SRAM 22 Unveiled: All New RED, Force 11-Speed Road Groups – Tech, Weights & First Rides!

SRAM Red 22 and Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions

SRAM simultaneously introduced two new 11-speed groups and the hydraulic disc and rim road bike brakes. While adding a cog may not seem like much news, there’s enough of a story to separate the drivetrain from the brakes into two posts. Here, the new SRAM RED 22 and SRAM Force 22 groups.

The teaser video on April 1st made a big deal of the number 22, and you’ll be seeing plenty of it in their marketing. The idea is simple: an 11-speed cog should mean 22 useable gears, and with the SRAM 22 groups, you get just that. “True 22″ means trim-free shifting and rub-free use of all 22 gears in the majority of standard ring combinations. Big-Big. Small-Small. It’s all good. There’ll be no warnings about certain gear combos. Use it across the range…which is exactly what I was testing in the image above.

With RED getting a complete overhaul just one year ago, the bigger news here is actually Force. The 2nd tier group now has all of the technology and some shared parts with RED. While we didn’t get to test it yet, they’re promising same performance with only a small gain in weight.

UPDATED 1:49pm EST – Freehub and shifter compatibility info added at bottom of post.

SRAM 22 OVERVIEW

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

For both groups, They are completely new drivetrain parts, including chain, cassette, shifter/levers, derailleurs, chainrings, and most cranksets. The 11-speed parts will have “22″ printed on them and, unfortunately, are not compatible with 10-speed parts…mostly. But, they will continue to support 10-speed groups for the time being by maintaining current RED and Force groups and by offering S-700 series hydraulic 10-speed brake levers for those that simply want to add Hydro R brakes (rim or disc) to their current set up.

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions

The standard 11-speed cassettes for both Red and Force will run consecutively from 11-17, with larger cogs jumping numbers as necessary to get to the largest cog. They’ll also offer WiFLi cassettes for both groups.

Road drivetrain product designer Mark Santurbane told us the derailleurs get tweaked geometry, but the biggest change is the front’s cage, which gets narrower. It’s narrower not just because the chain is slightly narrower, but also because the chainrings are a bit closer together, too. There’s not a fixed distance the rings moved closer, each combo is slightly different to affect the shift timing between the two rings. However, the spider’s tab thickness on the crankset is the same, so all of the spacing difference is in the rings. This means you can put new 11-speed rings on the 2012 Red 10-speed cranksets.

Chainring and cog profiles changed, too. They’re not just thinner, and they even might be thicker in parts. The big changes are in the shapes of the teeth, ramps and pins. And the chain. The only similarity between 10- and 11-speed chains is the distance between the pins. Plate profiles are all new.

Why did all this have to change?

“The drivetrain a really complicated, precision system. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as just adding another cog and making the chain thinner. The upside is it was another opportunity to improve shifting further. The crispness is improved, and the precision has gone up. It’s a tighter system overall because all of the tolerances had to get tighter.”

Why not go to 12?

“We have to decide what to work on based on what can be done. There are some things, bike frames for instance, that would have to change. With what’s out there now and the space constraints with current bike geometry, we felt this was where we needed to be for now.”

The recently introduced cyclocross cassette isn’t at the launch party, but expect it to be fashionably late. Hopefully in time for ‘cross season.

Lastly, lever throw is about the same despite a slightly narrower space between cogs.

You might have noticed there’s no hydraulic shifting systems shown here, and all they’d say about that “leaked” spec sheet we posted recently was “we test every concept and we’re always working on new stuff.” That said, the tone didn’t lead me to believe it’s anything we should expect soon.

SRAM FORCE 22

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

New Force 22 takes on all of the performance characteristics of Red. The crankarms are carbon fiber with a two piece design rather than Red’s one-piece arm/spider, but they use the same chainrings. If we had to guess, it won’t be long before they’re offering a Quarq power meter crankset at this level since these arms are now essentially the same as the prior Red Quarq ones.

