US manufacturer SRAM launches its latest budget Apex groupset — could it be a leisure rider’s dream?
American component giant SRAM has revealed a new groupset that seems custom-made for Cycling Active readers, and which may well take the commuter, leisure and sportive bike market by storm.
Named Apex, the new product will sit at the bottom of SRAM’s range cost-wise but it features some unique qualities, including a huge gear range.
There is the usual choice of double and compact chainsets at the front, but SRAM will offer 10-speed cassettes that run from 11 teeth to a hitherto unreachable 32 teeth at the rear. This means the gear range on offer will rival that of a triple chainset, without the weight of a triple.
Apex will also benefit from much of the firm’s higher-end technology, such as SRAM’s Double Tap operating system and lever reach adjustment, making the levers perfect for women and younger riders. A flat-bar option is also planned. Meanwhile the rear derailleur and cassette are backwards compatible with other SRAM shifters. The cost is expected to be £600.
Trek Bicycle’s global road bike product manager Tyler Pilger, says Apex looks exciting: “I think the wider gear range available, which will give almost a one-to-one ratio, is a great thing for a lot of users.
“SRAM has looked at sportive and leisure riders with things like compact gearing and larger cassette rings at the back. I think this is what is wanted by the average person who enjoys cycling but who perhaps doesn’t get to ride as much as they would like.
“Before SRAM entered the road bike market Shimano had a strong hold. But with SRAM’s products being so competitive, it has pushed Shimano to react. We will be speccing Apex on some of our 2011 bikes.”