Leave Red for the pros unless you can get a great deal. The three Sram road groups are essentially the same with weight loss upgrades (carbon, bolt material) throughout. You'll find the performance with the new groups to be really similar.
The main advantage (as I see it) with Red is if you have small hands - it's the only one with adjustable reach levers.
Right now I'm running Rival with a Red front derailleur because I got the front for basically nothing. Same FSA crankset as you. I've found it to be pretty much ideal.
I had a chance to check out the new Rival with the carbon brake lever yesterday. Felt really good.
Thanks for all of the input from everyone,after spending way too much time internet surfing it does seem that the 09' Rival carbon handled set is going to be the balls !
Anyone want to take a guess on pricing ?
Is the rumor mid-August for availability ?
My bike will be built up near complete but shifterless by the up coming weekend and I will get strange looks tearing up the local parks with no brakes and dismounting to change the cassette/chain position roadside !
If you're ordering anything now, check with whoever you're ordering from in advance. The shop I work for got an 09 Specialized Tricross which has the new Rival.
Pricing is going to be similar (possibly the same) as the previous iteration.
I've been wondering what advantages if any the SRAM stuff has, specific for cyclocross. Two big points: Rival certainly has a nice price point, and there are lots of options for chainrings.
I've never bought a complete grouppo (aside from getting a big old deal on Chorus parts back when I was an Ace Wheelworks employee). Did SRAM consider the 'cross market when developing the groupsets? I like that you can disassemble the front shifter to remove the shift lever, in case you run a single ring in front.
in all seriousness, I've thought of running DA 10 just to be able to get neutral wheels the past few years, but we now have campy 10 finally so that's a non-issue. I don't have SRAM stuff so I don't know if it is interchangeable on the road like it is on the MTB. Cross comes down to more not screwing up or tripping over that barrier when you're going 110% more than the bike, as long as its working right for ya :) I think the outside factors are more advandageous than any weight you may gain.
Went to my local shop a few days ago here in Salt lake City.
Picked up a Sram Force,front/rear derailluer and was told that any 09'Rival set up is now avail,only two short days away.Was prcied at $320-for shifter set up.
Not too bad,that was w/out haggeling.
New in box 08' Force shifters are all over Ebay for $230ish though,hmmmmm....What to do ?
Eric reminded me though,does not matter so much at my weak ass C level as Im goint to wash out in some loose sand or trip over a barrier anyways.