Having one of the best groupsets for road bikes is the most essential thing for road cyclists. A groupset is responsible for the mobility and performance of a bike.
After spending years biking on the road, I have come to the conclusion that electronic groupsets are far more helpful for bikers in the current era, as compared to mechanical ones.
- What is the difference between Electronic Groupset and Mechanical Groupset?
- Best Groupsets for Road Bike Review
- 1. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 Speed Groupset
- 2. SRAM X01 Eagle AXS Electronic Groupset – Best Road Bike Groupset
- 3. SRAM Red eTap AXS Electronic Groupset
- Road Bike Groupsets Buying Guide
- FAQs about Road Bike Groupset
- Concluding Road Bike Groupsets Review
What is the difference between Electronic Groupset and Mechanical Groupset?
The electronic groupsets operate with the help of a battery and an electric motor. On the other hand, the mechanical ones are controlled through cables mechanically by the rider. Hence the electronic groupsets are my personal favorite because they help in shifting the gears faster than the mechanical ones.
Best Groupsets for Road Bike Review
Assembling your bike is not a strenuous job, once you have selected a good quality groupset. But it can be really burdensome to choose one, among the numerous options out there. There are different brands claiming their road bike groupsets to be the best. You don’t have to worry about it, as I have listed some of the best groupsets for road bikes that you can buy, to thoroughly enjoy your biking road trip.
1. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 Speed Groupset
Shimano is one of the leading brands among the bike manufacturing brands when it comes to groupsets. Shimano has revolutionized the groupset market, by introducing its electronic groupsets. The features of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 that grabbed my attention were its Synchro shift and semi synchro shift. In addition, it also offers both kinds of brakes, rim and disc brakes for maximum break control. Let’s discuss each part in detail.
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 comes with an amazing derailleur. The Shimano Dura-Ace Derailleur is 0.33 kg with 6 inches length, 5 inches width, and 4 inches in height. It has an electronic shifting mechanism.
So, whenever you press the shifter on your right side of the handlebar of your bike then the derailleur is set into motion due to the chain connecting it with the shift.
The derailleur moves the chain that is connected to the rear sprocket wheel. So, the derailleur acts as gear and allows the proper motion of the chain. The gearing speed of the Shimano derailleur is x11, which enables you to shift the gear faster.
In my opinion, it is one of the best features of the Shimano derailleur, as it really helps you on the road. The cassette range varies between 11 to 30 T. The larger cassette size enables you to spin for a longer time as compared to the ones with a smaller number of teeth.
Shimano Dura-Ace Front Derailleur is the component of Shimano Groupset that makes it stand out among the other groupsets. Most of the bikers don’t find it compulsory to have a front derailleur in their groupset, but believe me it really brings a drastic change in the performance of your bike. The Shimano front derailleur is a 0.25 kg, lightweight derailleur with a braze-on mounting. It is 6 inches in length, 5 inches in width, and 4 inches in height.
Being a part of an electronic groupset, it also comes with an electric pull type. The derailleurs in the Shimano electronic groupset are controlled by a computerized system. It also comes with 46 to 55 T, which is a large number of teeth that make the bike move faster and in turn increase its speed.
As the Shimano groupset also comes with a synchro shift, you are able to control both the front and the rear derailleurs from one of the shifters. If you have set the bike for a semi-synchro shift, then the gears will adjust in accordance to any major or minor shift in any one of them.
Similar to the other parts of the Shimano Groupset, the shifters are also working on electronic mechanisms. The lever-style shifter has a length of 9 inches, a width of 12 inches, and a height of 4 inches. It weighs around 0.34 kg. The black-colored shifter has a plastic hood that makes it stiff and strong. The hood cover is made up of compound rubber, so it is comfortable for the rider and also provides optimum grip to the rider.
The shifters are responsible for controlling the gears, but the shimano shifters control the derailleur with the help of a motor and battery rather than using cables, like the mechanical ones.
Hence, the electronic shifters are faster and work more precisely, and smoothly. They are really a cherry on the top, for the bikers as they have more control over the speed and movement of the bike which they have never experienced before.
What I Like?
- Fast gear shift
- Smooth control
- Larger cassette size
- High speed and traction
- Syncro and semi synchro shift
What I Don’t Like?
- Not sold in set form
- Slightly expensive
Shimano is one of the best groupsets for road bikes as it offers the bikers maximum control, speed, and accuracy due to its advanced technology. It also offers different features, so one can customize one’s bike according to their own preferences. You can opt for a rim brake or a disc brake. The synchro and semi Synchro shifter can also be customizable. The derailleur with a larger cassette size is responsible for speed in the front, whereas for torque in the rear derailleurs.
