SRAM Red Vs Force

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Posts: 194
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by DeLuz

SRAM Red approx cost for shifters, rear der, front der, brakes, crankset = $1223
SRAM Force = $793

Force weighs about 122g more than RED. The front der would be the obvious place to save some weight for a small difference in cost..
There is a big cost difference in the rear der and brakes. Shifters and crankset not so much.

I don't care so much about the weight, but are any of the RED components that much better to be worth the cost?
Do any of the Force components have a weakness and should be avoided?
I actually prefer the look of the Force crank but understand it may have a little more flex.
I weigh 140lbs so I am not sure it matters anyway with BB30.


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by jmilliron

Red shifters have that zero loss thing for the RD.

Lot of people prefer Force FD. Apparently it's stiffer and shifts better. I'm perfectly happy with my Red FD though.
2013 Wilier Cento1 SR || 2009 Ridley Crossbow || 2011 Yeti AS-R 5 Carbon

by Weenie

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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:30 am

by DeLuz

jmilliron wrote:Red shifters have that zero loss thing for the RD.

Lot of people prefer Force FD. Apparently it's stiffer and shifts better. I'm perfectly happy with my Red FD though.

I have heard both of those.
I think the shifters are worth getting RED.
Everything else Force, except crankset still undecided.

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by nitropowered

Red Shifters
Force FD
Red RD
Brakes something else
crankset probably force, but me personally I have a quarq.

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by mdeth1313

The only sram red I use are the shifters (w/ btp clamps) and RD (w/ carbon derailleur pulleys).

The rest of my "hybrid" consists of:
Campy chorus FD tuned to 58g
Lightning crankset w/ zipp bb (stronglight ct2 big ring, extralite small ring - 50/34)
kcnc cb1 brakes
cassette is either 7900 or alloy
Speedplay is the devil!

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Location: Vermont

by stoweaway

Check out this article on 2010 SRAM Force: ... d-groupset

To quote from the article, "While there are still a few key differences, Force is now so close to Red in look, feel and performance that there's almost no reason to move up any higher in the company's range."

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Location: Eugene, OR

by shill

there is a big difference between the red and force shifting. i have red on my road bike and force on my cross bike. the red has less throw than the force ie. faster shifting. the red also has 2 shifts in the big chain ring where the force does not. other than the ceramic bearing in the red RD i dont think there is much difference in the RD. i use the 2010 Red FD and have had no problems. the original problem was a bad weld in the cage not cage stiffness. the weld would crack and it would feel really flexy. i raced shimano DA for the last 15yrs and switched to sram this past season and am totally sold.


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by DeLuz

Well based on the replies so far I think it would be worth getting the Red shifters and everything else Force.
I still wonder about the crankset, but being that it is compact and BB30 and I weigh 140 lbs the Force should be stiff enough.
I am also hearing that there are better chainrings to use anyway like Stronglight CT2.

I have mostly used Shimano but in the past few years changed the shifters on my tandem and single to Campy Centaur.
I like Campy better than Shimano for sure.
I recently test rode some bikes with SRAM Red and did like it though.
The new bike will be a Cannondale with BB30 so I thought it would make sense to use a groupset with a BB30 crankset and I hate FSA cranks.
If I could justify the extra cost I would just get a Hollowgram crankset for sure.

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by showdown

Aside from weight savings (things like cutouts in the brake shoes on RED brakes, carbon shift paddles as opposed to magnesium, a PowerDome cassette on RED etc...) one major difference is that the RED shifter have so-called ZeroLoss. That said, a well adjusted Force grouppo will have the same feel and will have well, zero loss. In addition another difference is that the RED BB comes with SRAM's BlackBox ceramic hybrid bearings as do the rear derailleur jockey wheels' bearings. Suffice it to say that ceramic hybrid bearings or proper full ceramic bearings can be found elsewhere as well and usually at a lower price point.

So the bottom line is that RED is a bit lighter as a result of using ti and carbon in places where alu or steel and magnesium were on Force. As for performance, I have ridden both and cannot differentiate between the two.

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by kuatolives

i would go with red shifters and rd everything else force

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by cabinhorn

The Red front derailleur shifts like crap - the difference is obvious upon changing the derailleur to force or even rival. Given the same adjustments. There's a reason no pros ride the stock Red FD.

It blows.

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by mecaniciendevelo

I am no pro, but I am a pro mechanic and my stock Red front mech shifts just fine. I am an amateur racer also, and I have never missed a shift at all. I have installed a lot of them on any different bike, and would agree that they are finicky, but they can be made to work well. I have seen a few wear out quickly, mostly due to the ti plates, though.

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Location: New Zealand

by theremery

Mine is v.similar to Mdeth
Red shifter (BTP clamps)
Red rear derailleur (tuned)
Tuned campy front (record qs 10)
Da cassette (alu on race wheels) but I use the 7800 10s casettes as they are cheap here.
Stronglight pulsions with stronglight CT2 Rings on a xxlight bb93 isis bb (99g despite it's name :( )
KCNC CB1 brakes (mildly tuned),
Go with the stuff you like and bike-enstein the heavy stuff out.
Updated: Racing again! Thought this was unlikely! Eventually, I may even have a decent race!
Edit: 2015: darn near won the best South Island series (got second in age
-group)..woo hoo Racy Theremery is back!!

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Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

by Sam

I haven't used Red or Force, but for the comming season I have the following setup on my bike:

Force '10 shifter
Force '10 RD
Dura Ace 7900 FD
Dura Ace 7900 chain
Ultegra 6700 cassette
Planet-X CNC brakes

What cables and stuff would you recommend me?

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by tjmstock

The red cassette is loud....I prefer Red on everything and use a DA cassette

by Weenie

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