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By Matt Pacocha
After Ben Jacques-Mayne’s weeklong real-world test during last week’s Amgen Tour of California, SRAM’s new professional 10-speed road group comes one step closer to going public.
While the group has been making waves since last fall’s EuroBike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, SRAM did a good job of keeping its name — Force — under wraps. Now, with the name out there, the group once again steals the spotlight on its way to the retail market.
The svelte shifters, newly designed carbon cranks and carbon-infused rear derailleur are the pro group’s highlights. The intentions to produce an economical sister group have been confirmed; details and its name remain unknown.
Besides naming the group, key weights were also released. The complete group’s listed weight is 2138 grams. For context, a Campagnolo Record group weighs 2039 grams (list) and Shimano’s Dura-Ace group weighs 2181 grams (list). The Force carbon shifters are listed at 307 grams for the pair, in relation to 420 grams (list) for Dura-Ace and 324 grams for Record.
The Force shifters employ SRAM’s DoubleTap technology, unveiled at Interbike, in which one inboard lever operates in one direction for both up and downshifts. The shifters also allow for clean brake- and shifter-cable placement under the handlebar tape. In addition, SRAM has designed a new actuation ratio specifically for the road, called Exact Actuation. The design operates on SRAM’s 1:1 ratio but is not cross-compatible with SRAM’s ESP mountain components.
The Force cranks feature an integrated carbon spider, and are adorned with 4mm plate chainrings. They are produced using a coining process, then coated with a Teflon Ti nitride finish and baked. The whole process produces a stronger, harder ring. Shimano uses a similar coining process in producing its chainrings.
As seen in previously released pictures the Force group sports carbon aplenty. The stuff is found in the shifters, rear derailleur cage (which is similar to its mountain sibling X.0) and crankset.
The next highlight in SRAM’s unveiling of the components will come April 6-9 at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California, where SRAM hopes to have the entire Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada team, as well as the Orbea continental pro team, on Force groups. Sea Otter will also serve as the first opportunity for consumers to check out and touch the new parts.