SRAM Force 22 Shifters $385.00
Borrowing the best of Red.
SRAM once again made its signature leap by creating the new Force group with a 'True 22' shifting system. Force now carries an 11-speed drivetrain that provides 22 useable and trim-free gears, combined with the functionality and beautiful aesthetics of SRAM's flagship Red group. We tip our hats to SRAM, as its engineers have successfully carried over the best attributes of its top-end Red group, at a price that's within reach of a greater number of cycling enthusiasts.
For the new Force 22 groupset, the shifters were completely overhauled, now wearing the same hood and lever shape as the current Red 22/Ergo Dynamic Shifters. The new shifters also borrow the same durable, reliable internals that have made Red the preferred componentry choice for many pro tour teams. Force 22 hoods are now practically identical to Red's, aside from the stealthy gray-on-black graphic treatment.
SRAM carried over the ErgoFit bodies and internals of its Red Ergo Dynamic Shifters, with the exception of them now being built with an 11th indent. In designing the shifters for Red, SRAM focused its research and development on perfecting their shape, texture, and materials. The new ErgoFit bodies are somewhat smaller in diameter when compared side-to-side with the original Force. This improves grip and finger wrap by allowing more room under the hood for a control- and comfort-boosting connection. The new shape offers a smooth transition from bar to hood and SRAM covered it with lightly padded, textured rubber to thwart fatigue and enhance grip. They also reshaped the hoods, increasing the size of the bulge up top for increased leverage and comfort when you're stretched out, putting extra pressure on the hoods.
Because the internals carry over, or have been slightly modified to fit the new body, the Force 22 levers retain the crisp movement between gears SRAM mastered with the first-generation Red. The key to this is SRAM's ZeroLoss and DoubleTap technologies. DoubleTap technology allows shifting both up and down the cassette from a single lever -- this provides an intuitive connection between body and bike. ZeroLoss is an optimized pawl geometry to provide cable actuation as soon as you apply pressure to the shift lever. This offers the highest-level of smoothness and response in both upshifting and downshifting. It’s especially noticeable as you shift from the small to the big ring.
While the guts were good, racer beta and other feedback encouraged SRAM to enhance both the brake lever and shifter paddle’s shape and position. The improved, larger carbon shift paddle makes the act of shifting less of an effort. When you're at max power, shifting from the drops can sometimes feel overwhelming. Another new feature for Force is that the carbon fiber brake and shift levers are independently reach-adjustable; easy access to the adjustment screws allows simple placement of these essential controls, where they’ll offer a custom connection to your hands.
One of the most appreciated features of SRAM shifters is their innovative cable routing, and the Force 22 Shifters continue that tradition. You can cleanly route the shift cables either on the inside or the outside of the bars. Regardless of your handlebar choice, you won't need to fret about being required to run cables in one single way. You can choose the routing that meets your preference in bar-feel.
The SRAM Force 22 Shifters come with a low-friction cable and housing kit for both derailleurs. Given the mechanics of DoubleTap shifting and the 11-speed calibration, please note that SRAM recommends that you use a complete SRAM Force 22 groupset, including both derailleurs, cassette, chain, and crankset.
Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I have been a long time user of the first-gen SRAM Rival and have quite enjoyed those. Having switched over to these new shifters I have mixed opinions.
Functionally these are a SUPER welcome upgrade with crisp shifting and smooth braking. I have adjusted the reach such that grabbing the levers in the drops is nowhere near a problem.
My opinions (and yes they are opinions) about the grips are that the more narrow profile is nice but the taller bump profile is a little awkward for me. I'm hoping I get used to it, but I had adjusted really well to the old style.
Overall I can't fault the shifters for anything. They work under any situation I've thrown at them and they've never let me down. Great product
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I'm a long time Shimano user and switching to SRAM was noisy! But not in a bad way! My older 105 shifters are very quiet through their motion, with a very subtle engagement. These Force 22s are VERY positive and very firm in their action. Very different but not worse - just something to be aware of.
DoubleTap is great except for the feedback at the very top of the cassette - when you are out of gears the shift action requires that you press and hold until it releases. If you don't wait long enough or press hard enough you get an unintended upshift which can be bad! This differs from the Shimano that just "locks" the lever and doesn't allow it to move.
This is a very personal preference but I don't love the shape of the hoods and I feel like the cables aren't as buried as they could be - you can still feel them through the material. You may not notice it...
Overall performance is excellent. Great mechanicals and a very solid feel. Also the best levers I've used yet with good range of adjustability on the shift lever.
Light and effective!
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These shifter are second nature to me after the first ride! I come from Shimano shifting and the ability to have no chain rub, smooth shifting, fast shifting is excellent. Having been used to electronic shifting previous this group is an equivalent. I have had zero problems and utilize the Yokozuna shift/brake cables. I am now a Sram fan with the new 22!