The Rival has a look of quality that surpasses the similarly priced Ultegra and Campagnolo Centaur rear mechs, and it is lighter into the bargain. It uses SRAM's Exact Actuation shifting technology that works on a one-to- one pull ratio. This means that cable pull at the lever is equal to mech movement. SRAM's long experience of this in off-road gear systems has shown them that the indexing remains well adjusted for a longer period than with an unequal pull ratio. It also means it is easier to find the sweet spot for indexing the gears.
The Rival model weighs just 10g more than the Force version which uses a carbon fibre cage plate and is £45 more expensive. SRAM's competitors produce mechs that will handle wide ratios, but SRAM is sticking to its belief that this system is aimed at the competitive cyclist. As the mech will only accept a maximum of 27 cassette teeth, it definitely puts the needs of the avid sportif rider ahead of those of the novice.