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  1. #1
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    XT Dual Control vs. XT Rapid Fire - Opinions

    I'm thnking about switching from XT rapid fire shifters w/ Deore Hydro levers to XT Dual Control. I really like the action I get from the DuraAce shifters on my Roadie but don't know if I would like them on my MTB.

    If you have switched from Rapid Fire to Dual Control, I would like to hear your opinions.

    I've only test pilot Dual Control so I can't form an opinion of it from long time use.

    Thanks

    T.J.

  2. #2
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Unless you are a sponsored rider, or an Uber weight weinie, I'd pass on dual control.

    I don't like the way they feel when shifting or braking. I don't like the entire concept between dual controls on a mountain bike. I don't like that you MUST then use Shimano brakes (if hydraulic). I don't like that if I snap a lever while out on a ride, I can't brake or shift. (Yes, I've snapped a brake lever before). I don't like that if/when I do snap a brake lever, I run the risk of not only breaking the lever, but damaging the entire control and thus costing me an exhorbinate expense.

    I'll stick to shifter pods and Hayes brakes. The weight penalty is negligible.
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    I started using dual control a year or so ago, and found the shifting very intuitive; from day one I took to it like a duck to water. I've never had any mechanical problems with the shifters (touch wood), and I'm quite rough on my bikes considering that they're all xc orientated. I did however have a bit of trouble fitting them on an FSA low riser bar- I think they're designed with flats in mind. I can fit them comfortably on a easton or raceface low riser, it just meant the added expense of buying new bars.
    True that you must use shimano brakes, but then shimano brakes are pretty good, so I don't mind that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member vw addict's Avatar
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    Dual control work good until they get a little dirty. Then there is no hope for then other than replacing cable/housing. Why not Sram X7/X9, works 100% better than Shimano anything.

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    Should probably add that I use a rapid rise mech with the dual control- never tried it with a top normal mech.
    Also, I use sealed cables (transfil flying snake), so mud and stuff wrecking shifting has not been a problem thus far.

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    Maybe I'm missing something, but what about dirty cables/housing effecting shifting performance is unique to Shimano Dual Control brifters?

  7. #7
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    Unless you are a sponsored rider, or an Uber weight weinie, I'd pass on dual control.

    I don't like the way they feel when shifting or braking. I don't like the entire concept between dual controls on a mountain bike. I don't like that you MUST then use Shimano brakes (if hydraulic). I don't like that if I snap a lever while out on a ride, I can't brake or shift. (Yes, I've snapped a brake lever before). I don't like that if/when I do snap a brake lever, I run the risk of not only breaking the lever, but damaging the entire control and thus costing me an exhorbinate expense.

    I'll stick to shifter pods and Hayes brakes. The weight penalty is negligible.
    I'm not a sponsored rider, I just have a opportunity to purchase new XT Dual Controls for below LBS cost. They were original equipment on a bike that was swithced out for Rapid Fire.

    Good point about snapping a lever and not being able to shift .... I didn't think of that one. Thanks
    Last edited by Tequila Joe; 08-10-06 at 09:15 AM.

  8. #8
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vw addict
    Dual control work good until they get a little dirty. Then there is no hope for then other than replacing cable/housing. Why not Sram X7/X9, works 100% better than Shimano anything.
    I've had my experiences with SRAM X-plode and will pass. Besides, only Rocket & Attack shifters will work with my Shimano XTR rear deraileur due to the 2:1 & 1:1 ratios. SRAM & Shimano shift well when tuned properly but I've have found that SRAM 1:1 shifters are more tolerable to dirt & neglect.

  9. #9
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Hey homey! I rode Rapidfire since it came out in the 90's, and Ultegra STI for about as long. In 2004 my new bike came with Dual Control/Rapidrise XT gear. Holy crap - this stuff is the bees knees! It took a couple of rides to get used to the shifting, but now it's telepathic. I mis-shift even less than I did with Rapidfire, which wasn't much. The XT brakes are pretty sweet. Great modulation, lots of power, no maintenance. Breaking a lever would be a problem, but even then you could shift by pivoting the pod or using the little thumb lever to shift to easier gears. As to reliability, I got the bike in May 2004, and other than taking up the slack in the cables from initial cable stretch in June 2004, I haven't had to touch it.

