SRAM's new Red group got a ton of attention at Interbike. Being a gearhead, the Red cassette was one of the coolest things at the show. Michael at SRAM gave me the Red tour and showed me the 160 grams CNC'd hollow, forged and heat-treated solid steel block.(Picture cutting a cantaloupe in half; scraping away the entire inside, and your chain riding on the rind.) It comes as a 1-piece block with the two smallest cogs attaching to it (like normal cassette cogs). The cassette purposely has some cogs that are missing teeth for better shifting performance. So don't freak out and think you broke off the teeth sometime during your training.
A plate is press fit and bonded to the back of the cassette to close the hollow form. Now, if I throw a filthy Red cassette in the bio-solvent tank, how long would it take to unbond the back and possibily cause a mechanical mishap? Can somone at SRAM do a real-time test on this and post a reply?
Again, first generation technology means that you are Beta testing for free. Check out the photos.
(Photos taken by Wheelgirl in Vegas. Some booth visitor was nice enough to hold the cutaway, and he also suggested that positioned with the concave part against my hair, it might make a lovely barret pony tail holder.)
The Red Groupset is building on the viability of SRAM's Double Tap Controls shifting system, which won fans last year with the release of the existing groupsets, Force and Rival . The Red Double Taps are 280 grams for the set and adjustable, so those with smaller hands can reach the levers easily. In addition, they provide dual cable routing options, so you can use any type of road bar. And like Campagnolo Ergopowers, they are rebuildable. Shimano STI levers are not. So when STIs wear out with use or crack on a stack, you usually have to pitch them into the bucket by the bench filled with broken bike parts.
If you have optimized your body, nutrition, sleep schedule, and attitude, and the only thing left is to optimize is your bike. If you are wondering how much 10-speed Red weighs compared to 10-speed Campagnolo Record and 7800 Shimano Dura Ace, here is the breakdown. I took all data from the SRAM, Campagnolo, and Shimano websites. (Post comments if there are errors, and I will correct this chart.)