Use this guide in collaboration with your trainer manufacturer's setup and compatibility info to ensure the best indoor riding experience on SRAM RED, Force, and Rival eTap AXS.
DIRECT DRIVE TRAINER SETUP
Direct drive-style trainers forgo a rear wheel and mount to the back of your bike. They're a great option for riders that want to easily sync with indoor training apps that provide power readings and realistic ride resistance.
1) Use trainer-specific axles or axle adapters as required for your trainer.
Your respective trainer and bike manufacturers can help you identify what is needed for your specific application. For example, many contemporary road bikes have thru axles, which may require a different adapter than a traditional quick-release skewer.
2) Install a compatible XDR driver body on your direct drive trainer.
IMPORTANT: All eTap AXS compatible cassettes require an XDR driver body. See XDR Driver Bodies explained.
Check with the manufacturer of your specific direct drive trainer to find out if they make an XDR driver body for your setup. Just like other driver body styles, SRAM makes the technology available for trainer and hub companies to manufacture XDR-compatible driver bodies for their products.
3) Install your SRAM eTap AXS compatible cassette on your trainer at home or with help from your local bike shop.
Cassette Option 1: Swap your existing cassette onto your smart trainer with instructions from the Cassettes & Chains User Manual and your trainer's user manual.
Cassette Option 2: Install a new cassette on your trainer that is the same tooth count as the cassette on your wheel, with help from the Cassettes & Chains User Manual and your trainer's user manual. Having a separate cassette installed will make it easier to switch between trainer and road-ready.
Cassette Option 3: Install a different size cassette. Use the max tooth count marked on the back of your rear derailleur and the AXS Component Compatibility map to identify compatible cassettes. SRAM eTap AXS rear derailleurs are marked MAX 33T, MAX 36T, or XPLR (MAX 44T). No max tooth count marking? It's a 33T Max.
IMPORTANT: Changing the cassette size will require changing the chain length and adjusting the chain gap for 33T & 36T max or XPLR rear derailleurs.
4) Use micro-adjustments to fine-tune your shifting if it is sluggish or noisier than normal.
Learn how to easily adjust your rear derailleur alignment with the SRAM eTap AXS Fine Tuning video segment.
Image from the SRAM eTap AXS User Manual
5) Don't forget a fan and extra water when riding indoors, because there is no cooling outdoor airflow.
TECH TIP: Wipe down your bike after riding. Excessive sweat build-up can lead to corrosion on your bike.
Enjoy the ride.