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SRAM- What level?

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SRAM- What level?

Old 10-27-10, 04:06 AM
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SRAM- What level?

I'm piecing together my 'dream bike', and need some advice.

I am looking at a Lynskey road bike- And leaning towards the Sportive frame. It appears that Lynskey likes SRAM components- All their complete bike kits are based on them. I've done a lo of reading here, as well as other forums, and on the manufacturers page- But would like to hear from people who use them, especially those who can compare them side by side.

My last 'dream' bike was a 2003 Litespeed Veneto, Which I foolishly sold. It had Ultegra, and I liked it... A lot. Now, bear in mind, before that, all I had ever used was relatively low level Shimano, so I didn't have much to compare it to.

The bikes I'm riding now have 105/Tiagra mixes... For my purposes, they do just fine. They certainly aren't as nice as the Ultegra, but they still get me where I'm going.

So- if I use SRAM, I have to decide on Apex, Rival, or Force. Red is pretty much out of the picture, unless someone can give me a real reason to justify it.

Is there a major performance difference between Apex & Rival? Do I gain anything more by going up another level to Force? Or is it one of those things where I'll never notice the difference unless I'm riding them side by side to compare? I'd PROBABLY think that my 105's and Tiagaras (and in fairness, they are not BAD at all) were just awesome if I'd never used Ultegra

Weight is not a major concern to me- I'm more interested in functionality and reliability. Sure, cost comes in to play as well, But if I need to spend an extra $1k at this point to REALLY see an improvement, I'll do it. If I don't need to, I'll save the cash.

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Old 10-27-10, 04:28 AM
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the best bang for your buck is Rival. I have almost 4K miles on my rival group and it hasn't missed a beat.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:01 AM
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For what it appears you want to spend, rival. I have it on a CAAD9 I picked up this summer. I really like it. And I have Read on another. Still like the Rival. Not more than Red, but I don't notice a big drop off in performance.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:08 AM
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Between Rival and Force, appearance and a few grams are the real differences.

I have never owned or used Apex, but I get the impression that it's the SRAM Tiagra. Functional, but cheap.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:11 AM
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I really like Rival, but I don't think it is "dream bike" worthy. I would step up to Force.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:27 AM
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If you're buying the full bike from Lynskey go Rival just to save a few $$$, but if you're buying/building yourself you can find great deals on Force. FWIW I've had Red, Force, and Rival on my bikes over the past couple years. I'd say best bang for the buck goes to rival.
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Old 10-27-10, 05:41 AM
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"dream bikes" dont have budget components on them, at least not the ones i dream about.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:06 AM
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Rival everything except Red shifters for the Zero Loss on the rear shifting. As long as we're dreaming...
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Old 10-27-10, 07:10 AM
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Force everything, except Red Shifters. later.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:18 AM
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Building up my "dream bike" now. I thought I'd be going Force, but with the price on the closeout frame, it's all Red. Either I got a steal on the frame or Red can be had a lot cheaper than list price.
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Old 10-27-10, 07:24 AM
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I've got Red on one bicycle, and my wife has Force on hers. I'll be putting Rival on my other frame this year - I can't justify the cost increase for Force over Red on my Caad 9.
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Old 10-27-10, 08:01 AM
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If you have to ask how to justify Red then it's not for you. Otherwise get Force.
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Old 10-27-10, 08:07 AM
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I think Rival is the best for the money. Even though Apex is cheaper, there's a bit of extra weight for the money saved (I think).

If you can go for a mix of components.

Red shifters, Rival FD, Force RD, Red/DA cassette, KMC x-10 chain, Rival brakes (I usually recommend Planet X CNC brakes, they've got good reviews and are very light), and some stiff cranks (I've heard people complain about Force cranks not being stiff enough, but Ultegra being excellent).
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