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  1. #1
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Durability-wise, how is SRAM vs Shimano?

    So I jumped on the generic carbon frame bandwagon, bought one, and have been viewing hundreds of new builds.

    When guys buy new groupsets for their frames, 9 out of 10 seem to be going with SRAM, with the occasional Ultegra and DuraAce thrown in. A Campy once in a blue moon.

    So what is it that makes SRAM so much more popular? Is it just a fad, or is SRAM actually better, dollar for dollar, than the competition?

  2. #2
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Sorry, can't comment on road groups, but XT 8-speed cassettes outlive PG 850 cassettes for me. Wish I would've bought a couple more XT when Price Point, or whoever it was had 'em for $25.

    Oh, and SRAM 600 8-sp. shifters outlasted STX-RC trigger shifts. 1996 Sram, 1998 STX-RC. Srams are still in service.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 09-07-10 at 12:15 AM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  3. #3
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    The SRAM vs. Shimano vs. Campy battle is just like Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge. Do a few searches and read for hours. Each side has its arguments, some based more on religion than anything else.

    SRAM is "hot" right now, so when you see people talking about their builds, they're probably more SRAM-centric.

    I've used all three in various builds. The SRAM has been absolutely reliable, but I really don't care for the way the FD shifts and don't think double-tap is god's gift to bicycles. I do prefer the looks of the SRAM and the hood shape. Shimano I have discounted because I didn't like the exposed cable routing but I think the new groups have fixed this. I rode a new Ultegra bike the other day and, wow, it shifted beautifully. My 10-yo Campy bike shifts almost as well and works flawlessly, but I have had to replace shifters about ever 5K or so miles. YMMV.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Perhaps buy on price?

    - Mark

  4. #4
    bike whisperer Kimmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkinHawaii View Post
    So what is it that makes SRAM so much more popular? Is it just a fad, or is SRAM actually better, dollar for dollar, than the competition?
    Sure seems that way; cheaper, lighter, performs fine apparently.

    Although someone posted a graph the other day showing SRAM chains don't last as long as Shimano's or Campy's...

  5. #5
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
    Sure seems that way; cheaper, lighter, performs fine apparently.

    Although someone posted a graph the other day showing SRAM chains don't last as long as Shimano's or Campy's...
    Here's the link to a chain study. The only generalization is Wipperman seems to have the longest lasting chain. SRAM and Shimano chains longevity vary amongst model. Note the Dura-Ace lasts longer than Ultegra, and SRAM's PC1090 lasts longer than the 1070. The Dura Ace is comparable to the SRAM 1090, 3026 v 2973 km, respectively. I don't know the details of the testing, so cannon comment on test protocol or setup.

    http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-004/000.html


    Overall, I feel SRAM components are a great alternative to Shimano. I like the competition in the market. I've been using SRAM chains and cassettes on my mountain and road rigs for over 10 years. Although most of my other components are Shimano, I would consider SRAM for future purchases. A few of my buddies ride SRAM and have no complaints.

  6. #6
    Freddin' it
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    My 10-yo Campy bike shifts almost as well and works flawlessly, but I have had to replace shifters about ever 5K or so miles.
    Yikes! And I was disappointed when my 105 RD shifter wore out after only 17K miles. Anyone have any personal data or source of some regarding 10-spd shifter life spans?

  7. #7
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akansaskid View Post
    Yikes! And I was disappointed when my 105 RD shifter wore out after only 17K miles. Anyone have any personal data or source of some regarding 10-spd shifter life spans?
    personal data would be suspect because different riders/different terrain would make fair comparison impossible. A Consumers Reports-type study would be great, but not likely.

  8. #8
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I never use new parts for a build. I typically find a donor bike with nice components, and build from there. My last donor was Ultegra, so that's what I used. The next build will be Dura Ace, as I got a deal on take off DA groups (two of them).

  9. #9
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. Perhaps buy on price?

    - Mark
    My theme song. So right now I can get new Shim 105 groupset for maybe $550 shipped or SRAM Apex for closer to $700 shipped. I like the idea another guy posted of getting decent components off a donor bike, but i see very few likely candidates in my small local market.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I never use new parts for a build. I typically find a donor bike with nice components, and build from there. My last donor was Ultegra, so that's what I used. The next build will be Dura Ace, as I got a deal on take off DA groups (two of them).
    If you don't mind my asking, what is a good price on a DA group? And how do you come across your donors?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ClarkinHawaii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
    . Shimano I have discounted because I didn't like the exposed cable routing but I think the new groups have fixed this.
    I'm sure glad you mentioned this point--it had escaped my attention--now if I go 105 I will definitely go with the new 5700 . . .

  12. #12
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Don't forget Microshift!
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  13. #13
    Let your bike be the tool cranky old road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akansaskid View Post
    Yikes! And I was disappointed when my 105 RD shifter wore out after only 17K miles. Anyone have any personal data or source of some regarding 10-spd shifter life spans?
    My 2006 Campy Record shifters have around 15K on them and seem to be working fine (knock on wood). If they stop working well I will rebuild them or send them to Branford Bike for a rebuild.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing...

  14. #14
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    I really like the SRAM x9 and xo rear ders for several reasons. They hold their tune for a long time and have excellent, crisp shifts. Also the der is open instead of enclosed like many of the Shimanos. This allows for easy cleaning of the der. In fact, for pavement riders, it is easy to keep it virtually dirt free. Of course, this feature is a detriment to dirt/mud riders. bk

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