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Chorus 2009 or SRAM Red / Force

boyfridayboyfriday Posts: 103
edited December 2008 in Workshop
Hello all,

Just a quick query to gauge opinions and thoughts on this topic. I am in the process of giving my bike an overhaul and upgrading the groupset. Having used Shimano previously on the bike, i feel it's time for a change.

I have no experience as yet of either groupset and hope to get some before i make any decision. However, in the first instance i thought it would throw it open to gather some thoughts.

Options are:

Chorus 2009 (full groupset); or

SRAM Red (Chainset, brakes, front mech) / Force (Shifters, rear mech).

I'd be interested on anyone's thoughts and experiences (although i appreciate that 2009 Chorus isn't widely available yet, thoughts on Chorus 2008 would be welcome).

Many thanks in advance
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Posts

  • Well, in terms of quality, durability and effective performance I don't think there is much difference between Campy-Shimano and probably SRAM (although I've heard negative comments around about the Force-Rival groupsets).

    It all goes down to practicality, once I got used, I quite like the Campagnolo system where you shift down with your thumb (or even with the little finger if you have hands on bar).
    Also, the new Chorus is 11 speed, which probably makes no difference, but it's always good to be on the edge of technological change, rather than being left behind... I assume Shimano and SRAM will follow the path in a year or two and you will be left with an "obsolete" groupset, although nearly new.

    If money is no issue and you are the kind of rider who keeps his bike immaculate, I would consider the new Campagnolo Super Record, it's likely to retain good value in the long term... bit like buying a Golf over a Focus, I would say. But if you race or ride in bad condition,s then don't bother.
    Overall I would rather invest in a top groupset, rather than wasting money in expensive handlebars or stems or other stupidly expensive parts that add no real value to your bike.

    After all you are the engine, but the groupset is your transmission and you want to get the best you can afford.

    All in all, I would go for Chorus 11 or Super Record if you can afford it.
  • well, can't say I've really tried Chorus - but it certainly looks good

    I was using Dura ace 8 speed for years, then built up a bike last year with Force groupset with Red brakes.
    It looks/feels great, and is light, but took a while to get used to the double tap coming from Shimano- but love it now! The brakes are a work of art!

    Didn't want to move to Campag as I had Shimano tools/spares etc... + didn't really like the campag 'button' to shift down (or is it up?) - found it got in the way - but sure I'd have got used to it!

    ...can't go wrong with either I guess!
  • boyfridayboyfriday Posts: 103
    Thanks for the extensive responses guys - they are much appreciated.

    It's good to hear that they are both likely to be top quality, although i take on board ugo.santalucia's comment about the possibility of 10-speed becoming obsolete in a few years. That's interesting, and for the same price, i could essentially future-proof myself.

    It's also a Colnago frame that i am upgrading, so going down the Italian groupset route may win me some favour with the purists.

    As for the Super-Record suggestion - i wish! I really couldn't justify that, both in terms of use, ability or monetary terms. Don't get me wrong, i would love to kit my bike out with Super-Record, but i think Chorus would suffice for my needs.

    I would maybe consider putting a Record or Super-Record crankset on (given possible (albeit marginal) power/stiffness advantages), but as for shifters etc, i think i would be happy with Chorus. I recently upgraded my mountain bike to full xtr, and although the components are super-light and changes super-quick, the only real tangible benefit i think i have gained is in respect of the crankset, (given it's excellent stiffness to weight ratio).

    Now to start the shopping search for good deals on individual components and accumulate the parts over the next 3 months, ready for the spring!
  • boyfriday wrote:
    Thanks for the extensive responses guys - they are much appreciated.

    It's good to hear that they are both likely to be top quality, although i take on board ugo.santalucia's comment about the possibility of 10-speed becoming obsolete in a few years. That's interesting, and for the same price, i could essentially future-proof myself.

    It's also a Colnago frame that i am upgrading, so going down the Italian groupset route may win me some favour with the purists.

    As for the Super-Record suggestion - i wish! I really couldn't justify that, both in terms of use, ability or monetary terms. Don't get me wrong, i would love to kit my bike out with Super-Record, but i think Chorus would suffice for my needs.

