My husband and I both got this chain as part of the SRAM Red eTap Road GXP Groupset. This review is for the entire group.
Hubby says: I purchased two SRAM Etap groups to upgrade both my wife’s and my road bikes. Both bikes had relatively old drivetrains (hers 10+ year old Ultegra and me 15 year old Campy Record) so we figured it was definitely time for an upgrade and because our bikes have S&S couplers the wireless aspect of Etap made a lot of sense for breaking down the bikes for travel.
Installation: Etap was far easier to install than any other build I have done. After removing all the old parts and degreasing the frame and giving it a good scrub, I had everything installed in about an hour and a half, the most time consuming part being the brakes. SRAM has some excellent YouTube videos explaining how to install the parts and after viewing them a couple times, it was pretty straightforward. One thing to watch out for is the braze-on adapter. We have titanium bikes which require this adapter and I tried using the Shimano one that was on my wife’s bike from her previous group. With this adapter, adjusting the front derailleur was impossible, but once I switched to the SRAM adapter everything worked normally. I know, it’s probably obvious but I just figured there was some cross compatibility between SRAM and Shimano but it appears that’s not the case. Minus points for the braze-on adapter being a separate component that we needed to buy to complete the install.
Adjustment: this part was surprisingly easy, especially compared to mechanical groups I have worked with in the past. SRAM’s video instruction was clear and concise and the front derailleur has little marks on it showing where it needed to be mounted in reference to the large chainring. The rear derailleur was equally easy as well, just use the micro-adjustment buttons on the shifters to line it up with the large and small cogs of the cassette respectively. Once that was done, I fine tuned the adjustment by putting the bike on the trainer and riding it, adjusting as needed with the micro-adjustment buttons on the shifters while shifting into every gear.
Riding: The first ride felt like I had a brand new bike. The difference between this and my old group (granted it was pretty old) was a revelation. The first week or so of riding I was getting Strava PRs all over the place and at my age, I ain’t getting any faster so it definitely has to be the drivetrain. The new method of shifting (left shifter easier gear, right harder, both change front chainring) took a little getting used to but now that I have, I love it. Shifts are quick and concise with no delays, clicking or grinding, even under heavy pedaling load. The brakes are also nice, with good modulation and stopping power, even on carbon rims. One final point about this setup is it’s seriously quiet - almost zero noise out of this drivetrain which is one of my favorite features.
I was a bit nervous about dropping so much money on electric shifting but once I had it on the bike those nerves disappeared. The components are high quality (as is the packaging - it seems SRAM has taken a page out of Apple’s book), the installation is really easy and the performance of the group is outstanding. I highly recommend this setup for anyone wanting to upgrade their bike.