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Would you rather have used 2008/2009 SRAM Red group or new 2012 SRAM Force?

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Would you rather have used 2008/2009 SRAM Red group or new 2012 SRAM Force?

Old 03-29-12, 12:28 AM
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Would you rather have used 2008/2009 SRAM Red group or new 2012 SRAM Force?

Main Question:

I'm probably an idiot regardless of if I would keep or resell the Red and passing on it but my main question is...does 2012 Force group out-perform a well maintained 2008-2009 Red group?



**** Side-Story ****
Long story short, I passed up on a used Red groupset (full) that looked like it was well taken care of for $825 shipped on ebay. I was planning on bidding up to $900 but got cold feet at the last few seconds because my tax return (aka bike money) might not come for another week.

I just bought new 2012 Force shifters and RD for $300 and a set of TRP 920SL brakes (which I would keep over the Red brakes). If I hadn't bought all this in the last day I would've been all over this Red group.

From what I'd seen on ebay/forums I would probably pocket $100-200 if I split up the Red group and resold the parts on ebay ($300 shifters, $200 crankset, $150 brakes, $75 chain/cassette, $125 RD, $50 FD...for a conservative $900).

In my defense, I don't need Red quality and I'm on a $900 budget for the group...I plan on only buying new/take-off gear to fill out the rest of the group and I'd calculated a total of $650 for the group (re-using my newish Ultegra 6700 FD). I figured I'd put the extra $250 leftover towards a set of racing wheels or a Garmin with HR/Cadence. (Currently using Flight Deck on an Ultegra 6510 group)

Last edited by jordo_99; 03-29-12 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 03-29-12, 12:54 AM
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Old 03-29-12, 01:03 AM
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Saw that coming
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Old 03-29-12, 06:03 AM
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moved from road racing
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Old 03-29-12, 07:51 AM
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your valuation of the older red group is incorrect. the new 2012 stuff is significantly improved, and it will have a large negative impact on old red pricing very soon, if not already.

should already, but there are dummies out there like... well
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Old 03-29-12, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
your valuation of the older red group is incorrect. the new 2012 stuff is significantly improved, and it will have a large negative impact on old red pricing very soon, if not already.
I thought I had included my reasoning for wanting to keep the 2012 shifters but I guess not...I partly held off because the 2012 had "Zero Loss shifting" or something like that (when you start to shift it starts the shift immediately instead of when you're 1/2 way through the lever motion.

Is there anything major that 2012 improves upon that I've left out? I'll be reading up on this via Google searches for the new features and weight to compare. The reason I ask is because there's probably someone who can give a personal opinion/experience of these features. On paper these features might seem awesome but I won't know how much of a difference it actually makes until I get the new shifters on my bike. I've never used SRAM before this except one brief ride on my friend's bike and I'm coming from 6510 so I think the improvements are going to be pretty vast regardless of 2008 Red or 2012 Force from my perspective.
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Old 03-29-12, 10:25 AM
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first of all, force is fine. in fact you could have used apex or rival and been fine.

2012 red is way beyond what I'm going to attempt summarize. you can easily find information about it by searching here or using google.

- whole groupset lighter
- new cranks, lighter, stiffer and NOT compatible with older chainrings (whether compact or standard)
- new shifter shape (fatter)
- new left shifter operation - no trim
- radically new front derailleur, yawing parallelogram, with integrated chain catcher
- radically new brakes
- new cassette (not really part of the group IMHO), hollow with rubber spacers to deaden noise


so, again, the price you were willing to pay for a used red groupset is too high. there were cosmetic changes in red from its first release to 2011, it really doesn't matter what prior year you were thinking of-- all of them will plummet in value as 2012 starts to get into hands.
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Old 03-29-12, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jordo_99
...I partly held off because the 2012 had "Zero Loss shifting"...
Force had Zero Loss for the front derailleur (left lever) since 2010. I would have thought Force would get the trickle down for the rear (right front lever) in 2012, but I've not seen anything in print about this added feature for 2012 Force. If you've found mention from a SRAM source of the Force right lever getting Zero Loss, please share with us.

