the bell curve of people getting those bikes at those price points. We have to remember that many of us here are towards the outer parts of that curve so our needs may not be representative of the greater mass of users.


Yeah, I think the big bit there is that it’s really about OEM purchases. This came up in one of the media briefings, and they basically kinda agreed that if you were going to be buying the components aftermarket, it probably made sense to spend just the tiny bit more for the next level up. Just cause.

Whereas for OEM’s, spec’ing an AXS equipped 12sp bike at sub-$2k (all-in, everything) is pretty crazy.


That is where the $$$ is, at least in our area. I see this taking some good market share depending on what big S & T do with the builds around that group.

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I want to start off by saying thank you for everything you have done for our community. I have been a follower and fan for as long as I can remember (CIRCA 2015??). I would venture to say that some of your review’s saved my but when doing IM things. I have always loved and valued your content, thank you again!

Back on track! You are absolutely correct!

This is a new OEM outlook for sure and it is sooo exciting to see someone doing something to help the market (outside of the overseas manufactures releasing things).

If I was to purchase the SRAM groupset as an upgrade based on our conversation above, it would be so asinine to purchase anything but the APEX or Rival depending if you want a 1x or 2x. The weights are just not there with APEX only being 150g heavier over RED for a 1x configuration.

That $1285 could be used SO much better elsewhere, again my $.02 as a consumer, bike snob(ish) and competing in the hobby for a very long time.

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This is all fully cross-compatible with MTB or Road. There are 2 different Apex 12s derailleurs, one that can handle Eagle cassettes (for MTB/mullet setups) and one that works with road stuff. If you’re running MTB you need an Eagle chain, if you’re running the road version you need the Flattop chain. The only point of non-compatibility (as far as I can tell) is the chain, as Flattop/SRAM road uses different roller sizes. So you still can’t swap between MTB and road cassettes on the same bike. But cable pull and gear spacing are fully cross-compatible across the whole SRAM 12s ecosystem.


Partly true.

Apex AXS XPLR is compatible with the other XPLR road/gravel stuff. Flat-top chain, etc. But, you could use an AXS mountain rd with Eagle chain in a mullet config, if you wanted.

On Apex mech, there are two Apex rd - one for road, one for mountain. Same cable pull, one is just configured for the 44t XPLR cassette (w/ flat-top chain) and the other for 52t cassette (mountain cassette, Eagle chain). Both are basically modified GX rds - just with cable barrel added and cage/pulleys spec’ed for the correct chain and gear range.


Yup, just listened to the podcast linked above, and learned of the partial split on gears / chains. Interesting and confusing to a degree, but sounds like it still makes sense broadly speaking. Just have to look close for anyone wanting to mix stuff to make sure a specific combo plays nice.