Big boy SRAM AXS chain rings launched today

I don‘t know what else we will see. My 54T 1x 10-33 maxes out the current chain. Idk if we‘ll see a longer chain for example. Don’t know about cassettes either.

I see these as:

  • 52/39 for mountainous days, when you don‘t have the steepest of climbs (it is the go to Cassette of Porte and Nibali)
  • 54/41 for flatter races with very high average speed (Mads Pedersen, Jasper Stuyven etc have used these for their respective recent wins)
  • 56/43 for Timetrials, when it is not pan flat. In that case, a 1x would probably be the go to.

46/33 is most common in road bikes, esp endurance ones. I have seen a few aero bikes specc’ed with that which is very weird. Some racier bikes come with 48/35 (Tarmac Sl7 etc). I dont think I have ever seen a stock bike come with 50/37 as OE spec?
Put it this way; these 3 new options will never ever be standard spec on production bikes, Maybe we see them as an exotic option on Project One (esp with team tie in?)

No! A lot of this is all about getting a straight chain line for max efficiency; so big ring and bang in middle of the cassette


I think the rational of bike makers goes „there are more people who struggle up a climb, than people who spin out 48/10 (almost 53/11).
However, I have bought a lot of bikes with SRAM AXS and was ALWAYS allowed to choose the chainring free of charge.
Specialized has always done that for me, and I am already in talks with the store to get a new bike with the new ring, no extra charge.
Trek bikes can be ordered through project one without additional charge as well. Project One has this bad reputation of being the program for overpriced paintjobs.
However, all SLR level bikes go through P1 for things like:

  • choosing chainring and cassette size and crank arm length
  • PM or not, ceramic BB etc
  • choosing a saddle and tires (i chose the cheapest since I didn’t like the trek ones)
  • choosing bar and stem combos
  • choosing seat mast/ seat post length
  • choosing bar tape/ colors and frame paint.

I can’t help but think that this will help Shimano(and Campy) sell some of their new 12 speed cassettes… It’ll mean that you will no longer “need” Sram’s 10t cog, but could opt for the 11~34t cassette that Shimano will be dropping, eventually… lol. It’ll save some people money on new free hub bodies, as you’re no longer obligated to use XDr drivers.

I really don’t understand this rational? SRAM chainrings are thusfar only compatible with AXS chain, which is only compatible with AXS cassettes. Also, there is no evidence yet of a new RD, which could work with another cassette…

I have the 46/33 and 10-32 and 10-28 cassettes.

Currently holding some the most contested flat KOMs (6 to 10 miles) over young pros in my area on it and going for a few more shortly too, I know this chainring can do it.

Definitely fast enough for road use, though admittedly it does get too spinny and is virtually useless on downhills! I would probably prefer one size up even for the flats just to eek more power out when the tailwind is on strong.

My area is mostly about climbing though so it’s great to stick it in the 33-32 and spin up gradients that have most guys gurning. You can also go from flat to climb on the big ring a lot without the hassle of having to drop it down into 33. Love it, really even if you’re a strong rider, definitely consider this if you have a good mix of flat and climbing in your area.

Other major benefit I’ve had lately is starting POL training. Having the 33 and 32 on the rear means I don’t need to stick to flat areas to do Z1 days, I can choose my routes at will, even go climbing for the day. Massive boon that, takes the tedium out of it. How many guys do you see claiming you can’t climb without your heart rate shooting up over X gradient? Quite a lot, but it’s mostly a matter of gearing and control.

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IMHO that’s an outdated way of thinking. A 46-tooth chain ring with a 10-tooth cog gives you a taller gear than 50:11 or 53:12. The main reason why pros these days use taller gears is that larger cogs are slightly more efficient. Although I don’t think it matters to most other riders.

To be honest, even a 50:11 is quite tall, I am usually in my 13-tooth cog when I am doing about 50 km/h. Pros with larger chain rings can go up two more gears in the back. That way their chain line is straighter and the bending radius is larger — which translates to more efficiency. You only need taller gears if you want to pedal on the downhills, which outside of races is not something I typically can or should do (since I have to contend with traffic and the like). But typically, I just stop pedaling once I reach a certain speed.

