It’s sometimes hard to think that SRAM has only been in the road grouppo game for a few years. The Chicago based SRAM entered the market in 2007 with Force and Rival, two groupsets that introduced the world to DoubleTap, an intuitive technology allowing you to use one lever to control both up and down shifting. They also introduced Exact Actuation, an actuation ratio that gave you precise 3mm shifts in every gear. They followed those introductions, with Red a year later, Red became the company’s top tier groupset, boasting improvements in ergonomics, function, and became the lightest groupset available at the time. Continue reading →
Red 2011 on Lynskey road frame...so far in 2500 miles, have replaced a front spoke, a rear spoke, BB30 non drive side bearing, freehub bearing. Contrast to 2001 Campy Chorus on Pinarello Prince with about 20k miles and no parts failures.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: March 19, 2013
Strengths: Rear shifting, weight.
Weaknesses: 2011 front shifter shifts like mush. Titanium cage has considerable flex. Can't be adjusted to fix the problem. Chain drops off front ring and gets wedged between crank arm and ring. Why didn't Sram place a pin in their big ring to prevent this?
I am done with Sram. Not the quality I expected from what was touted as their top end drive train. Issues with XO too. Buy Shimano! They actually do extensive product testing before rushing product to market!
The Red gruppo, on my new Douglas, is superb!!!!! Have ridden it two months and find it to be quite fun to ride. Shifting, IMHO, is very crisp, up and down, front and rear. My one Ultegra FD kept popping off no matter how well it was adjusted. Not so here. Right on the money! Getting use to "double tap" is no big deal..one or two rides and you have it. Although, I sometimes blow a shift just because I don't throw the lever far enough. That's my problem and not the mechanism's.
Braking is fare better than my Dura Ace, so much so that one needs to be careful or you'll lock up the rear wheel, which I did on the first ride. You get use to it, though, and with careful modulation of the lever, it's not a hassle!
Some reviews complained of chain-ring flex. Well, they must have addressed that issue cause my rings show NO signs of flex!!!! Love the compact crank, and have had no issues with the FD popping the chain off. Also, the BB30 has ceramic bearings, as does the jockey pulley wheels; nice set up on a well priced grouppo.
Noise in the drive train? Mine seems to have a bit more than the Shimano, but it's not a big deal to me. Seems like some folks, well, don't like the noise and it drives them crazy. It's all what you get use to, really.
Similar Products Used: Campy Record; Shimano Dura-Ace, Shimano Ultegra.
Bike Setup: Douglas Matrix, Hi-Mo Carbon frame. Complete Red group. Easton EA70 wheels. Fizik Arione saddle. TTT ATX stem/TTT Ergonova bars. TT carbon seat post.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 28, 2011
Strengths: Asthtics are very good, shifts quickly with very little play. Shift/hood design fits my hand well.
Weaknesses: Noisy and feels a little mechanical so not very smooth. Shifting to a lower gear is a bit tedious because of the ability to shift to down multiple gears at once. Not the end of the world
I put a couple thousand miles on the RED grouppo and it works very well. The double tap shifters take a few tries to get it right and I still miss a bit when shifting to a lower gear. Great looks except the brakes which I did not purchase. The shifters are very quick with very little playing moving up and down the cassette. Front D is a bit hard and slow but liveable. Looks great on the bike.
Bike Setup: Specialized Roubaix Pro, Kysriums SL's, Zero G brakes
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2011
Strengths: Positive shifting, ergonomics of hoods, stiffness of cranks, and American Made
I've always used Shimano and wanted to upgrade the components of my new Fuji frame. Now that SRAM has built a good reputation....the thought of hanging Amercian made components on my bike was appealing. I've read many reviews and found some deals on Ebay (bought piece by piece). First impressions: hoods are more comfortable, cranks are stiffer, down shifts are extremely positive, up shifts are not as positive and take a smidge more force than I would have thought (but not bad). The downshifts also have a distinct "hollow, plastic feel" to it, but I don't mind. It's very crisp and positve. Brakes offer superb stopping force. Glad I made the leap. Bike now weighs 1.5 lbs less then Ultegra grouppo, and I'm extremely pleased with my initial rides. Oh yeah....only takes a few minutes to get used to the double tap design....non factor. Once you get used to it....it's VERY simple to use.