Well, I have in my box of “stuff I bought, didn’t need, and can’t bring myself to install” a complete XX1 AXS Eagle groupset.

The works, crankset, DUB bottom bracket, everything. The one thing I don’t have, only because no one on the planet seems to stock, is the Rocker Paddle Upgrade Kit. I ordered it and immediately was told at least 1 month wait. So maybe I’ll get the thing someday soon.

Anyway, I was able to order it from a certain retail store in Colorado where I often find cool stuff in stock when no one else has it. They had the whole thing. Whenever I buy something expensive, I try to pay retail and get it from a genuine, no questions asked, authorized dealer. This set is one step down from a Macbook Pro. If they offered SramCare™ extending warranty out for 6 years, I’d probably have done it. If anything goes wrong, I’m going to need help and with a real paper receipt in hand, would expect no problems on warranty issues.

Okay, so here it sits. 2 full weeks later. For some reason I’m not sure if I really want to put this stuff on! I dabbled in Eagle 12-speed 2 years ago when it first came out. I installed it. Rode it once. And immediately pulled it off and sold it all on ebay. Returning then, to my trusy XX1 11-speed system. A few things turned me off that I couldn’t get past. The derailleur looked comically huge. The cassette too. Just giant and gangly. And when I was out riding it, gave me nothing at all I didn’t already have, except a bigger range of gearing. My 32T front and 10-42 cassette, was now a 34T and 10-50. I’d already gotten used to just throwing a 30T front ring for hillier races just to mentally give myself a bit more climbing range. But the shifting, and everything else was the same. I’ve been happy with the 11-speed ever since.

But, there’s one thing I really, really, really miss (did I put enough really’s in there?) from my Shimano days. The ability to easily up shift with my index finger from the front of the grip. Sure, you get used to only using your thumb…and I even occasionally can flick the little lever with the fingernail side of my index finger. This came to light especially clearly this winter/spring when I spent more time on my Zwift setup than in years past. I use my old circa 2001 26″ steel custom Curtlo softtail bike on a 2018 Kickr. It still has the old but great XTR 952 series shift/lever combo. Since I lay my palms across the grips when zwifting, shifting with my index finger is a constant. Then I go out for my first few rides this year and realized how akward it feels to not have this ability built in.

That’s where this AXS system comes in. Since I can easily program that backside button to do this, it seemed like the time to upgrade my 11 speed. No more swapping chainrings, I’ll have the 34T x 50T which should be about the same I’d guess as a 32T x 42T (I ran the numbers on a gear calculator once, but am too lazy to do it again…). And this leads me again to not having the Rocker Paddle upgrade that seems to simulate the old style SRAM shifters a touch, while keeping that index finger option.

But it is a lot of cash. No questions asked. My main reason for hesitating again? For the 2nd time in 2 years? I guess it’s because I hate to see something that’s been so reliable go away. 11-speed XX1 has been flawless. And once I yank that cable out of my frame and chainstay, I doubt I’ll ever get it back in the same. What if I hate the paddle shifter, and hate the new rocker upgrade? What if the giant rear mech catches on every stick? What if I keep forgetting to charge that darn battery? Do I now need a 2nd battery to keep in my seat bag? Probably.

Should I just ebay the whole setup again, and stick with what I have? I probably should. Man, by the time I install this or sell it, AXS2 will be here…