WiFLi technology began with Alberto Contador’s gearing needs at the 2008 Giro d‘Italia. Prior to the brutal stage 16 KronPlatz time trial, SRAM’s product development and engineering team matched a cobbled wide ratio cassette, a 50/34 RED compact crank, and a custom SRAM RED rear derailleur and installed on AC’s bike. The result was a more appropriate gear range for the incredibly steep gravel climb. The next year SRAM introduced WiFLi into its new Apex and Rival gruppos, and for 2013 SRAM offers WiFLi for RED and Force (avail. Sept 2012).
SRAM‘s WiFLi™ Technology is based on a longer mid-cage rear derailleur, an 11-32 cassette in the rear and a compact 2×10 front chainring configuration, standard chainrings can also be used. WiFLi is offered as part of SRAM RED-2012, SRAM Force, Apex and Rival. WiFLi delivers a wider range of gears than a standard triple set-up – for more comfortable climbing and descending – with faster shifting, easier set-up, and a significant weight savings.
The following is a collection of recent pro rider experiences on WiFLi, including some incredible results and unsolicited reactions.
Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) – 2012 Tour of Utah
The final climb of the final stage (6) of at the Larry H Miller Tour of Utah (Aug 7-12) is described by the race‘s website as “pure heinousness in length and pitch.“Levi’s late attack up the Pass was unmatched, and he soloed into Park City hands raised, winning the stage andleapfrogging his way to 6th overall. What was notable beyond his performance, the stage win and taking his team‘s 46th victory of the season, was Levi‘s drivetrain choice: SRAM RED-2012 with WiFLi. “Many people asking me about gearing today. Now that the secret is out re: Empire Pass I can tell you I used SRAM‘s WiFLi 11-32 for 1st time,“ Tweeted Leipheimer.
“WiFli kicks ass!! I love it. Thank for all the support and last minute equipment.”
Janel Holcomb (Optum Pro Cycling) – 2012 La Route de France
“I don‘t know how else to say this but…SRAM‘s WiFLi is amazing! Thank you for sending me to Europe with such a perfect race set-up.” Holcomb wrote this to us after finishing the nine-day La Route de France stage race. She said racing with the WiFLi set-up completely changed how her head and legs feel about steep climbs and stage races. Noting that she never thought her legs would feel so good up 20% grades after 632 miles of racing, calling the feeling, “Incredible.” “I‘d love to continue racing with the WiFLi system in Tuscany, too, if that‘s possible.“
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) – 2012 Vuelta a Espana
From the very first stage of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana (Aug 18-Sep 9), a race known for its verticality, Alberto Contador equipped his bike with one of the very first production RED-2012 WiFLi rear derailleurs. The new RD would stay on his bike throughout the race, allowing him to switch wheelsets, and go to the wide range 11-28 or 11-32 road cassette anytime. Always aggressive, Contador’s now legendary stage 17 attack into Fuente Dé caught his rivals by surprise, and he took advantage of the pitch and set a tempo none could match. The Spaniard vaulted himself into the leader’s red jersey, four days later Contador rolled into Madrid the 2012 Vuelta champion.