That’s quite important: almost always people should prioritize climbing gears as opposed to fast gears. Especially people shouldn’t use race gearing for their everyday bikes. Things like Z2 rides or being able to do long days in the saddle (at a lower power output) are important. My new road bike will be 1x, a 42-tooth chainring in the front with an 10-36 cassette in the rear. I’m losing one gear at the top and half a gear at the bottom. I was thinking of going with a 44- or 46-tooth chainring, but I’ve decided that for everyday riding a 42 teeth will give me better gearing combos. If I need something faster for racing, I’ll figure that out by trying and then simply buy another chainring (46, I reckon).

As an aside I remember a former pro podiumed with a 40-tooth chain ring in the front an an 11-32 cassette in the back. He has a BMX background, so very fast cadences are nothing unusual for him.

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How you are this condescending, and yet comment with so little substance, is beyond me.


Well, if you are in the smallest cog a lot of the time, you clearly don‘t have the right chainring size. I have had all 4 available SRAM AXS chainring sizes on my bikes, and the 46/33 is very small. It is not unusable or anything, as I said earlier, it clearly has its place, but I have spun that out a few times, and that just is rather annoying. Also, even on solo rides, my chainline wasn’t great. I wouldn’t always judge chainring sizing based on the smallest possible cog, but the cog I want to ride in most of the time.
The new chainrings are probably meant to have you avoid the 10t most of the time.

But I am not, because I don’t think I’ll be doing 50 km/h all the time on the flats. :wink:
More realistically, it’s between 30 and 45 km/h, so I will be spending most of my time in the 17- to 13-tooth cogs. Regarding spinning out, as soon as you go downhill, you can spin out anything. I haven’t ridden a standard crank in years, but I have had a loaner with a semicompact crank. The difference to my current bike with a compact crank wasn’t that significant. There were I think only two places where I’d spin faster than I’d like with my compact and felt more comfortable on the semicompact. On most downhill, once I hit 60 km/h I stop pedaling (unless I am racing perhaps). So in my experience, once mountains are involved, you can spin out any gearing if you are brave enough (or have just very, very little traffic).

On my new bike, which is being built up as we speak (they are waiting on the power meter AFAIK), I have chosen my gearing very deliberately based off of my experience with my current bike and the terrain I will be riding.

Overall, you should get away from chainring size and think about gear ratios. A 46-tooth chainring with a 10-tooth cog gives you a slightly taller gear than 50:11. Likewise, if you want the equivalent gearing of a semicompact crank, go for 48/35. In fact, 48:10 = 4.80 is essentially the same gearing as 53:11 = 4.82.

The new chainrings come from pros who not only spare their 10-tooth cogs, but also their 11-tooth cogs and many other smaller cogs. That’s simply down to marginal gains due to higher drive train efficiency, but has zero to do with them “needing” a 50:10 = 55:11. That’s why pros nowadays tend to prefer 11-32 and 10-33 cassettes despite the larger jumps and inhumanely large chainrings.

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So 46 is “very small”, yet 52 is “massive”? Okay…

Thank you, couldn’t have said it better myself! :joy:

How about old_enough_to_not_rely_on_hyperbole_to_make_my_points instead? I’m superexcited about that one.

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I think this may be getting a bit off track…attack the idea not the person etc etc


Unfortunately I don’t this will be possible since it’s my understanding that SRAM has gone to a larger roller diameter with their AXS chains so they wouldn’t mesh well with Shimano’s stuff. Obviously Shimano could change their chain dimensions to match.

Though I do wish this was possible. I don’t have road 12 speed now but I rarely find a time when I need to keep pedaling on my 52-11 and I think I would prefer to have a 11-32 cassette with smaller jumps than a 10 tooth cog.

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It is possible to think, that sram will release a new RD accommodating 11t 12x-cassettes and the cassettes to the public. Not sure how likely this really is, but there are rumors.
Won’t be super relevant for the vast minority of us, I guess.

The one situation where I think they might do it is if they release a Rival AXS group they might release the rival cassettes with an 11 tooth that fits on the normal HG freehub. They do the same thing with their NX MTB groups so I think that could be a real possibility. The can get the more entry level crown into the AXS ecosystem without having to buy all new wheels and stuff but if you want the good stuff then you have to make the investment.

But I have absolutely no inside info other than what I read here so I could be totally wrong.

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To be fair, I don’t remember that at all. I do remember 52/42 being the standard back in the 80s. :smiley:

But I rode that 80s road bike until 2010 when I got the 50/39 I’m on now, so I guess I just wasn’t paying much attention.

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