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