The Force 22 Yaw Crankset comes in at a claimed 741g (BB30) / 808g (GXP) and will drop all the way down to a 165mm crank arm length option. It gets the hidden bolt design of the 2012 Red group.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Above and below, Red 22 on the left, Force 22 on the right.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Chainring options for both RED and Force include 53/39, 50/34, 46/36 and a new 52/36.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

The front derailleur gets the YAW movement. It’s 18g lighter than the 10 speed version at just 79g (claimed) and includes the integrated chaincatcher.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

The rear derailleur gets the AeroGlide pulleys to quiet it down a bit, and there’ll be a WiFLi option for use with up to 32t cog. Weight is the same as before, 178g for short cage.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Brakes (not shown) use dual pivot design new and are unchanged save for gaining 2mm additional clearance at the pads, allowing for easier use with wider rims. Construction gets upgraded to carbon for both brake and shift levers. Claimed weight: 307g/pair.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

The cassette’s construction is very similar to before, just  with new profiles and an additional cog. Both RED and Force 22 will have the following options:

  • 11-25: 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25
  • 11-26: 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,26
  • 11-28: 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,22,25,28
  • 11-32: 11,12,13,14,15,17,19,22,25,28,32 (WiFLi)

Note that all three standard cassettes run one-tooth increments all the way to 17. This helps keep your cadence and/or effort from being erratic as you shift through the middle of the cassette.

Both will fit on any 11-speed compatible hub/freehub body, so they’ll work on any wheel that fits Shimano’s 11-speed cassettes. They will not fit on 10-speed hubs/freehub.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Chain gets narrower profile, and the PowerLock quick connect link turns silver for 11-speed chains, providing a quick visual differentiation versus the gold colored PowerLock for 9/10 speed chains. It’s actually a stronger steel, too, to make up for the thinner plates. It’s 256g, which is 8g lighter than PC-1071. Now called 1171, denoting that it’s designed for 11-speed systems. The rollers are the same width between the plates, it’s just the plates that get thinner.

SRAM RED 22

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

In addition to the 22 speeds, the big news is the hydraulic brakes. They’ll offer both Hydraulic Road Rim brakes (HRR) and Hydraulic Road Disc (HRD).

The levers keep the same DoubleTap shifting mechanism and placement (the back half of the lever is the same) and all of the hydraulics are in the taller hood ornament. While it looks substantially bigger, it’s only about 1cm taller.

The master cylinder is completely different than their Taperbore design. The lever pushes a plunger upward, directing oil straight into the hose. The bleed port is at the top where air would naturally go, and it’s kept separate from the brake fluid’s normal path, so it’s unlikely to affect performance even if a few bubbles do end up there.

Hydraulic levers are sold with the brake calipers, then rotors are sold separately. More tech details on the Hydro R brakes are in the other post.

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Traditional mechanical brake and shift levers will still be offered. Note the “22″ on all of these parts.

They even have R2C aero bar end shifters ready for 11-speed.

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions

Red also gets WiFLi rear derailleur option, making it available across the range. It keeps the ceramic bearings in the AeroGlide pulleys and is tweaked for 11-speed cassette use.

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions

For the standard cranksets, the arms are the same as the 2012 Red group. For the Quarq power meter cranksets (shown in the lead photo), the arms look the same, but they’re now hollow on the inside, making them 25g lighter than before. The PM-equipped cranks will be offered all the way down to 162.5mm, 2.5mm shorter than the standard cranks, and all with Exogram construction but a non-integrated spider. Because of that, they could get a slightly shorter crank design.

For the BB30 cranksets, they ship with a spindle to fit standard 68mm bottom bracket shells. The Quarq version has a wider axle and will fit BBright, but requires spacers to fit BB30.

The mechanical brakes will still be offered. They’re the same except they come with the new Zipp Platinum Evo pad compounds developed by SwissStop, which are a bit narrower to accommodate wider rims.

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions

The Hollowdome X-Glide 1190 cassette uses their machined-from-steel construction with the StealthRing Elastomers to keep it quiet and light. 151g claimed weight for 11-25.

MIX & MATCH

Parts are interchangeable between 11-speed Red and Force groups, so if you want Force 22 pricing and hydraulic brakes, you’d need to get the new RED 22 Hydro R shifters and brakes. Or, if you already have a 10-speed group you like and just want to add hydraulic brakes, the new S-700 series Hydro R shifters and levers will drop into both YAW and standard groups from SRAM.

Santurbane said they’re designed for use with YAW front derailleurs, so there’s no trim, but cable pull is sufficient to work with standard derailleurs, too.

