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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 03-02-10, 06:40 PM   #1
andre nickatina
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Ultegra 6700 vs. SRAM for CX racing?

Well, the time is coming for me to replace my weathered shifters/rear derailleur from last season and start looking to next season for what to ride. I'm taking old 105 off the bike, and am looking at either SRAM Rival or Ultegra 6700 to replace it with. Looking on ebay, the price difference for shifters/rear derailleur is only $50 or so, so pretty comparable.

Mainly, I care about shifter ergonomics, and both are a step up from the bulbous hoods of 105 in my world. The Ultegra has a flat ramp now and goes a bit longer for more hand positions, but from what I've read has more bits in the shifter exposed for mud/dirt/sand/water to get in there.

SRAM shifters look similar though a little shorter, but seem to be really well-respected in the cross world after they grinded out a few kinks in the front derailleur shifting from a few years back.

So, if you had the choice, which would you go for?
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Old 03-02-10, 07:02 PM   #2
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My personal choice, Rival for cx, 6700 for road. Others will differ.
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Old 03-02-10, 07:18 PM   #3
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Interesting choice... how come? I should probably note that I use my CX bike on the road for winter base miles after cross season to keep the road bike fresh for spring.
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Old 03-03-10, 12:05 AM   #4
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I've had Rival shifters for a few months and love them! The reach adjustment is great, but more importantly, the shifting is not really affected by muck anywhere along the drivetrain. Solid, precise, always good shifts. This is the first indexed system I have had that I am not adjusting on a regular basis (had Shimano and Campy before). In fact, I have made only one adjustment and that was more a part of setup than anything else. The only downside I could see for the road is that you can't dump a bunch of gears in the rear at a time, but I don't really miss that, though I thought I would.
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Old 03-03-10, 03:12 AM   #5
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Two shifts levers are better than one. Therefore, go with 6700.
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Old 03-03-10, 09:02 AM   #6
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I went with 6700 + mtb der in the rear so I could put on an 11-34 cassette.
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Old 03-03-10, 09:44 AM   #7
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STI's are expensive...this stuff seems to break all the time. I personally went this route..

campy ergo 10 with shimano rear derailleur and 9 speed cassette (hubub it so that it pulls the correct amt of cable)

Then when I want to convert to SSCX, I can use the existing levers without it looking too ridiculous.
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Old 03-03-10, 10:56 AM   #8
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SRAM's are rebuildable that is enough for me. You dump a 6700 into the sand and it is probably done for. For CX I think this is a huge issue. I'm moving from Ultegra to Rival next season because of this.
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Old 03-03-10, 12:58 PM   #9
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I love the old Ultegra and 105 nine-speed stuff.

Around here, anything used for C-X should be considered disposable. The nine-speed seems to hold adjustments through a race better than ten.

-Z
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Old 03-03-10, 02:53 PM   #10
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After thinking it a little further, I think the lack of rebuildability and exposed parts on the Ultegra shifters is kind of a deal breaker, regardless of ergonomics. I'd rather have peace of mind in the post ride hose-off, really. Looking into it, Ribble has Campy Veloce shifters (same ergonomics as the rest of the new Campy, alu. levers) for just over $100 and with their cheap prices on Campy cassettes, chains and derailleurs, I could probably rig up a Campy drivetrain really easily. I think I'm between Campy and SRAM now...
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Old 03-03-10, 07:40 PM   #11
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im thinking of getting some sram shifters for this season. i picked up a force rear derailleur for 30 bucks recently and im interested to see what sram is all about.

last year raced with 105/ultegra stuff and my 105 shifters seem to have taken a beating mechanically.
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Old 03-04-10, 05:06 PM   #12
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After thinking it a little further, I think the lack of rebuildability and ... I think I'm between Campy and SRAM now...
With that said, does anyone know of Campy stuff is re-buildable?
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Old 03-04-10, 07:07 PM   #13
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I think all Campy is rebuildable.
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Old 03-04-10, 09:46 PM   #14
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Yep. Campy is the most rebuildable of all groups, though I wouldn't run a Campy crank since not CK compatible.
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Old 03-05-10, 01:29 AM   #15
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Yep. Campy is the most rebuildable of all groups, though I wouldn't run a Campy crank since not CK compatible.
Campy may be the most rebuildable in Europe....but to rebuild, you have to have parts. They are hard to come by in the states. Sram is the most rebuildable of ANY drivetrain. I've taken my new Force stuff apart many times and have rebuilt numerous double-tap shifters in the shop.

Rival is lighter than Ultegra and less expensive than 105

My 2010 Fuji Cross RC had 6700 spec'ed on it, but I swapped it for Force right out of the box. I liked it so much, I sold the 7900 that was on my Tarmac and bought a second Force groupset.
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Old 03-05-10, 11:47 AM   #16
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Yep. Campy is the most rebuildable of all groups, though I wouldn't run a Campy crank since not CK compatible.
What do you mean by not CK compatible? I apologize if that is a newb question...I am trying to educate myself. I have been looking at a Campagnolo Veloce groupset for a cyclocross bike.

Last edited by Christian.; 03-05-10 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 03-05-10, 01:12 PM   #17
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Does CK = Chris King?
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Old 03-05-10, 01:31 PM   #18
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Does CK = Chris King?
Damn acronyms, if that is it...thanks!

Still learning the lingo,
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Old 03-05-10, 03:25 PM   #19
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Yeah, CK is Chris King.

I'm pretty set on running King after thrashing through an FSA BB pretty fast last season. I'd rather pay big once and not deal with the headache of a BB suddenly freezing up after a particularly muddy weekend this term around.
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Old 03-07-10, 05:39 PM   #20
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I ran Rival on my CX bike this season & can't say enough good things.
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Old 03-08-10, 11:12 AM   #21
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Sweet.

Well, I'm about 99% there to pulling the trigger on a Rival RD and shifters, and should have it ordered in the next day or two. Sounds like Campy and SRAM both work better than 105-level Shimano on cross and it's hard to go wrong; one thing that Campy has over everyone, though, is the ability to disengage the brakes from the brake lever. That would have saved me 10+ spots in a race for sure last year.
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Old 03-08-10, 02:21 PM   #22
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Does anyone have any idea what the internals for Centaur are like? I know prior to the 11 speed Veloce and Centaur had different internals than everything above it, and I believe they changed it for 2009 trying to make it a more competitive 10 speed group. I've read several mixed reviews on it and have seen several different accounts on what they've done to the internals but I can't seem to find any in depth reviews on what they've done to it or how the performance or durability have changed.
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