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  1. #1
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Upgrade DA7700 to sram red?

    Hi all,

    I've got a 2003 trek 5500, its got dura ace 7700 on it, and its been great over the last 7 years and 7k+ miles. Unfortunately, despite keeping the drive train clean and lubed all good things must come to an end and my cassette and chain are toast. I've got the ability to pick up all sram red, except the brakes for around 1200 before a sale ends at 10 eastern tonight. Should i do it? Or should i just drop the 200 ish on chain/cassette and not break up the lance kit. I do race and i think going 10 speed would be an advantage because neutral support wheels all have 10 speed cassettes these days.

    should I pony up the cash for the RED? or is there some intrinsic coolness that im not aware of with the lance spec?
    Last edited by pjn0629; 09-13-10 at 04:43 PM.

  2. #2
    sch
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    DA cassette is maybe 50 grams or so lighter than Ultegra (in 12-27, but you likely are 12-25 or 11-23 so the diff is less) so the real ? is basic 9spd chain at $20
    and cassette at $40-50 or $70 versus $1200. If you stay at 9 spd and your brifters go your only option is Tiagra (horrors!!). At 7k miles they might last another
    7k mi or pop tomorrow, totally random. Red is very popular though SRAM has 1-upped it this year but a new kit will be spiffy and shift a bit more snappily and
    you get another single step gear select in the 20-26mph range unless you ride the corncob. You also lose the helmet holder bird's nest of cables in front of the
    bar and your bike won't look so '90s.

  3. #3
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    DA cassette is maybe 50 grams or so lighter than Ultegra (in 12-27, but you likely are 12-25 or 11-23 so the diff is less) so the real ? is basic 9spd chain at $20
    and cassette at $40-50 or $70 versus $1200. If you stay at 9 spd and your brifters go your only option is Tiagra (horrors!!). At 7k miles they might last another
    7k mi or pop tomorrow, totally random. Red is very popular though SRAM has 1-upped it this year but a new kit will be spiffy and shift a bit more snappily and
    you get another single step gear select in the 20-26mph range unless you ride the corncob. You also lose the helmet holder bird's nest of cables in front of the
    bar and your bike won't look so '90s.
    it'll be nice to have the hidden cables, but the bird's nest doesn't bother me so much, the frame is gonna look 90s no matter what I do, but for 1200, its gonna shave 500g off the bike too. and parts will be easier to find. question is more whether there's any nostalgia for the lance era frame/gruppo combo, i kinda think so, but at the same time red is gonna kick the pants off my old DA

  4. #4
    Senior Member andrewluke's Avatar
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    Red is nice. It's really nice. The more I ride on it the more I love it.

    Whether it is worth that cash is up to you. Do you need lighter weight? Are the shifters still good? Do you need to get up to a 10sp?

    Since you want to race it's not a bad idea to upgrade but only you can determine if it's worth ponying up the cash.

  5. #5
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewluke View Post
    Red is nice. It's really nice. The more I ride on it the more I love it.

    Whether it is worth that cash is up to you. Do you need lighter weight? Are the shifters still good? Do you need to get up to a 10sp?

    Since you want to race it's not a bad idea to upgrade but only you can determine if it's worth ponying up the cash.
    ive got the cash, and its cheaper than a new bike, i think the 10sp compatibility is important for neutral support wheels in racing, the weight is actually an issue, because at 16.8 lbs before an upgrade the bike will be in the 15.7 range after, so i'll have to add some weights for racing. the shifters are ok, but at 7kmiles who knows how much longer they'll go. im pretty happy with the gearing on the 9sp, but more options never really hurt anyone, and i really like the look of the carbon levers

