I’m a big fan of mid-range groupsets – at this middle price point I think you’re getting much of the performance of the higher end gruppos – to the point that unless you’re feeling very flush or simply have to have the best – it’s probably not worth the extra money.
To reinforce this point SRAM yesterday announced enhancements to their Force gruppo for 2013 and these are all trickle down from their flagship Red gruppo.
- New chainrings for stiffer and improved shifting
- Zero loss shifting on both front and rear shifters
- New aero glide pulleys in the rear derailleur for smoother, quieter and cleaner running
- No change in price
These may sound relatively minor and they probably are in the scheme of things, but Force worked well in the first place and this has probably just blurred the performance gap between Red a little more. SRAM Force has also been one of the lightest mid range groupsets too and in the time I spent riding it I found it a really nice riding experience.
The only downside I’ve heard on SRAM is reliability and warranty service in some markets (in that it’s not as extensive or as efficient as Shimano’s back up if there are problems). However SRAM sells a lot of groupsets and they have a lot of happy customers – so don’t be too concerned.
To me if you’re looking at a new build, this is another reason to consider putting a touch more money into your frameset or wheels and make the cost saving of a mid range gruppo over a high-end one. The on costs of cassettes and chains will be significantly cheaper too.
Thanks for reading….