As the name implies, the Red eTap AXS 36T Max derailleur is designed to work with cassettes with up to a 36-tooth large cog.
This makes it possible to achieve lower gearing than before – the existing Red eTap AXS rear derailleur tops out at 33t.
Priced at £610 / $710 / €685 (not including battery), the 36T Max derailleur will work with SRAM’s Force-level XG-1270 12-speed cassettes in 10-28, 10-33 and 10-36 ratios.
It uses the same Orbit fluid damper as previous derailleurs and features a longer body to clear larger sprockets. As you’d hope, the Max 36T accepts the same eTap batteries as existing components, and the frame fit specifications remain unchanged too. Claimed weight for the new derailleur is 278g, not including the battery.
The latest update to Red eTap AXS doesn’t offer any new crank options, but there’s nothing to stop you mixing Force and Red components, and the new derailleur is designed to be used with both 2× and 1× drivetrains.
As ever, you’ll need to pay attention to compatibility – for example, if you opt for that 43/30 Force crank you’ll need a Force Wide front derailleur.
If you stay within the Red family, your lowest-geared 2× crank option remains the 46/33, which is essentially the ‘compact’ crankset in SRAM’s X-Range gearing system. (Remember, SRAM’s 12-speed gearing differs from 11-speed because the cassettes start with a 10-tooth cog.)
If you’re thinking of getting creative with your component combinations, SRAM notes that the tooth capacity of the Max 36T derailleur is 39 teeth. Capacity is calculated as [tooth difference between small/large chainring] + [tooth difference between small/large cassette sprockets].
Alongside the new derailleur, SRAM has updated its XG-1270 cassettes with a shiny new nickel-chrome finish that’s a little more eye-catching than the existing black one.
The cassettes are priced at £170 / $185 / €190 for all ratios, and all the new components are available to buy now.