After months of speculation SRAM has released details of its new entry level groupset, named Apex it has been fitted in at the bottom of the pile beneath Rival.

Almost all of the features that regular SRAM users have seen before will be available on the new groupset in fact for the untrained eye it looks a lot like Rival, but that is no bad thing, since Rival is such a clean looking and reliable groupset.

As seems the way with every new product these days SRAM has come up with a new term for the groupset and Apex is no different, this time its WiFLi. As a run together of Wider, Faster, Lighter we like the name and as a direction, if not a mantra, for the groupset we think it’s a nice take.

Wider – says that it offers a bigger spread of gears, in essence lower gears for the steepest hills just like a triple. Faster – because Apex is a double rather than triple chainset so the front shifting is quicker. And Lighter because, guess what, it’s lighter than a triple. To use SRAM’s figures current Shimano 105 (5603) weighs 2,699g where as Apex comes in at 2,435g – so a worthwhile saving.

Another headline from the launch is that Apex will come with the option of an 11-32 cassette the largest size on the market at this level. Three other versions will also be available 11-28, 11-26 and 11-23.

And there’s great news if you already have a SRAM bike and want to get lower gearing perhaps for the Etape or the Fred Whitton sportive you’ll be able to use the Apex cassette and the medium arm ‘Transformer’ Apex rear mech. When used with a compact crankset you’ll be able to get a super low gear for steep mountain climbs.

SRAM expect to start shipping to bike manufacturers in April so we’ll see it in the shops from June onwards.

SRAM Apex groupset 2010

SRAM Apex groupset 2010, front mech

SRAM Apex groupset 2010, cassette

SRAM Apex groupset 2010

  • James Howarth

    Can anybody help? I have a five week old road bike with Sram Apex gears. Gear changing worked perfectly for three weeks. Now I can not change the chain wheel from small to large ring. The gear change works perfectly when on a bike stand but on the road it rarely will change up. The dealer has been tremendous in resetting three times and knowing their expertise the mech is set correctly.
    This problem has likely to have happened before and I guess the answer is simple. There would be little point in changing the unit when it seams to works so perfectly on a bike stand.
    Any suggestions or Help please.

  • Eric Dryden

    Will the apex cassette work with shimano set up. There is a need for lower gearing especialy when age or injury catches up with you.

    Eric Dryden. Ex Tyne Olympic.

  • Paul

    Completely agree with SteveSeeds. What’s up with SRAMs 11t sprocket fetish. If you need close spacing in gears that high, you probably won’t be buying an 11-32 cassette anyway, or the Apex group at all for that matter (you’ll probably be a more advanced, strong rider looking at Rival or Force). Maybe when/if everyone starts going to 11 or 12 speed cassettes it might make more sense. I ride over 100mi a week and rarely touch the top 2 or 3 ratios on my SRAM Force bike with an 11-28. That said I look forward to giving the 11-32 a try when it and the new RD are available separately.

  • Mark

    Not necessarily about the new SRAM groupset, but Steve Seeds makes an excellent point just above. more in the middle range would be an excellent option for any cluster. Is this such a radical concept? Forget the conventions…give us what works for us!
    The APEX groupset looks like a great option for mid-range enthusiasts. A nice addition to the line!

  • SteveSeeds

    Great idea. What many of us have been waiting for … But there are still problems. Those of us who are getting older and weaker (and those of us who never were very strong) need low gears – great, to see them. But why have an 11 sprocket? And why have the close ratio section of the cassette at the top? Time trialists and road sprinters might need close gaps at the top end of the gear range. They are screaming along at high speed. But most of us aren’t – except when going downhill with a tail wind. And then steps of two teeth are fine. What we need are close ratios in the middle range. That’s what would make life better for us. Most my cycling friends, even fit healthy, 200-mile-a-week people, never use the top 30% of their gears and wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there. Give us close ratios in the middle of the range. And that’s what we need on mountain bikes too.

  • Len

    No cassettes that start with a 12t? Kind of a non-starter for me. I’d rather have a 16t cog than an 11t… and when you start with an 11t, that’s usually what you’re giving up.

  • Mike

    Should give 105 a run for the money.

  • slowhand

    Looks good, but is there any indication of price? Also, will there be a compact version?