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Ausbike: Look at SRAM Apex

SRAM are expandind groupset lineup by introducing the APEX 10 speed groupset. The new APEX groupset sits right underneath the Rival groupset and be SRAMS entry level groupset. The design and technical aspects are shared from the other groups. The shifting performance is said to match the other groupsets with the major difference APEX is moving away from triple chainrings to doubles for the entry level and sports rider.

Although we didn’t get to ride using APEX, we spoke at length with SRAM about their new groupset. SRAM Apex borrows many technologies from SRAM’s RED group.

Once again, the chain, the 10 speed Powerchain, features SRAMS Powerlock connecting link making it easier to break and clean or swap. I love SRAMS Powerlock, I now use it across all of my chains to clean, replace or swap over to a racing chain and I don’t have to have a chain tool.

SRAM Apex PC 1050 Chain

The new APEX PG 1050 cassette has done away with triple chainrings allowing for fewer gears, where in a triple you can have a series of gears that are simply not used. The APEX cassettes has a wider range of gears, 11-32, 11-28, 11-26, 11-23T which means faster shifting than three chainrings and it is lighter through out, saving as much as 274 grams on its rivals. Interesting on the largest cassette, it is one notch up on Campagnolo’s 12-29, although theirs can be retro fitted to 11 speed reach derailleur’s.

APEX receives the same technology as the higher end groups with the SRAM’s DoubleTap controls feature, dual reach adjust, dual cable routing and a high picot brake lever. The levers are made from aluminium to keep the price down. Carbon levers are the only option I would have preferred, but with the grouppo being compatible across the range we can upgrade to Rival or Force to get our carbon fix.

The Apex crank arms are made out of forged AL 6061 T6 with AL-7075 hard anodized chainrings and alloy chainring bolts finished in sleek jet black gloss which looks very nice! The APEX is available in 53/39, 52/38, 52/36, 50/36, 50/34 and 46/38 chainring combinations. It feature gears that are both lower and higher than existing triple gear ratios.  The 2×10 chainrings have a improved Q factor adjusting the bottom bracket height which has improved heel clearance. And the crankset comes at all the usual lengths and hits the scales at 890g. The cassette is finished with a black spider, lock ring and spacers with nickel plated cogs.

The front derailleur also incorporates all the characteristics of the 11s groupsets and is compatible with compact and standard chainrings. And features WiFLi and ZeroLoss trim from the other SRAM groupsets. The body is aluminium with a steel cage.

The Heart of SRAM Apex
The heart of the groupset, and its key player, the rear derailleur, is constructed to allow 32-tooth cog and a 28-tooth cassette. The rear mech has an aluminium body, alloy outer cage and steel inner cage to keep weight down and for precise shifting. The derailleur uses SRAM’s Exact Actuation? and WiFLi? technologies.

The APEX brakes use Swiss Stop compound pads using a Dual Pivot design on forged alloy calipers, featuring external centering adjust.

We don’t have a RRP for Australia as yet for the APEX groupset, though we will keep you informed about all the latest from SRAM.

has contributed this article to Bicycles Network Australia.
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