SRAM Rival Pro Review – By Steve Cooper
Component Weights as listed on SRAM website
- DoubleTap shifter/brake levers: 340 grams
- Rear Derailleur: 188 grams
- Front Derailleur: 102 grams (band clamp version tested)
- Compact Crankset with BB: 830 grams
- Brakeset: 287 grams/pair
- MSRP: $899
The temptation to introduce melodramatic themes into a SRAM Rival review is great. There’s the classic road group rivalry between Shimano and Campy, with SRAM, the plucky upstart, ratcheting up tensions as it jumps into the fray. For colorful metaphors you could draw comparisons with major religions, game platforms, and even burger joints. But this is a review focusing on function, not the fancy; it’s practical stuff, so let’s get down to it.
SRAM unveiled their first complete road component groups, Force and Rival, at the Sea Otter Classic in spring of 2006. New terminology was introduced to the road cyclist’s lexicon such as DoubleTap shifters, 1:1 Exact Actuation and OpenGlide cassettes. The product launch was well managed, well hyped and made plenty of buzz in the cycling press and in the race community. Following the success of Force and Rival, in spring 2007 SRAM announced Red, an evolutionary step beyond Force that was clearly a shot at Dura Ace and Record. Ultimately, over the last two and half years, SRAM has pried loose a strangle hold maintained by the road bike industry’s two dominating forces behind road components. And that opening has sparked many comparisons between the entrenched and the untried.
As SRAM’s entry point into their family of road components, Rival is graced with many of the important new features in their more expensive bits but at a bargain price. List price for the front and rear derailleurs, shifters, brake set, crankset, bottom bracket, chain and cassette lists around $1000 USD, with deeply discounted deals for those willing to hunt around. At Rival’s affordable price point, you could build-up a race-ready crit or cross bike that could be ridden “no-regrets aggressive” in even the sketchiest pack.
For our review, we selected a 50/34 compact crankset in 175 with a 12-26 OG-1070 cassette and a PC-1070 HollowPin chain.