Pure Red or Pure Force or Mix Red/Force?
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  1. #1
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    Pure Red or Pure Force or Mix Red/Force?

    I have a new ti frame on its way in the next few months. I'm a SRAM convert, with both my current bikes running pretty much pure Rival (cross bike) and pure Force (road bike). I'm looking for some input on how to equip the new frame once it arrives.

    My current inclination is to go with a mix of Red and Force to balance value and performance. Here are my thoughts:

    Brifters: Red
    FD: Red
    Cranks: Force compact (or another set of FSAs, which I have on my other road bike)
    BB: Red or Force
    RD: Force
    Brakes: Rival (I have a spare set currently) or Force
    Cassette: Red

    Good balance between price and performance and weight?

    I feel like this set up takes advantage of Red's biggest improvements, and keeps the price down with Force/Rival in places where there is less of a significant difference.

  2. #2

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    I use the mix....Red shifters and the rest is Force....Shifters work great and fit my small hands better.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Flash
    I use the mix....Red shifters and the rest is Force....Shifters work great and fit my small hands better.
    +1
    I just finished building up a ride with Red shifters and Force R. derailleur. Running a DA ft. derailleur right now, but may change to Red soon. I'm still waiting for more feedback concerning flexiness in the plates.

    I like the look of the Red r. derailleur but can't justify the cost considering that it's one of the first components to get wrecked on a right-side wipeout. And the Force works fantastic.
    I may be short but I sure am skinny.

  4. #4

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    I would do a full Force group with Red cassette, think that would be a nice weight / cost effective group.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by euro trash
    I would do a full Force group with Red cassette, think that would be a nice weight / cost effective group.
    The cassette is the coolest new invention, but I definitely would pick the shifters before anything else. Personally, I'd go with Red shifters, a 3rd-party crank and mostly Rival everywhere else--I just can't justify the cost difference, Rival is already very lean and should perform very similar. The shifters are going to give you the biggest benefit over Force/Rival.

    Of course, if it was an $8000 bike w/flashy frame and wheels, might as well go all Red. You're not buying an $8000 bike purely for performance reasons.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by euro trash
    I would do a full Force group with Red cassette, think that would be a nice weight / cost effective group.
    And how is that really any different from the Force group I am currently riding? I'd really like to take advantage of the improved technology in the Red shifters.

    I guess I already knew the answer to my own question. I tend to do that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarvinK
    The cassette is the coolest new invention, but I definitely would pick the shifters before anything else. Personally, I'd go with Red shifters, a 3rd-party crank and mostly Rival everywhere else--I just can't justify the cost difference, Rival is already very lean and should perform very similar. The shifters are going to give you the biggest benefit over Force/Rival.

    Of course, if it was an $8000 bike w/flashy frame and wheels, might as well go all Red. You're not buying an $8000 bike purely for performance reasons.
    We're definitely on the same page. And no, this is not a 8k bike. Performance vs. value is defnitely a priority in my mind since I am currently between jobs, about to get married and just finished my graduate degree (which means lonas come due soon). So getting the most bang for my buck out of this is what I am after.

  8. #8

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    If you truly want bang for the buck or performance/value go with full Rival, it's a pretty easy decision if you are honestly concerned with best performance/value in a SRAM groupset. The only differences between Rival, Force and Red are aesthetic, small insignificant weight savings, and a slightly different, but really unimportant front chainset trim feature of Red. Red shifters can also be adjusted to accomodate different reachs, but lets be serious, if you have such physical limitations that you can't operate a standard SRAM shifter, I doubt a roadbike is your calling. A person really needs an adjustable shifter because they can;t operate a standard SRAM shifter? I'd be extremely surprised if anyone could tell the shifting difference between Rival, Force and Red if they disguised the paddles so that you did not know what you were running.
    "The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force."

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  9. #9
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    I haven't used Red yet, but supposedly the shape of the shifter has changed a little--so you might be able to tell (might actually be a bad thing--since SRAM Force/Rival hoods are by far the most comfortable I've tried). It's also supposed to require less throw and be a smoother action. I'm fairly certain you'd be able to tell on the throw, since you are pushing the lever a fair amount if you want 3 shifts in one action.

    The difference won't win you a race, but I think you'd detect it (probably still not total price/performance win.. but more than the other parts). I haven't tried... I wish our local shops carried something with Red, so I could try it and say for sure.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by krisdrum
    And how is that really any different from the Force group I am currently riding? I'd really like to take advantage of the improved technology in the Red shifters.
    I was speaking on a cost vs weight savings. the only thing that really leans up Red is the cassette @ 65 grams would take some nice weight off a Force set-up IMO. I went with a full Red group for what it's worth...

    I have OCD about groups matching for some reason, it's my achilles heel. I like the Red shifters and cranks better visually, but I've heard some not so good things about the chainrings. I'm not sure there is a performance boost between the 2 groups, just a weight savings.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the good input. I actually took the time, lifted the claimed weights for each component in each line and did some mixing and matching. Interesting results that I was a bit surprised by.

    First off, taking the groups as whole entities, there is basically a 1/3 lb. difference between each. Rival is 2232 grams (4.92 lbs.), Force is 2110 g (4.65 lbs.), and Red is 1947 g (4.29 lbs.) as complete groups. Not a whole lot of difference. Then I did some mixing and matching and came up with two mixed groups, one mostly Force with some critical Red parts (mostly the brifters and cassette), the other mostly Rival with the same Red bits. The difference between these two groups was less than 100 grams, but several hundred $. And both obviously beat their whole group weights due to the Red bits.

    So, I think I am actually going to go with mostly Rival, with some Red bits, save a bit of cash that I can then invest in maybe some lighter/more aero wheels. This will allow me to come in at a similar weight, but have the advantage of superior aero and contact points between the bike and the ground.

  12. #12
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    i have been using force since it came out and love it, I bought a set of rival levers and rear der for my B bike to keep all the shifting the same, and i have to admit I can tell no difference from the rival to the force shifters, (Red has made some improvements) Rival simply works great, although on an all carbon scott the force looks much better.

  13. #13

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    I got mostly Force

    *Shifters- Force,305g The trim on RED isn't worth $200 extra, unless your bikes pays for its self.
    brake-set- force 279g
    *FD- force 102g
    *RD-force 179g
    *Cassette- red 155g
    *Chain- Kmc Xsl 240g
    *Crank-set- 170mm Token mono -Q 588g
    *saddle -token 194g
    *headset -token 95g

    But like a read in another thread, weight really means nothing, since a half full water bottles nulls any weight savings.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by csari0
    I got mostly Force

    *Shifters- Force,305g The trim on RED isn't worth $200 extra, unless your bikes pays for its self.
    brake-set- force 279g
    *FD- force 102g
    *RD-force 179g
    *Cassette- red 155g
    *Chain- Kmc Xsl 240g
    *Crank-set- 170mm Token mono -Q 588g
    *saddle -token 194g
    *headset -token 95g

    But like a read in another thread, weight really means nothing, since a half full water bottles nulls any weight savings.
    The price difference between the Force and Red shifters is about $30 to $50 (depending where you buy them). Excel Sport has the Force shifters for $519.00 and Red for $550.00.

  15. #15

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    I paid $300 BNIB (including shipping) for my Force shifters.. so to me the differential is +$200

  16. #16
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    I'd sell my like-new Force shifters for $300, if someone's interested....

  17. #17
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    Force + Red = Fred!
    It's funny until someone gets hurt. Then it's hilarious.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Nazium
    Force + Red = Fred!
    That's why I think I'll stick with the Rival/Red mix = RiRed.

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