Switching from Ultegra Mechanical to Rival eTap AXS - Looking for Tips & Tricks

I’m fortunate enough to have a new bike on order, hopefully showing up in a couple of weeks. It has a SRAM Rival eTap AXS drivetrain. My current bike has (mostly) Ultegra 5600 (so 2 x 10). Looking for tips and tricks switching from mechanical to electronic, and anything specific to SRAM that is different than Shimano that I should be sensitive to.

Below are a couple of things I’ve thought about. Anything else would be greatly appreciated.

  • Basic shifting differences / SRAM app / configure shifters
  • Spare coin cell batteries in bike bag for shifters
  • XDR adapter, second cassette, and thru axle adapters for trainer
    (does anyone have a dedicated thru axel for their trainer?)
  • Adding electronic groupset to head unit (Garmin Edge 830) and data fields
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A couple immediate thoughts on things I do if you have a SRAM/Quarq power meter:

  • use SRAM app to turn off magic zero (a year ago I posted about a weird corner case bug)
  • Garmin will pair with power meter and eTap, go into eTap settings and configure gearing

And re: SRAM AXS app:

  • have Garmin sync to SRAM AXS app, and then both Garmin computer and SRAM app will tell you if power meter or shifters or derailleurs are running low on battery

I charge derailleur batteries the first of every month, ride about 8 hours/week, and plenty of battery left on the derailleurs.


Carrying spare 2032’s is a good idea but make sure you have a Philips bit small enough for the 3 tiny screws holding the battery door on and use great caution, those little screws are very easy to lose.

Good call. Based on the SRAM video below it looks like mechanical brake levers have a cover with screws and hydraulic are twist on/off with a coin. I’ll need to include a coin. Thanks!

no screws on newer shifters such as the rival axs. just need a coin to twist the door open as shown.

My theory on this - don’t bother carrying spare CR3032 if you ignore head unit low battery warnings. I mean how important is it if you ignore both your head unit and AXS app?


LOL. I might try this … once … until I can’t get home one day. Maybe it’s no different than when my rear shifter cable broke and I was stuck in the small cog. Same concept - I ignored periodic maintenance so the fault was mine.

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At the beginning of each month I charge my derailleur batteries even though they don’t need it. And open AXS app and check battery status of everything. I actually have a repeating appointment the first of every month at 9pm to do it :joy:


This for sure! I’ve heard shifter batteries can last multiple seasons so just change them once a year or something and you should be fine.


Just replaced one of the shifter CR2032 batteries - 9 months. Was a bit surprised, although the bike has 4500 miles on it and 99+% outside with a lot of shifting going on.

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Mines been going strong for over a year now. Good reminder to switch!

Are you aware that the SRAM shifting mechanics are different? (I prefer the SRAM way and program my Shimano bikes to act like my SRAM bikes, but it’s a big change if you’re not expecting it)

Firstly, I’ve found Rival AXS to be brilliant. The new lever/hood design is nice. It’ll pair straight to your Edge 830 as-is. If you’re already thinking about upgrades (or to plant the seed), switching the crankset to Force will be a good first step to shave some grams.


  • Sign up to their SRAM AXS Web https://axs.sram.com/ portal. Link your Garmin Connect to it and you’re done.

  • If you use the AXS wireless blips as climbing shifters or sprint shifters you’ll still be able to change gears should the lever batteries go flat. (Also - Rival AXS levers have no aux ports, so wireless is your only option for remote shifters).

  • Random Tidbit. I’ve always found 2x setups to be a little laggier for rear gear changes than 1x on eTap. More specifically, laggier when double-tap is assigned to the shifting setup. Confirmation is hidden deep down on the SRAM support site that 2x setups are slightly laggier to change gears than 1x on the rear. I suspect they factor in a very small amount of delay to ensure a double-tap isn’t confused with a single tap if the rider presses both at slightly different times. I don’t have any SRAM eTap 2x bikes to test… but I’d play around with unassigning the double-tap and using the wireless blips for up/down on the FD.

  • Keep your firmware updated (SRAM AXS Mobile app). “If it ain’t broke, update it anyway” is my theory. :wink:


Spoke too soon! Upgraded firmware and noticed batteries are critically low. Changing tomorrow!

Yes, thanks. I’ve been studying the differences but am sure I’ll mess it up a few times.

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Shane, thanks! The Force/Red crankset is on my wishlist. I will definitely experiment with the shift settings in the app!

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Bike has 9k on it and I’ve changed the shifter batteries once after my wahoo screamed at me about it for a week. No reason to carry around a spare battery everywhere for a potential change every 5k miles. There’s plenty of other stuff on a bike that’s more likely to fail that we don’t carry duplicates of.

You can still push the derailleur buttons manually to l get yourself home semi-singlespeed if the shifters fail mid ride too. Or swap the right battery for the left, since the front der is mostly useless.

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:+1: Derailleur button: press once to shift one direction, double press to shift the other direction.

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Most people prefer SRAM’s electronic shift logic to Shimano’s: single button pushes left and right shift up and down in the rear, pushing both simultaneously gives you a front shift.

Yes, that is advisable. I’d change the battery as soon as you get a low battery warning. You could wait, but once I postponed that once too many and had to complete a workout with only a single shifter working.

Yup, got one of those for my Elite trainers.

Nope, I don’t.

I don’t have a Garmin, I have a Wahoo. I can have it show my gears either as numbers or visually. I use that when I am on the trainer, but not on the road. I also get low battery warnings and the like. Those are very useful.

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  • Indeed. The SRAM approach is simple and I have adapted my GRX Di2 in similar fashion.
  • Large Shim paddles work just like the SRAM paddles to cover rear shifting.
  • Small Shim buttons shift just the front back and forth, the same pattern as the rear.