    In terms of what I ride, it's the usual Rocky Mountain XC rides [Moosepackers, Sulphur Springs, Cox Hill, Canmore NC, Wildhorse/Quirk Creek, etc.]. The bike sees its fair share of rough terrain, including last weekend in Fernie [rode the hill and the dump - they need rain badly]. If you want to check out my bike setup, PM me.
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  10. #10
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilbee
    I started using dual control a year or so ago, and found the shifting very intuitive; from day one I took to it like a duck to water. I've never had any mechanical problems with the shifters (touch wood), and I'm quite rough on my bikes considering that they're all xc orientated. I did however have a bit of trouble fitting them on an FSA low riser bar- I think they're designed with flats in mind. I can fit them comfortably on a easton or raceface low riser, it just meant the added expense of buying new bars.
    True that you must use shimano brakes, but then shimano brakes are pretty good, so I don't mind that.
    In my "test piloting" of Dual Control, I found it very intuitive like a "duck to water" as well. Up for up and down for down. Simple. I never miss shifted, braked when shifting or shifted when braking.

  11. #11
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe
    Hey homey! I rode Rapidfire since it came out in the 90's, and Ultegra STI for about as long. In 2004 my new bike came with Dual Control/Rapidrise XT gear. Holy crap - this stuff is the bees knees! It took a couple of rides to get used to the shifting, but now it's telepathic. I mis-shift even less than I did with Rapidfire, which wasn't much. The XT brakes are pretty sweet. Great modulation, lots of power, no maintenance. Breaking a lever would be a problem, but even then you could shift by pivoting the pod or using the little thumb lever to shift to easier gears. As to reliability, I got the bike in May 2004, and other than taking up the slack in the cables from initial cable stretch in June 2004, I haven't had to touch it.

    In terms of what I ride, it's the usual Rocky Mountain XC rides [Moosepackers, Sulphur Springs, Cox Hill, Canmore NC, Wildhorse/Quirk Creek, etc.]. The bike sees its fair share of rough terrain, including last weekend in Fernie [rode the hill and the dump - they need rain badly]. If you want to check out my bike setup, PM me.
    Hey pinkrobe,

    Thanks for the detailed input. You're reconfirming much of what I've heard about Dual Control. I was out at Cox Hill 3 weeks ago. We did the Jumping Pond Ridge - Cox Hill ride and returned on the fire road. Love that ride.

    I would like to check out your bike sometime. Especially your new Cervelo! BTW: Now that you've had sometime on it, how amazing is the bike? I would love to get one once the Allez gets older and my wife feels more open to me growing my stable.

  12. #12
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    I went to XT dual-control from X9. It took me three weeks and a blown XC race result (due alas, to much more than the shifters) to get used to the action, since I put on a reverse-rise derailleur at the same time. But now that I'm used to it, I'd recommend it for XC use and XC use only.

    In that application it is by far the best system I've used.

    I would not put it on my freeride bike. Standard XT triggers remain there.

  13. #13
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
    I've had my experiences with SRAM X-plode and will pass. Besides, only Rocket & Attack shifters will work with my Shimano XTR rear deraileur due to the 2:1 & 1:1 ratios. SRAM & Shimano shift well when tuned properly but I've have found that SRAM 1:1 shifters are more tolerable to dirt & neglect.
    What kind of SRAM components were you using? I used to say that about SRAM. I have a bike with XT and another with X.9 and I'd choose the X.9 over XT any day. I was very skeptical until I took the plunge and now when my XT stuff wears out, I'm replacing with X.9. I would even take the X.9 over XTR...but I ride rough stuff. Not groomed XC.

    And as far as dual control...I love Avid Juicy Hydraulic brakes. Sooooo easy to install, set up, and maintain. No shims, no tricks. Awesome performance. I would prefer the Rapid Fire if you're not going to ditch the Shimano stuff.

  14. #14
    Noob ScareyH22A's Avatar
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    I'd never ride another bike without Dual Controls. They have been nothing but outstanding. And it's so much easier to use than traditional shifters. They have never been problematic and shift very very precisely. If I ever was to crash and brake a lever, I wouldn't let that one incident deter me from enjoying these terrific shifters in the future. A crash can damage ANYTHING to prevent you from finishing a day. Anyways.. I'm glad I gave them a shot.

  15. #15
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    What kind of SRAM components were you using? I used to say that about SRAM. I have a bike with XT and another with X.9 and I'd choose the X.9 over XT any day. I was very skeptical until I took the plunge and now when my XT stuff wears out, I'm replacing with X.9. I would even take the X.9 over XTR...but I ride rough stuff. Not groomed XC.

