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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 11-06-08, 06:19 PM   #1
CliffNY
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double tap shifting

Several people have said the SRAM system is the best for CX. Can I get some feedback from folks who have used both Shimano and the Rival?

Thx
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Old 11-06-08, 06:47 PM   #2
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I haven't used SRAM, but using 105 I have been dreading really cold days and trying to shift with heavier gloves. This is always a PITA / dexterity challenge.

SRAM brakes don't pivot, so you can ONLY move the shift lever, and you can shift easier with heavy gloves on.

I expect this to be a godsend when training on my road bike this winter... and I'm probably going to wish I had it on my CX bike too since in CX i'm usually shifting deep in oxygen debt, on the edge of control, going into or out of technical stuff.
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Old 11-06-08, 09:01 PM   #3
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i have been curious if anyone has had more problems breaking sram levers because they do not pivot like shimano
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Old 11-06-08, 11:39 PM   #4
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I have only got about 2000 or so miles on mine and love them couldn't tell you about durability since they aren't that old. Brake levers feel more stout and survived a couple of wrecks with out even a scratch that I am aware of. I pretty much went sram cause my shimanos starting crapping out just a little over a year of use, so I am hopping my sram stuff holds up much better. Only complaint I have about them is they are loud when shifting under load, I mean loud.
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Old 11-07-08, 07:47 AM   #5
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heres a tip from motocross guys. Tighten down your levers just enough so they stay put but when you crash, they will move on the bar instead of snapping off a lever.

But regardless, I have campy and i've crashed plenty of times and the lever body is just fine (the shifter body will break first, not the lever blade). With campy or sram its not the end of the world if you crack a body. Campy sells spare bodies, Sram has an excellent crash replacement policy (like $50 a shifter)
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Old 11-07-08, 09:37 AM   #6
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Really I didn't know about this do you go though your lbs or direct through sram?
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Old 11-07-08, 10:12 AM   #7
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old shimano 8 speed with a single ring up front is best for CX, really.


but a million idiots will tell you otherwise. pros run what their sponsors
give them.

if you analyze gear inches, and mud, you find out 8 speed
single ring is all you need
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Old 11-07-08, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffNY View Post
Several people have said the SRAM system is the best for CX. Can I get some feedback from folks who have used both Shimano and the Rival?
My current bike has '08 SRAM Red components, while my previous bike had Shimano Ultegra SL. Unfortunately, i don't own a CX bike... yet! That said, here's what I can tell you:

In terms of the levers themselves, there isn't as much difference between DoubleTap and Shimano STI as most people think. DoubleTap only has a single lever, but the motions are pretty similar to STI: a small push on the lever moves from a large cog to a smaller cog, while a large push moves from a smaller cog to a larger cog. I had zero trouble moving from STI to DoubleTap. Lots of people rave about the SRAM hoods. I had no complaints with the Ultegra controls, but would say that SRAM fits my hands a bit better. Not enough to justify a swap, but a nice bonus.

In terms of shifting performance, the SRAM rear derailleur is phenomenally good! With my Ultegra SL drivetrain, I frequently felt like the RD was lagging behind the shifts. I often noticed this when starting down a steep descent after a long climb; I'd be banging upshifts as fast as I could and it felt the the Ultega RD just wasn't quite in sync. SRAM shifts, on the other hand, are lightening quick. They also feel a bit more positive. The rear shifting performance was what really sold me on SRAM.

Front shifting, on the other hand, is merely OK. I've got Red levers married to a Force FD. Everyone says that this is the SRAM combo that gives the best front shifting. To me, it's really a toss-up as to whether this setup is really any better than Ultegra. The SRAM setup certainly isn't bad, but given how great the rear shifting is, the front shifting seems like a bit of a let-down in comparison. Part of this may be my shifting technique: SRAM seems to work better with a quick, strong push of the shift lever and my years of riding Shimano have made me lazy.

Of course, SRAM is not perfect, despite what anyone else may tell you! The biggest problem I noticed when installing the SRAM gruppo was that it's very sensitive to cable tension. If you're used to tuning and tweaking Shimano components, it will take you some time to get up-to-speed with SRAM. In addition, I was never able to get the bike working perfectly on the repair stand; something I routinely did with Shimano-equipped bikes. Maybe this will come with time, but for the moment I find that I have to take the bike for a test ride and tweak the cable tension in order to get things working perfectly.

The other annoying thing, for me, is that there's only one trim position for the front shifter. I'm not a terribly strong cyclist and live in an area with a lot of hills. As a result, I end up cross-chaining more than I probably should. The lack of a trim position for the small chainring means that I'm only able to use about half the rear cassette. I've read reports from people who say it's possible to dial-in the derailleurs so this isn't a problem but I haven't been successful at it yet.
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Old 11-08-08, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scattered73 View Post
Really I didn't know about this do you go though your lbs or direct through sram?
Um probably through the lbs but you can give it a try direct. I work at a shop and I had called about replacement parts when they told me this info.
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Old 11-09-08, 06:51 PM   #10
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I replaced the Dura Ace 7800 group on my road bike with Sram Red and love it. It is so awsome to use. The shifting is so fast and snappy. It took about 15 minutes of riding to get use to it. It is very easy to use and it just makes sense. I put the Dura Ace on my cross bike and it works great for that, but I will probably end up switching the shifters and RD out for Force very soon. Go with Sram, you will not be disapointed.
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Old 11-09-08, 06:54 PM   #11
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Also I worked at a shop when I was in college, not that long ago. The customer support from SRAM is levels above Shimano.
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Old 11-09-08, 07:14 PM   #12
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I have '09 SRAM Rival on my CX bike. Rear shifting is as good as Shimano in most CX situations. (I don't like the placement of the downshift lever when I'm climbing a steep climb standing.)

Front shifting? You'd be better off with a single ring up front. SRAM's front shifting, from small ring to big ring is awful. It takes a long throw and a stiff push, whereas Shimano's shift is just a tap. I read all the plaudits on this forum about SRAM and drank the KoolAid -- bought it for my new CX bike. In retrospect, it was a bad decision. Fortunately, you don't shift the front very often in CX, so I'll keep the SRAM group installed. (If it were a road bike, I would trash the SRAM group.) Never again.
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Old 11-09-08, 11:35 PM   #13
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I'm running Red on my cross bike (used to be on the road) and I love it - for both. It's working great for racing and it's light. I have had a few front shifting issues - but that could have been user error. I'm seeing a fair amount of Rival and Force on bikes at the races, just as much as the older stuff.
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Old 11-10-08, 03:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
old shimano 8 speed with a single ring up front is best for CX, really.


but a million idiots will tell you otherwise. pros run what their sponsors
give them.

if you analyze gear inches, and mud, you find out 8 speed
single ring is all you need


I run 9-speed because parts are easier to find, bar-ends even, but your point is well taken.

-Z
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