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New Exogram rear cassette and rear mech for SRAM's top dollar gruppo coming in June...

Sram Apex has become the go-to groupset for many sportivistes, giving the option of a dinner-plate 32T sprocket on the back to make even the hardest hills doable by mortals. Let's not kid ourselves, either: even the pros will spec a lower gear on the toughest climbs of the WorldTour races if they think they'll ride faster by doing so.

Alberto Contador was one of a number of riders who specced a 32T cassette and an Apex rear mech for the tough, steep climbs of the 2011 Giro. Had he been able to spec a lighter, higher-end mech, no doubt he would have; the good news is that now – or, at least, when he's served his ban – he'll have the pick of the SRAM groupsets, as 11-32 is now an option on Sram Force and even SRAM Red.

That's right, WiFLi – that stands for Wider, Faster, Lighter, fact fans – is being rolled out across the range and will be an option on SRAM's top end groupset, Red. You need a longer cage to handle that range of gears; SRAM are calling it mid cage like they did with Apex but visually it's not far off the length of a mountain bike mech, especially now MTBs are moving over to 2x10 as well. As well as the new mechs there'll be a new Red Exogram 11-32 rear cassette; SRAM Force riders can use the existing PG-1070 cassette. The new Red mech weighs in at 167g with the Force unit 23g heavier at 190g.

So why WiFLi and not a triple? Well, SRAM will tell you that it's because the compact-and-wide-range setup is significantly lighter (about 250gm) than a triple. That's no doubt true, although we'd suggest that the psychological benefit of being able to spec a 2-chainring setup with some seriously low gears is also a real draw for many people. Shimano have been quietly extending the range of their mechs too; everything up to 105 will now handle a 30T sprocket at the rear. It's certainly a trend that's not going away, and if you're in the market for some top-end SRAM kit with easier low-end ratios then the new mechs and Red cassette will be landing some time in June.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

5 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 4 years ago
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I read it wrong on FB, it looked like WiFi, so in my vivid imagination i though, oh, nice internet gears  20 with a wide range so i could control a team from the road side  3

Looks sweet, but the weight in g will probably be the price in £

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jonomc4 [24 posts] 4 years ago
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Why have you forgotten all about the rival rear dérailleur? I have one ready and waiting for those hills )which I am very bad at) the news about red is old but glad to hear force is joining the party!

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mikroos [257 posts] 4 years ago
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Wow, every dentist's dream! Now they could like pros even in the mountains  21

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lazyusername [101 posts] 4 years ago
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Is there any reason why one of these WiFLi mechs wouldn't work with a campag setup aside from campag not making a 10s cassette with a decent range

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STATO [499 posts] 4 years ago
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lazyusername wrote:

Is there any reason why one of these WiFLi mechs wouldn't work with a campag setup aside from campag not making a 10s cassette with a decent range

You cant run a SRAM mech with Campagnolo shifters, wrong actuation ratio.

And while were talking ratio's, does anyone know if you can run SRAMs MTB mechs with their Road shifters? pretty sure ive seen it done, if so then you could quite easilly fit a XX rear mech and 36t cassette for those days when you simply cannot get up hills  3