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Old 10-28-10, 01:18 AM   #1
aaroneus
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Are Sram X.9 2x10 shifters and Rival derailleurs compatible?

I'm building up a second flat-bar road bike and I'm very confused right now about some compatibility issues. So, as I mentioned in another thread, I currently have one set up with the Shimano SL-R770 10sp flat bar road bike shifters and a Rival group...and it works perfectly! But the new bike build has all 10sp Shimano, so I'm thinking of moving the R770 shifters over and getting Sram flat bar shifters for the first bike. So one option is:

http://www.sram.com/sram/road/produc...speed-shifters

But they are kinda mid-end, and the upper end is double tap which would confuse my fingers whenever I switch bikes. But looking over at their MTB gear, the 2011 components are also 2x10 Exact Actuation. So I'm thinking the X.9 shifters are what I'm looking for, and as far as I can tell they should be completely compatible with a 2008 Rival group: both are 2x10, "1:1", "Exact Actuation", and "Impulse Technology". And they look identical.

http://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/pr...rigger-shifter

But there is a lot of hype and fluff around these terms. "Exact Actuation" and "Impulse Technology", and even "1:1" are meaningless really, so having those three features in common is not enough for me to believe they work well together and it's not stated explicitly either 'yay' or 'nay' anywhere I could find. It's hard to get straight, correct info from these companies. I mean, like I said, I've got Shimano shifters running a Sram drivetrain perfectly right now and according to the industry that's impossible.
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Old 10-28-10, 08:19 AM   #2
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rear shifting should work. Not sure about the front but that's because I remember back in the day that shimano mtb and shimano road FD didn't play well together.
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Old 10-28-10, 09:08 PM   #3
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Sram rep came to the shop a few weeks ago to show us their new toys. They designed the new ten speed mtn. stuff with the same cable pull and actuation as the road stuff. It will 100% work, already set up a rival bike with an X-9 rear mech and cassette and it works flawlessly.
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Old 10-28-10, 09:14 PM   #4
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Huzzah! Thanks gassl, that's what I needed to know...definitive experiential and expert confirmation of theoretical possibilities. Now if you could just convince Sram to say it that explicitly on their website you'd be elevated to bicycle sainthood.
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Old 11-16-10, 09:00 PM   #5
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The X-9 shifters I ordered finally came in today. Guess what I discovered. The SRAM rapid-fires use a push action for both up and down shifting. This differs from the trigger shifting mechanism used by Shimano (index finger pushes towards body, thumb pushes away). The Shimano system is CLEARLY superior in being both more intuitive and easier to get the shifting correct. There may be mechanical advantages to the SRAM system, but who cares if it's cumbersome to shift one way. And combine that with the fact that all my other bikes have the Shimano style rapid-fires...these X-9 2x10 shifters are garbage to me. $140 crap.

And since I've already got a set of the Shimano flat-bar road bike shifters working on the SRAM rival derailleurs, what I really need is another pair of the Shimano R770 shifters. WHAT A PAIN!!! I'll have to wait another month before I can get new shifters (living in Canada sucks). How come in all my research on these shifters for this application this feature difference never came up?
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Old 11-16-10, 09:10 PM   #6
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Because SRAM calls their small button a 'trigger' just like Shimano does, and pictures of their product are really ambiguous if you don't already know what you're looking at. I think SRAM DOES have a proper 'trigger' style shifter, but judging by the price, its probably not the greatest piece of equipment. SRAM is really shooting themselves in the foot, but I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that their mountain shift systems actually have two buttons....
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Old 11-16-10, 09:12 PM   #7
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You may as well give them a shot. I don't think you're giving your brain enough credit; lots of folks switch bach and forth between different systems without getting fouled up.

When I was a salesperson, I pointed to this aspect of the Sram shifters as an advantage over Shimano: "You can shift up and down without taking your finger off the brake lever!"