    And as far as dual control...I love Avid Juicy Hydraulic brakes. Sooooo easy to install, set up, and maintain. No shims, no tricks. Awesome performance. I would prefer the Rapid Fire if you're not going to ditch the Shimano stuff.
    I don't want this to turn into a debate of SRAM Vs. Shimano. This is a Dual Control vs. Trigger Shifter inquery to of those who have used both for a while.

    However, to answer your question, below is an excerpt from one of my previous posts in a debate.

    I've broken 2 SRAM 9.0 and a 7.0 derailers in the past and it has always happened around the knuckle/pivot. I figured out that the plastic/composite is cracking at this point because when a SRAM derailer moves back and forth, it doesn't move freely like a Shimano. When a Shimano takes an impact, even a small one at that, it is free to swing back and forth to sidestep/dissapate the energy. SRAM derailers do not do this as easily as it remains much more rigid and it ends up absorbing much more of the impact. To further compound to the situation, SRAN has a smaller pivot pin than Shinmano so it creates more of point load on the deraileur knuckle. So if the pin doesn't snap, the deraileur body will crack. Also, SRAM derailers slam to a stop when it gets parallel with the ground. Test this by grabbing your deraileur, rock it backwards and let it go. This deraileur is taking forces like this constantly as you ride. These are the weak points in its design. I have a few riding buddies that are breaking thier X0 stuff in exactly the same place as my old 9.0 and 7.0 because the design in this aspect is still the same.

    See for yourself...
    http://www.whatthe****.info/uploads/...r_ride_sm1.mov


    BTW: I totally agree eith you on the Avids. I used a set of Juicies on a Jamis XLT rental bike in Arizona for a couple days. Great adjustablity and modulation.
    T.J.
    Last edited by Tequila Joe; 08-10-06 at 02:54 PM.

  16. #16
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    My new Rush 800 has the LX dual control and it seems just fine to me. I am used to the rapid fire system from older bikes and from my commuter but the dual control is intuitive (as several have stated) and hell if you wreck hard enough to snap a lever how much riding are you going to be doing? Especially without that brake...now the replacement cost is higher I can see that as a drawback.
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  17. #17
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
    Hey pinkrobe,

    Thanks for the detailed input. You're reconfirming much of what I've heard about Dual Control. I was out at Cox Hill 3 weeks ago. We did the Jumping Pond Ridge - Cox Hill ride and returned on the fire road. Love that ride.

    I would like to check out your bike sometime. Especially your new Cervelo! BTW: Now that you've had sometime on it, how amazing is the bike? I would love to get one once the Allez gets older and my wife feels more open to me growing my stable.
    Sure, swing by anytime! Well, PM me first and we can exchange phone numbers or something. The Soloist Carbon is pretty sweet, but if you want to go stiffer and lighter, the R3 is the shizzle. Also, I'm really starting to feel that Campy Ergo > Shimano STI. It's just so slick. Replacing cables was an all-consuming PITA, but other than that it's gold, baby!
    Last edited by pinkrobe; 08-10-06 at 06:44 PM.
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  18. #18
    ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
    I don't want this to turn into a deable of SRAM Vs. Shimano....

    I've broken 2 SRAM 9.0 and a 7.0 derailers...

    BTW: I totally agree eith you on the Avids. I used a set of Juicies on a Jamis XLT rental bike in Arizona for a couple days. Great adjustablity and modulation.
    T.J.
    I agree, but I used to use the old SRAM stuff too. I hated it and said I'd never buy it again. They have changed for the better. I love my XT stuff, don't get me wrong. I just think that the X.9 is so much better that before you commit to dual control...you may want to give it another look. It's pretty dang cheap @ $135 for shifters and rear der. Best feeling drivetrain I've ever ridden.

    That's funny...my Avid Juicy's are on a Jamis Dakar XLT and I love that bike. It fit's my style perfectly.

  19. #19
    Scooby Snax
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    Have both right now... Rapid Fire on MTB Dual XT on the other, honestly it doesn't matter... both are easy to use, I like the dual due to skiiers thumb (repeated sprains) and the fact that I dont have long fingers make the dual more ergo, both are good but I do prefer the dual.

  20. #20
    Senior Member valbowski1980's Avatar
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    IMHO,

    They are too proprietary. I would hate to be locked into a particular brand of parts as would be the case with the DC Hydros.

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