It’s always nice to find ways to improve your performance as a rider. Whether it is on a racing or road bike, we’re constantly looking for ways to make our last ride look worse than our next one.
That’s why SRAM developed the Red eTap Dongle and its related groupset.
What Is the SRAM Red Groupset and Dongle?
Just as its name indicates, the SRAM Red groupset includes rear and front derailleur, shift and brake levers, cassette, chain, and bracket. Every piece of gear gives something to talk about, and this case won’t be an exception.
When matched up with its predecessors, the SRAM Red groupset provides an ergonomic, improved performance. Smooth and efficient, and weighing less than its predecessors, the Red line improved upon earlier versions.
As a plus, though, if you’re not planning to get the complete groupset, it is fully compatible with the Force and Rival ranges. A downside of the Red series is its cost. Retailing at a price of over US$2000, the difference with Shimano Dura-Ace, for example, is huge.
The SRAM Red Dongle is a wireless system that leaves on-frame cables behind, pairing via Airea, SRAM’s wireless encryption system.
Another plus for this kind of system is the lack of frame holes, since you don’t need to install any parts other than the wireless controllers. It also introduces a new shifting system, which consists of only two buttons.
In terms of disadvantages, we feel that it may need some more tuning and adjustments over its useful life than similar components, such as the Di2.
How to Use the SRAM Red eTap Dongle
This video demonstrates how to install and use the SRAM Red eTap dongle (Credit to Global Cycling Network):
The SRAM eTap Dongle is quite easy to use. Installation is not as complex as it may seem, given its revolutionary wireless system. It will only take you a short while to get used to it.
In order to install the SRAM Red eTap Dongle, you need to pair the systems, so that they communicate with –and only with- the other components in the groupset.
To do this, each piece of gear has a function button, which starts blinking after a couple of seconds of being pressed and held. Once it starts doing so, do the same with the bit you want to pair, and wait until it blinks more rapidly.
This process is done prior to attaching it to your ride for the simple reason that it is more comfortable, so that all pieces of gear are within a hand’s breadth away.
When you finish pairing, you can go on to attach your SRAM eTap Dongle to your ride. Use an Allen or hex key to fasten the controller to the desired height. Bear in mind that you’ll need to slip the rubber cover upwards in order to reach the clamp comfortably.
When installing derailleurs, make sure the mark on the cage matches the teeth of your bigger chainring. For the rear derailleur, once it is fastened to your bike, use the function button of your controllers to adjust it with your biggest rear cog.
As we said before, the two-button system is quite easy to use. Just press the right controller button to move the chain down, and the left one to move it up. To change to the ones in the front, press both buttons at once.