Feeling the Force

I just acquired and fitted an SRAM Force 22 front mech to replace the Rival 10-speed mech I have had since buying the bike. It works well with my existing 10-speed Rival shifter, crankset, chainrings and 10-speed Dura-Ace chain. The difference in shifting is night-and-day.

The main reason is that the new one is a lot more definite in it shifting action, particularly when shifting down; it reduces the requirement to plan downshifts ahead of time. It also has SRAM’s Yaw technology which allows access to the full range of the cassette from either chainring; riding in the big ring as usual you can switch down to the small ring to make it a lot easier irrespective of where you are in the cassette block.

When you look at the mech move between rings it is almost as though the rearmost point of the cage is fixed and the front part rotates about that to derail the chain; it’s very cool to see it work as the point about which it pivots is floating in space a long way from all the actual pivots.

The only downside of my setup is that I now have a pointless trim click on the front shifter; in practice this is only minimally vexing because you can just do a big push to release both clicks when shifting down (it isn’t there when shifting up). Since it would cost me over a hundred quid to get a Rival 22 shifter without that extra click, and it isn’t bothering me that much I shall be living with this for the foreseeable future.

From here I can get to a working SRAM 22 setup by changing only the right shifter, cassette and chain at a total cost of maybe £180. Since all I would get out of it is an extra gear in the middle of the cassette somewhere, and I’m not currently feeling any lack there, I think I’ll keep the money for now.

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