I have successfully made the transition to SRAM! I sold my 7800 gen Shimano groupset and have fitted Sram’s 2010 issue Force groupset….

Unpacking the boxes felt like I was 10 years old at Christmas time and Santa had been extremely kind!! The parts look impressive just lying around, and I couldn’t wait to get them fitted. I had the whole evening ahead of me, and these bits are so easy to set up it should take under and hour to get them installed, but being the perfectionist I am, it took the best part of four hours as I carefully stripped and cleaned the old group and then placed each carbon part where it belonged and measured everything to make sure they were exactly right. I had to re-cable everything too, for which I was very impressed with the completeness of the Sram groupset – they really provide absolutely everything you’d need and more than enough cable for any bike. The crank bolt torque was high, more than I’d imagine and it felt like I was going to pull the BB right through at 50Nm, but the manual was right and it’s been perfect since installation. I’m going to need a large shifter to get it off tho!

Once fitted I began fettling with the gears, expecting to fine tune it for at least 20 minutes. I pulled up the cable and pinched it tight. Shifted and was stunned as no more tuning was needed besides setting the limit screws. I felt obsolete. Dexter (my dog) could have done this for me! Cool test ride time!

It was dark, closing in on 11pm, so I couldn’t ride long but everything felt slick and I couldn’t wait to put more miles on it.

I have been riding the group for a few weeks now including two Killarney sessions and the TDW race. It’s never missed a beat and the new shift style is growing on me, you need to tune yourself in for the right amount of lever throw for up-shifts, but down shifts are lightning quick, and very smooth, I ‘ve sometimes had to check that I’ve actually shifted on descents! I love the way the shift levers come back to the bar and it keeps my fingers busy flipping away on long rides. The front derailleur feels heavy but positive, not overly stiff, and I can just throw the lever in complete confidence. I have yet to drop the chain on the front and I don’t see it happening any time soon. I must be honest and say that I miss the trim function on the 39 front chainring, but from what I’ve read I should just need to get is dialed in 100%. I’ll tinker a bit here and there until it’s perfect – for now it just reminds me not to cross chain my gears.

It’s a bit lighter overall and the cockpit is so nice and clean looking, free from clutter and cables. It’s taken a few rides to get used to the hoods, but they are starting to feel more natural, the DA ones were massive in comparison and I’m always looking for the bullbar-esque grip, but that’s not possible with Sram. I do like it though, it feels more compact.

The brakes are awesome, I could feel it right out of the box, the power is on tap from the initial bite and still easily modulated, I can feel when it’s going to lock up, but the bite is just crazy, and I never feel like I need to brake from the drops, even on the hardest stops.

Overall the group is visually stunning with the mix of carbon and white, including the crank, and performance is up there with the best. It really is RED in Force clothing.