SRAM Force AXS Cassette Noise Issue

It’s been mention in other threads, but I’m hoping to start a tread specific to the noise people are experiencing with the Force Cassette, and solution that have made the problem better.

I just upgraded from a wheel on trainer to a direct drive Saris H3. This means that it is super quite, and the only thing I hear/feel is the drivetrain now. For reference my chain has ~1000 miles, and the cassette is brand new

The noise starts as soon as you get to the smallest three cogs in the rear. Even with zero power going through the pedals, you can hear and feel the chain running through the cassette and or jockey wheels. When applying power it become unbearably loud, and I can even feel the vibration in my feet. As soon as I free wheel the sound disappears. Suggesting there is nothing wrong with the trainer or freehub.

SRAM Force Noisy Cassette

At this point I’m almost tempted to go back to my wheel on trainer and listen to wheel noise.

Here is another example pulled from the 12 speed waxing chain forum post, with the same issue it sounds like.

Did you get the spacer kit from SRAM for your cassette? There was an upgrade I believe free to help with the noise. Mine came already installed.

Just bought the cassette for the trainer 06Apr2020. I only got a cassette in the box.

Are the spacers what appear to be rubber washers between the 10,11, and 12 tooth cogs? If so, my cassette has then already installed. If not, a little more info on what this spacer is should be great.

@wiscbiker yep, sounds like you have the spacers. Sorry can’t help more.

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What chain? What chainring? All Sram AXS flattop? 12sp is really picky about chain tooth profile.
Is the jockey wheel cage rubbing the chain?

I have the same setup and I know what you mean about the noise. My Force AXS sounds like a small diesel at times. Both of my cassettes came without the “stealth rings.” They can be added later and have seemed to help a bit.

I spoke with a rep from SRAM a few weeks ago and was told that part of the issue is the black coating on the cassette. It will start to wear off and helps a quite a bit too. This has been the biggest noise reduction. The gears I ride the most are the quietest. I wax my chains. In my experience, waxed chains are a bit louder than using a dry/wet lube. You can also use the b-gap gauge tool that came with the group to check to make sure it’s properly set. If the b-limit screw is set too far out the jockey wheels can cause some noise.

The easiest fix is to get a Red cassette, but those aren’t cheap! Depending on your need for silence, I’d recommend, getting the stealth rings from SRAM and keep it in your most used gear.

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I agree with you Jesse,

I was swapping out the cassette between the wheel and the trainer the first week I had the H3, which had about 1000 miles in it. My most used gears, middle of the cassette, had a lot of the black paint removed. On that cassette only the 10, 11, and 12 cogs had this issue, even with the “stealth spacers”. This new cassette however has this issue in almost every cog.

Before you even mentioned it, it feels like something is wrong with the B-limit screw. It’s weird, I’ve always considered the b-limit the least important adjustment. Additionally, if the b-limit is fine when my wheel is on, shouldn’t this carry over to the trainer? After all, the diameter of the cogs should be the same between cassettes.

Yep, the b-limit won’t change from wheel to trainer. But the indexing might change a bit, you may want to try fine tuning that to see if the helps.

Similar issue. I just built up a new Tarmac frame-set with all brand new eTap Red. Everything is perfect, except when I’m running in the middle of the cassette (the middle 3 gears). I hear a noise coming from the cassette that I can’t figure out. Thought it was the front dr rubbing the chain, but that’s not it. It does it regardless of what chain-ring I’m in, hence, it’s not a chain line issue. All other gearing is perfectly silent.
I’m at a loss. Everything is brand new. Go figure.

I had the noise issue on my new Venge with Force groupset. I bought the replacement Force stealth rings (two sets of the existing three rings) and fitted them in the remaining gaps leaving the gaps between the largest cogs without them. Cassette noise is now totally gone when in the smallest nine cogs. Would be better to get the replacement Red stealth rings so that all gaps were filled but this has totally sorted the issue in the relevant gears for me.

Hey boss - I am having this issue too. It is not clear to me in your picture what you did/what has changed. Can you break it down for my untrained eye?

any chance you have a link for the “stealth rings”?

I got mine through my local bike shop, they ordered directly from SRAM. They are hard to find online, but I did find this link.

Same issue here with Sram Force AXS. coming from Dura-Ace 9000 Mechanical I decided to venture into Wireless shifting and disc brakes, the cheaper option nowadays is a complete bike. New Scott Addict with Force AXS, on the first ride the noise from the rear cassette was awful, put it down to adjustments needed, everything looked fine, second ride again noise awful whatever gear you are in and chain drop shifting from large to small chain ring.

Google the issue and its seems I`m not alone, so I decided to take a closer look at this.
Removed both mechs off the bike, as its a factory job, they needed a complete refit, followed the instructional videos and spent a good few hours checking everything. cleaned the chain and applied Fenwicks professional lube, now runs perfect and silent.

In summary a total refit and setup of the mechs and Fenwicks lube.

Hope this helps others out there with this annoying issue. but when it comes to replacement cassette, chain and rings they will be Red AXS !!

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Hi Jesse - did the SRAM rep you talked to mention anything about performance loss associated with the noise?

Taking my bike into the shop next week to have them tune it since I first got it. Can you send me the videos youre talking about so I can send it to them so they have reference material?

No, they didn’t. There is some efficiency loss from the noise, after-all sound is mechanical energy. I would suspect that the loss is fairly small. Interesting question!

Here you go - hope you get sorted

So the RED cassette has the same issue as the FORCE cassette, or no?

Mine is pretty loud. It sounds like I don’t know how to tune a derailleur, an idea to which I take great offense :slight_smile:

As in the the thread title it would be just the Force cassette I believe, dont know about the RED as not got one, but my bet is the lube, get a bottle of Fenwicks pro lube around £10, used this for years, an application to the chain and the FORCE is quiter, same with other brands too !

Not much to tune on the E-Tap apart from the B-screw using the red plastic guide, and your pretty much there.

But is seems the RED AXS cassette doesn`t have the noise issue, according to this and other forums.

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