...this coming from someone who prefers bar ends, thumbies, or no shifters at all.
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Old 11-16-10, 09:23 PM   #8
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Sram does make a "double-tap" thumb shifter. I use the double-tap road levers and I think that's fine. Since it was my first road lever experience and they seemed a good value I was pleased. Then later I borrowed a friend's bike that had Ultegra shifters with a thumb up and index down and it was immediately intuitive and smooth...that's after using the Sram Force for over a year. Going back the the Sram was harder after three months of Shimano than the other way. The X9 shifters seem like an even worse transition from real rapid-fire.

These things are still in unmounted, new condition and I plan to sell them that way. It may be fine for some people, but (like the double tap) it's less intuitive AND I'm well trained in another way. I once tried out a rapid-rise rear derailleur and I consistently shifted the wrong direction after months and months. I guess with all the hours of cycling over the past decade with consistent equipment my muscle memory is hard to rewire. From now on I'm staying away from Sram parts; I've just been burned too many times.
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Old 11-17-10, 03:52 AM   #9
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How horrible that every company doesn't make the exact same product.
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Old 11-17-10, 11:40 AM   #10
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How come in all my research on these shifters for this application this feature difference never came up?
It appears your research wasn't thorough (For instance paying attention to how they operate); didn't include any actual experience (For instance visiting a bike shop); or checking someone's bike with Sram shifters. Sram's system has been around for years, and, in fact, Shimano copied it somewhat (The fore finger trigger can be pushed or pulled). As others have said, if you use the shifters you will quickly learn to like them a great deal, and likely prefer them. One tip is some folks prefer them rotated up to allow better access to the downshift button (It is important to spend a bit of time dialing in the ergonomics). In my shop, I mostly install Sram stuff (MTB & Road), whether it's a new build or upgrade, and no previous Shimano users have complained about the actuation mechanism, fit, or performance. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-10, 01:03 PM   #11
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@gruppo: yes, clearly my research was not thorough ENOUGH, though I made a strong attempt to be thorough. I read dozens of reviews of different, competing products and nobody mentioned this difference in activation. I posted threads on forums (like this one) and nobody pointed out this unique feature. I read the product descriptions for many products on their respective websites but none offered this detail. I went to four local "premium" bike shops to investigate, but I currently live in Toronto. Everything bicycle related in Toronto is horrendously disappointing. Only one shop had any 2x10 flatbar shifters of any kind in stock and these were the Shimano r770 that I already had (and they were selling them for $280 + 13%). The shop workers couldn't answer any of my questions about compatibility; as an example, only 2 of the 15 people I talked to had even heard of Dyna-sys. I don't know any other cyclists in town except the ones at the bike shops and they couldn't help. I did my best, but it clearly wasn't good enough.

I'm not saying the Sram system is bad, but it's not what I want. It's not just a matter of switching and getting used to it, it's that combined with switching among other bikes that all have the Shimano-style rapid-fire shifting that I've also been using for 17 years. And even if I could get used to the new activation, different ergonomics, AND the switching there doesn't seem to be any benefit gained from the effort except that I already have the shifters in hand. I just bought a used set of R770s on eBay and I know they'll work as expected. I have to wait a month to get them because I live in the Great White North, but I've got other bikes in the meantime.

@Nerull: Your comment is unhelpful and off topic...and not in the least humorous as you may think. It demonstrates bad manners, poor social skills, and weak intellect. Perhaps you should work on these things before embarrassing yourself on a public forum again. I was just going to ignore it, but I'm helping out the community by letting you know that such posts are counterproductive and unappreciated.
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Old 11-18-10, 09:37 AM   #12
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I switched to the SRAM X.9 triggers four years ago and have never looked back. The adjustment to the different system was almost instantaneous and the dependability vs the XT triggers I had previously is in a different class altogether. Try them and you will probably like them.
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Old 11-18-10, 09:21 PM   #13
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@Nerull: Your comment is unhelpful and off topic...and not in the least humorous as you may think. It demonstrates bad manners, poor social skills, and weak intellect. Perhaps you should work on these things before embarrassing yourself on a public forum again. I was just going to ignore it, but I'm helping out the community by letting you know that such posts are counterproductive and unappreciated.
I have to admit, i chuckled when i read Nerull's comment, even if it was a wee-bit uncalled for. However, you have dismissed the entire SRAM company at this point, claiming that the shifters you've purchased are "crap". Many ppl actually prefer the SRAM system, and i think it's good that we have a choice for triggers. To some readers (myself included), it seemed like you were angry about a minor difference in design between the manufacturers. This is confusing, and i'm not surprised that Nerull found some humor in it.

