It was about due…the SRAM Red group hasn’t been updated beyond color options since its debut years ago. Now, here’s the first sneak peek at the forthcoming overhaul of their top end group.
We’ve been promised some sort of info on this today, so look for another post or update as soon as we get something in. Rumors are running rampant at the moment that SRAM is pushing up the official launch (or at least info leaks) of this group in response to the unofficial leaks of Shimano’s new 11-speed Dura-Ace that we broke first earlier this week. Dealer meetings have apparently been pushed from January to mid-December. While we were thinking we’d see an official launch around Sea Otter, looks like we’ll be seeing the full launch in February 2012.
UPDATED! See updates throughout post for insight from our anonymous inside source at SRAM!
UPDATE 2! Pretty much just confirmed that both a hydraulic and mechanical disc brake option will be available for the new Red group, which likely puts them more than a year ahead of anyone else for this. One pro who’s raced it simply said “It’ll blow your f—in’ mind.”
Screen grabs and arm chair analysis after the break…
Perhaps the most expected change is a chiseling of the cassette to mimic the XX mountain bike version. This is likely the easiest way for them to save weight on the group. The current Red cassette is 155g (claimed) in it’s smallest 11-23 iteration. We wouldn’t be surprised if this one comes in around 130g, putting it in the ballpark of the most chi-chi ultra lightweight bits from boutique brands. The other reason to go with a machined out cassette is to hopefully reduce drivetrain noise, a common complaint about Red, and make it a little more cyclocross friendly by letting mud and crud shed through easier.
UPDATE: Should be the lightest mass production cassette ever made.
This one’s harder to tell. The rear derailleur looks like the cable clamping bolt has moved down a bit and positioned at more of an angle. Perhaps offering a bit easier installation?
UPDATE: Some of the bolts, like the adjustment screws and cable bolt, are recessed and repositioned with a focus on aerodynamics as well as weight savings. The crank arms’ shape takes this into consideration, too.
Again, not a lot of visual differences on the front derailleur from what we can see in the video. The parallelogram arms look a like they’re a bit more angular and edgy, which would give it a good, strong look. Cages are probably still titanium. Hard to get much lighter than 58g!
Cranks look like the arms are maybe a bit more rounded off on the corners but definitely still carbon. Shown here with their GXP spindle. Big ring is still pretty tall.
Brakes look like they are heavily redesigned with a recessed center section rather than the current ones. The design could give them extra strength by using a triangle with a relief to save weight rather than a full cutout like Campy’s skeleton brakes.
UPDATE: Brakes will have a narrower profile and look like they have a small cantilever at the clamp.
SPECULATION: If you look at what products they’ve used in a racing situation in the past that weren’t necessarily race products, you’d know that Contador used one of their Wi-Fli wide range cassettes and long cage derailleurs for some of the climbing stages last year. It’s not a stretch to think they could eventually offer Wi-Fli options in the Red and Force groups, too. Currently, it’s only available in Rival and Apex. Moving it to the lighter groups would give their sponsored teams a lightweight option for the mountains.