How To: Tell the Difference between the Old and New Sram Force Shifters

by Patrick Davis

Recently, SRAM completely redesigned their top of the line Red group which left people wondering what would happen to its next step down, Force, group. The upgrades to the Force group are much more subtle than the hyped Red group, but they are sure to make your riding experience better.

I am going to help you understand what they did to the shift levers and how to tell the difference between the older (2010–2012 model) and new Zero Loss (2013 model).

In a nutshell, SRAM left the shell of the lever exactly the same. Hoods, levers, clamp, and feel are exactly the same as the older model. They took the three main components of the flagship Red (up to 2012 model) and swapped them out. These pieces are the transport pawl, holding pawl, and spool. These upgraded parts make the shifting more instant and precise than before. With no waiting for the cable to pull or drop into place, you can feel more in tune with your bike.

The only way to differentiate between the two is to lift up the plastic and check out what is under the hood. As you compare the two, notice the different material of the transport pawl. Also, the 2013 model has a red spool.


Now you know what to look for when upgrading to the new 2013 Force levers that look the same as the old ones! Make sure to know what you are looking for when purchasing!

2013-01-25 19:04:00
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You know there's a ZeroLoss logo on the inside of the paddle so you can tell them apart, right?
I would be interested in an article on differentiating the old RD and the new AeroGlide RD. I don't have my own yet and have been leery about buying a new one without any clear way of telling if it's the 2013 model.
I may have figured it out-- 2006 and 2008 RD has a carbon weave cage with "ExactActuation" along the straight portion of the bottom of the cage. 2010 Force RD has Force graphics and ExactActuation logo around the end of the pulley cage, with "SRAM" where the ExactActuation logo was on original Force. 2013 Force RD is the same as 2010, but with the ExactActuation logo on the cage next to the jockey wheel bolt.
Yes the levers do have the small logo but we wanted to show what the real difference was since they look pretty much identical. Thanks!
Thanks for the insights above. I would also be interested to learn if there is a 2013 short cage rear derailleur with AeroGlide pulleys. Word was, that this is another update for 2013, but all the official pics don't show me AeroGlide pulleys on the short cage RD (even on the SRAM page). So again, is there a 2013 (2x10) RD with AeroGlide pulleys? Is it the same RD as 2010 - 2012 just with different pulleys so I can easily upgrade my old one ore anything else to watch?
Jack, I checked with Patrick and this is what he told me: "The 2013 Sram Force short cage derailleurs come standard with the AeroGlide pulleys. They are the same pulley casing as the Sram Red model. The Red model just has ceramic bearings."
I never knew that the updated Force shifters both say ZeroLoss on the paddles now. I'll be sure to check the internals on my new "2013" bike as well. Seems as though many 2013 bikes just don't have 2013 Force (10 speed). You can easily tell by the chainring design. I did find it strange that the Force WiFli RD's are shown with an updated pinch bolt, barrel adjuster, and the AeroGlide pulleys, whereas I've seen "2013" Force short cage 10 speed RD's with and without these things, and I've never seen one with the new pinch bolt. Minor observances, yes, but of course people want to know they're getting the latest and greatest when they're spending their money!
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