  6. #6
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    ive got the cash, and its cheaper than a new bike, i think the 10sp compatibility is important for neutral support wheels in racing, the weight is actually an issue, because at 16.8 lbs before an upgrade the bike will be in the 15.7 range after, so i'll have to add some weights for racing. the shifters are ok, but at 7kmiles who knows how much longer they'll go. im pretty happy with the gearing on the 9sp, but more options never really hurt anyone, and i really like the look of the carbon levers
    7k miles is NOTHING for DA. That's just one season of respectable training. For a 7 year old bike, that's 1K miles/year. Many racers put in 1000k in just a month of training.
    You should expect to be able expect to get at least another seven or ten thousand miles out of the shifters before they give you any problems.
    Last edited by vredstein; 09-14-10 at 12:11 AM.
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  7. #7
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vredstein View Post
    7k miles is NOTHING for DA. That's just one season of respectable training. For a 7 year old bike, that's 1K miles/year. Many racers put in 1000k in just a month of training.
    You should expect to be able expect to get at least another seven or ten thousand miles out of the shifters before they give you any problems.
    awesome, because i'd really rather put the 1200 towards a Ti bike for racing that will fare better in a crash. any suggestions on where to pickup a cassette/chain then?

  8. #8
    Senior Member vredstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    awesome, because i'd really rather put the 1200 towards a Ti bike for racing that will fare better in a crash. any suggestions on where to pickup a cassette/chain then?
    Ebay. You'll get a good deal on an SRAM PG 970 cassette versus a Shimano cassette.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Not an upgrade IMO

  10. #10
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    awesome, because i'd really rather put the 1200 towards a Ti bike for racing that will fare better in a crash. any suggestions on where to pickup a cassette/chain then?
    The chain is still commonly available. It is the DA7700/XTR chain. You can get them almost everywhere. The cassette can be found easily on amazon from reputable sellers. I actually have a lightly used 12-23 DuraAce 7700 cassette from my spare rear wheel that I no longer need.

    I had this same dilemma a while back. I was looking at cassette, chain, chainrings, and RDR pulleys to refresh my aging 7700 and considering just going to Red. I tried Red on a top-end bike and just really didn't like it.

    In the end, I went 7900 and couldn't be happier.
    Last edited by nhluhr; 09-14-10 at 09:33 PM.

  11. #11
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkane77g View Post
    Not an upgrade IMO
    really? i figured newer/more carboney/way lighter would be an upgrade. although the 9 speed has charachter and shifts smooth as butter

  12. #12
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    The chain is still commonly available. It is the DA7700/XTR chain. You can get them almost everywhere. The cassette can be found easily on amazon from reputable sellers. I actually have a lightly used 12-23 DuraAce 7700 cassette from my spare rear wheel that I no longer need.

    I had this same dilemma a while back. I was looking at cassette, chain, chainrings, and RDR pulleys to refresh my aging 7700 and considering just going to Red. I tried Red on a top-end bike and just really didn't like it. In the end, I went 7900 and couldn't be happier.

    you think I should do chainrings/pulleys too? i was thinking just chain/cables/cassette. I've only ridden red once, and it was on a bike buying trip with my best friend and the owner of the shop was helping us out, and he let me ride his bike which was ridonc. fuji nude carbon frame/reynolds clinchers/carbon arione/fsa kwing the thing was just a giant carbongasm, i liked the red once i figured out how to shift, but i remember it being loud compared to my 7700, and idk i dont think i was really on the bike long enough to form an opinion

  13. #13
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    really? i figured newer/more carboney/way lighter would be an upgrade. although the 9 speed has charachter and shifts smooth as butter
    It comes down more to how you appreciate the respective brands' ergonomics and mechanical feel. Personally, I DO NOT LIKE SRAM because of the way it feels and the way it operates but it is certainly a high end group capable of supporting pro-level performance.

    If you 'like' the doubletap shifting, there are a couple other major factors you'll want to consider:
    -lack of small chainring trim position with SRAM (you may not prefer the noisier gearing if you spend a lot of time in that in-between range where you're not quite cross-chaining but the lack of trim makes it a bit noisier, especially on flexier old frames).
    -shape of brifter hoods (is this different shape compatible with your hands?)

    There are some major pros too, such as costing less, weighing less, looking better, etc.

