For road riders, the big SRAM news at Eurobike was the evolution of the Force groupset. The company’s original group has now gained some technology from last year’s Red components, and will also benefit from a WiFLi option.
Most obvious is the new chainset, which is obviously derived from last year’s Red and offers Force far greater chainring stiffness, power transfer and durability. Keeping the same shape, the new Force levers benefit from SRAM’s Zero Loss technology, as featured on the 2012 Red. It gives much snappier shifts with no surplus cable travel.
The rear derailleur now has smoother running and quieter AeroGlide jockey wheels. Alongside the conventional mech is a WiFLi mid-length cage option. When combined with the 11-32 cassette now available, and compact chainrings, this gives a 28.7in lowest gear that should cope with anything.
The upgraded Force groupset will be available very soon and, best of all, pricing will be unchanged at £949.99.
Catering for the masses
With only about 10 percent of approximately 150 million bikes produced globally each year being road and mountain bikes, there are a lot of bikes out there used largely in urban environments. With that in mind, SRAM showed off a new range of components for commuting, trekking, utility and urban cycling.
The SRAM Via GT groupset has evolved from X0 and Red, using 2x10 ratios of 48/32 and an 11-36 cassette. The aim is to cover the needs of touring riders while reducing weight and increasing simplicity. Primarily aimed at flat barred bikes with MTB-style levers operating disc brakes, there’s no reason why the drivetrain components couldn’t be utilised on a drop bar setup.
The new SRAM Via GT groupset
G8 is SRAM’s new 8-speed internal gear hub. It’s aimed at everyday riders who prefer the convenience of a virtually maintenance-free system that isn’t affected by the weather. With the HammerSchmidt bottom bracket design, the G8 is smooth shifting and of a similar weight (2,188g) to Shimano’s coaster brake 8-speed Nexus hub (2,040g). Production will begin in October 2012.
The G8 is SRAM’s take on an 8-speed hub gear
Finally, entering the growing e-bike market, SRAM have debuted a rear hub based automatic transmission that’s smart enough to make gearing speed sensitive. Speed and torque sensors in the hub control torque output to improve overall efficiency and increase battery life.
Maximum torque is 55Nm, and the transmission offers more power at low settings, making it good on hills. Hardware consists of just the auto hub and battery pack, with a single wire between them, simplifying builds and complexity. As with the smart automatic shifting hub, there’s no need for any gear shifters.
The E-matic automatic hub gear with rack-mounted battery pack