SRAM True 22 Unveiled

SRAM Force 22 crankset chainrings intro01 600x399 300x199 SRAM True 22 UnveiledCampy started the trend a few years back.  Shimano jumped on board with Dura Ace 9000.  Now SRAM is following suit with the release of their two new group sets, dubbed "Force 22" and "Red 22."  Obviously the 22 in the name refers to the total number of gears available, and also obvious is the official release of the Red hydraulic brake offerings that have been teased for months.

What is less obvious are the changes to the existing Red group and the changes to the Force group.

After the jump, we'll take a quick look at those changes.

 

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Review: SRAM Red Shifters

red bike 300x300 Review: SRAM Red ShiftersIt all starts with some spy photos: blacked out parts, blurry shots of cyclocross races, SRAM team guys with suspicious shift levers and cranksets.  Then SRAM made a splash early last year by redesigning their flagship group and releasing it just prior to the spring classics.  They have marketed their new group as the best mechanical group on the market, making waves about Boonen winning Flanders and Roubaix on the new gear and have Hammered the media with their successes.

But how is it, really?

Some of you may have gathered that I'm something of a SRAM fanboy, and having ridden SRAM for the past 5 years (starting with the old original Force which is still kicking on my cyclocross bike) I wanted to do this methodically, piece by piece.  I've started with the shifters, as they're the most important part of the group (in my opinion) and will compare them to the old model Red shifters that they have replaced.

 

 

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2013 Tour of the Battenkill Route Released

While I've long talked about riding dirt roads and getting out into the back roads of east rural nowhere (all in an attempt to find your inner child and just plain enjoy riding your bike) there's something special about racing on dirt.  There's a modicum of uncertainty as the tires slip, the increased resistance ratchets up the pain meter and your face cakes with dust (or mud, depending) and sweat.  It's a thrill like nothing else, unless you're heading over for the Tour of Flanders or Paris Roubaix.  Since most of us aren't pros, and we don't generally have the time to fly to Europe just for a sportive….

 2013 Tour of the Battenkill Route ReleasedEnter Tour of the Battenkill.  The toughest one day race in America.  America's Queen of the Classics.  America's answer to the Hell of the North.

It's 63 miles of pain, 5,000 feet of grinding elevation, and about 25% dirt, gravel or broken up, nasty roads.  Combine that with an early April race day, and you could have anything from a beautiful sunny day to a greasy, nasty, gritty fight for survival.

Oh what a race it is!

It's no secret that this week was the release of the 2013 route, which you can see below:

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Coaching Recap: Gran Fondo NJ Medio Fondo

To read my ride recaps, check these links:

Part 1

Part 2

Now that you’re up to speed on how the ride went, I’ll go through some of the things that may have made the difference between a good day and a bad day. Bring on the Medio route!

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Quarq Cinqo Installation

27d5f832bbbb11e1989612313815112c 7 300x300 Quarq Cinqo Installation

With the release of the 2012 Sram Red Quarq, prices for the previous Quarq Cinqo Saturn have been dropping precipitously.  That being the case, now is the perfect time to grab them before they disappear from the market and used becomes your only option.

Since mid-season rest weeks are always prime tinkering time for me, what better time to change things up and swap out my Powertap in favor of one of the aforementioned Cinqo Saturns?  After scoring a brandy new 130mm bcd Cinqo and having it arrive safely at my door (thank you UPS for not throwing it from 15 feet away) it was time to get my hands dirty and swap cranksets.

 

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