At Sea Otter 2014, SRAM showed off its Force CX1 single ring component group that we previously reviewed, but hiding on a side table were two brand new 11-speed components that may please the weight weenie or retrogrouch cyclocrosser (if you can find a retrogrouch using 11-speeds).
11-32 WiFLI X-Glide 1190 Cassette
Looming large but feather light was a new 11-32 cassette. Expanding its SRAM Red 22 cassette options, SRAM was showing off its new ultralight 11-32 and 11-30 X-Glide WiFLi cassettes. The cassettes should save around 100g over the equivalent $113 PowerGlide 1170 cassette, while lightening your wallet a cool $374, or $261 over the 1170 version.
The cassette, like other X-Glide WiFLi cassettes, features a one-piece, hollow steel dome with an aluminum largest cog, and StealthRing elastomer pads between the cogs to keep shifting and pedaling action quiet.
The downside, which SRAM has no problem acknowledging, is that the one-piece steel dome’s cogs and elastomer pads compromise mud clearing ability, motivating SRAM to release a cyclocross version of its 10-speed X-Glide cassette two seasons ago for its weight-sensitive racers.
For 11-speeds, the company told Cyclocross Magazine it has no plans to release another cyclocross version of its X-Glide cassette for 11-speeds, and said its sponsored racers lean towards the PowerGlide 1170 cassettes for their superior mud performance. But should you want to race Force CX1 in a dry climate, or want to expand your gearing range without a weight penalty on a double ring setup (with a WiFLi rear derailleur), the new 11-32 or 11-30 XG1190 cassette options are worth a look if you can afford it.
More info: sram.com
SRAM SL-500 Aero Shifters
How will you shift your chain over the ultralight 1190 WiFLi cassette? SRAM has some new shifters that will please the retrogrouch who begrudgingly moves to 11-speeds. The 154g SRAM SL-500 Aero shifters offer an 11-speed version in the style of the barcon shifters raced to countless victories by cyclocrossers in the 80s, and also ridden to victories in this millennium by the McCormack brothers and the ageless Paul Curley.
Paired with the brake levers of your choice, the levers may simplify your setup, but may not save you weight these days, since DoubleTap’s shift mechanism weighs less than 40g. The shifters could be a reliable choice that won’t get clogged by sand or mud, and don’t have springs or gears to break or wear. They could also silence your drivetrain by offering limitless front derailleur trims due to the friction left shifter, regardless of whether you have a Yaw front derailleur or not. MSRP is $119, and there is a 10-speed option is available.
SRAM actually has three models of these bar-end shifters for 11-speed drivetrains, as seen below, with the SRAM R2C Aero SL-1150 and R2C Aero SL-1190 shifter sets more targeted to the time trialists and triathletes. Both options feature a ratcheting mechanism that springs back to the original position, thus the R2C (“Return to Center”) moniker, and when inserted into the ends of a drop bar, will always point back towards your knees…probably not what you want. Plus the left shifters have only two positions, specific for YAW front derailleurs, and they’re more expensive and heavier, at $228/194g for the SL-1150 and $347/176g for the SL-1190 barcon shifters.
More info: sram.com