    I would maybe consider putting a Record or Super-Record crankset on (given possible (albeit marginal) power/stiffness advantages), but as for shifters etc, i think i would be happy with Chorus. I recently upgraded my mountain bike to full xtr, and although the components are super-light and changes super-quick, the only real tangible benefit i think i have gained is in respect of the crankset, (given it's excellent stiffness to weight ratio).

    Now to start the shopping search for good deals on individual components and accumulate the parts over the next 3 months, ready for the spring!

    If it's a Colnago I would definitively go for Campagnolo, you would regret if you don't. If you don't have the budget for SR (and I fully understand as I don't either) then go for full Chorus. There is no tangible difference in terms of quality and performance, SR is just a long term investment. I have an 80s bike full super record and I know how much is worth, if it was equipped with a lower (but equally functional) groupset of the time, let's say Campagnolo Victory it would be worth very little.
    A mixed groupset won't do the trick, will just leave your finances worse off.
    Chorus is a fantastic groupset, go for it!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I've not yet tried the Super Record /Chorus shifters, but even the 2009 Centaur Ergos are a great improvement in terms of shape and shift feel - in fact I'm still getting used to the fact there's no audible 'clunk' with the shift in comparison to my Record 10 and I have to keep looking down to make sure. Whilst some people think that SRAM is great, others still feel it's a bit vague and not as snappy as the others. The differences between the groupsets these days is minimal and down to subjective preferences - If you plan on keeping the bike for a while, whilst like nobody looks at anciant Nissans lots stops to look at an old Alfa - probably because it hasn't rusted into oblivion, but that's another story.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I've not yet tried the Super Record /Chorus shifters, but even the 2009 Centaur Ergos are a great improvement in terms of shape and shift feel.
    Even Super Record won't be any better, since Centaur is functionally identical - the only difference being with the brake and downshift levers (and those differences are largely cosmetic).
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    I rode all 3 major gruppos in various guises in 2007/8 but not ridden any of this year's.
    I didn't find the SRAM shifting as positive, as smooth (or possibly as fast) as the best bits of the other two, and would agree with Monty's comments.

    If my memory serves me well, then the one advantage to SRAM would be that you can reuse your Shimano cassette and rear wheel (assuming it's 10sp).

    Personally, I'd go with Chorus - and not because of the silly extra cog on the back, which is just annoyingly incompatible with years gone by (sadly I still have a 5speed in the stable!).
  • chriskemptonchriskempton Posts: 1,245
    Like Ugo said. I'm fully Shimano'd up, but if I were lucky enough to have a Colnago, I'd definitely put full Campag on it. There's just some things that go together.
  • damage36damage36 Posts: 282
    If you don't put camag on a colnago, you could get excommunicated by the pope. FACT.
    Legs, lungs and lycra.

    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    No competition. Chorus every time.
  • aracer wrote:
    Monty Dog wrote:
    I've not yet tried the Super Record /Chorus shifters, but even the 2009 Centaur Ergos are a great improvement in terms of shape and shift feel.
    Even Super Record won't be any better, since Centaur is functionally identical - the only difference being with the brake and downshift levers (and those differences are largely cosmetic).

    Super Record and Centaur 2009 upshift (to a larger cog) feels quite different FWIW. They're 'functionally identical' in that they both shift the gears but the SR and Record use bearings in the mechanism which give much more mechanical feedback than Centaur 2009. I believe the difference between Centaur 2008 and Record 2008 is similar.
  • PirahnaPirahna Posts: 1,315
    I'm a dedicated Campag user but tried SRAM Red, Force and Chorus on bikes set up on turbos at the recent bike show. I loved the SRAM and would probably go for it if I were buying again.
  • Rich-TiRich-Ti Posts: 1,831
    Out of interest, if you can go full Chorus then why not full Red?