But, unlike past 10-speed groups, these new 11-speed parts are not compatible with the recently introduced XX1 11-speed mountain bike parts.

ACTUAL WEIGHTS

This first group are RED 22 bits that we were told were close enough to production level to be representative of final weights. Their mechanical brakes are unchanged (weighed here).

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Next up, the Force 22 parts are still preproduction and should be close to actual weights, but not exact. They said give it a +/- 5% at this stage.

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

SRAM Force 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

Last up, they had connected hydraulic RED disc brake and lever, a loose 140mm HSX rotor and connected single brake/lever sets of S-700 hydraulic rim and disc brakes. So, not exactly what we’d like to see for comparison purposes, but claimed weights are listed underneath:

SRAM Red 22 11-speed road bike group introductions and actual weights

RED Hydro R claimed weight is 449g per wheel for lever, disc brake caliper and 160mm rotor. Claimed weight for the HRR (Hydraulic Road Rim) set is 387g per wheel. That means the full mechanical systems are still able to be built up lighter.

SRAM S-700 hydraulic road bike brakes and actual weights

Claimed weight for S-700 disc brake lever/caliper combo is 493g with a 160mm HS1 rotor, and rim brakes are 422g per wheel.

2014 COMPONENT PRICING

The Force 22 group will be available in August 2013, Hydro R brakes and RED 22 in July.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Speaking only of the drivetrain, the new RED 22 group is an incremental improvement. The extra cog is nice, and shifting was as quick and snappy as ever. We actually rode the bikes quite a bit before the presentations and talk time with product managers, so I can’t honestly say that the shifting was any crisper or quieter than the RED 2012 group I recently reviewed, but it’s very good. For anyone questioning whether we really need any more cogs, I can say that it’s quite nice having fewer gaps when running up and down the cassette to keep cadence and effort relatively static. Try it. You’ll like it.

What’s more exciting is the coming Force 22 group and the performance it’s likely bringing to the table for an extremely competitive price.

Now, let’s check out those new hydraulic brakes!

UPDATES

These are also incorporated into the post for anyone who hadn’t read it yet. For those that did, here’s what’s new:

  • The 11-speed cassette will fit on all current 11-speed compatible hubs and freehub bodies. It will fit any hub that works with Shimano’s new 11-speed groups. They will not fit on 10-speed hubs/freehubs.
  • The shifters, cassettes and derailleurs are not compatible with XX1 mountain bike shifter, cassette or derailleurs. Different cable pull and spacing.

Comments

David - 04/15/13 - 9:28am

MMMmmmm, looking good, want hydraulic caliper brakes even without carbon rims
bike porn.

gringo - 04/15/13 - 9:53am

the coolest upgrade here is the plasti-dip treatment on the FD cage. I have been doing that for years and it significantly reduces chain-slap noise.

Matt - 04/15/13 - 10:22am

Uh…S-Works Roubaix Disc?

g - 04/15/13 - 10:28am

Waaaaahhhhhhhhh! I just got the old new red, and now this new new red has come out, and it’s gonna be even betterer, and now my new old red isn’t the bestest anymore! What am i gonna do if i don’t have the bestest? Now I’ll have to sell my old new red on ebay so I can buy this ASAP! Thanks a lot for the deception SRAM! Waaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!

James - 04/15/13 - 10:46am

What was the point of “2013″ Red?

It’s been out a year now, and Sram decides to roll out the New New Red with 11 speeds. They couldn’t just do this last year? Or wait a year to do this.

Bill - 04/15/13 - 10:47am

So do the casettes sit on existing 10 speed freehub bodies? Does that mean for all three companies now we’ve got different freehubs? (I know the 11S shimano one can have a spacer, but still)

Nash - 04/15/13 - 10:58am

Think I need to change my underwear! Hurry up with the brakes

Nicholas - 04/15/13 - 11:12am

I didn’t see a bit about Cassette width. Same spacing as 10 speed? No new standard like Shimano is doing?

jay - 04/15/13 - 11:26am

Is the cable pull on the 11s shifters the same between road and mountain (XX1)? This is a great feature on their 10s groups and allows for some useful mixing & matching.

