I’m considering shifting to a SRAM electronic groupset (not interested in Shimano). I’ve already got some parts like cranks and rotors, so I won’t buy a whole groupset but single parts. Likely to be a mix of Rival and Force (Red is out of the question). While looking around I’ve noticed that here in Germany a set of Rival shifter/brake combos will set you back roughly €320, the Force 2023 set will cost you around €720 – more than double.
Both shifter/brakes seem to have a lot in common since the Force upgrade:
NO breakpoint adjust
NO wired blips
The differences, so far as I can tell, are:
looks (full black vs. some bling)
weight (could not find weights, but assume Force will be a tad lighter)
bleed port (“normal” for Rival, “Bleeding Edge” for Force)
maybe shift lever shape (seems to be slightly smaller on Force and might help not to touch bars when braking hard)
Double the price for some weight, a bleed port used once a year, and some flashy logo seems a bit steep to me (even when talking about bike gear). Are there some differences I’m simply not aware of? Or is it just a matter of time, and prices will go down substantially?
I don’t have any hands on experience with either brakehoods as Force AXS has just been announced probably few will be able to tell the difference. I think it’s best to go to your LBS and try both hoods for yourself. Prices will always drop after the early adopters bought the first batch at MSRP… Look at all the “old” AXS stuff that has been discounted the whole winter. From an ergonomic standpoint I think they will be quite similar. Force will be a bit nicer all around. If that’s worth the asking price you have to judge for yourself.
The weight of the new 2023 SRAM Force AXS HRD is 409g. The weight of the SRAM Rival AXS HRD is 426g. These are the weights of the right side/rear brake. Left hand side weights are 392g and 413g correspondingly.
I recently swapped to sram XPLR on my groad bike and went with Rival AXS shifters and brakes. To me it was a no brainer to save a few hundred bucks at the expense of like 40g. Have loved the rival levers, much more comfortable than the original beefy Force AXS levers I have on a second bike.
I have used Force AXS XPLR with my gravel bike and decided to upgrade one of my road bikes to AXS too. During the winter, after the rumors of the new 2023 AXS started to spread, many shops have sold the old series components with nice discounts. I got myself a pair of Rival AXS shifters, a Force AXS derailleur and an AXS power meter spider quite cheap, although some components seem to be even cheaper now (just saw a Force AXS rear der under 200€).