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Should I go with Sram or Shimano?

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Should I go with Sram or Shimano?

Old 04-02-09, 11:31 AM
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pgoat
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Should I go with Sram or Shimano?

I have two road bikes; one is about 5 yrs old, Dura Ace 9spd.

The other is a mid 80s steel bike, 6spd DT friction shift; It's currently running a 8/9 speed rear wheel (Ultegra hub) witha spacer and a 7spd Shimano HG cassette


The chains are stretched out on both bikes so they need replacing. There are no skipping or shifting issues but the chains look to be past the 1/8" point. Judging from the issues I am having on my beater/commuter, I am assuming the drivetrains on these road bikes would be toast with new chains.

1. Should I just ride them into the ground this summer and start fresh with all new drivetrains for next season? Or get the new chains and try it now?

My plan:

To get a new 9 spd cassette and chain for the steel bike, with a lower gearing for hilly rides, so i can also swap back and forth between the bikes. I planned to get the same chain/cassette/chain rings (a few teeth difference here and there, eg, 53/38t vs. 54/39t, and 11-23t vs. 12-26) for both and watch the mileage so they're as evenly worn as possible.

2. would you go with DA/Ultegra or SRAM? I can get the PC-870 cassettes in 11-23 and 12-26 for only $50, whereas the DA are twice that much.

3. assuming you'd use SRAM, would you go with the SRAM 951 or 991 chain?

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-09, 11:35 AM
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Also - I was gonna use TA chain rings from Harris - any worries there?
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Old 04-02-09, 11:48 AM
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I wish I could help, but I have no SRAM experience.
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Old 04-02-09, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
2. would you go with DA/Ultegra or SRAM?
Why that's easy: Who did you vote for in the last election?

If you are a conservative, get Shimano. Tried and true.
If you're a liberal, get SRAM. New and a little bit radical.
If you're a neocon (so liberal that you're conservative), get Campy.
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Old 04-02-09, 06:09 PM
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Since you have 9-speed D-A shifters I recommend 9-speed Ultegra or 105 cassettes.
TA chainrings are very nice but expensive. They are thicker than most which can cause some shifting issues in some applications. But with a well tuned double I doubt that will be a problem. With a 15 tooth differential between chainrings shifting may not be quite as smooth and the bigger ratio jumps will mean big cadence jumps. You seem to know what you want but if it was me I'd reduce the size of the big rings. My knees hurt just thinking about rings that big.

Al
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Old 04-02-09, 06:16 PM
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Go with Shimano.

Although Sram freehub bodies accept shimano cassettes and vice versa, the spacing of sram cassettes are slightly different than shimano and will result in less than optimal shifting performance when used with a shimano rear deraileur.

Considering that your running friction shifters on the steel bike it wont matter what cassette you are running on it, as spacing is not an issue with friction...but you stated you intend to swap the wheels between your two bikes...if this is the case then you will want to use a shimano cassette to get the best shifting performance on your dura-ace ride.

Regarding what level of shimano cassette to buy...dura-ace is nice but costly...ultegra is probably as durable as the dura-ace and should cost less. In this regard, do what fits your budget/conscience.

Regarding the TA chainrings...as long as the bolt circle of the rings match your cranks then you shouldn't have any problems. The only possible problem I can foresee is that if your cranks are from a 6sp era then a narrow 9spd chain may get caught between the chain rings...but I don't think the gap is wide enough that you will have problems. I run a very old 600 EX crankset that was from a 6sp build, circa early-mid 80s, with 8speed set up in the rear/8speed chain and have never had a problem...I think the 9speed chain is so slightly narrower than the 8speed that you will not have any problems.

Good luck

-J
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Old 04-02-09, 07:24 PM
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I would replace all the worn out parts asap. Your chances of breaking a chain are higher on worn out parts. Shifting will be less reliable and any parts you may have that aren't worn out will be soon if you don't replace the worn out ones.

For cassettes I prefer Shimano. They have the best patents and the best shifting. SRAM is decent. I've no experience with Campy. I tried an IRD cassette once and got rid of it quick, it was terrible.

For chains, I like SRAM best because they are easier to install and remove and there's no risk of screwing up your pin insertion as there is with Shimano.

Seems you're more concerned with durability so go with Ultegra if you can afford it. DA is lighter but not quite so robust. This goes for chains and cassettes. Similarly with SRAM, top-of-the-line parts are probably sacrificing a little durability for lower weight.
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Old 04-02-09, 07:29 PM
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I would just put 9sp cassettes and chains on both of them, since you already have 9sp on one of them. As for DA vs. Ultegra, let the price decide for you. I have Chorus and Ultegra on my bikes, no Record or DA. I just can't justify spending the extra money for so little difference.
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Old 04-02-09, 08:48 PM
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Thank you everyone, I appreciate the input!

I especially never considered the lateral distance between chainrings with the 9 spd chain...I hope it's not an issue. It's a Low-budget SR 165mm, original on the bike, a Trek 500 (original came with black anodized Shimano 52/40 rings...I put Stronglight 53/39s on when I got the bike in '05).

While I am sure the SRAM is fine, I think I will try to stick with Shimano, but maybe go with Ultegra. I may have to milk the old drivetrains a few weeks more, which stinks as the first big rides of the year are now approaching...but I need to get my commuter in order first, while I still have a job to ride to

So, Ultegra chain, cassettes, and chainrings, if I can find them?

Does anyone know a good source for Ultegra Drivetrain components? I was looking at Harris, and Nashbar...still need to check Performance and I have gotten great prices from Bens in Milwaukee....
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Old 04-03-09, 08:30 AM
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You can try probikekit in the UK. They have great prices, but never seem to have stock. I can post low prices too if I have nothing to actually sell.
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