The New SRAM 22 Group Sets

SRAM Force 22 Groupset

SRAM's new 11-speed road drivetrain should be hitting the markets around mid-to-late June for the SRAM Red 22 and into July for the SRAM Force 22.  After introducing the XX1 drivetrain at iBike last year, you knew an 11-speed road gruppo would be around the corner soon.  With the new groups come some pretty slick upgrades and tech advances.

Chain: What can be improved about a chain?  Well, according to SRAM, the new Red 22 chain features more heavily chamfered outer plates for improved shifting and quieter running to help steer away from that "clunky" shift of the past. Other advancements include a new inner plate finish plus chrome hardened pin construction, which both aid in longer chain life. The HollowPin construction provides smooth, precise shifting and weight savings without sacrificing strength.

Cassette: The new 11-speed cassette is exactly what you would expect: light, strong and efficient. Coupled with the new chain, the PowerGlide cassettes are designed for high shifting performance with a quieter chain/cassette combination and longer life.

Cranks: There are a TON of new crank options, including cranksets that will work together with front derailleurs that self trim and adjust (yaw control) to prevent chain rub on either the inside or outside of the front derailleur cage.  Also, are the Quarq cranks which are unmatched in providing training feedback from the integrated Power Meter while still maintaining a sleek geometry, reduced weight and clearance for oversized frames and aerodynamic chainrings.  Whether you choose any of the three crank designs, you'll find a wide array of crank arm lengths, gearing, and bottom bracket interface that you need.

Derailleurs: As SRAM states: "The new rear derailleur has been refined and designed to deliver the performance advantage you have come to expect from SRAM. The new SRAM 22 rear derailleurs are smoother and quieter than ever before."

The SRAM 22 front derailleur changes everything, offering every gear combination with no chain rub or rasp. Instead of simply moving back and forth, the derailleur cage actually rotates to maintain a consistent angular relationship with the chain. SRAM calls it "Yaw Technology," which eliminates the need for shifter trim. As a result of both front and rear derailleur redesigns, shifts feel more direct, more precise, and deliver unmatched performance so you can worry about that crit or hill climb and not your shifting or chain rub.

Shifters: The new shifters have improved the transition between handlebar and hoods, the grip texture, finger wrap and the interfaces with both levers. SRAM says "The result is an extremely comfortable, highly individual fit that makes the shifters feel like a natural extension of the rider."

Brakes: The new SRAM 22 groups now offer hydraulic levers for either rim brakes or disc.  There has been talk for years about a hydraulic road lever, and SRAM has created the perfect solution.  Designers stressed modulation, ease of use, and dependable power in all conditions instead of just brute stopping power.  Since braking for a road bike depends on the traction of your tires, having a super-strong brake that easily locks up your wheels would put a damper on your riding experience. SRAM spent significant time creating a hydraulic brake that you could modulate or "feather" for a desired amount of brake power in all conditions.

As Paul Kantor, SRAM’s category manager for Avid brakes said, “That’s the art of braking. It’s easy to apply enough power to lock up a wheel, but that’s not the point.”  Enter the hydraulic reign on the bike kingdom!

Look for the new products coming within the next weeks here at Bikewagon, and start selling stuff now to make sure your bank account (or spouse) doesn't plummet with your new toys.

Happy riding!

Shane Bakerby Shane BakerGoogle+

Shane Baker is an avid cyclist and outdoor adventurer. He's worked in the cycling industry for more than a decade.