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  1. #1
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    SRAM Red 2012-2013 Backward Comaptable!!!

    IT REALLY WORKS! I just read a great aricle at velonews.competitor.com/2012/03/news/it-works-we-test-sram-red-backwards-compatibility_209270 and it inspired me to swap a few components. I've been riding a Pinarello FP6 with a full Force 2010 set up and have been very happy with it but last week I mis-shifted and dropped the chain. I chewed up a good chunk of paint around the BB and chain stay right down to the carbon and felt my heart drop into my stomach. I decided I never wanted that to happen again and the strength of this article convinced me swap out a few components to the newest (2013) Red. I got the New FD, RD, the latest XG 1090 Cassette and the 1091R Chain. I kept the original Force Shifters and Force Cranks & Chain Rings and Brakes... OH MY WORD.... its a brand new bike. The front shifting has an instant crisp response, there's no chain rub, it's precise, smooth and unbelievably QUIET.
    Honestly I couldn't have imagined how good this is. These components are completely backward compatible (at least in the configuration Iève described on my bike) and if I was happy with my bike before, I'm ecstatic now. I really want to thank VeloNews for their article. My LBS has said repeatedly not to mix components. Today I rode over there with the new stuff retrofitted in and even they had to admit they were impressed. Without this article I would have never gone for it, and now that I have I can confirm that the New SRAM red is amazing. If itès good retrofitted with FORCE the entire gruppo must be stunning especially given the weight loss.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the tip, holsen.

    Due to my experience with the old SRAM Red, I was forced to learn how the front derailleur really works. I'm from the ignorance is bliss school. I liked everything about the old Red system until that first dropped chain.

    I'm glad it gets better.

  3. #3
    Happily absent RBR Member
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    There are a few threads about this already. We've been installing new Red FDs on all sorts of bikes.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  4. #4
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    I am going to get a new red fd for my rival groupset.

  5. #5
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    I suspect you're going to love it. Goodluck

  6. #6
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    The new Red does shift great. I don't know how much better than simply installing a Shimano 105 derailleur on your Sram bike. If I had a problem with Rival, I'd sure consider that before plunking down the cash for new Red.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  7. #7
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    Looking at the Sram install video for the new derailleur, it looks like it's set up with markings for alignment from the factory. If, after doing the initial install using those markings, are there instructions somewhere for reinstalling - like when you finally get a new crank when they're available?

  8. #8
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    I had the gear installed at my LBS, they tell me the install was just pretty much like the old RED or or any other FD. The alignment etching on the outside of the cage won't wear off, just the alignment etching inside the cage, but in reality that mark is there to make it dead simple, the placement of this FD in relation to the chainring is no different than the old Red, Force, etc. .... That's what they tell me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by holsen View Post
    I had the gear installed at my LBS, they tell me the install was just pretty much like the old RED or or any other FD. The alignment etching on the outside of the cage won't wear off, just the alignment etching inside the cage, but in reality that mark is there to make it dead simple, the placement of this FD in relation to the chainring is no different than the old Red, Force, etc. .... That's what they tell me.
    The new Red is mounted higher than old ones, and are aligned while over the big ring, not parallel to it like others. It is definitely different and should be done with an understanding of the instructions.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  10. #10
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    Do the instructions come with it? The last time I looked at the Sram site, I could only find a video for installation.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Would you know any performance increase moving from a 2011 Force FD to the 2012 Red? Other than the built in chain catcher?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutAndBack View Post
    Would you know any performance increase moving from a 2011 Force FD to the 2012 Red? Other than the built in chain catcher?
    I am interested in the same thing. The 2011 Force was hard to adjust. Though it has stopped throwing the chain, I still get chain rub, such as in the 34/13 combo, even though my smallest gear is a 12.

  13. #13
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    I've read the same article and was very pleased to hear the backward compatibility of the new sram red FD with the previous generation red shifters. Especially, after hearing from countless LBS that have said otherwise. Some have gone as far as saying you need the entire new system for it to work properly. Others have said that you need at least the new shifters. Now, I would love to get the new shifters, but they are not inexpensive.

    I was fortunate enough to find a new Red FD! Will have her installed with my Rotor Qrings and previous generation Red shifters.

    Just out of curiosity: How are you guys picking up the 2012/2013 Sram Red FD? Most LBS are not selling it as a stand alone piece.
    EyeGuy

