Differences between Sram Force 22 and Rival 22 shifters
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  1. #1
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    Differences between Sram Force 22 and Rival 22 shifters

    Much difference?Pros/con.

  2. #2
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    I can't speak directly to the 22 speed, but I have Force on my race bike and Rival on my CX bike. They both work the same way, but the Force is a snappier, crisper shift with a lighter action. The Rival is physically heavier to move. Some might say it feels more "solid" because of the weight, but I definitely prefer the lightness of the action and feel of the Force. However, I specifically do like the doubletap functionality and have never once had an issue with shifting on either groupset (though, my CX bike is pretty new). I've put 5,000+ miles on the Force bike and it works great. Even after some nasty wrecks, it's dinged up, but fully functional.

    If the price were similar, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the extra for the Force. If it's a big price difference...well, yeah, still Force.

    I had the choice to go full Red at the time I got the Force for only $250 more. I felt zero difference in the performance of the two groupsets. Force is, IMO, a lot like Ultegra. 99% of the top tier performance, 50% of the cost.

  3. #3
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    The old Rival and Force mechanical shifters did not have Zero Loss on both sides (which would be noticeable in operational comparisson). Now both do. They should be functionally the same at this point.

    Rival 22 Mechanical:
    Technology Highlight(s)Yaw™/ DoubleTap™/ Zero-Loss™ on Front & Rear/ ErgoDynamics™ Fit/ Independent E-Z Access Shift-Brake Lever Reach Adjust™

    Force 22 Mechanical:
    Technology Highlight(s)Yaw™/ DoubleTap™/ Zero-Loss™ on Front & Rear/ ErgoDynamics™ Fit/ Independent E-Z Access Shift-Brake Lever Reach Adjust™

    IMO - Zero Loss is a real thing and worthy of consideration while making a shifter purchase.

    https://www.sram.com/sram/road/technologies/zero-loss

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundog View Post
    IMO - Zero Loss is a real thing and worthy of consideration while making a shifter purchase.
    I'm trying to get a meaningful explanation of what "Zero Loss" is on SRAM forum, but unsuccessfully so far. Could you please provide a more-or-less specific explanation of what Zero Loss is on a DoubleTap shifter? If it is a "real thing", then what does it change, compared to non-Zero Loss shifter? You said it is "noticeable in operational comparison". How is it noticeable? What does it change?

    I also notice that SRAM lists all of their DoubleTap shifters as Zero Loss on the linked page (including their most basic Apex). So, was there ever a non-Zero Loss DoubleTap SRAM shifter? And if there was, how was it different again?
    Last edited by AndreyT; 05-04-2015 at 07:04 AM.
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  5. #5
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    Zero loss just means that the pull ratio on the cable is 1:1 rather than 1:1.3 (on Campy and Shimano). In marketing speak this means more direct actuation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by echtogammut View Post
    Zero loss just means that the pull ratio on the cable is 1:1 rather than 1:1.3 (on Campy and Shimano). In marketing speak this means more direct actuation.
    Firstly, the wording on SRAM web site that "explains" what Zero Loss is does not mention any "pull ratios". It says that Zero Loss means "cable is engaged instantly—zero loss of movement", which appears to refer to something completely different than pull ratio.

    Secondly, if Zero Loss was just about "pull ratio", then all compatible SRAM shifters would be Zero Loss, since they all have the same pull ratio. Yet, some posters seem to insist on some operational difference between compatible Zero Loss SRAM and non-Zero Loss SRAM shifters. What is the difference then?
    Last edited by AndreyT; 05-04-2015 at 08:02 AM.
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  7. #7
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    The difference is in the cam that actuates the cable and all current SRAM shifters support zero loss https://www.sram.com/sram/road/technologies/zero-loss. In the previous generation (10 speed), Rival shifters didn't have the zero loss and had a "softer" shift in the rear. The cam difference between Rival and Red used to be very noticeable with Red having a shorter, more immediate "bang" kind of shift (which is why a lot of people used Red shifters with Force or Rival mechs). With 22 the only difference is the shape or feel of the shifter.

  8. #8
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    Despite the wording on the SRAM ZL web page - I'd doubt that Zero Loss has made it to the Apex rear shifter. I know it was not on the rear Apex that I bought in 2013.

    Kind of a moot point for the OP - since Apex is only 10 speed - and he's looking at 22 systems. After a crash in June of 2014 I installed an older set of red shifters on both sides. The shifts in both directions come quicker. Not that the Apex was overly sluggish - but if you have an opportunity to do a side by side - you will notice the difference. I only chimed in to clear up confusion from Post #2 that may be attributable to the application timeline of the ZL Tech for the various groups.

    Here's a good link on the old vs new internals for Force:

    How To Tell Difference between Old and New Sram Force Shifters | Discount Tri Supply Blog

  9. #9
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    From the best my hands can tell, there's no functional or feeling difference between the force and rival 22 shifters. I think the differences at his point are the carbon brake lever and possibly different materials used for the internals, though the design of the internals is the same for all of the sram 22 shifters. I know red is supposed to use more Ti hardware but not sure if rival uses stamped metal or something vs forged metal.

    Everything in sram 22 is zero-loss and the front's are "yaw". If you're getting sram 22 you're getting it no matter the level.

    To me, the differences are minor. Rival 22 shifters work well and have the same ergos. Long term durability is something I'm not sure of, seems like with 10-speed a lot more of the rival shifters were breaking than red or force but there were a lot more rival equipped bikes too.

    Weight and looks are the only differences I think are notable. Rival is pretty much aluminum whereas force starts using carbon in the parts, more specifically in the crank arms, rear der and brake levers.

  10. #10
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    One opinion (Force 22 shifters):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFUcSrmIcKk

    scott s.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
    One opinion (Force 22 shifters):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFUcSrmIcKk

    scott s.
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    Bingo!
    Thanks
    Scott

  12. #12
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    If you look in the comments section - he attributes the better shifter performance of the Red and Force levers to "better cables" than those that come with Rival.

    Hmmmmmmmmm.

  13. #13
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    I prefer the "hand feel" of the Force/Red shifters over Rival, but I would agree with the Art Cycle guy, no functional difference assuming they all use the same cables (I would recommend non-compression cables like Yokozuna with any SRAM groupset).

    There have been some recent sales on Force22 groupsets that make the Rival vs Force a non-issue since the price difference was just a few bucks.

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