There has been much hype about the new top-level race-oriented Red groupset from SRAM, which only hit the road market two years ago with the Rival and Force. With more machining and titanium, Red is the first sub-2kg groupset, at 1,928g.

Retaining the DoubleTap and comfortable ergonomics of the Force, Red shifters have a longer and wider paddle, with adjustable reach on both levers for small hands. Trim has been added to the big ring to address chain rub. As the big ring is the one you?ll spend longer on when racing, this is arguably more logical than factoring in more trim for the 39. Increasing the paddle size makes shifting while sprinting possible with a twist of the wrist.

SRAM specifies the use of Gore-Tex cables and these no doubt aided the smooth shifting, which was quick on the rear and had more ?feel? when shifting up the block ? the latter could be attributed to the ?zero loss travel? that tightens the tolerances of the shifting mechanism.

Although the shift was not clunky, the hollow steel machined cassette does amplify the sound of the shift, particularly on deep-section wheels. Front shifting is fast and not as heavy as that found on the Force, with a responsive change from the 39 to the 53 chainring.

The heavily machined calipers save weight and give more than ample braking and modulation. SRAM?s new racing groupset is expensive but so are the technology and machining that created it.

Alternatives

If SRAM?s Red is a bit too expensive check out its next groupset down, the Force.

The main differences between the two are an increase in weight to 2,084g and lack of trim on the 53 chainring, with just the 39 front chainring having that feature.

Contact: Fisher Outdoor, www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk, www.sram.com. RRP: £1,399.