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgordin View Post
    I am interested in the same thing. The 2011 Force was hard to adjust. Though it has stopped throwing the chain, I still get chain rub, such as in the 34/13 combo, even though my smallest gear is a 12.
    don't know if you've read the instructions SRAM provides for drivetrain parts, or you're having someone else do the work, but it specifically states to avoid the extreme cross-chain situations(big-big and the next cog down, as well as small-small and the next cog up) as they can cause noise and excessive wear. i still have no idea why anyone would want to use the 34/12-13 combo. you can shift to the 50 and use the 19...virtually the same gear as 34/13. modern drivetrains are designed to offer a better chance of working in the big/big combo rather than the small/small. this is especially true w/ compact chainring drivetrains. it varies from bike to bike, but it's usually possible to run big/big w/ no problem. there is a much greater chance of a rider rolling along in the big ring and needing to shift a few gears easier to get over a short rise than a rider actually needing to go fast while in the 34. small/small combos are useless...i can't understand why so many riders insist on being able to use them.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    don't know if you've read the instructions SRAM provides for drivetrain parts, or you're having someone else do the work, but it specifically states to avoid the extreme cross-chain situations(big-big and the next cog down, as well as small-small and the next cog up) as they can cause noise and excessive wear. i still have no idea why anyone would want to use the 34/12-13 combo. you can shift to the 50 and use the 19...virtually the same gear as 34/13. modern drivetrains are designed to offer a better chance of working in the big/big combo rather than the small/small. this is especially true w/ compact chainring drivetrains. it varies from bike to bike, but it's usually possible to run big/big w/ no problem. there is a much greater chance of a rider rolling along in the big ring and needing to shift a few gears easier to get over a short rise than a rider actually needing to go fast while in the 34. small/small combos are useless...i can't understand why so many riders insist on being able to use them.
    Thanks. I did not know that SRAM discouraged the use of the next gear from the extreme cross-over. You're right, of course, about finding a new gear combo that is close simply by shifting the front ring. Sometimes when I am riding - and know what is coming - it just seems easier to stay in one chain ring and switch the rear.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgordin View Post
    Thanks. I did not know that SRAM discouraged the use of the next gear from the extreme cross-over. You're right, of course, about finding a new gear combo that is close simply by shifting the front ring. Sometimes when I am riding - and know what is coming - it just seems easier to stay in one chain ring and switch the rear.
    it's even more likely to happen w/ (current) Red/Force because these shifters have the trim click on the big chainring position, not the small ring. of course w/ the 'new/2012' Red, the front derailleur takes care of this so the trim click isn't needed.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    don't know if you've read the instructions SRAM provides for drivetrain parts, or you're having someone else do the work, but it specifically states to avoid the extreme cross-chain situations(big-big and the next cog down, as well as small-small and the next cog up) as they can cause noise and excessive wear. i still have no idea why anyone would want to use the 34/12-13 combo. you can shift to the 50 and use the 19...virtually the same gear as 34/13. modern drivetrains are designed to offer a better chance of working in the big/big combo rather than the small/small. this is especially true w/ compact chainring drivetrains. it varies from bike to bike, but it's usually possible to run big/big w/ no problem. there is a much greater chance of a rider rolling along in the big ring and needing to shift a few gears easier to get over a short rise than a rider actually needing to go fast while in the 34. small/small combos are useless...i can't understand why so many riders insist on being able to use them.
    Well put

  18. #18
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    thank you very much...can i have a bacon/maple bar?
    I work for some bike racers
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    and a bunch of skateboards

  19. #19
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    Is there any performance increase moving from a 2011 Force FD to the 2012 Red? Other than the built in chain catcher? Assuming your not currently cross-chaining?

    Trek recommends a chain catcher of some sort on their carbon frames, and it is either buy a $35 K-Edge, or a $125 2012 Red FD. The FD seems like the logical choice with the built in chain catcher, but just curious if I will see a performance benefit otherwise.

  20. #20
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    the new Red derailleur should work much better than the previous Red (ti cage) and probably a bit better than the steel cage version as well. if your shifting is good now, the K-Edge is the better value.
    I work for some bike racers
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  21. #21
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    I don't know why anyone would *want* to mix-n-match Red parts. The new stuff is much improved - ALL of it. The cranks/rings are better, the front derailleur is better, the shifters are better, the cassette is better, the brake calipers are better.... what? Just keep the old style rear derailleur? Why?
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

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  22. #22
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    I know i cant afford an entire red group, but if one piece will make my current rival group shift better, why wouldnt i upgrade it? I think its a smart affordable decision.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius View Post
    I don't know why anyone would *want* to mix-n-match Red parts. The new stuff is much improved - ALL of it. The cranks/rings are better, the front derailleur is better, the shifters are better, the cassette is better, the brake calipers are better.... what? Just keep the old style rear derailleur? Why?
    Because the old Red derailleur was terrible, and the new one is possibly the best front derailleur avaible?

    It isn't like old Red is going to have much resale value, and a Red group isn't exactly cheap.
    Get a better saddle: www.kontactbike.com

  24. #24
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    I am having the hardest time getting a mechanic willing to install my new RED FD with my previous generation RED shifters!?!?! Most have said that they would do it ONLY if I went with the new RED shifters as well. Too much trouble and unsure of reliability is what I am hearing from them.

    Anyone else running into this type of resistance? Or are you guys doing the install yourselves? Please advise. Thanks.
    EyeGuy

  25. #25
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    Between these post there are two answers:
    1." I don't know why anyone would *want* to mix-n-match Red parts." - For Some of us it's a matter of $$. I put a whole new Force Group together 6 months ago and simply couldn't justify spending on a whole new group when the old one only had 3 months of use on it.

    2. Yes there is some resistence. My Pinarello dealer refused. I showed him the VeloNews report referenced in this thread and he said "Yeah BUT they are not mechanics" so I took my new gear to an independant shop, they put it on and I'm telling you it is flawless with the old shifters (Force) and the old cranks/rings (force).

    The way I understand it: If you use the old RED Shifters with the new RED FD, you get a redundant trim. If you use the NEW RED SHIFTERS - You MUST get the new Crank and RIngs. If you use the old crank, old shifters - the New FD works fine. I proved it on my bike. All I changed is FD, RD, Chain, Cassette and it's beautiful!

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