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Thread: SRAM Apex

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    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    SRAM Apex

    I'm toying with the thought of swapping out the drivetrain on my Jamis with SRAM's Apex. Thoughts?
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I put a 11-32 and RD on my Force equipped cross bike and love the range. This was done for a 70 km fun/race that combines road and single track. Worked really well. I have never ridden a full Apex bike but the guys with Apex equipped Roubaix's really like them for the gear ratios. Mind you, most of them are MTB guys that ride road when the trails are too muddy.

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    My Specialized Tarmac came with SRAM Apex 11-28. I've been riding Shimano 105 and Ultegra for 11 years. Now after 6 months with the Apex I'm still trying the get the hang of shifting while climbing when out of the saddle. I'd much rather have a 105 setup but that would break the bank.
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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I was able to use a Sram Apex 11-32 ten speed cassette with my Ultegra shifters and derailleurs. You might need to use a 105 or Ultegra "GS" long cage road rear derailleur depending on what crank you have and how long the rear hanger on the frame is.

    see: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-fear-no-hill
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 07-04-11 at 08:30 AM.

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    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    I have used 105's and Tiagras for all my bikes until I bought my Roubaix with Apex 11-32.
    I actually like the double tap system of shifting much better than Shimano's but I did not like the gear spacing on the 11-32 cassette.
    I changed the cassette to a 12-27 and am happy as a clam.
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    I have a 105 10 speed, 12-25 and have become addicted to it because the very close ratios keep me on the "boil". Looking at my cadence, I see that I tend to upshift very close to 100 rpm but my best power comes at around 94. It just so happens that an upshift with my setup drops my cadence by 6 rpm, perfect. While my main bike was being serviced last week I rode my backup bike, 11-27, 8 speed and the upshifts were too much, took me out of my powerband. The original rear cassette on my 2nd bike was 11-32, that really was too much, at least for me.

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    I switched out the Tiagra/105 mix triple on my 2010 Sirrus Comp for an Apex/Rival mix this spring.
    I can't speak to the brifters (I use the Rival + level double-tap flat bar levers), but I think the set-up is great. Light; very positive/quick shifting; and very useable gearing (for me). I like the narrow q-factor, and the trim position on the front shifter is useful.
    My set-up is Apex front/rear derailleurs and crank/bb (50-34); 12-32 Rival cassette; Rival chain; and the double-tap shifters.

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    FYI, SRAM also makes a Rival mid cage RD, so you can get the same functionality with an all Rival setup.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    I changed out my Force rear derailleur for an Apex so I could use a climbing wheel with 11x32. It is just as smooth as my force set up but thre is a reasonable jump between the last three rings. However on those very long climbs it is nice to have the 32 when you need to rest your legs. As far as shifting while climbing I find it as easy of not easier than my Shimano shifters on the Jamis. I do like being able to pull the shifters in while in the drops but the double tap did take some getting used to. I am considering converting the Jamis to Apex shifters.

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    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Rival can be set up the same way? Hmm.

    My Giant has Ultegra + Truvative crank. I swapped out the 6600 it came with and upgraded to 6700, still with the Truvative. I couldn't be happier.
    The Jamis has an Ultegra RD, 105 FD and brifters with an FSA crank. Both cranks are triples. To climb out of town, I need the 30x27 (or 28). I could use lower, really. The idea of a 34x32 *sounds* appealing but, come to think of it, is there any real difference between a 30x28 and a 34x32?
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    Rival can be set up the same way? Hmm.

    My Giant has Ultegra + Truvative crank. I swapped out the 6600 it came with and upgraded to 6700, still with the Truvative. I couldn't be happier.
    The Jamis has an Ultegra RD, 105 FD and brifters with an FSA crank. Both cranks are triples. To climb out of town, I need the 30x27 (or 28). I could use lower, really. The idea of a 34x32 *sounds* appealing but, come to think of it, is there any real difference between a 30x28 and a 34x32?
    Try a 28 or 26t "granny" gear on your triple. Not only is this a low cost update that will give you better climbing gears, the spacing between gears is better than a compact crank with an 11-32 cassette.

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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    The problem with Apex is that it is heavy.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    I could use lower, really. The idea of a 34x32 *sounds* appealing but, come to think of it, is there any real difference between a 30x28 and a 34x32?
    No, they're about the same. Try using Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and see for yourself.