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2. SRAM X01 Eagle AXS Electronic Groupset – Best Road Bike Groupset
Lightest road bike groupset
SRAM is one of the newest brands in groupset manufacturing. SRAM has taken the biking world by storm due to its wireless groupsets that come with a battery set and reasonable prices as compared to other leading brands. The SRAM X01 Eagle AXS comes with a crankset, rear derailleur, cassette, and a battery with charger. The overall weight of the SRAM X01 is 1.38 kg and has a dimension of 9.84 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches. Let’s jump into the details of these components.
SRAM X01 Eagle Rear Derailleur
SRAM Rear Derailleur has a weight of 0.45 kg. It has a length of 8 inches, a width of 8 inches, and a height of 5 inches. SRAM has added some revolutionary features for bikers, especially to keep them safe such as the resilient clutch. This clutch enables the rider to be safe from the effect of any strong and sudden force or impact.
The gearbox detaches itself when the bike experiences any strong force. It also comes with a large cassette size. The whole gearing system is controlled by a special APP, which makes this groupset user-friendly.
Battery Kit for Derailleur
The SRAM X01 Eagle Groupset comes with a special battery. This battery is responsible for the functioning of the derailleur of the SRAM X01. The battery can be recharged as it comes with a USB cord charger. The battery gives the required power to the gearing system, so it keeps working optimally. The battery along with the whole wireless system can bear harsh environmental conditions such as water and dust on the road.
The cassette comes in sizes of 10 to 50T. The speed chain is not as thick as offered by the other brands. This narrow chain along with 126 links makes it strong and quiet. The thinner chain provides more friction, so the biker needs to exert more pressure. More torque will be produced if more pressure will be exerted while paddling. This can be a drawback as due to the high friction, bikers have to put more effort while paddling and may lose energy easily.
What I Like?
- Rechargeable battery
- Stronger chain
- 175mm boost crankset
- SRAM X01 APP
What I Don’t Like?
- High friction
- Requires more effort
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS Electronic Groupset is one of my personal favorites, as it not only has the best features but also helps the bikers by providing them protection on the road. You can customize the whole setup with the help of the App. You can even change and select the function of each button. The resilient clutch system also protects you from any unexpected accident or injury.
To avoid head injuries, it is highly recommended to wear Giro road bike helmet
SRAM Red eTap AXS Groupset is another amazing wireless Groupset introduced by SRAM. The features of SRAM Red Etap, similar to the other products of the company, do not fail to dazzle the users.
With the SRAM Red eTap AXS, the company has truly raised the bar high for its competitors. It not only gives you more components but now you also have the liberty to choose and customize many of these components. Which I personally find a really cool addition.
SRAM Red eTap AXS Rear Derailleur
Like any other groupset, a rear derailleur is definitely the star component of any groupset, whether mechanical or electronic. The SRAM Red eTap AXS is a long cage derailleur that helps it to keep the chain tight. The more the distance between the pulleys of the derailleur, the more chain it can pull at a time.
The black-colored SRAM eTap derailleur has a maximum of 36t. Whereas, they have reduced the cassette size which is quite a smart move as the time for pulling the chain will be lesser due to the smaller cassettes and long cage.
SRAM Red eTap AXS Front Derailleur
The Front SRAM Red eTap AXS derailleur really helps bikers to control the gearing system more accurately. The Front Derailleur works efficiently with both x1 and x2 systems, so you will find no issue in smoothly shifting the rear to the front derailleur. The battery and the AXS App really help the bikers. The front derailleur has a speed of 12. The SRAM Red Etap front and rear derailleur work together to provide that smooth and enjoyable ride even on difficult roads.
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The SRAM Red eTap AXS Groupset is by far the most user-focused product as it offers plenty of options to the users, so you can freely decide what kind of components and features you want your bike to have. You can choose whether you will have an integrated or a non-integrated power meter. You can decide which type of brake system you want to have. The most amazing option is that you can even select between the x1 and x2 systems.
What I Like?
- Fast gear shift
- Two systems
- Chargeable battery
- Compact Cassette
- Long cage rear derailleur
- Strong chain
What I Don’t Like?
