One of the annual traditions of Cyclocross Magazine is reflecting back on a year filled with reviewing products and award those that struck us as the best of the best in the realms of cyclocross, gravel and cycling gear. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be releasing all of the awards one day at a time. Be sure to keep checking back to see what products are most worth your hard-earned dollars. Issue 28 also has the Editors’ Awards and the Readers’ Choice awards, so be sure to order your backcopy today, which is also available on Uberflip, in the App Store on iTunes, and on Google Play for Android.


SRAM Rival 22 component group with Yaw and HydroR unveiled.

Rival turned 22 in 2014 (gears, not age) and offered up one of the most affordable race packages in the name of cyclocross. Photo courtesy of SRAM

Right on the heels of unveiling our Editors’ Choice Award for Best Affordable Tubular Wheelset, we reveal our pick for the Best Affordable Component Group: SRAM Rival 22.

The component group made our Issue 28 twice, the other instance being an extensive review by our tester, Clifford Lee. He writes, “How could we not recommend the more affordable SRAM Rival 22 groupset that can deliver equivalent performance of the groupsets above it for a surprisingly low weight difference… If you like SRAM’s ergonomics and function, then the Rival 22 components deserve your close attention.”

It’s a versatile group in terms of gearing and braking, and even more so with the recently-unveiled single chainring and XD gearing options unveiled at Sea Otter. Especially if you’re hard on your equipment, or looking to equip two bikes for cyclocross season, the affordability of Rival is worth a look.

We’ll say it again: Having a matching pit bike or the funds to replace components is always preferable over one bike with top-level components. Just don’t tell your rivals.

SRAM Rival 22 Component Specs & Prices:

HyrdroR Lever w/ Caliper: $384 per side; Left total: 376g; Right total: 398g
Centerline Rotor: $44, 88g for 140mm, $55, 112g for 160mm
Crank (GXP): $192, 844g
Crank (BB30): $218, 860g (stock with 50/34 chainrings), Actual 836g with 43/36 chainrings installed
Rear Derailleur: $59, 178g
Front Derailleur: $38, 79g
1130 Cassette: $76, 310g
1130 Chain: $29, 259g
Rival 22 Full Group Price: $1250-$1298 depending on options (if purchased separately)
More info: