The new SRAM Red review

Resident speed merchant Monsieur Miller is our man out and about on the new SRAM Red. Here are his impressions thus far. Cheers Matt!!

Riding competitively and honing my abilities via a structured coaching program over the last 12 months or so has invariably caused me to open my eyes to alternative components, in the never ending search for that ‘competitive edge’. Your friends can talk all they like to you about how they find ‘this and that’ but you never really know until you bite the bullet and try things for yourself.

Angus and Chris certainly knew what I should be looking at when it came to groupsets, so I bit the bullet and went for the new SRAM Red.

Coming from a history of using a well known European groupset, I was cautious in the first instance to make the change, however my first ride with the new SRAM red eased all of my fears quicker than that of a diving soccer player, who hasn’t even been fouled.

“Short, sharp and extremely attractive” were qualities that I first thought that Angus and Chris saw in myself, as I dropped off the bike for the conversion. Fortunately the fellas were not talking about me, but that of the characteristics of the new SRAM red… and they were not lying. I have now had the pleasure of riding this groupset for the last 4-5 weeks.

The gear changes are shorter than the dwarf from Jackass, trigger finger sharp, you get that grippy “thhhhhhuuuuuuunk” when it slams down the rear cassette and it looks better than Scarlett Johanssen in tight leathers. The single pivot braking works a treat and puts on the anchors with a fair amount of fury, which is great for blokes like me who like to throw the bike into corners.

I do not have the advantage of riding the previous SRAM Red groupset, so I can not compare new with old. What I can do however is argue that it is streets ahead of its European cousin. If SRAM are claiming a much evolved, outstandingly refined and improved groupset in the new SRAM Red – I am already convinced. I know from feedback within the peloton on the streets of Perth that SRAM needed improvements to front derraileur shifting in the new SRAM Red. I treat the gears on my bike with distain and I’m not a rider known for my climbing ability, so my front chainrings get a smashing most days. I can advise you that the front derrailuer hasn’t let me down once and the new yaw system has made chain rub non-existent no matter what gear is selected.

I raced the new SRAM Red at a local criterium on Anzac day and the double tap system was far more intuitive than anything else I have ever ridden.

Go and get the new SRAM Red – NOW!

Not sure where this photo came from. Possibly Tony Lendrum.


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