By Paul Norman
But there have been two glaring gaps in SRAM’s single ring groupset line-up: there’s no SRAM Red level option and no electronic shifting – until now.
At Superprestige Gavere, we stopped by World Champion Wout van Aert’s encampment. Snooping around the canvas awning, we spotted a bike with no front mech and a new, chunky eTap rear mech. SRAM was in attendance and whisked the bike away, putting it in Van Aert’s van.
We asked if we could shoot Van Aert’s bike. “The 11-speed, sure,” was the response, implying that the secret bike had more than 11 speeds. So we reckon that the new SRAM eTap 1 groupset will be 12-speed.
That fits in with SRAM’s Eagle 12-speed MTB groupset, where an electronic version is in the offing and has been spotted on Nino Schurter’s bike. And we’ve also shown you spy shots of the new SRAM eTap 2x set-up with a 12-speed cassette.
Eagle will handle a cassette up to 50 teeth, so it will be interesting to see just what range is offered by eTap 1.
So SRAM looks to be developing a complete 12-speed eTap line-up across its top end road and MTB groupsets and single ring and double ring options.
Van Aert had long been holding out against going single ring. He continued to run a SRAM Red eTap double ring groupset long after the rest of his erstwhile Sniper Cycling team were running SRAM Force 1 mechanical.
At Superprestige Gavere, he stubbornly stuck to his Red eTap two ring bikes. But he’s ridden the single ring set-up at Koksijde and Tabor, where these shots were taken.
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