I’m pissed and I’ll tell you why. I believe SRAM purposefully phases product releases to get people to buy products twice.
**XX1 AXS was released only as a full groupset requiring you to buy a crankset. Only after a number of months did they release the “upgrade” kit that was just the shifter, derailleur, and battery system.
**Force AXS released and immediately panned for not having gearing options for gravel setups without doing a 1X “mullet” build and limited tire clearance. A number of months later they release this system.
Just a few posts up you see someone that already has Force Axs buying a new cassette, which is presumably not needing to be replaced yet. Therego SRAM sells two cassettes instead of one. With XX1 AXS they sold a ton of cranksets to people that didn’t need them but had the means and wanted the new AXS system, only to sell the new crankset on eBay.
I’ve seen this enough times to believe this is a purposeful strategy to get early adopters to buy a product and then upgrade some piece of it 6-12 months later because they didn’t sell a complete system in the first place. There are a bunch of gravel bikes that were sold with the narrow version on them that didn’t have wide enough gearing or tire clearance. Now those people are going to spend $$'s again if they want to gain the clearance their frame actually has but they are limited by the front derailleur battery.
Now the product itself? Great, it’s what they should have released in the first place. The 10-36 cassette with the 46/33 crankset w/ wide spindle, and wide FD would be a perfect system. Less than a 1:1 climbing ratio and a good gear for being able to pedal down a straight gravel road in the big ring and also throw road wheels on your bike and do the group ride.
I built my gravel/road bike with Ultegra di2 and a RX805 clutch RD. Works great, only have 1 battery to charge, didn’t require a freehub change (really expensive on Chris King hubs). At the time the Force Axs was going to cost about $800 more due to the $300 freehub and axle swap from Chris King and the tire clearance and gearing options weren’t as good as what I could do with standard 11 speed components. Cheaper cassettes for two wheelsets, etc.