- The integrated version is expensive
- Some issues in shifting
The SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset truly deserves to be listed in the best groupset for road bikes. It offers so many options and the exceptional AXS App also allows you to have additional control over the performance of the groupset. The buyer can select the speed of the groupset and the braking system, according to the types of trails they are going to travel. Despite its shifting issue, it works absolutely fine for many bikers out there and is a famous groupset.
If you are looking for a road bike with top-notch groupsets, have a look at my review on best road bike under $2000
Road Bike Groupsets Buying Guide
There are many things that you have to keep in mind before buying a group set for your bike. When you are assembling a bike, then you have to keep two things in mind:
First, the framework of your bike has to be strong. Second, the most important thing is the groupset, as it is the base for the proper functioning of your bike. It includes all the parts that help the rider in mobility.
So, whether you are selecting a mechanical or electronic groupset, the following are some things that you must be aware of before buying one for yourself.
Components of a Groupset
There are many brands out there that only focus on the basic components of the groupset and usually don’t include all the components that one needs to make a completely functional bike. So, the first and foremost thing is that your groupset must have all the components required because without either one, your bike cannot work properly. It is difficult to find each component individually, so try to select the one which has all the components.
There are two derailleurs in a groupset. The rear and front derailleur. Both are responsible for moving the chain between the sprockets. These two can work mechanically with the help of a cable by physically moving it.
On the other hand, the electronic ones are working with the help of a battery and a motor. The rear derailleur is responsible for moving the rear sprocket wheel. It comes in different sizes such as short, medium, and long cages. This size depends upon the length between the two pulleys. If the distance is more, it will be easier to pull the chain. The front one moves the two chains and gives more speed.
They are like the brain of the bike that controls the gears and shifts between them. The derailleurs are activated to work because of the shifters. You have to see how the shifters work, as their mechanism is different in different models.
There are two shifters on the handlebar, one on right and one on the left. You can control your derailleurs and the shift between them, through these shifters. Whereas, in the case of electronic shifters, you can choose and customize the function of each shifter.
The three famous types of brakes are hydraulic disc brakes, and rim brakes. The rim brakes are quite outdated now, as now most models come with disc brakes as they give good performance and are affordable.
The rim and disc brakes both work on the same mechanism as they both apply pressure on the wheel, but the disc brake applies pressure on the center of the wheel, whereas the rim brakes apply pressure on the outer part of the rim.
FAQs about Road Bike Groupset
What is the best road bike groupset?
There are many groupsets available in the market, but on the basis of performance, the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is one of the best groupsets for road bikes as it is an electronic groupset with semi-synchro and synchro shift. It also has a smooth shift. The gearing system is also amazing as it provides maximum control. The shift between the front and the rear derailleur is very smooth.
What is the lightest road bike groupset?
SRAM X01 Eagle AXS electronic groupset is one of the lightest groupsets with a weight of 3 lbs. Many lightweight groupsets are really amazing in terms of performance. It is specially designed to have a lightweight and strong build, to bear the harsh conditions on the road, and still doesn’t fail to perform.
Concluding Road Bike Groupsets Review
Until now, I have thoroughly explained the features of some of the best groupset for road bikes. The groupset is a critical part of any bike. It requires a lot of knowledge and experience, to set up a proper bike.
Luckily, it will not be difficult for you as, I have brought for you, the list of the topmost groupsets in the market.
- Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 Speed Groupset allows the buyer to select the braking system, electronic shifters, and derailleurs, large cassette, along with Synchro and semi Synchro shifts.
- SRAM X01 Eagle AXS Electronic Groupset is the affordable and wireless groupset that comes along with a battery kit and APP. The most amazing feature is the clutch system that prevents riders from any accident or injury upon any sudden impact.
Now all you have to do is to go and grab your favorite one as soon as possible. The buying guide will enable you to set up a proper functioning bike, without facing any problem. The above-mentioned groupsets are without a shadow of a doubt, the best ones out there. So, what are you waiting for? Get one as soon as possible to enjoy the pleasant and relaxing trips on the roads.
Hi, I’m Alexandra Betty, co-founder of OutdoorGearsHub.com! I am a cycling enthusiast and currently living in Waltham, Massachusetts. I love just about everything about the cycling industry, which is why I created this site! Combining my passion with my work has always been extremely important to me. Feel free to reach out, leave comments, or recommend improvements to the site and its content so we can help you improve your cycling experience!
I am on a mission to enable everyone to spend more time on a bike and outdoors. So whether it’s on the road, gravel, mountain, e-biking, or just cruising around – Outdoor Gears Hub is the place to come for trusted advice.