Dude - 04/15/13 - 12:35pm

It’s going to run on the new Shimano 11 cassette body.

Dale - 04/15/13 - 1:31pm

(deleted).

Sram- make a ratchet for the 10sp shifter and problem solved.

mkrs - 04/15/13 - 1:40pm

“We actually rode the bikes quite a bit before the presentations and talk time with product managers, so I can’t honestly say that the shifting was any crisper or quieter”

Wut? You mean that you need to talk to someone to determine whether something actually works or not?

Kasper - 04/15/13 - 2:03pm

“Red Chain 22″ is that equal to a 1190 XX1 chain ?

Arlo - 04/15/13 - 2:18pm

Well I have to give SRAM props I will not change my groupo although It would look good on a Cross Bike!! Looks like Campy has lead the way again so I guess SRAM electric will be out for the TDF?

bryan - 04/15/13 - 2:20pm

Awesome!

frank - 04/15/13 - 2:56pm

Am I reading this right? Those prices are $400 PER WHEEL for the S-700 brifter and disk brake?!?

Also, does anyone know what a Rival Brifter + cable + BB7 brake & rotor weight compared to the S-700 set up?

If $400 per wheel is right, that does not seem like a worthwhile upgrade just to go hydraulic.

Matt DeViney - 04/15/13 - 3:05pm

“I can’t wait to buy that in a couple of years once some good factory bikes are available at reasonable prices” says I, every year for the rest of my life.

fhfr436 - 04/15/13 - 3:15pm

Sram certainly should push the use of their XX1 XD driver body, which enables the use of a 10T cog. There’s a battle for the 11-speed standard and that is a good argument in Sram’s favor.

rentedshoes - 04/15/13 - 4:08pm

Hey Sram, thanks for listening to the IBD network when we complained about you guys launching new product mid season. Oh, wait. It appears you disregarded that entirely.

From here on in, I will be boycotting Sram product.

PDXFixed - 04/15/13 - 4:16pm

I agree with rentedshoes, there’s going to be a lot of Red 10-speed sitting unsold on store shelves…

wheelz - 04/15/13 - 6:02pm

Now’s my chance to pick up a deaply discounted Red 10 speed grouppo…

Chris - 04/15/13 - 6:49pm

I want to ride. I want to try. I’m excited.

Here is my arm chair criticism. The price difference between mech shifters/brakes is not too far off from hydr. Shifters/brakes. Cool, but shocking.
2012 red? Black
2013 red? Did a high end group set right (or better)
2014 red? 11sp.

I’m pleased with sram road. I may get this set.
Competitive pricing is enticing

noname - 04/15/13 - 10:34pm

No 11-23 cassette = missed opportunity, will not be purchasing

eldarko - 04/16/13 - 6:41am

All looks nice, and kudos to SRAM for pulling it all together for both Red and Force, but it does raise a nagging concern:

Given that we only had to wait one year for a new Red to drop, what are the chances of there being a further update in a year’s time? Doubtless, it’ll be one that adds electronic shifting to the package – with the net result that the tidier shift packaging means they lose the ugly hood packaging of the hydraulic levers?

I like what SRAM are doing – and I genuinely applaud them for lifting the curtain on disc braking – but I can’t help but feel this is a production line that’s still extremely transient…

Adam - 04/16/13 - 8:39am

Did anyone else notice the Zipp 303 disc brake wheels? I am drooling over everything on this list but I am shocked they didn’t mention the wheels. I ride Zipps for cyclocross and have been eyeing hydraulic brakes for a while but I didn’t want to have to use lesser quality wheels. Oh goody, goody, goody.

Aaron - 04/16/13 - 9:14am

Who needs a 25T?? I climb 20% grades in a 42×23 combo.

Other than the price likely being way out of my range, having to carry around a useless 25T cog would keep me with my 10-speed set-up. Also, lack of 54T and 42T chainrings.

I guess once they come out with the TT stuff, I could maybe reconsider it for my road bike.

tom - 04/16/13 - 9:55am

The new Force group will look great on one of those matte black salute to fascism builds that are oh so popular nowadays. But seriously, who needs a 23? I climb 25% grades on a 19 block and a single 60t ring. Get with the times, people.

greshkov - 04/16/13 - 9:59am

hey tyler, do you know if the new force crank will work with bbright frames the way the bb30 s-900 cranks do?

