SRAM Force AXS 48/33 chainring combination?

Hello TrainerRoad Forum,

First time posting for me. I was hoping the forum would be able to help me with the answer to a quesetion I cannot find anywhere else.

I have been using SRAM Force AXS for a couple of years now. I run a 46/33 setup with a 10-36 cassette as this works best for me in my steep mountainous terrain and 3.5 W/kg FTP. I feel the best setup would be a 48/33 chainring combination. Does anyone have experience with this? It is still only a 15 tooth jump compared to 13 and I feel the front derailleur can handle this.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Just don’t.
The gain will be miniscule: at 100 rpm, it is 59.3 km/h vs. 61.9 km/h. How often are you in your top gear at speed? Probably only when you are going downhill and are lucky enough to have a straight section.

Top end gear fomo is almost always misplaced.

For comparison: I am a bit stronger than you are and run a 1x12 Force eTap AXS setup. I live in Japan, meaning I am surrounded by proper mountains, but can also have pancake-flat rides along the coast. I have a 42-tooth chainring and a 10–36 cassette. Unless I am in a rolling road race, I don’t think I need any more gears. I spin out at 62–65 km/h, which is plenty fast on public roads with traffic.


I’ve done similar hacks on a Shimano setup and it’s been fine. If the derailleur can handle a 50t, it can handle the 48t, the little jump to the smaller chain ring shouldn’t be an issue. It may not be lightening quick, but it should work without problems. I would consider a chain catcher or maybe some protective tape around the BB just in case it makes your setup a little more susceptible to dropped chains.

Yeah, I definitely recommend against this, too.
The SRAM FD is explicitly listed to only be able to handle a 13 tooth jump and it is pretty unreliable even at that.
46/33 10-36 is my go to gravel set up, and runs really beautifully.
I understand the wish to go bigger on the front, but as aforementioned, the 10t will not have you run out of gears all too often (it’s bigger than 50/11 afterall).
If you seek efficiency, I’d leave SRAM altogether :grin:

Another no.

  1. Front shifting will probably be poor with lots of chain drops.
  2. Rear mech may not have enough capacity.
  3. If you really need a 48/10 top gear, just get the 48/35 chainrings. You’re gaining ~5 inches at the top* but only losing 1.5 inches at the bottom. 48/10 is just a smidge smaller than 53/11, if you can use that gear (I mean really use it) then go for it. 35/36 is about halfway between your current bottom gear (33/36) and 2nd gear (33/32).
  4. If you really need a 33/36 bottom gear (far more likely IME), keep what you have.
  5. Check out your gear data in the AXS app, it’s show you what gears you actually use when riding.

*to give you an example of how small that is, just changing from a 700-23c tyre to a 700-30c will increase your effective gear by 3 inches.

1 Like

Thank you all for your feedback and expertise. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to this post.

Best wishes for your training this Winter.