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Pro's or Con's in comparing Sram Vs. Shimano?

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Pro's or Con's in comparing Sram Vs. Shimano?

Old 11-18-10, 04:57 PM
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Pro's or Con's in comparing Sram Vs. Shimano?

Long time since I have been on here. Im on my phone so I didn't do a search, though im sure there are several threads about this topic so I apologize in advance.

My good friend is looking to get another road bike. His last bike was geared with shimano ultegra components and he loved it. He had to sell it due to finances but is ready to get another one. He is looking to stay under $3k. As of right now he seems to be heading towards a focus or pinarrelo. The focus comes with sram components which has him squimish about purchasing since he has heard mixed reviews and opinions. Neither him or myself have ridden much with sram other than a couple circles in a parking lot so i wasnted to get some of your opinions. What I have gathered from others is of course its a personal thing. Some just like shimano and others like. He sram set up.

- what do you think about sram force componenets vs shimano?
- any pro's or cons to consider?

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Old 11-18-10, 07:56 PM
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I have SRAM Red on my road bike, Shimano Ultegra 6600 on my touring bike. I also have two mountain bikes with SRAM components. There's a lot to like about both brands, but there are distinct differences between them:

- SRAM components are usually lighter than Shimano components of the same cost.

- Shimano components are quieter and smoother than comparable SRAM components

- Both brands shift well. Lots of people are freaked out by the idea of DoubleTap, but in practice it's really very similar to Shimano. You make the exact same movements to shift (big push = bigger ring, small push = smaller ring), you just do it with one lever for SRAM versus two for Shimano. I swap back and forth between SRAM and Shimano regularly and have never missed a shift

- Shifts with a SRAM rear derailleur are very fast and very precise. Shimano, feels a bit lethargic and mushy in comparison. Rear shifting is what sold me on SRAM to begin with...

- SRAM levers fit my hands much better than Ultegra 6600. Ultegra 6700 and Dura Ace 7900 levers aren't as bulbous and bulky as 6600 and 7800, but they're still not quite as comfortable for me as SRAM.

- SRAM brake/shift levers offer built-in reach adjustment. If you have smaller hands, like I do, this is a very nice feature

- SRAM doesn't offer triple chainring shifters or cranks. The Apex and Rival groups for 2011 do, however, feature a mid-cage rear derailleur that will handle an 11-32 cassette, which will give you the same gearing range as Shimano's road triples (52/39/30) with a 12-27 cassette

Ultimately, you should buy SRAM if you value performance (light weight, quick shifts) above all else. Buy Shimano if you want smooth, quiet shifting. I like them both, but would give the nod to SRAM. The ergonomics work better for me, I love the lightening-fast shifts, and the noise doesn't bother me.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
- Both brands shift well. Lots of people are freaked out by the idea of DoubleTap, but in practice it's really very similar to Shimano. You make the exact same movements to shift (big push = bigger ring, small push = smaller ring), you just do it with one lever for SRAM versus two for Shimano. I swap back and forth between SRAM and Shimano regularly and have never missed a shift
I test drove a Scott with Double Tap a few times. I just didn't like it ... the motions are similar, but different enough to feel unnatural after using Tiagra brifters for a couple years. I didn't really understand how the DT worked, and didn't like it at all on the first ride; after I figured things out, I think it's something a person would get used to quickly enough.

Personally, I think what's most important for shifters on a road bike is ergonomics and comfort. Get whichever feel best in your hands. I think smoothness of shifting has as much to do with the derailleur as the shifters. A sora setup can shift very well if it's adjusted properly and has good cabling, whereas a dura-ace system can shift poorly. But the sora ones are hard to reach from the drops, and have an ergonomic setup most people don't like as much.

If I were the OP's friend, I'd try and answer the question with a couple of test rides.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:31 PM
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I switched from Shimano 105 to SRAM Rival. I like SRAM's double tap shifting over Shimano. Other than that, I think they're interchangeable. A lot of people talk about SRAM being noisy when shifting. I don't notice much of a difference as long as they're properly adjusted.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:33 PM
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I'm a long time Shimano rider, but my current main ride is Sram Force. My back up bike is Shimano Dura Ace 7800.

