New SRAM Red: Leaked photos appear to show top tier road groupset take learnings from mountain bike world

Images shared appear to marry up with patent drawings, with 'Magic Wheel' MTB tech also present

Image shows old SRAM red levers, SRAM patent, and SRAM XX Eagle AXS featuring Magic Wheel
Current SRAM Red levers, SRAM's parent, and SRAM XX Eagle AXS featuring Magic Wheel
(Image credit: CyclingWeekly/SRAM)

Photographs of what appears to be elements of a new SRAM Red AXS groupset have appeared on social media. 

The rear derailleur, chain and cassette, disc caliper and rotor and shifter were leaked on the 'Baohua@TCR&TARMAC' account on the social media platform X. 

These photos followed the blurred images of a potentially new Red disc brake caliper that had been posted on the Weight Weenies forum.

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Given that SRAM’s top-tier groupset hasn’t been updated since 2019, when the 12-speed AXS version launched, a refresh would appear due. 

The lower tier Force, Rival and Apex groupsets have all been revamped of late, with the slimmed down hood shape the most significant of the changes (along with Apex moving to 12-speed). 

We also saw patent drawings - covered by Bikeradar - surface in November 2023, which detailed what appeared to be a new SRAM brake and shift lever.

SRAM parent drawings

Patent drawings filed in August 2023, and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

(Image credit: SRAM)

The leaked images of the possible new Red shifter look to closely resemble those drawings. They also follow the design ethos of the newest SRAM AXS groupsets. The hood looks both smaller in size and more ergonomic than the current Red model. The shifter button also appears to resemble the updated AXS buttons now used on the lower tier groupsets. At the top of the lever there looks to be a port. From the patent drawings this looks as if it could be a reach adjuster that would make it easier to ‘customise’ the levers than the current hex-key system.

Given that Red is a range-topper, a reduction in the new groupset’s weight would seem a likely point of focus. And the leaked images appear to back this theory up. The rear derailleur has a significant hollowed out section between two pivot points, while both the disc caliper and rotor feature cut-out sections, a design feature that’s typically used to shed a few grams.

SRAM XX Eagle AXS

SRAM XX Eagle AXS, as reviewed by MBR

(Image credit: MBR/Future)

The rear derailleur also seems to feature a version of SRAM’s Magic Wheel (read more about it on our sibling site, MBR). This is a pulley used on some of its mountain bike derailleurs that allows the outer part of the wheel to still turn even if something - a stick or similar - becomes lodged in the inner part. Whether this is of much interest to road riders remains to be seen. However, given that SRAM’s AXS rear derailleurs can also be used as part of its commitment to 1x groupsets, it could be a nice upgrade for gravel riders who opt to run Red.

Other possible differences we can see from the leaked images, show a potential change in the position of the bleed port on the caliper. The chain also looks to be new, and resembles SRAM’s Flat Top MTB models used on its Eagle groupsets. Again, cut outs feature here, so there is a possibility that this design could be adopted on the road as a way of reducing weight.

Cycling Weekly contacted SRAM for a comment on the images, however, the brand declined to comment. 

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