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Sub-$2,000 Road Options Increasing

Published February 21, 2010

CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—SRAM has introduced Apex, a new entry-level road group that can be mixed and matched with its other road groups, and Shimano has upgraded its 105, lowering group weight and increasing the adjustability of the levers.

Di2 and Red may be road riders' dreams, but the hot road segment for 2010 is a full-carbon bike in the $1,400 to $1,600 price range. That price point eliminates Shimano or SRAM’s top road groups, so 105 and Apex will receive a lot of spec this coming season.

Apex gets DoubleTap Zero-loss shifting like SRAM’s top of the line Red, and its 10-speed cassettes can be had in 11/23, 11/26, 11/28 and 11/32 tooth combinations. Apex’s compact cranks are available in an even wider range of combinations from 46/38 and 50/34, to 53/39.

Dealers can expect aftermarket $799 Apex groups and components to arrive in May or June. Apex parts mix and match with SRAM’s other road offerings. SRAM also is offering users of its other road groups an Apex climber kit, allowing them to add Apex’s 11/32 cassette and matching rear derailleur to their current bikes.

Shimano’s updated 105 focuses mostly on drivetrain refinements with better lever ergonomics and two lever shims to reduce reach by 5 or 10 millimeters. It also slightly widened chain-ring spacing to cut back on rubbing and to be more forgiving of cross chain situations. Group weight has been lowered by 30 grams.

—Matt Wiebe

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