Published on September 1st, 2015 | by Luke
SRAM eTAP Announced: The Best New Electronic Drivetrain is Wireless
What’s better than Dura Ace?
Di2 Dura Ace.
What could be better than that?
SRAM thinks they have the answer. By announcing the early 2016 release of Red eTAP, SRAM has at once entered and perhaps altered the electronic drivetrain category for ever. Eliminating unsightly wires and their intensive set-up in favor of encrypted, radio-controlled, wireless shifting, eTAP promises to provide the absolute best riding experience possible.
eTAP is made up of shifters (including “Blips,” or remote shift buttons), front and rear derailleurs (each of which has it’s own removable, rechargeable battery), and a base charger. There are obviously no cables to tension, no wires to run, and no junction box combinations to decipher. Simply charge, install, sync, and ride. SRAM’s proprietary Airea coded communication protocol has been proven by three ProTour teams, riding over 500,000K of test miles. Designed to work with the Red22 chain, cassette, cranks, and brakes, a complete eTAP/Red22 group weighs 2,096 grams, and runs in the neighborhood of $2,760.
While the derailleurs borrow heavily from currently available models, the shift lever action is intriguing. Similar to SRAM’s DoubleTap shifters, there’s only one shift paddle per side, but these work a bit differently. A single inward push on the left side shifts the rear derailleur to an easier gear, while a right side tap moves you to a harder gear. Simultaneously pushing in on both shift paddles moves the front derailleur. Powering each shifter is a CR2032 watch battery, which will last over two years, according to SRAM.
Blips, similar to Shimano’s sprinter buttons, can be positioned in various positions on your handlebar, and are responsible for the only wires in the eTAP assemblage. Each Blip plugs into the closest shifter, or in the case of aero bars, a Blipbox, which sends signals wirelessly to each derailleur.
Reported installation and set-up time for the group is less than fifteen minutes. Compatible with both Mac and PC for firmware updates, Garmin GPS devices can communicate with eTAP as well.
Here’s a quick run down of Red eTAP’s features:
- Shift Levers
Revised Ergofit controls with Reach Adjust to fit any hand. Faster, easier, more intuitive shifting. Carbon Ergoblade levers and large SRAM eTap paddles provide positive controls for rider input.
Compatible with SRAM RED eTap derailleurs.
$580/260 grams per pair
- Rear Derailleur
Instant, precise, wireless shifting. Easy set up, streamlined appearance, integrated, removable battery. Carbon pulley cage, ceramic pulley bearings, and high polished alloy.
Compatible with SRAM Red eTap controls. Maximum 28t cassette capacity.
Expected Battery Life: 60 hours or 1000 km
$590/215g without battery
- Front Derailleur
SRAM Yaw technology-equipped. Instant, precise front shifts over proprietary wireless communication protocol. The eTap shifter optimizes Yaw adjustments as needed throughout the shift range with no need for rider input. At 163g without battery, the RED eTap front derailleur maintains SRAM’s best in class weight title.
Expected Battery Life: 90 hours or 1500 km
$370/163g without battery
eTap Blip satellite shifters allow you to shift when you want, where you want. When mated with the BlipBox control module, your aero machine’s gearing is as forward leaning as the rest of bike.
Run up to two remote positions per side with limitless placement positions.
$200 for four Blips. $300 for a Blipbox, which weighs 31 grams
SRAM Red eTAP has a scheduled availability of early 2016.