XPLR gravel equip launched by SRAM, RockShox & Zipp

Helps with aero.

Definitely not for everyone though. I’m on the fence.

Problem with AXS droppers is that you can’t easily mount a saddlebag. The battery gets in the way. No problem for an XC race bike, but doesn’t really mesh with a gravel bike.

Overall, I agree…I much prefer a suspension seatpost for my gravel bike. If I am gonna regulalry need a dropper post, I’d say I am on the wrong bike for the day.

That said, there were a couple of moments at The Rift two weeks ago where I did have my ass pretty far off the back of my saddle and thought “Yeah, a dropper would be nice here”.

But “nice to have” does not = “have to have”.


Not all of a sudden, my first “bad-a**” road bike was equipped with Shimano 600 which is Ultegra now. Shimano had a lot of number named groupsets. There is the rumour that Shimano retained 105 for its similarity to Levis 501 which was the most known product in Japan for years (or however you call product awareness in marketing English)


That’s a very hard choice!

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How much weight are you talking @Jonathan ?

Jeremiah Bishop (directly sponsored by Canyon) put out a long video for the 2019 edition of Unbound showing his Grail and Endurace set-ups and talked through why he would make the decision one way or the other the day of the event. He was pretty blunt about the fact that for all but the top 25 or so racers in the event the Grail was the right choice, but since he is on another level of bike handling he can get away with less bike. Now he rode a Grizl at Steamboat yesterday, but it was one of the first races he’s done since 2019.

I don’t know much about the contracts that these athletes have with the bike brands, but I would assume there is a big difference in team sponsorship Canyon-Alpecin-Eddie, the direct pro racer contracts for Stetina, and VC who is more of a personality/influencer first and racer second. They probably have a lot more flexibility in what they can race as long as it is a Canyon brand, because their performance will differ on those 1% margins.

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It’s a pity, now that they own Time, that they didn’t sort out the Cyclo pedal and round out their XPLR collection with some decent gravel pedals.

I have a suspicion we will see new pedals (even a power meter version based on their PowerTap purchase) in the next year or so. Fingers crossed at least, because I love my ancient ATAC pedals and hope to see them bring the brand back to relevance again.


I talked with SRAM at SBT Grvl this weekend. Sad to say the new derailer will not work with my Force AXS 2x setup. Has to do with jockey wheel alignment and chain management. Guess I have to decide on convert to 1x or NEW BIKE DAY. I’d like to have a Salsa Cutthroat with the fork, dropper and a 38 front chain ring pair with XPLR 10-42 rear. Don’t know if Salsa is going to do something like that. SRAM said Canyon has told them on of their gravel bikes will have XPLR as a build option.

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I really want this for my CX/gravel setup and hope I can hack a 10-33 onto it.

40t x 10-33 for CX race season
Switch to
42t x 10-44 for rest of year gravel riding

Right now I have 11sp rival on my crux which is fine for CX but in gravel mode (11-42 mtn cassette) I run out of top end often and have huge gaps in gears on the high end of the cassette.

Have you tried to stuff a bigger cassette under your current Etap RD yet? I suspect something bigger than 36t will fit

Really considering making the switch from Shimano GRX di2 2x to Force AXS XPLR on my Open UPPER. Right now my current setup of 50x34 chainrings paired to an 11-34 cassette is perfect for everything I do on the bike EXCEPT bikepacking trips, I need to figure out how to get some easier gears! Just ordered a cheap 11-40 cassette and new chain, and going to see if I can get the Di2 rear mech to shift the 50x34 11-40 combo without being too clunky as if that works I’ll be able to keep the Di2 setup. I absolutely love the GRX brake lever ergonomics and brake performance, and am really happy with the gear range and shifting performance for everything aside from loaded bikepacking.

However, I think the 12 speed 10-44 XPLR cassette would be a great option as I could easily swap chainrings based on whatever gearing I needed. 44t x 10-44 is perfect range for everyday fast road/gravel riding, and I could just toss on a 40t or even 38t chainring whenever I wanted super easy gears. I think chainrings swaps will be much easier than tossing on a whole new cassette and chain. I also love the look and simplicity of 1x setups, and the possibility of tossing on the AXS dropper post for bikepacking trips or gnar gravel rides is super appealing!

Granted I’m running a 46/30 up front, but I have a 11-40 cassette with GRX Di2 and it shifts beautifully. I think @mcneese.chad was running a combo similar to yours so maybe he can chime in too.

The XPLR stuff does look cool…curious how the hoods feel. The GRX Di2 are my favorite hoods, compared to my experience with Tiagra/105/Ultegra Di2


My old setup was Ultegra mechanical, 50x34 & 11-40 using an XT MTB rear derailleur with a Wolftooth Tanpan leverage adjuster. Worked a treat and had full range with the long derailleur.

So, same gearing but the rear derailleur sticking with the GRX Di2 will potentially limit the max cross I would guess. I don’t do it, but the big x big combo “works” and won’t rip off my derailleur. I’d be careful with the GRX 2x rear as I don’t think it matches the takeup of the XT I use.


As others have said, seems like no problem. I’ll be doing the same with my Aspero when it arrives (31/48 chainrings so if it works with that it will work with 16T differential like 50/34).