SRAM Red 5-piece Component Upgrade – By Twain Mein
- Double Tap brake/shift levers
- Front and rear derailleurs
- SRAM PC-1090R chain
- SRAM Red cassette (11-26)
- Actual Cost – $1236
This is a review of the SRAM Red 5-piece upgrade. I’ve been sticking with Shimano 9-speed Dura Ace because I have 4 road bikes that I’m always switching components on. Plus, I haven’t really seen a compelling reason to switch my Dura Ace Octalink BB (175 grams) and FSA Superlight Cranks (522 grams) for the new-tech outboard bearing cranks; they aren’t significantly lighter and are a lot more expensive. However, I recently bought a new used Cervelo R3 and the weight-weenie bug struck hard. Plus, the 11-26 SRAM cogset seems like a great upgrade that lends a huge range of flexibility. Shimano offers only 11-23 or 12-25. And the Red component group is rumored to be much lighter. It was time to upgrade to 10 speed. Plus I pooled my 42nd birthday funds to afford the upgrade.
Below is pricing and weights from the Excel Sports web site (as of 9/29/08). Last year’s Dura Ace and Campy Record 10-speed currently have steep discounts while the new Dura Ace and Campy 11-speed have big premiums as they are being introduced. SRAM Red is in between; more expensive than the 2008 models but less expensive than the 2009 models. But lighter than all. Kudos to SRAM for forcing the competition to go back to the drawing board. This being said, the original Dura Ace 9 Speed has certainly stood the test of time and is a remarkable value for price and weight.