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Old 04-08-06, 01:21 PM   #1
pkim
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Having a lot of problems with my SRAM shifters

I'm somewhat clueless about bike components, so I've been relying on my local shop mechanic's advice. Unfortunately, that hasn't been working out too well, so I'm hoping someone can offer some advice.

I bought a Trek 7300 hybrid a few weeks ago. Great bike, but the SRAM twist shifters have been a headache. Too many times, I shifted by mistake after going over a bump or off a curb. After just a few days of riding, the chain actually derailed midshift and I almost had an accident. I also disliked the relatively large motion (twisting your entire wrist and lower arm) versus a trigger. As a result, you lose some support and control while shifting. I could complain some more, but basically, it didn't work at all for me.

So today, my local bike shop owner switched the twist shifters for a SRAM Attack Trigger Shifter 9 Speed set ($40 or so). He gave me the shifters and installed it, all for free, which was nice. But halfway back from the shop, the front derailleur stopped moving far enough to shift to the inner cog. The front shifter also requires a rather large thumb motion to shift up, which is a lot worse than the Shimano rapidfires I used for 10 years.

So I have some questions:

1) Are these problems are because of cheap components, or is the shop mechanic doing a poor job installing them? Are the problems because I'm not used to these shifters?

2) Are the SRAM Attack trigger shifters a good product?

3) What benefit do more expensive shifters offer versus what I'm using?

4) Could it be a problem with compatibility between the shifters and the derailleurs?

5) Any other advice would be appreciated as well.

Thanks!

A detailed list of the components:

Shifters SRAM 4.0 Pro, 8 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-7
Crank Bontrager Sport 48/38/28 w/chainguard
Cassette SRAM PG830 11-32, 8 speed
Saddle Bontrager Suburbia w/elastomer bumper
Seat Post Alloy adjustable suspension
Handlebars Alloy, 50mm rise
Stem Alloy, adjustable rise
Headset Threaded Slimstak w/semi-cartridge bearings, sealed
Brakeset Tektro V w/Tektro alloy levers, Kraton inserts, bell
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Old 04-08-06, 03:26 PM   #2
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let me just say that i am using a rear XTR shifter and derailleur for the first time and the combo shifts better than anything i've ever used on the road or in the dirt.

i like SRAM chains and their cogs but i would be hardpressed to use SRAM shifters and derailleurs. i know their upper end stuph is supposed to be good but better than XTR?

i doubt it.

my take is go back to what worked for you before.

ed rader
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Old 04-08-06, 04:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkim

So today, my local bike shop owner switched the twist shifters for a SRAM Attack Trigger Shifter 9 Speed set ($40 or so). He gave me the shifters and installed it, all for free, which was nice. But halfway back from the shop, the front derailleur stopped moving far enough to shift to the inner cog. The front shifter also requires a rather large thumb motion to shift up, which is a lot worse than the Shimano rapidfires I used for 10 years.
[snip**

4) Could it be a problem with compatibility between the shifters and the derailleurs?

[snip**
Shifters SRAM 4.0 Pro, 8 speed
Front Derailleur Shimano C102
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-7
Cassette SRAM PG830 11-32, 8 speed
Your "SRAM Attack Trigger Shifter 9 Speed" are NOT compatible with the SRAM X-7 derailleur.
The Sram "Attack/Rocket" shifters are Shimano rear derailleur compatible only. (2:1 cable actuation)
The Sram "X-series" shifters are only compatible with Sram X-series rear derailleurs (1:1 cable actuation)

Your LBS has made a mistake and ought to replace the Sram Attack shifters with Sram X-7 trigger shifters.

People are generally really happy about Sram X-7 products:
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Deraille...t_122810.shtml
http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Shifter/...t_122852.shtml

--
Regards
Peter H.S.
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Old 04-08-06, 06:37 PM   #4
pkim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interested
Your "SRAM Attack Trigger Shifter 9 Speed" are NOT compatible with the SRAM X-7 derailleur.
The Sram "Attack/Rocket" shifters are Shimano rear derailleur compatible only. (2:1 cable actuation)
The Sram "X-series" shifters are only compatible with Sram X-series rear derailleurs (1:1 cable actuation)

Your LBS has made a mistake and ought to replace the Sram Attack shifters with Sram X-7 trigger shifters.
Thanks for the links and information. I've been doing some research and I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed by all the varieties of components, heh.

The bike was a stock Trek, so I cut and paste the specs off the Trek website. I thought the mechanic only switched the shifters, but I just checked the bike and it looks like he swapped out the SRAM rear derailleur for a Shimano Altus to make it compatible. Sorry.

Since the shop did the shifter swap and the labor for free, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if the mechanic mixed and matched a cheaper rear derailleur. I don't know...but as long as it works, it's fine with me, since everything is low end stuff anyways.

Of course, the problem is that it doesn't work, so I was wondering if I should just buy in a mid or higher end set of shifters/derailleurs instead of screwing around with this cheap stuff. The Trek 7300 is a cheap bike, but I'm perfectly fine with everything except the shifting.

Last edited by pkim; 04-08-06 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 04-08-06, 06:45 PM   #5
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For the reasons stated by "interested", the X-7 rear derailleur must be matched with a SRAM compatible trigger shifter (X-7, X-9, or X-0), so the shop should be willing to correct that mistake. But the X-7 shifter should work with the Shimano front derailleur, which is where you're having problems. It's likely the derailleur stops and/or cable tension need some readjusting, given that your cable, housing, and end caps are in good condition. Carefully explain the problem, and, after the service, ensure the mechanic takes the bike for a good test ride and then has you try it before leaving the shop.

The X-7 shifters are a quality product and the problem might be the result of the shifter's ergonomic positioning relative to your thumb. Have the mechanic check that and maybe try a couple different orientations. If the problem persists, think about paying the difference to have a SRAM front derailleur installed.

In my experience, nine & ten speed indexing drivetrains work best when everything (Cables, housing, chain, cassette, derailleurs, shifters, crankset) are from one manufacturer. Mixing components is certainly done (I experiment all the time), but care & thoughtfulness must be exercised (As you now know, even within the SRAM line-up, it's possible to mis-match shifters & derailleurs). When indexing drivetrains are well adjusted and functioning as intended they are a joy, but when they aren't, it's very frustrating. Good luck!
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Old 04-08-06, 07:51 PM   #6
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I have a 7300 with sram grip shifters, nexave frt DR. Deore rear DR. Other than cable adjusting after
100mi. I have no complaints. The wife has a newer 7300 with Shimano trigger shifters, she started dropping the chain at 60mi. cable tension adjusting took care of that. I think you gave up to early before you got used to operating the bike with grip shifters.
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Old 04-08-06, 10:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Based on the advice, and other internet research I did, I think most of the problem is because the drivetrain wasn't tuned/installed properly. Although these are 'lower end' shifting components, plenty of people have had perfectly fine experiences with them. So I'll badger the mechanics to do a more careful job when I go back in to get the front shifter/derailleur fixed up again. I'm going to play around with the ergonomic positioning tomorrow myself sometime before going to the bike shop (it's just a matter of loosening screws, right?).

I'll give my current setup a few weeks before making any more equipment changes. I did use the SRAM grip shifters for a few weeks and 100+ miles...although I can see how some people might like them, I disliked them more and more every time I used it.
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Old 04-08-06, 11:48 PM   #8
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Before you go very many miles, get some Kool Stop brake pads to prevent your rims from being eaten up by the Tektro "free" brake pads.
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