    Agree with the above comments though - Colnago has to equal Campag. I want Red when I upgrade my groupset next, but as it's currently only 4 month old Chorus I really can't justify it for a while! :lol:
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    Super Record and Centaur 2009 upshift (to a larger cog) feels quite different FWIW. They're 'functionally identical' in that they both shift the gears but the SR and Record use bearings in the mechanism which give much more mechanical feedback than Centaur 2009.
    Centaur 2009 has the same bearings as SR/Record 2009. If there is a difference in feel then that's quite strange given the only internal difference is the use of a 10-speed rather than 11-speed ratchet. See page 43 of http://www.campagnolo.com/repository/do ... A-1509.pdf - all Centaur spare parts apart from the 10 speed ratchets and the brake lever have Record or SR part numbers.
  • aracer wrote:
    Super Record and Centaur 2009 upshift (to a larger cog) feels quite different FWIW. They're 'functionally identical' in that they both shift the gears but the SR and Record use bearings in the mechanism which give much more mechanical feedback than Centaur 2009.
    Centaur 2009 has the same bearings as SR/Record 2009. If there is a difference in feel then that's quite strange given the only internal difference is the use of a 10-speed rather than 11-speed ratchet. See page 43 of http://www.campagnolo.com/repository/do ... A-1509.pdf - all Centaur spare parts apart from the 10 speed ratchets and the brake lever have Record or SR part numbers.

    Sorry - a little OT but you're absolutely right! How come the shift feels so different then? Campagnolo are not exactly meticulous with their documentation... In the Centaur catalogue on campagnolo.com it refers to 'polymer bushings' whereas in the SR equivalent it says 'mechanisms on bearings' which I had thought accounted for the difference.

    Back on topic, I just rode my Red after a long time on Centaur 09 levers with Record 08 and frankly there isn't much in it. They're different but both excellent. Not a massive fan of the Red/ Force chainsets (rings aren't as durable as DA and not quite as positive a fixing if you need to change chainsets with any frequency) but everything else is good. I would suggest Red rear mech over Force if you choose SRAM.

    Apparently 11v shifting is a lot crisper and quicker as the chain doesn't have so far to move between sprockets but my 11v isn't installed yet so can't comment personally.
  • I have Sram Red & Rival, also on my winter bike I have Veloce. Based upon recent use I'd go for Chorus.

    If I didn't think divorce would be a threat for doing it, I'd replace my Red groupset with Campag.................
  • Rich-Ti wrote:
    Out of interest, if you can go full Chorus then why not full Red?

    The mix of Red and Force was just to save a little cash.

    I may be incorrect with my logic on this one, but as i understand it, Red and Force would be compatible with each other - allowing me to mix and match and keep costs down (which can then be applied directly to the winter-bike).

    Whereas if i am to go Chorus, it will need to be Chorus throughout to take advantage of the 11 speed.

    Happy to bear the extra costs of Chorus (over a Red and Force mix) in order to have a great groupset, but i think (and i may be wrong again) that a complete Red groupset would be slightly more expensive that Chorus.

    Thanks for all the comments and feedback though - i see that the Colnago = Campag rule has came up again. I think it would be rude not to now.
  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    You certainly don't need Chorus brakes to go 11 speed, and anecdotally 10 speed chainsets also work, so you could drop to Centaur for that too. I'd also be surprised if a 10-speed Centaur front mech performed noiceably differently.

    Kind of strange wy to mix and match Red and Force in any case - surely the shofters and rear mech are the very parts you'd want to upgrade, whilst the brakes are less important?
  • aracer wrote:
    You certainly don't need Chorus brakes to go 11 speed, and anecdotally 10 speed chainsets also work, so you could drop to Centaur for that too. I'd also be surprised if a 10-speed Centaur front mech performed noticeably differently.

    Kind of strange wy to mix and match Red and Force in any case - surely the shofters and rear mech are the very parts you'd want to upgrade, whilst the brakes are less important?

    Thank you for the comment.

    I appreciate that it is a strange way to mix and match, and shifters and rear mech would show up a noticable difference, but i would have trouble justifying the costs of those components relative the benefit i would gain - as above, it was just a way of keeping costs down, while kitting the bike out with a great groupset.

    Force shifters and rear mech would be more than good enough for me, and would represent a vast improvement over what i have at the moment.

    I thought however that you would need the Chorus 11 speed chainset - naivety on my part perhaps. That's good news that you don't need it, but thankfully i budgeted for a great chainset and Chorus looks like it will win out on that one.

    Although, i really like the look of the SRAM Red one - terrible justification i know.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    boyfriday wrote:
    Force shifters and rear mech would be more than good enough for me, and would represent a vast improvement over what i have at the moment.

    If the Force shifters and rear mech are more than good enough for you, why not get a full Force group then? It's seems to silly spend extra on bits of Red that don't matter so much. Aracer is right in saying that getting Red shifters and mechs and the rest Force being the best idea.

