SRAM Road Bike Groupset Review

SRAM is a component manufacturer that produces a wide variety of SRAM road bike groupsets. These include the brakes, combined shift and brake levers, and drivetrain (derailleurs, chain, cassette, crankset, and bottom bracket).

Although there is some flexibility to mix and match components to suit a specific bike build or budget, most of these components on a bike will be part of a single groupset. We will discuss each groupset in detail.

What is an SRAM Group Set

In 1987, SRAM was founded by bike enthusiasts who saw a need for a better way to shift gears. They developed a revolutionary system that allowed you to shift while turning your handlebars, which made it easier and faster to change gears.

The great news is that you ought to be able to find a setup that fits both your riding style and your budget since SRAM essentially offers four road groupsets. There are mechanical rim brakes still available in the range, and all four have the option of hydraulic disc brakes.

Apex is their entry-level groupset, accompanied by Rival, Force, and Red in order of decreasing price. The groupset that SRAM’s professional road racers use is Red eTap, which is also its lightest and also most expensive offering.

While SRAM’s three top-tier groupsets, Rival, Force, and Red, are accessible in wireless  12-speed electronic versions known as eTap, their mechanical groupsets are still 11-speed. 

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SRAM road bike gorupset is a brand known for its long-lasting and durable functionality. They are also very affordable and lightweight, which makes them more convenient for riders.

The company has been in the business for over 36 years and has been manufacturing bicycle components since 1987. Their products are used by professional cyclists, mountain bikers and road cyclists. SRAM’s products have won many awards including the Red Dot Award of Germany (2010), the International Design Excellence Award (2011), the Good Design Award (2011), the Red Dot Design Award (2012), the iF Design award (2013) and 2014). This is what makes SRAM famous.

Read this article about SRAM vs Shimano Road Bike Groupset 

Mechanical groupsets from SRAM

  • Force 1
  • Rival 1
  • Apex 1
  • Apex with 10-speed

Force 1

The SRAM Force 1x system has a single-chainring and a versatile cassette design that is suitable for a wide range of applications, including road cycling, gravel riding, adventure cycling, fitness riding, and triathlon. The SRAM Force 1x system eliminates the need for a front mech as well as a front shifter. The system is quieter on rough terrain and has a lower profile than other systems. 

Additionally, SRAM claims that the X-Sync rings’ tall, square teeth edges engage the chain earlier and the conventionally sharp, narrow tooth profile manages a deflected chain leading to improved functionality between both the chain and chainring.

Product Reviews

Rival 1

Similar to Force 1, Rival is still offered in a 1x setup with only one chainring and a flexible cassette. Neither Campagnolo nor Shimano is its direct competitor.

The Rival 1 X-Horizon rear derailleur is the most crucial component of the groupset. There is a gear shifter mechanism that stops unintended chain movement inside its hefty exterior. Chain slap when riding over uneven terrain is eliminated. Rival 1 offers straightforward gear shifting, a practical range of gears, and strong hydraulic brakes.

Product Reviews

Apex 1

The single-ring version of Apex has up to 11 speeds as opposed to the double-chainring version’s ten, making it the simplest total count of sprockets that provide both wide equipment range gravel bikes require and comfortable gear spacing.

Similar to Rival 1, Apex 1 uses X-Horizon  SRAM’s rear derailleur technology and has a roller clutch to reduce chain slap; therefore, the same criticisms apply. Apex 1 is frequently seen on single chainring gravel bikes, a market that SRAM dominated until Shimano introduced GRX in 2019.

Product Reviews

10-Speed Apex

The entry-level road groupset from SRAM is called Apex, and it has 10 gears. Although it should be expected, you don’t receive the same amount of innovation as with the greater groups. To avert the need to trim the place as you relocate the chain around the cassette, for instance, the front derailleur does not use SRAM’s Yaw technology, but it does have DoubleTap controls and potent dual pivot brakes.

As with all SRAM groupsets, Apex is available in a WiFLi setup, allowing you to use a long cage rear derailleur and a wide-range cassette (12-32 teeth).

In spite of Apex’s slightly dated appearance in comparison to its more famous siblings, we really enjoy it. And of course, it is also much more affordable.

Product Reviews

Expert Opinion

SRAM groupsets are highly regarded by our cycling experts for their durability, reliability, and consistent shifting performance. The company offers a range of options, from entry-level to high-end, to meet the needs of a wide variety of riders.

According to Harold J. Williams “One of the standout features of SRAM, groupsets is their use of a 1x drivetrain, which simplifies the shifting process and reduces weight. Additionally, their hydraulic disc brakes are known for their powerful and consistent stopping performance, making them a popular choice among off-road riders”.


SRAM is the leading group set manufacturer. They have an enviable reputation for quality and consistency, which is why they receive top marks from consumers day in and day out. If you’re looking for a high-quality group set that’ll last a lifetime, then look no further than SRAM’s line of products.

What are the different SRAM groupsets?

SRAM’s lineup of road groupsets consists of four main categories: Apex, Rival, Force, and Red. These groupsets are designed to cater to different types of road cyclists, ranging from entry-level recreational riders to professional racers. Each of these groupsets offers a unique combination of features, performance, and affordability to meet the needs of different types of riders.

Which SRAM is better?

SRAM Red is the top-tier groupset for SRAM’s road groupset line and is widely considered to be one of the best road bike groupsets available. It is designed for professional and serious amateur riders who demand the highest level of performance and reliability.

Can you mix SRAM groupsets?

All Shimano groupsets are compatible with the cassettes and chains made by SRAM, and vice versa. The same is true for Shimano and SRAM customers, who are free to mix varying aspects of chains and cassettes provided they are made for the same type of transmission.

Is SRAM a good group set?

SRAM’s groupsets are indeed sought-after for their weight-saving properties, which are achieved through the use of lightweight materials and innovative design. This is especially true for their top-end groupsets, which are designed to meet the demands of professional cyclists and are made with the most advanced materials and technology available.

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