    The whole appeal of the SRAM Apex is that you can combine a big cassette in the rear with a "normal" 50 x 34 compact crank and get about the same low gear as a common "road" triple (which you have) with a 30 tooth inner chain ring.

    It seems you already have a road triple, and want to go lower.

    There are several ways you can get lower gears w/out changing out the brifters (which gets expen$ive).

    1. See if you can put a 26T or 28T inner chainring on your triple.
    2. I think you might also be able to put on a larger cassette in rear with your current RD; if not I *think* you can use a SRAM Apex RD with a 30T or 32T rear cassette and keep your current brifters.

    If you do both 1 and 2 you'll have very low gearing.

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    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    No, they're about the same. Try using Sheldon Brown's gear calculator and see for yourself.

    The whole appeal of the SRAM Apex is that you can combine a big cassette in the rear with a "normal" 50 x 34 compact crank and get about the same low gear as a common "road" triple (which you have) with a 30 tooth inner chain ring.

    It seems you already have a road triple, and want to go lower.

    There are several ways you can get lower gears w/out changing out the brifters (which gets expen$ive).

    1. See if you can put a 26T or 28T inner chainring on your triple.
    2. I think you might also be able to put on a larger cassette in rear with your current RD; if not I *think* you can use a SRAM Apex RD with a 30T or 32T rear cassette and keep your current brifters.

    If you do both 1 and 2 you'll have very low gearing.
    Thanks for this... I did begin have a little doubt there.

    On my old Lemond -9 speed- I had a 30T in the back (Thanks Harris Cyclery). Set up with a stock 105 RD.
    I worked great. I haven't found a 10-speed 30T. Maybe I should look again.

    Brifters are not cheap, no. I learned that when I bought the 6700s to replace my dead 6600s.
    I can definitely feel the dfifierence between the Ultegra brifters/FD on the Giant vs the 105 on the Jamis.
    I'm not adverse to buying new brifters.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Unless you are keen to spend the money to replace the brifters and switch to a whole new system, you can put a Shimano MTB RD (you'll want a 9 speed RD, not one of the new 10 speed ones) on your bike and your choice of SRAM or Shimano 10sp cassettes up to 34 or even 36 teeth.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Is there a thread that addresses the advantages-disadvantages of SRAM, Shimano and Campy? I have no real complaints about the Dura Ace on my Masi other than it seems to need adjustment more frequently than I'd like. And, all the LBS guys have ever been able to tell me is that Campy is more "rebuildable." Is there actually a functional difference is shift accuracy or smoothness?

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
    Is there a thread that addresses the advantages-disadvantages of SRAM, Shimano and Campy? I have no real complaints about the Dura Ace on my Masi other than it seems to need adjustment more frequently than I'd like. And, all the LBS guys have ever been able to tell me is that Campy is more "rebuildable." Is there actually a functional difference is shift accuracy or smoothness?
    This could get intense...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    The problem with Apex is that it is heavy.
    In relation to what? If to higher-level SRAM, or Ultegra/Dura-Ace, then yes, but IIRC it is (as a group) lighter than 105. Didn't and doesn't matter much to me, but I believe that's the case.

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    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    In relation to what? If to higher-level SRAM, or Ultegra/Dura-Ace, then yes, but IIRC it is (as a group) lighter than 105. Didn't and doesn't matter much to me, but I believe that's the case.
    My impression of SRAM Apex that it was supposed to line up quality-wise and weight-wise with Shimano 105 WITH the benefit that as a wide-range double you could save the weight/cost/complexity of running a triple of similar quality. So it's heavier than Ultegra-quality stuff, but lighter than a Shimano 105 triple setup.

    With the growth of 2 x 10 drivetrains for mountain biking, driven by both SRAM and Shimano, there are lots of interesting mix-and-match possibilities out there if you want a double-chainring set-up with low gears.

    The stock drivetrain on the Salsa Fargo is one example -- SRAM Apex 10 speed shifters; a 40T x 27T double crankset; a 12-36T rear cassette. Slap that on a road bike and you'd have no trouble climbing the highest hill; you would "spin out" at around 30 mph, if you are the type who likes to pedal down hills.

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    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Apex is about a pound heavier than Red and 0.25 pound heavier than Ultegra FWIW.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

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