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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've got a new frame coming in the mail... Well UPS rather.... However, in an effort to keep my old bike as whole as possible for a winter training bike I'm looking at making a switch over to SRAM for the new bike. Decision has been made, so that's no up for debate.

What is up for debate is SRAM's zero loss technology. I have a few questions:

1. Is there a noticeable operating difference between zero loss and no zero loss?
2. Does it provide any SIGNIFICANT performance advantage?
3. Would you purchase a NEW 2013 force group with trickle down red or go for the 2011-2012 USED red group? (Weight is a moot point).

Bottom line, is the technology worth spending the money on a new group or not. I'm looking to go budget with this build, understanding that the components may be used.
 

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Slightly Opinionated
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1: There is a noticeable difference in the dead spot prior to initiating a shift, yes.
2: I wouldn't say it's a performance advantage, per se, but it does make for less hand movement and less thought (although once you're used to it, it doesn't matter.)
3: The 2013 Force IS rebadged old Red. Whichever is cheaper.

Unless you're interested in new style Red, I'd just go with an older used Red group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I have also read the same thing about new 2013 force.

I haven't become a lever throw snob yet, I just moved from tiagra shifters to DA 7800 and thought my biking experience was turned upside down.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for a good used Red set.
 

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I have Force and Red here on different bikes.

1. Free travel on the rear shift paddle is ~1.5 cm on Force and 0.5 cm on Red. Force front shifter paddle free travel is the same as Red front shifter.
2. No performance difference whatsoever, if by performance you mean your speed over a course. When riding, I'm not aware of the difference between Force and Red rear shifting or paddle free travel.
3. New Red Yaw FD is very nice. Better than steel caged Force/Red and much better than Ti caged Red. (I have all three) All three shift perfectly using perfect technique, but get progressively more forgiving of imperfect technique as you go from Ti to steel to Yaw. IMO, it's not that the cage has some yaw as it moves that improves shifting, but rather that the cage itself (steel inside plate and alloy outer plate) and the shift linkage is more rigid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Can you use the YAW red with force shifters? Best of both worlds, 2013 force price point with red FD yaw?

I'd mix and match for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have also seen that. If I had to I would purchase a DA braze on to handle that if I can't take advantage of the YAW with force.

I think I am leaning onwards 2013 force, full group with the following exceptions:

1. YAW FD if possible
2. 1091 chain and cassette (because its cool, mainly for race day only riding)
 

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Just a fwiw from one person who has used two Sram groups in his life - the 2010 or 2011 (zero loss, but before yaw) Red and plain-jane Apex on a rental.

First, the Sram front derailleur shifting poorly. I think that it mostly has to do with the original titanium Red FD. Back in the day, a lot of people substituted a steel Force FD, and then they changed the REd FD to steel as well. I know that my Force FD shifts very, very well - clean and crisp you might say. It did require careful and proper installation and adjustment, but I didn't find it any fussier than really dialing in a Shimano FD perfectly.

The front shifting was also perfect on the Apex rental I had a while ago. Notable in that I never noticed it, which is a telling, and good thing.

As for the zero loss vs. not. Again, I've always been happy with my Red shifting front and rear. I have absolutely no memory of the Apex group in that I never noticed any degradation or problems with the shifting (about 200 miles over a week or so). I wouldn't be surprised if I rode the bikes back to back that I'd notice the nuances of difference, but in my mind it never struck me that the Apex was worse. I will say that I'm not the fussiest cyclist out there though. But, my guess is that (a) it's a pretty subtle difference (b) a user of one or the other (vs. one and the other) wouldn't notice anything and (c) there is no meaningful difference other than "feel" (which is important in that we all like a machine that feels great).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the detailed feedback. I'm spent a season on tiagra shifters and 105 derailleurs... And after upgrading to DA, I was shocked.

Im going into my second race season... And looking for performance and reliability to throw onto my new Focus Izalco Pro.... As its shaping up, it looks like force is the best buy for your buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sticker shock... Performance shock. Shifts were crisper, smoother and more reliable. Crank is noticeably stiffer, brakes are far better especially with power and modulation.

Not to mention the weight savings I got.... I rode my tiagra setup for 2 years before justifying a new group.
 

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Not sticker shock... Performance shock. Shifts were crisper, smoother and more reliable. Crank is noticeably stiffer, brakes are far better especially with power and modulation.

Not to mention the weight savings I got.... I rode my tiagra setup for 2 years before justifying a new group.
You stated your mind is made up.
If you were that impressed with the 7800 gear, than why the jump to SRAM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You stated your mind is made up.
If you were that impressed with the 7800 gear, than why the jump to SRAM?
I've got a new bike frame (Focus Izalco Pro) and want to build it up. My intentions are to keep my old bike built for use as a winter training bike.

Other reasoning is I like the cleaner look of the cable routing on SRAM and newer shimano shifters. I am also curious to see how SRAM operates. I've read reviews of both good and bad and want to formulate my own opinion. Also, the WiFli appeals to me...
 

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Could be right. Looks like a 23g difference between Red Black and Force. I was pulling info from http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sram/new-2013-force-290114.html

Seems odd that they would go to the trouble of putting Red internals into Force branding when they could simply retire Red Black and rebadge. New Red is such a departure there'd be no harm in it.
 

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Zero Loss is good, based on my previous experience with SRAM (Rival). Even without Zero Loss on the right shifter, rear shifts are faster and snappier.

Why can't Shimano and Campagnolo adopt similar tech that significantly reduces lever throw for faster shifts?
 
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