In an interesting move that shows SRAM has been doing it’s research with customers, and then taking that information on board too, the American manufacturer has launched WiFli for both the new Red groupset as well as Force.

In case you’ve not been paying attention WiFli is the name SRAM gives to its broader range of gears, those that feature not just a compact but also a wider selection on the cassette too. With 50/34 tooth options on the front and a block on the rear that goes from 11 to 32teeth there is a wider range than is offered by a traditional triple and also has less repetition of gears.

So what the news in this? Well the American’s haven’t just assumed that because a customer is starting out, unfit or taking on a big set of mountains for the first time that they’re a novice rider and don’t ‘deserve’ to ride the best equipment. By adding a both Force and the top of the range Red those that want to spend the money and get the best shift performance and lightest weight can.

To get the full benefit of WiFli, which stands for Wider, Faster, Lighter, you’ll need the compact Exogram Red cranks, XG-1099 11-32 cassette along with the mid cage RD rear mech or the same in Force. Shipping to your local shop will start in June. As for the weight difference SRAM list the groupset as saving at least 250g over a triple crankset.

For the last year on the steepest stages during all three of the Grand Tours but especially during the Giro the Pro’s could be seen to use the Apex rear mech and cassette now they can use the top of the range items.


Where next?

Neither Shimano nor Campagnolo offer a triple crankset on there respective top of the range models, so neither has quite the spread of gears SRAM is now offering.

In Shimano the widest spread of Dura Ace gears you can get is 50/34 with an 11-28 cassette, in Ultegra there is a triple option so you can get 52/39/30 with 12-30 cassette.

When it comes to Campagnolo they’ve never offered a triple in 11speed and in ten speed there is nothing currently in the range, we say currently as rumours have it that 2013 will see a triple in the range once again. So in Campagnolo the widest range available is 50/34 with a 12-29 cassette.

This article was first published in the May 3 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.