In this video, you’ll get a tech overview of the groupset, insights into SRAM’s rider-based product development process, and first ride impressions…
I was lucky enough to spend a few days in Tavira Portugal in January. The plan; sample all the Pastéis de Nata, take in the region’s rich culture that dates back to the Bronze Age (±1000 BC) and get an early look at the Force AXS road and gravel groupsets. The bonus; being fully pinned in a small bunch of highly-skilled riders down the best road bike descent I have ever ridden! I mean ever. That’s 36 years of roading. What a gas. Here’s a little photo recap of the highlights followed by a long-format deeper dive video bringing you the full vibe from a beautiful country.
A one-minute walk from our hotel is the 13th-century national monument, the Church of Saint Mary. Founded by the Order of Saint James after Tavira was taken from the Moors, back in 1242. During the 1755 earthquake, it suffered serious damage and work to rebuild it began in 1790. Everything about it took my breath away.
Equally breathtaking is the Tavira Castle. In the late Middle Ages, the walls enclosed some five hectares, an indication of the town’s importance. Once they were no longer required as a defensive structure, they fell into ruin. In 1938, the main fortress was restored by the town council and is a National Monument. Well worth a visit.
On the riding schedule were two road outings and a gravel loop. The final ride was an out-and-back loop, up into the hills surrounding Tavira. The views up there are spectacular and the descent back into town was incredible. Literally the best I’ve ever done. The gradient is similar to the Glen here in Cape Town and with a few undulations, it drops almost 400m in about 8km. The scene: virtually no traffic, smooth roads with vision through most of the corners and a pack of experienced riders keeping it tight and pacey. Simply incredible. Had I known that descent was coming I would have POV’d it. Next time. Still, what a gift and I’m still pumped as I write this. If you’re interested in where exactly it was, check out my Strava ride from 27 January.