    However, I'd go for Chorus 11-speed (well I would if KMC bring out a 11-speed chain, it makes me cringe to think of spending £100+ on a chaintool)
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  • araceraracer Posts: 1,649
    However, I'd go for Chorus 11-speed (well I would if KMC bring out a 11-speed chain, it makes me cringe to think of spending £100+ on a chaintool)
    I'm definitely very tempted by 11-speed, but will put it off until such time as there is an 11-speed chain with a quicklink (can't believe it will take KMC that long).
  • boyfriday wrote:
    Force shifters and rear mech would be more than good enough for me, and would represent a vast improvement over what i have at the moment.

    If the Force shifters and rear mech are more than good enough for you, why not get a full Force group then? It's seems to silly spend extra on bits of Red that don't matter so much. Aracer is right in saying that getting Red shifters and mechs and the rest Force being the best idea.

    The Red upgrades to the Force groupset were ones that were only a marginal increase in price, and also were parts that i could get a good deal on i.e. chainset (£200 exc BB cups). However, the rear mech and shifters were still going to be extortionate.

    Incidentally, would adding a Red chainset over a Force one not represent a decent upgrade? I thought that the stiffness and weight of the crankset would represent a step-up - marginal albeit, but noticeable.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    boyfriday wrote:
    Incidentally, would adding a Red chainset over a Force one not represent a decent upgrade? I thought that the stiffness and weight of the crankset would represent a step-up - marginal albeit, but noticeable.

    I'm not too sure that the weight/stiffness ratio would be noticeable. Apparantly the Red chainrings are rubbish though, flex and break too easily.
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  • boyfriday wrote:
    Incidentally, would adding a Red chainset over a Force one not represent a decent upgrade? I thought that the stiffness and weight of the crankset would represent a step-up - marginal albeit, but noticeable.

    I'm not too sure that the weight/stiffness ratio would be noticeable. Apparantly the Red chainrings are rubbish though, flex and break too easily.

    Oh dear. That really has just made the decision much easier. Merci.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    boyfriday wrote:
    boyfriday wrote:
    Incidentally, would adding a Red chainset over a Force one not represent a decent upgrade? I thought that the stiffness and weight of the crankset would represent a step-up - marginal albeit, but noticeable.

    I'm not too sure that the weight/stiffness ratio would be noticeable. Apparantly the Red chainrings are rubbish though, flex and break too easily.

    Oh dear. That really has just made the decision much easier. Merci.

    I only said apparantly, it's just stuff I've seen on other forums such as Weightweenies - whether it really is that bad is another thing.

    Personally I think the Red c/set looks a bit ugly anyway with those silver rings - it'd probably look really good with some black rings.
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  • Personally I think the Red c/set looks a bit ugly anyway with those silver rings - it'd probably look really good with some black rings.

    Are these really silver?!

    DSCF6700.jpg
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Personally I think the Red c/set looks a bit ugly anyway with those silver rings - it'd probably look really good with some black rings.

    Are these really silver?!

    DSCF6700.jpg

    Whatever colour they are, they look rubbish on the Red chainset.
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  • Personally I think the Red c/set looks a bit ugly anyway with those silver rings - it'd probably look really good with some black rings.

    Are these really silver?!

    DSCF6700.jpg

    Whatever colour they are, they look rubbish on the Red chainset.

    I've never passed comment on your bike :cry::cry::cry:
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Personally I think the Red c/set looks a bit ugly anyway with those silver rings - it'd probably look really good with some black rings.

    Are these really silver?!

    Whatever colour they are, they look rubbish on the Red chainset.

    I've never passed comment on your bike :cry::cry::cry:

    The silver/grey chainrings look rubbish on my carbon chainset too.

    I just can't afford any "Campagnolo Compact Compatible Stronglight CT2" chainrings ATM.
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  • I can confirm that Force rings are not great (fast wear and teeth shearing off in normal use) and although the Red rings are slightly beefier the material appears to be the same goldy/grey materialas Force.

    If you go SRAM, stick on a Dura Ace 7800/7900 or Fulcrum chainset. FSA cranks seem to have a slightly higher incidence of problems than some other cranks though I know many people have no problems at all. I certainly didn't get on with a set I rode for a few hundred kms before giving up with a crank arm that just kept coming loose...
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