In my opinion as a 2011 Force shifter user, the price you paid for new was reasonable, the Force product functions very well, and I don't miss Zero Loss on the right lever. For me, a shift to a higher gear on the right lever without ZL feels like the left lever, as is.
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Old 03-29-12, 12:48 PM
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I have 2011 Force, and I don't think they made any changes in 2012. i use it on my race bike. rear throws are longer than on Red, but they're still very light and very fast. no complaints.
I also have 2010 Red, and i have to say that i really like the zero-loss right shifter. but i'd still get the new group.

Stop stressing and get the 2012 force. it will have better resale value.
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Old 03-29-12, 03:00 PM
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The "old" Red is a great groupset if used with a Force or DA front shifter. IMO I'd go with the old Red and have the $$ savings set aside to improve items that really matter to the ride - wheels, tires and maintenance (headset bearings, bottom bracket, chain, bar tape, saddle etc). A full annual refresh of those do wonders to the experience and feel of your bike.
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Old 03-29-12, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GDA
IMO I'd go with the old Red and have the $$ savings set aside to improve items that really matter to the ride...
I'm actually going to have a full 2012 Force drive train (with arguably better brakes) for $100 less than the red group. I'm on the fence between getting a Force FD or using my 6700 Ultegra that's still got less than 100 miles on it. Also on the fence between getting take-off 2012 Force crank or a FSA K-Light crank for about $30 more.
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Old 03-29-12, 06:20 PM
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FSA K-Force Light crank is pretty expensive. If you're talking used, the question is always how used and if the price includes the right bottom bracket. Caveats aside, it's a much better crank than Force.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jordo_99
. I'm on the fence between getting a Force FD or using my 6700 Ultegra that's still got less than 100 miles on it.
FWIW I had a lot of problems with my Force FD and eventually ended up putting a 105 FD on instead. The Sram front shifter is actually very good and The Shimano derailleur works great with it. It maintains the quick, snappy Sram shifting, but is much quieter.
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Old 03-30-12, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Werkin
Force had Zero Loss for the front derailleur (left lever) since 2010. I would have thought Force would get the trickle down for the rear (right front lever) in 2012, but I've not seen anything in print about this added feature for 2012 Force. If you've found mention from a SRAM source of the Force right lever getting Zero Loss, please share with us.

In my opinion as a 2011 Force shifter user, the price you paid for new was reasonable, the Force product functions very well, and I don't miss Zero Loss on the right lever. For me, a shift to a higher gear on the right lever without ZL feels like the left lever, as is.
https://www.sram.com/sram/road/technologies/zero-loss

Force and Rival are both listed but it doesn't mention that it's only for the left shifter. I looked around a few other forums and it seems most riders are expecting ZeroLoss to stay with Red for a while since the weight between Red/Force is so similar that most would skip on Red if Force got it. Thanks for keeping me honest so that I would look into it further. XD

Last edited by jordo_99; 03-30-12 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 03-30-12, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
FSA K-Force Light crank is pretty expensive. If you're talking used, the question is always how used and if the price includes the right bottom bracket. Caveats aside, it's a much better crank than Force.
I was bidding on one on ebay that was used but in fairly decent condition and someone sniped it for $130. I didn't realize they retailed for nearly $500 or else I would've went higher. Lesson learned.

It looks like, if I'm patient enough, I can get a take-off Force with BB for around $175 or used for $130.
Same thing but for FSA K-Force or SLK series is going to be around $150-200 for something used but in very good condition.


Originally Posted by ColinL
FSA K-Force Light crank is pretty expensive. If you're talking used, the question is always how used and if the price includes the right bottom bracket. Caveats aside, it's a much better crank than Force.
Any advice on buying used cranks? I built up my commuter without a single new/take-off part (all used) last summer and it is great 99% of the time...but that's also a commuter and not a 15lb budget training/racing bike like I'm trying to build up now.

