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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 06-23-10, 02:18 PM   #1
cave12man
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SRAM Rival vs Shimano Ultegra 6700?

Trying to decide on a bike but have the option to get SRAM or Shimano. The frameset in both cases is the same with slightly different components but costs roughly the same: $1499 for the one equipped with SRAM and $1495 for the one with Shimano. The one with the Shimano set is sold out and there's a possibility it will be back in stock and the one with the SRAM set is available now.

My question is if there is a huge difference between the Rival and Ultegra sets? I've only ever had experience with Shimano and that was a 105 set. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-23-10, 02:22 PM   #2
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I much much prefer the 6700 over the Rival. To my hands it just feels more solid. Both the Sram and Shimano will do the job though. I am guessing the Rival will be a little lighter.
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Old 06-23-10, 02:32 PM   #3
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FWIW I have a Rival kit that should be delivered tomorrow !
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Old 06-23-10, 03:05 PM   #4
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I've used 6600 and Rival, and it came down to me liking the shape of the 6600 brifters more, everything else was about even, so I'd say get the one that feel best when you're on the hoods.
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Old 06-23-10, 03:39 PM   #5
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6700 without a shadow of a doubt
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Old 06-23-10, 04:11 PM   #6
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depends if you can pick up some 404's with the 5 bucks lying around if you go with Force. If not I'd say 6700
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Old 06-23-10, 04:27 PM   #7
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They're really a matter of preference. I'm totally sold on SRAM and find their hoods way more comfy. SRAM also tends more toward the crisp, distinct shifting vs shimano's smooth, quiet shifting. It's really just what you prefer. Rival weighs less.
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Old 06-23-10, 04:36 PM   #8
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I predict that SRAM will be taking the market from Shimano over the next five years like Shimano did to Campy 20 years ago. I tried to buy SRAM stock the other day, but they are a privately held company.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:05 PM   #9
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6700
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Old 06-23-10, 05:16 PM   #10
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Both great group sets. Buy what shift method and ergonomics you like best. I have ridden both and liked both.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:31 PM   #11
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Love my new SRAM Rival groupset. Much prefer it to my Shimano.
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Old 06-23-10, 05:52 PM   #12
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Love my new SRAM Rival groupset. Much prefer it to my Shimano.
did you have 6700?
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Old 06-23-10, 06:22 PM   #13
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hmmm what to do what to do....seems to be split kinda even. guess i'll wait and cross my fingers the frameset with the shimano groupo will come back in stock soon. the one with the rival set seems to be holding pretty steady so if all else fails i'll that one.

many thanks guys for the help!

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depends if you can pick up some 404's with the 5 bucks lying around if you go with Force. If not I'd say 6700
what are 404's? you mean the zipp rims?
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Old 06-23-10, 06:26 PM   #14
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The new 6700 hoods are a lot smaller than the old ones. They feel very comfy and shifting is very smooth unlike Rival which has a clicky feel to shifting.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:34 PM   #15
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I like the mechanical/clanky feel of the Rival. It feels very... minimalistic and straight to the point.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:39 PM   #16
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I've demoed bikes with both groups.
I'm going with the SRAM.
I like the fit and feel of the hoods. I like the solid brake lever. I like the shifting feel and technique. I like the simplicity. I like the weight. I like the looks. I like that it's not Shimano. I like change. I like not playing by the rules. I like that I won't need special tools (Campy). I like the price.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:51 PM   #17
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My question is if there is a huge difference between the Rival and Ultegra sets? I've only ever had experience with Shimano and that was a 105 set. Any thoughts?
No there won't any performance difference between SRAM and Shimano. Go with whichever system your prefer. If you have no preference go with SRAM because it's lighter. Other than that they perform the same and neither one is more durable or more reliable than the other.

I prefer SRAM not only because it's lighter (which actually won't make much of a difference), but because of the single lever to control shifting (double tap). I've accidentally braked while shifting down on Shimano many times. However I've also accidentally shifted up instead of down on SRAM's system.
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Old 06-23-10, 06:57 PM   #18
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I have ultegra or 105 on all my road/cross bikes, but SRAM Force on my Cervelo. Definitely a SRAM convert, so I'm gonna vote Rival.
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Old 06-23-10, 07:42 PM   #19
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No there won't any performance difference between SRAM and Shimano. Go with whichever system your prefer. If you have no preference go with SRAM because it's lighter. Other than that they perform the same and neither one is more durable or more reliable than the other.

I prefer SRAM not only because it's lighter (which actually won't make much of a difference), but because of the single lever to control shifting (double tap). I've accidentally braked while shifting down on Shimano many times. However I've also accidentally shifted up instead of down on SRAM's system.
Can't speak to durability per se, but the DoubleTap mechanism in SRAM shifters is much simpler than the Shimano mechanism (this is part of how they got it both lighter and cheaper), and the new Shimano levers have the internals pretty exposed to the outside world. Something to think about. High quality cables and smooth routing are also important for front shifting on Rival because the smaller lever makes for more resistance to the upshift.

In the interest of full disclosure, I ride and race Rival, and I love love love it. Also the interest of full disclosure, I have not ridden the newest generation of Shimano groups.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:01 PM   #20
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Rival. Forget Shimano.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:02 PM   #21
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I'm a Shimano fan. I just don't like the "positive" feel to SRAM's stuff. Both are great groups, but they've done some pretty neat things with the new Ultegra. Super smooth! I don't think you'll disappointed whichever way you go, though.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:54 PM   #22
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man, great arguments either way. this is gonna be tougher than i thought. i think since i'm not married to either set I'll wait and see if the one with the shimano gets back in stock soon and if not i'll roll with the rival.

seriously thanks for all the replies everyone you guys really helped me out.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:18 PM   #23
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I think I know which bike you are looking at. I am having the same debate with myself. If it is the same, note that the Shimano bike is a compact double crankset vs SRAM standard double.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:40 PM   #24
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I gave a pretty thorough review of 6700 in this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...=#post10847241

It's a cut above Campy Athena at least; handles rear shifts both ways under full load, and the front is a solid as a rock too. Set your limit stops and cable tension right, and the FD is happy to throw it up/down without a hiccough, even under a more then reasonable load. I've thrown it up under full load onto the big ring, but not down, for fear of losing my balance with the cadence change.

The braking is really, really good. Crank stiffness is amongst the best.

I'm keen to try Force in my next bike
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Old 06-24-10, 12:40 AM   #25
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I have both. Sram hoods are better for my hands. 6700 levers are better. 6700 front ring shifting is better. Sram rear shifting is better for me.

IMO, you should pick the better hood shape for your hands unless you have a strong aesthetic preference.
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