Shifters: SRAM Red vs New SRAM Force

I’m wondering if given the age of the Red group, it’s not straight forward which is the best shifters.

  • Red is 4 years old
  • Weight difference is minimal. (~25g)
  • Force ergonomics “seem” better.

Official differences:

Red models are available in flat and post mount, while Force is only flat. The new Force models do not have any wired Blip Ports, while the Red models have two ports per side, either version will work with the Wireless Blips. The Force levers feature a smaller overall profile as well. Red levers feature reach adjust and contact point adjustment, while Force only had reach adjust.

I don’t care paying more for Red, just pondering if the new Force are actually better. I might have to try them and make a judgement on ergonomics myself. Visually Red looks bulkier.

Appreciate any insight. Old

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Functionally, both are identical, and if you don’t mind the visual mismatch, I’d go with the cheaper shifters. Some people go on about the girth of the Red and Force v1 shifters, but I find the girth of my Force v1 shifters perfect for my hands.

Coming from shimano di2 the RED definitely took some time to getting used to. They are pretty bulky but with size 11 hands they are not too bulky either. It’s definitely personal and you should check both out at your LBS. I have wired blips plugged in - a feature not possible with force. But wireless blips are now an option so probably a wash? I‘d go with Rival or Force today probably. They weren’t available when I built my bike up.

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I can’t think of a good reason to get Red unless you’re going as light as possible. Or just want the extra bling. I have smaller hands and don’t mind the old Force/Red shape. I do prefer the narrower new Force/Rival shape, but not by enough to change my existing old Force levers.

Are the RD jockey pulleys the same? Sometimes, the upmarket groups have bearings instead of plain bushings, but don’t know if that’s the case between Red and Force. Hardly worth spending hundreds of dollars, unless you just have to have the best.

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At the moment, the only thing RED has more appealing to me is the color of the brake calipers. I think I’m going with force and upgrade to RED if the new updated version 2023/24 is compelling enough.

My major issue with the new style SRAM shifters are the transition from shifter hood to bar. Every Rival bike I’ve seen has had this heinous bump from the hydraulic hose connection coming into the shifter and the hoods often leave a gap as well…I haven’t seen anything with the new Force shifters, so wondering if anyone can comment whether they’re the same as Rival?

I much prefer the older style hoods and how they smoothly transition into the bar.


Preach!!! That looks similar to the bump on my Ultegra 8070 Di2 shifters and it drives me nuts. I needed to wrap more tape on that bump and wear gloves most of the time to deal with that. The older Force AXS hoods are just soooo comfortable in comparison.


I know those bumps are in a location that you’d seldom place your hands/cause issue, but when you’re paying a premium for SRAM’s top teir group, I would expect a better transition :angry:

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To be clear, these are pics of the new Force, not Red.