Best groupset that isn't expensive or Campagnolo...

by Raleigh   May 18, 2011  

Just posting a request for advice on which groupset I should consider out of either:

Shimano: Tiagra or 105
Sram: Apex or Rival

Can't filter out the best one but someone must know.

On a seperate note, which frame is more suited to racing: The Ribble sportive Racing or the Ribble Stealth.

And which gruppo will work best for my mid range Ribble Frame intended for racing and as a quick, maintenance low, easy to use, light, snappy machine. Nerd


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None of the above groupsets are bad groupsets, depending on your budget, I would personally go for either the Rival or the 105, both are very capable groupsets for racing and/or training.

Out of Rival and 105, I would go for the Rival, only because I prefer the ergonomics of the Sram groupsets.

You could mix the Rival and Apex, to get a good balance between cost and performance/weight. Many of the apex components are very similar to the Rival versions.

I wouldn't really bother with tiagra though.

Avonlea-Treasure Race Team

roadracedave's picture

posted by roadracedave [75 posts]
18th May 2011 - 13:24


I have a Sportive Bianco with SRAM Rival. I don't race, but the bike is excellent. I wouldn't bother with Apex, as Rival is only £69 more.

posted by pjay [242 posts]
18th May 2011 - 13:34


SRAM Rival or Apex, or a mix. 105 is the base Shimano gruppo of any note.

the Apex Rr Mech on it's own is a solid piece of kit - esp for entry level.

posted by Claypole [11 posts]
18th May 2011 - 13:35


+1 for Rival from me too. I deliberated for ages between Ultegra and Rival (looked briefly at Force too, but Rival offered a lighter weight than Ultegra and better value than Force). I have the short-cage version of Rival, but if you climb you can opt for the long-cage and fit a wider cassette to make ascending easier.

As roadracedave says though, they're all good, but if you're taking as much interest in the details as you obviously are, I'd say you're past the Tiagra stage by now anyway.

simonmb's picture

posted by simonmb [360 posts]
18th May 2011 - 13:36

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Why not Campagnolo? I hear Jason Statham uses Campy, and if it is good enough for him, it's good enough for anyone.

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
18th May 2011 - 14:00

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hmmm, a few months ago i would have said Rival, but that was before my front mech exploded on me, and the rear mech is looking a tad fragile as well now, only after 18 months of use.
the shifters/brakes on the other hand are great, esp. when your on the drops and need to change gear. personally i would go for SRAM shifters and 105 mechs, cranks? SRAM or Shimano, whatever takes your fancy they both work well.

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1097 posts]
18th May 2011 - 15:17

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Thanks guys, the reason that I veer away from Campagnolo is because I am worried about the compatibility of wheels and stuff. Now it's just time to sort out the 105s from the Rivals. Rival looks like it has a really good performance to price ratio, and I've always thought that SRAM looks a little more professional. I guess the only thing now is to try them out and pick one. The only thing is, I've broken my wrist and can't get my hand over the hoods, right now I'm stuck on the turbo with Sufferfest!

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
18th May 2011 - 17:21

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I think SRAM looks a lot nicer too. I hate the look of Shimano's chainsets, and Rival has very nice carbon brake levers. I haven't heard of too many reliability problems with SRAM groupsets.

Not sure if SRAM shifters work with Shimano mechs, and it would just look wrong, wouldn't it?
Ribble's bike builder doesn't allow you to mix groupset manufacturers either.

posted by pjay [242 posts]
18th May 2011 - 18:09


If you want it to still be working in a few months get Shimano or Campag as the sram stuff would have packed up by then!

posted by TheDoctor [145 posts]
18th May 2011 - 20:09

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I'll go down to the LBS tomorrow and see wether they've got any gruppos that I can look at. TheDoctor, do you mean what you say? The other thing is, I'm not sure that I like the cables of Shimano coming out the side of the shifters, even on Ultegra I think this is the case. Looks like SRAM is up on Shimano so far...

Not to start a new topic, but I am also interested in Rotor Q-rings, but they might muck up my bike/knees/stroke/life, and I don't even know wether they go under the front mech anyway... Thinking

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
18th May 2011 - 21:06

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TheDoctor, do you mean what you say?

Always do!

The other thing is, I'm not sure that I like the cables of Shimano coming out the side of the shifters,

All new generation Shimano from 105 up have cable routing the same as Campag and sram, ie out the back not side!

Rotor Q-rings need to be set up correctly, on a bike jig, measuring power and cadence etc.... They emphasize certain aspects of power application, but if your pedaling technique is already correct, they can make you slower, strain bits that shouldn't be strained. Hence the protracted setup.

posted by TheDoctor [145 posts]
18th May 2011 - 21:56

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