I'm aware of issues with used/bad rings but not with carbon so much...do used carbon cranks lose their stiffness after a while or is there something else I should be aware of before buying used?
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Old 03-30-12, 09:30 AM
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sniping a K-Force Light would be the only way I'd buy one. the red cranks are pretty much the same (weight, stiffness, etc) and cost a lot less. force crank is likewise great for the money.

regarding used-- as long as there's not abrasions or other signs of crash damage, they're good to go. bottom brackets are impossible to estimate condition but typically fine.
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Old 03-30-12, 09:52 AM
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It's pretty easy to see if a crank has been used much by looking carefully at the chainrings. On used cranks, I've had good luck on Craigslist. $100 for an amost new Ultegra 6600 crank and $150 for a very lightly used Red. Both were standards and both were being sold because the guys wanted/needed a compact. I see them all the time with deep discounts from new price, you just have to be patient to watch for the right crank length you're looking for. I see less frequent good deals on shifters/FD/RD.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by jordo_99
...Force and Rival are both listed but it doesn't mention that it's only for the left shifter...
I think you've figured it out, but just an FYI, look under the Force specification tab drop down.

Technology Highlight(s)DoubleTap® with ZeroLossTM on the front

The front in this case means the front derailleur, hence the left shifter.

I'm not a fan of SRAM or FSA chainrings; Shimano and Campagnolo chainrings are a fraction of a millimeter closer to each other, and the tooth profiles promote reliable shifts, comparatively. I have a Campagnolo crankset that shifts flawlessly with a Force FD and taut cable. The next suggestion is based on user reports, not first hand knowledge, If purchasing a used SRAM or FSA crank, buy cheap and change the rings for Praxis Works.
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Old 03-30-12, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf
It's pretty easy to see if a crank has been used much by looking carefully at the chainrings. On used cranks, I've had good luck on Craigslist. $100 for an amost new Ultegra 6600 crank and $150 for a very lightly used Red. Both were standards and both were being sold because the guys wanted/needed a compact. I see them all the time with deep discounts from new price, you just have to be patient to watch for the right crank length you're looking for. I see less frequent good deals on shifters/FD/RD.
It's slim picking in Nebraska for cycling equipment. Usually you only see complete bikes on Craigslist as far as quality bike stuff is considered. I think most of the people around here know each other parts get passed around rather than getting tossed up on Craigslist.

Originally Posted by Werkin
I'm not a fan of SRAM or FSA chainrings; Shimano and Campagnolo chainrings are a fraction of a millimeter closer to each other, and the tooth profiles promote reliable shifts, comparatively. I have a Campagnolo crankset that shifts flawlessly with a Force FD and taut cable. The next suggestion is based on user reports, not first hand knowledge, If purchasing a used SRAM or FSA crank, buy cheap and change the rings for Praxis Works.
I've seen some good deals on crank arms and such so buying rings separately is fine by me...I'll likely be buying a new BB if I buy used anyway. Would a campy crankset work well with an SRAM/Shimano group even if it's an 11-speed?

I know some people are probably scoffing at me right now for even mentioning mixing campy/sram/shimano but I'd rather have a frankenbike that performs on the cheap than a pretty bike that costs me a couple hundred dollars.
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Old 03-30-12, 11:44 PM
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My shifters and derailleurs are SRAM Force, crankset Campagnolo CT 50/34, cassette Shimano Tiagra 12-30.

I can't definitively answer the question about the 11-speed, but according to https://www.campyonly.com/phpBB3/view...38c6c65d5f91cf an 11-speed Campy crankset is backward compatible.
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Old 03-31-12, 07:00 AM
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Force brakes since 2011 have been identically made to Red. So I went that route and saved $170. The only difference is they use steel bolt bits in a few places instead of titanium, so it weighs like 8grams more per brake. So what. Other than that, they are exactly the same.

I run Red cranks, shifters, FD/RD, Force brakes and DuraAce cassette. Hoping the new cassettes are quieter and shift better than the past as claimed. The old ones were loud and never shifted well for me personally. There is hope for the cassettes from the articles I've read.

It sounds like a full Force group is the right thing for you. For the money, best bang for the buck IMO when it comes to SRAM. Defintely get 2011 if you can, as I said, they merged a lot of manufcaturing for some parts of the Force group from Red.

If you want to save more weight, then you need to go full Red. But I can imagine, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the two except for the latest 2012 iteration of course.
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Old 03-31-12, 08:51 AM
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I use Force (SRAM) on a bi-daily basis and love it, although I'm waiting for the day I break that Magnesium shifter paddle.
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