Sualk - 04/16/13 - 11:44am

Thanks Tom!

bin judgin - 04/16/13 - 1:21pm

hahaha tom.

looks good. stoked on the force group.

CB - 04/16/13 - 2:47pm

10 speed powerlock is black, not gold. 9 speed is gold.

Eric - 04/16/13 - 6:25pm

If you want an 11-23, quit complaining. Get a Dura Ace cassette.

SRAM convert - 04/17/13 - 3:28am

Sounds like a lot of whinging over nothing. SRAM have come to the 11s party. They have raised the bar with the introduction of Hydraulic brakes. I have just purchased 10s 2013 Red also. I dont believe in electronic shifting. Keep up the good work and innovations SRAM. I could only buy what was available at the time and I am happy with it.

Len - 04/17/13 - 6:31am

No cassettes that begin with a 12t? That’s very odd… Shimano and Campy’s 11-speed lineups have those (in addition to 11-X clusters), and those 12-X clusters are pretty useful, as you can then get an 18t cog in the middle or a really nice set of climbing gears.

Maybe SRAM’s trying to look ‘more extreme/racer-ly than thou’, but I think only the poseur squad is going to be turned on by this. Some ppl hardly ever use the 11t (or maybe they live in a flat state like Florida), so why waste the extra gear you get from going to 11-speed? Just to say you have it?

doug s - 04/17/13 - 10:52am

i’d like to get a set of the brakes on a bike and check em out.
i wonder how they are getting around the boiling fluid/brake fade on long descents?

Chris - 04/17/13 - 11:35am

I’m with Len. SRAM please make a 12 – 25 cassette. I will never need an 11 cog. I could use your 11-25 but I’d hate to give up my 18 tooth cog. Yes I currently ride a 12-23 10 speed with a 53/39.

Mindless - 04/17/13 - 5:43pm

Not compatible with XX1 is silly. Why? That 11-32 cassette and derailleur could be nice to use if the range suits you.

K11 - 04/17/13 - 6:41pm

think i will just pick up deeply discounted 10sp red and run mechanical disc brakes. Hydro brake road/cx systems will only get better and more reasonably priced with time no matter the brand.

neato - 04/17/13 - 8:37pm

xx1 is completely incompatible with a dual ring set up.

Bennett Shane - 04/23/13 - 11:23am

Hey SRAM,

Wanna buy back my 2013 red? It came out less than a year ago and is now obsolete. By the way, your new hood ergonomics are horrible

Danny Gib - 05/02/13 - 12:42pm

considering sram and zipp are the same will zipp 10spd hubs take sram 11spd cassettes and what about compatabilty recently upgraded some parts on my old sram red still need need to buy levers front and rear mech will the red 22 be compatible ?????

Chris - 05/14/13 - 10:31pm

Will the Force 22 front derailleur work with the Force 10 speed left shifter and compact crank? Would be nice to have that yaw adjustment to avoid those trim shifts and the chain watcher to avoid the chain drop that occurs too frequently with the current front derailleur.

Shawn - 06/06/13 - 5:15pm

Good question about the zipp hubs taking 11spd cassette? Can I assume that the shimano-11sp compatibility on the zipp 88/188 hub will work for the SRAM Red 22 cassette?

Ben - 06/18/13 - 2:16am

Their new hood ergonomics are great, [deleted]

Andy B - 07/25/13 - 3:55pm

Agree with previous comments that its a shame that the XD driver body isn’t being used… but to be fair XX1 is so much better and cheaper than XTR that buying a new driver body (or at worst a wheelset) was worth it. Compatibility issues for the XD driver body would be hell for most wheel brands out there. But!: 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23 coupled with chainrings 3-5 teeth smaller (around 10% ;-) and you get a lighter, stiffer drivetrain with no loss of range.

Mike Hare - 09/22/13 - 2:56am

I must say I am flabbergasted by many of the comments and questions posted which were clearly covered in the article. No different really than the broad range of misinformation dispensed in any forum but still somewhat amazing.

Wahlman - 12/15/13 - 2:45am

When will the 22 speed tt shifters be available in 2014?

Races starts early summer and delivery must be Q1 to take sram in consideration for 2014.

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