The wireless transmission Jedis at SRAM have just released a new version of their Force road/gravel groupset that’s lighter, smarter and has a totally fresh techno look.
SRAM’s Force group has always sat between top-end Red and more affordable SRAM rival, but the new components are designed to move aesthetics and performance closer to Red. Most obviously that includes a new ‘unicorn gray metallic’ sparkly colorway with metallic laser foil logos. If you go for double chainrings you get an intricately machined single piece sculpture that saves 83g as it takes a 48/35 rig down to a claimed 752g. SRAM also claims a much crisper shift feel with the new rings and they come in a road race-ready 50-37 tooth pairing as well as existing 48-35 and 46-33 twinsets.
There’s an optional power meter spider option on the doubles too, but to keep rear mech options simple one design of mech covers all cassette options up to 10-36 tooth.
Gravel riders will be more interested in the re-profiled single chainring design that saves 90g at an impressively light 647g for a 40-tooth ring. This can be supplied (or later upgraded) with the same ‘plug into the spindle’ Quarq power meter as Rival, but the carbon arms make it a big performance over Rival and it can work with an XPLR 10-44T cassette and rear mech, a smaller cassette and rear mech road setup or a MTB style 10-50/52 cassette and rear mech.
There’s a big difference at the bars too where the new Force brake/shift levers adopt the slimmer neck and broader head profile introduced on Rival – which is a big plus in our book. Carbon levers keep weight down and the whole front end of the units has been decreased in volume. That’s been made possible by SRAM ditching the pad contact adjuster that they told us nobody used anyway. There’s no wired port for a ‘blip button’ auxiliary shifter either – the blip buttons are now totally wireless like the rest of the AXS ‘ecosystem’ so can easily be added to bar tops or tri bars if you’re an aero fiend.
Other detail upgrades, that should help win some market share back from Rival, include the service simplifying ‘Bleeding Edge’ flush port on the brake calipers. You can now get chain and cassette with a rainbow/oil spill finish as well which all lifts it closer to its Red shifting sibling.
Potentially more exciting for riders who’ve really bought into the AXS tech – especially those running a ‘Flight Attendant bike – is the news that SRAM now has a four-berth AXS battery charger. It’s also more powerful allowing a 70 percent charge in an hour with four batteries and uses a USB-C connector too. Talking of cables, SRAM told us there are no plans for a wire operated version of Force, so Ratio’s conversion kit remains your only option for creating a 12-speed wide ratio rig without any batteries involved.
The new SRAM Force products are available immediately. Pricing for a full AXS groupset starts at $1,832 / £1,533 / €1,715 for a 1x setup without a power meter, rising to $2,640 / £2,228 / €2,515 for a 2x system with a Quark power meter. For more details visit SRAM.com.