12 minute abs.. not 11× 21.02.2019 Sometimes new things come along and they’re not really new things at all, just the old thing with a new hat. But when a genuine advancement comes along, Malibu Stacey’s new hat is shown up for what it’s worth. SRAM already set the wheels in motion with eTap’s wireless shifting a couple of years ago, but with the arrival of the eTap AXS 12 Speed Road Groupset, anything before this time seems archaic. We shall now know this time as BA12 and AA12, before AXS 12 Speed and after AXS 12 Speed. What do we have?12 speed duh! Bloody 12 speeds are here. The AXS 12 Speed comes in a 2x and 1 x configurations, but the excitement is arguably placed on the 1x as the way of the future; a new range of cassettes can all but eliminate the need for a front derailleur. Believe it! 10-26T, 10-28T and 10-33T options provide smoother changes than 11 speed rivals can and are all you’ll ever need. PowerThere’s been a lot of talk about the integrated power metres. And rightly so. New Quarq DZero, 36 grams lighter and part of the chainring rather than crank has provided an added emphasis on accuracy and annoying things like elevation and temperature have little to no effect on your data. One Piece chain rings.Even the 2x is unbelievably one piece of unobtanium. It saves some weight, but is also stiffer and more efficient. SRAM even claim that it’s quieter.The 2x chainrings are available as 50/37T (said to mimic 53/39 11-speed chainset), 48/35T (52/36T chainset), and 46/33 (equiv. of 50/34T chainset)1x’s come in 36 - 42t options and there are big boy direct mount aero chainring options of 48 and 50t available. Can chains be sexy?Yes. Look! More information? SRAM have cleverly made the new cassette open to all. It will work on most wheel and hub manufacturers (except Shimano) but will require a smaller diameter hub designed for the nifty new 10t sprocket. So, in order for all that to work, the chain had to change, it had to be skinnier to work in the available room. SRAM designed it with a flat top finish which is there to provide the extra material needed in order to retain strength, rigidity and integrity - Not just function but form too. Your mates will immediately feel inferior at the mere sight of the chain - it doesn’t work on only other groupset! Disc and Rim?Where we’re going we don’t need rim brakes. (If you must, they’re available) There’s an app for that.With great power comes great responsibility. The new app for the AXS system is endlessly customisable for smoother shifts. A compensating setting can shift the rear up to two cogs at a time to keep your cadence steady. You can even swap shifter controls making your left shift up and right down or vice-versa. It’s clever stuff and worth as tory itself. So, what price do these advancements come?Well, the beauty of the cycling industry - and sometimes they’re hard to find - is the trickle down effect and not that bullshit Reaganomics trickle down, but actual good for consumers trickle down. There are already rumours of a wireless Force 12 Speed groupset to come and no doubt as more people adopt the technology the price will fall. This is a long way of saying it’s expensive, but it’s a genuine game changer, it’s bloody unreal and is usable, practical, clever, reliable and hands down the best looking groupset you can buy right now. There’s a lot more to know about this, but like a Ken Burns documentary on civil war America, it’s best to take it in over a few nights. Unlike a Ken Burns documentary it will provide you with a grin from ear to ear. SRAM runs a super professional operation, so not only have they done their research, development and testing, there’s no need to wait like so many new to market products. They’re ready. And when you see it in the flesh, your only question will be, am I ready for 1x?