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Tech Experiences: Shimano to SRAM?

Discussion in 'Cycling Department Forum' started by dazzyb2k3, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. dazzyb2k3

    dazzyb2k3 Well-Known Member

    Although i've been cycling quite a lot of years. Every bike i've ever owned has had Shimano shifting components.

    I've always been extremely pleased with the way they look and perform (especially the later groupsets). They are durable, reliable and spares are easy to find in any bike shop.

    My winter bike has a few lower end SRAM Apex components (although the shifters/mechs are still Shimano 105) and i've been very pleased with them. I also have another two bikes - one running Ultegra 6800 and DA9000. Both of which perform flawlessly (apart from front mech trimming which is something that has always bugged me)

    I'm planning my next N+1 road bike (more on that later) and am considering SRAM as an option. Can't really say why, i guess i'm curious and fancy a change. They seem good value (even more so compared to the new Shimano line) and the weight reduction is always welcome. Initially i'm pitting RED 22 vs DA 9000 or DA9100 here. Not entirely ruled out etap or Di2 but that would put the build into the startasphere price wise and it opens up the whole mechanical vs electronic debate (although the current Ultegra Di2 is a tempting proposition).

    Regardless of which tier groupset i decide upon, my primary concern is how i would adjust to the double tap (assuming i don't go etap) and how easy (or not) it is to adapt when you regularly ride different bikes with different groupo's. I'm also curious about the front mech - does the Yaw movement eliminate the need for trimming? as that would be a big plus in my book. (although i believe the new Shimano front mech goes some way to improving this). My other option is to go 1X but the jury's still out for me on that one.

    I've fiddled with various friends SRAM equipped bikes and have just ended up more indecisive than ever. As i said before i've always been a Shimano fan so It's not a move i plan to make lightly. Unless i'm 100% convinced, the 'safer' option is Shimano.

    Do we have any long time Shimano stalwarts that have made the switch to SRAM - or also own an SRAM equipped bike? What do you think and what are your experiences - both good and bad?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  2. James

    James Member

    While not a Shimano to SRAM convert, I am a Campy to SRAM convert. For years I was running Campy and decided to give SRAM a try to save some $$$. Loved it. Comfy hoods for me, precise (though a bit clunky sounding) shifting when set up well. If you are a sprinter (I am not) you can do things like "preload" the next shift - just keep the shifter pressed and don't release to go in the next gear until you lift off. The only negative I've had with the SRAM groupset, and it could be a big issue for you, is with corrosion. I live in a hot and humid climate, so from March to October I sweat buckets. Last year I completely broke down and cleaned a pair of shifters (rust remover followed by liberal amounts of Boeshield T-9 in the shifter mechanism), but if I don't do that, I'm lucky to get more than a couple of years out of the shifters. If you live in a low humidity climate, it won't be a concern.

    I do have some issues at times going from small to big ring on the front. If I spent more time setting it up properly and making sure Gatorade didn't seep into the hole in my frame where the cable goes through it would help, but since my elevation gain is 1 foot per mile around here, I'm never in the small ring.

    Bottom line, when set up properly and clean, I love the feel and precision of SRAM.

    I did have a Shmiano equipped bike that I purchased second hand. I rode those Ultegra shifters until my sweat killed them. I never did like the mechanics of Shimano shifting.

    Currently I've resurrected an old bike that has some Campy Daytona on it. I've been riding both that bike and a SRAM Force equipped bike the last month. The mechanics are different (double tap on the SRAM versus thumb and tap with the Campy), but it's not a pain going back and forth. And for grins in the last month I picked up a set of new Record 10 shifters at a great price.
  3. dazzyb2k3

    dazzyb2k3 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply James. Very helpful!

    Well i'm suire as heck not a sprinter but i could see that being able to preload a shift is useful for many situations. I never thought about the corrosion factor - that could be a deal breaker tbh. The bike i'm planning is a high end endurance/sportive/audax machine. It'll hopefully be something i'll be riding for many years. While i have my winter bike for the truly horrible days, the new bike is being designed for action in all weathers and varying terrain. As you know, we get some crappy weather over here so the abilatly to withstand that is important. Apart from the occasional chain/BB replacement every now and then, Shimano is partically fit and forget.

    Reassuring to know that jumping between Campy/SRAM isn't a problem for you. Food for thought.
  4. Jim Layee

    Jim Layee Well-Known Member

    Ive got a mix of Campag, Shimano and Sram using Brifters, bar end shifters and mtb shifters. I find it takes me a few hundred yards to adjust between them with just the occasional wandering around lost.
    @James Those record 10spds with carbon blades are lovely , i have them on my Van Nicholas
  5. dazzyb2k3

    dazzyb2k3 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jim. That puts my mind at rest somewhat. Have been doing bit of intenet window shopping and I can get some really good deals on SRAM kit. With a bit of shopping around i could put together full SRAM Red Etap for around the same price as DA9100 mechanical. That's a pretty tempting proposition. Especially as the prospect of etap's electronic paddle shifting appeals to the sim racing side of me :)

    I'm not in any rush and i usually find if i allow enough time then the 'right' decision will embed itself in my brain eventually. Doing the research and chosing components is half the fun!
  6. arthur666

    arthur666 Well-Known Member

    Not on road, but my previous mtn bike was my first real experience with SRAM. I liked the pull ratio, but my shifters bound up more than once, though they did not have very many miles on them at all. Mid-level stuff, like X5/X7. But never had problems with Shimano shifters until they were really worn out.
  7. dazzyb2k3

    dazzyb2k3 Well-Known Member

    Well i've decided to bite the bullet and give SRAM a try. Most people i've spoken to have said positive things and i figured that there's only one true way to find out if i like it :p

    I've also decided my build will be based around a Kinesis GF Ti Frameset



    A bit extravagant for sure but it's a once in a lifetime purchase for me as i've been hankering after something Ti for years. I can raise quite a bit from selling off some of my usused bikestock and It's also my birthday in a couple of weeks so that's all the excuse i need. :)
    Kinesis are very well regarded here in the UK (and i always like to support UK bike companies when i can). The GfTi is their flagship frameset and has had some amazing reviews. Can't wait to get started!

    I'm away with work for a couple of weeks so that gives me plenty of time to think about component choice. Once the ball starts rolling i'll open up a topic in the main forum.
  8. Jim Layee

    Jim Layee Well-Known Member

    Ti is God's own metal !

    My friend who had a Ti bike a couple of years before I got mine told me they take a few hundred miles to bed in. Of course i scoffed at such an absurd idea ....... But he was bang on, My first rides it felt no more comfortable than my Guerciotti Record ( Columbus CroMo) , but after around 4-500 miles I found myself riding on a very broken surface and the ride was amazing compared to early rides . Go figure
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  9. Bram

    Bram Senior Member

    My CX bike came with SRAM rival 1x11. After initially being happy with it, especially in the terrain it's simple and nice to shift. Didn't like it too much on paved roads when speeds went up. Steps between gears were too large and the set made too many noises compared to the better quality ultegra set from my road bike.

    Eagle and such seem to be great groups from what I read and view online but Rival didn't tick my boxes. But in their defense it should compete with 105 of which I am not a fan either.

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