Project Pokey Part 2: The Drivetrain Shuffle

English: A simple diagram of a road bicycle dr...

Winter is such a fun time to ruminate on bicycle things. I’ve let you in on my crazy notion of turning my Raleigh Furley into a race rig. The major change is going to be the drivetrain, as the bicycle started life as a single speed. Sorry SS buddies, this steed is going multi-speed. My current racing mount, the RX, is sporting a SRAM drivetrain. Personally, I prefer Shimano. Before the flaming fanboys come out, I like both drivetrains, I just prefer Shimano. So get a life.

For SRAM, I’m looking at the Rival group. Rival has the same internals as Force, just a tad bit heavy. By a tad, I mean miniscule-I’ll just take a few cage bolts off-kind of miniscule. Most of the weight between groups comes from the upgrade in the crank and derailleurs. SRAM also has a price advantage, being less than a Shimano drivetrain (if you were to compare to 105 and up) in dollars. In the rough and tumble world of cyclocross, this is a plus.

For Shimano, I am looking at the Ultegra group. Funny thing is, I would go with the new 11-speed group which would actually go on my road bike. Then the 10-speed Ultegra group would go on the RX, and then the SRAM drivetrain would go on Pokey. Did you get that? I think I better have a diagram handy if I go this route. The reason for the drivetrain shuffle is that I don’t feel the need to have 11 speeds on the CX bike. Ten is plenty.

That’s the idea for the drivetrain. Obviously the SRAM option is the least expensive in terms of dollars and labor. It would also keep my drivetrains consistent across my ‘cross bikes, so I don’t have to flip the mental switch if I happen to use one as a pit bike and it comes into play.


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