A year ago at Press Camp, SRAM unveiled its latest 22-speed drivetrain: the Rival, designed with some of the latest trickle-down technology from the Red and Force groups. While we were able to get a first ride on the new equipment during the event, we have spent a full year with the workingman’s group, giving it a full review in Issue 28.

Since then, Rival has entered the realm of more options, now being offered as a single chainring drivetrain as SRAM released at 2015 Sea Otter. While the single chainring set up is becoming popular for cyclocross, many riders find the benefits of a double, especially when training on the road, and the Rival 22 remains one of the more affordable and versatile groups on the market.

Today, we offer Clifford Lee’s full review from Issue 28, including the our observations for the weight of the set as well as a final verdict. For more quality content like this, 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.

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SRAM’s stated goal in development of the Rival groupset is to offer 100 percent of the performance that SRAM Red gives the pro riders at a more affordable price. The shift internals are advertised to be the same as Red, which meets their goal of equal shift performance, including lever-feel. The front derailleur utilizes SRAM’s Yaw Technology, which allows the cage to move laterally with a slight rotation to eliminate the need to trim the front mechanism and to facilitate the use of the entire 11 cogs from both chainrings, hence the moniker “22.”

The Rival 22 Groupset. © Cyclocross Magazine

The Rival 22 hydraulic levers have the same shape and guts of the Force levers, only they use alloy instead of carbon. © Cyclocross Magazine

Rival sits in third tier of SRAM’s road components and offers the same options available for both Red, the top-level components, and Force, the second-level components. These options include mechanical and hydraulic brake options, standard gear ranges and “WiFli” wide-range gearing. If the performance goals are equal, but the price is less, one has to expect a compromise, which typically is material, weight and finish.

Cyclocross Magazine scrutinized each of these parameters for every component in the SRAM Rival 22 groupset to see if SRAM’s goal was met. We had the Force 22 Hydro groupset on hand for comparison, although we concentrated our review on Rival 22. We found that all component weights varied from SRAM’s claimed weight by less than 2 percent: it was surprising how close the weight difference stood between a few of the components compared to Force or even Red. All this trickle-down technology and performance for just a hair over a grand!

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