  14. #14
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    you think I should do chainrings/pulleys too? i was thinking just chain/cables/cassette. I've only ridden red once, and it was on a bike buying trip with my best friend and the owner of the shop was helping us out, and he let me ride his bike which was ridonc. fuji nude carbon frame/reynolds clinchers/carbon arione/fsa kwing the thing was just a giant carbongasm, i liked the red once i figured out how to shift, but i remember it being loud compared to my 7700, and idk i dont think i was really on the bike long enough to form an opinion
    Only replace the things that are worn out. Pulleys can last for a long time, as can chainrings.

  15. #15
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    It comes down more to how you appreciate the respective brands' ergonomics and mechanical feel. Personally, I DO NOT LIKE SRAM because of the way it feels and the way it operates but it is certainly a high end group capable of supporting pro-level performance.

    If you 'like' the doubletap shifting, there are a couple other major factors you'll want to consider:
    -lack of small chainring trim position with SRAM (you may not prefer the noisier gearing if you spend a lot of time in that in-between range where you're not quite cross-chaining but the lack of trim makes it a bit noisier, especially on flexier old frames).
    -shape of brifter hoods (is this different shape compatible with your hands?)

    There are some major pros too, such as costing less, weighing less, looking better, etc.
    the only thing that really bothers me about the DA7700, is the shape of the brifter hoods, i've never loved that little pointy bit at the top, and it would be nice to tuck away those cables, then again i could get the Hudz(sp) and they might be more comfortable, and way cheaper than sram red shifters. that and the fact that all the neutral support wheels at my last race had 10 speed cassettes on the rear, so if i were to flat during a race, i wouldnt have to ride an awkward setup after the swap. and i accidentally hit the brakes when shifting the big lever, but only if im really tired, and it doesnt really slow me down any, just makes me feel stupid

  16. #16
    30 YR Wrench BikeWise1's Avatar
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    SRAM? Not on my road bike.....

    What do I know? Oh, probably nothing.....just been wrenching professionally for 25+ years...

    I'd rock that 7700 'til there was nothing left, then buy used 7800 parts. 7900 is ugly and shift effort sucks compared to the lovely 7800 levers. What's with all the boring looking parts these days, too? If they can't be beautifully polished and anodized aluminum, then they at least ought not look like they've been laying in a coal bin....

    But SRAM? Great mountain parts. Really top drawer....but road? Still too clunky.

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    Keep the 7700 D-A, it's really hard to beat. My 1998 Trek 5500 is still going strong and passed 7000 miles many years ago. If you have any shifting issues shoot the shifters full of WD40 and ride them another 10,000 mi. Be sure to clean and grease the bottom bracket if it is 7700. I would definitely replace the chain with another 7700, one of my favorite chains, good for at least 5000 miles, and maybe a lot more.
    My primary bike has Record 10 on it but in some ways I prefer the D-A 9.

  18. #18
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjn0629 View Post
    really? i figured newer/more carboney/way lighter would be an upgrade. although the 9 speed has charachter and shifts smooth as butter
    I'm just a Shimano user, my wifes 7400 stuff still works great after I don't know how many miles, 50,000 or more. Shimano's 7800 stuff is bulletproof so far, and quality is top notch.

  19. #19
    is The Stig pjn0629's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
    SRAM? Not on my road bike.....

    What do I know? Oh, probably nothing.....just been wrenching professionally for 25+ years...

    I'd rock that 7700 'til there was nothing left, then buy used 7800 parts. 7900 is ugly and shift effort sucks compared to the lovely 7800 levers. What's with all the boring looking parts these days, too? If they can't be beautifully polished and anodized aluminum, then they at least ought not look like they've been laying in a coal bin....

    But SRAM? Great mountain parts. Really top drawer....but road? Still too clunky.
    i do love the look of the 7700, that's why i bought it originally, instead of waiting the 2 months or whatever for the nude carbon/10 speed 5500 to come out which my LBS gave me an early look at. 7700 and the metallic red paintjob just won me over at the time. some of the chrome plating is flaking off now too, which just bites, because there's so much of it.

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