In my experience, it took me maybe 3 minutes on a SRAM bike to "unlearn" the shimano triggers i'd been using on my own ride when a friend and i switched mtbs on a trail-ride. I have since come to the conclusion that i'm a confirmed bar-end/thumbie guy, but that comes down to friction shifting up front more than anything else.

I'm mostly just confounded by the notion that your 2:1 shimano shifters work with the rival rear derailer. Although i've never tried it myself, i've seen friends and acquaintances attempt to use Shimano shifters with sram rear derailers, and they've failed every time, even running friction.

-rob
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Old 11-18-10, 09:46 PM   #14
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For the record, SRAM made and or makes two lines of MTB product as far as the actuation ratio goes. Their earlier stuff was all 2:1 Rocket, Grip Shift (original) etc. Their web site lists the actuation ratio for the various shifters. For example, the attack shifters are 2:1 and are available in Grip Shift or trigger http://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/pr...rigger-shifter

They did this in order to be completely compatible with Shimano equipped bikes and break into the market. My guess is that the rear dérailleur you are using is one of their 2:1 models so it would be no shock at all that it works well with Shimano since it was designed to do so. They still sell some of this stuff but developed their 1:1 ratio for a variety of reasons including brand differentiation. I find the 1:1 products to be far easier to keep in adjustment and use them exclusively in off road racing as well as my recumbent tandem. With the XT I was using, I had to adjust cable tension all the time and the system was highly sensitive to dirt - a rather common aliment off road. With the X.9, I can ride through creeks, rain storms, snow - whatever and the stuff just flat out works well without so much as a minor adjustment. After the first adjustment for cable stretch, I didn't touch it again for 3 complete seasons until I finally bent the rear dérailleur in a race. I still finished and just replaced the dérailleur later. The shifters have still not been touched since I installed them a few years ago. You can do what you want to criticize SRAM but the info on their web site is rather clear and just a few goggle searches will net a ton of info.
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Old 11-19-10, 06:17 AM   #15
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For the record, SRAM made and or makes two lines of MTB product as far as the actuation ratio goes. Their earlier stuff was all 2:1 Rocket, Grip Shift (original) etc. Their web site lists the actuation ratio for the various shifters. For example, the attack shifters are 2:1 and are available in Grip Shift or trigger http://www.sram.com/sram/mountain/pr...rigger-shifter

They did this in order to be completely compatible with Shimano equipped bikes and break into the market. My guess is that the rear dérailleur you are using is one of their 2:1 models so it would be no shock at all that it works well with Shimano since it was designed to do so. They still sell some of this stuff but developed their 1:1 ratio for a variety of reasons including brand differentiation. I find the 1:1 products to be far easier to keep in adjustment and use them exclusively in off road racing as well as my recumbent tandem. With the XT I was using, I had to adjust cable tension all the time and the system was highly sensitive to dirt - a rather common aliment off road. With the X.9, I can ride through creeks, rain storms, snow - whatever and the stuff just flat out works well without so much as a minor adjustment. After the first adjustment for cable stretch, I didn't touch it again for 3 complete seasons until I finally bent the rear dérailleur in a race. I still finished and just replaced the dérailleur later. The shifters have still not been touched since I installed them a few years ago. You can do what you want to criticize SRAM but the info on their web site is rather clear and just a few goggle searches will net a ton of info.
SRAM has and still does make 2:1 shifters. They may have also made 2:1 rear derailers way back in the day, but i can't think of which ones. But, the OP is running the shimano r770 shifters with a *rival* rear derailer. No way did they ever for even one second make a 2:1 rival rear derailer.

-rob
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