I'll back what sstorkel has said above.

Both work well. The change of level style and actuation only takes a short time to get used to.
Shimano is a lot quieter and smoother in the shift lever action. Force is a bit 'clicky' or 'notchy' in your finger tips - probably due to the Double Tap.

Performance? The limiting factor on my bike is sitting on the saddle....

I swapped because I was building a new bike and the Force was the best 'bang for buck' in terms of weight and bling when purchased as a separate group in a box (value on a pre built whole bike is another thing).
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Old 11-18-10, 09:56 PM
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I think this topic could really be covered better in the road forum
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Old 11-18-10, 10:48 PM
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Thank you all for your opinions. This could easily be asked in the road section, but I have learned that any question asked in the road forum is usually followed with some sort of arogance and sarcasm. I post here because I get the same knowledge and experience without all the idiots.
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Old 11-19-10, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I think smoothness of shifting has as much to do with the derailleur as the shifters.
Shifters actually have very little to do with the smoothness of shifting; it's all in the derailleur and the chainrings or cassette cogs. That said, it's impossible to make SRAM shift as smoothly as Shimano. And, on the flip side, it's impossible to make Shimano shift as quickly as SRAM.
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Old 11-19-10, 06:15 AM
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I've only rode a friends bike that had SRAM Apex, the rest of my riding has been with Shimano products. At first I didn't like the funky double tap, but once I figured it out it wasn't a big deal. The gear changes are faster but feel somewhat clunky to me. All in all, if I loved the bike it wouldn't really matter to me if it was SRAM or Shimano.

Now the real question, what about Campy?
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Old 11-19-10, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bautieri
All in all, if I loved the bike it wouldn't really matter to me if it was SRAM or Shimano.
That!

I have Ultegra SL on my Tarmac and SRAM Red on my Orca. They are both solid component groups.
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Old 11-19-10, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by dbikingman
I think this topic could really be covered better in the road forum
Why cant fat people debate components?
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Old 11-19-10, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gunner65
Why cant fat people debate components?
We're not fat... just festively plump!
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Old 11-19-10, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jefffred05
We're not fat... just festively plump!
I am not fat just big boned!
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Old 11-19-10, 11:23 AM
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I'm just short for my weight!

Both work very well. Both have advantages and disavantages, all stated above.

You will be happy with either; IMO

+1 with the 41; They can be somewhat snarky at times.
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Old 11-19-10, 11:48 AM
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Since we are on the subject what is the sram equivalent to 105 groupo?
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Old 11-19-10, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by gunner65
Since we are on the subject what is the sram equivalent to 105 groupo?
Rival
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Old 11-19-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bautieri
...

Now the real question, what about Campy?
Especially given the OP's screen name
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Old 11-19-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bianchi10
Thank you all for your opinions. This could easily be asked in the road section, but I have learned that any question asked in the road forum is usually followed with some sort of arogance and sarcasm. I post here because I get the same knowledge and experience without all the idiots.
There's definitely a lot of that. I only test rode SRAM once, but I posted my observations in the road forum here. Plenty of times I got some nasty remarks pointed my way. However, that topic is debated ad nauseum over there so DEFINITELY do not post a new question. You would benefit from a search though. General feeling in the road forum is that SRAM is great stuff, it seems a majority of people there prefer it to Shimano, but both work great and have their advantages. I don't know where your buddy is hearing questionable reviews, everything I've read about SRAM is gushing and glowing with praise, with the exception of some broken levers many previous product versions ago.
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Old 11-19-10, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Snapperhead
Rival
Somewhat debatable, many in the Road forum put it between 105 and Ultegra, some even think it's better than Ultegra. I think it weighs about the same as Ultegra, like that matters to us
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Old 11-19-10, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gunner65
Since we are on the subject what is the sram equivalent to 105 groupo?
Apex, according to SRAM.
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Old 11-19-10, 02:45 PM
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SRAM's equivalent to 105 is Rival. There are many pretentious people out there that want to make SRAM out to be "The Holy Grail"- just like many Campy people try to say that Chorus is really Campy's equivalent to Dura Ace. Total crock! Rival isn't any better than 105. When you weigh the pros and cons, it's like many have said here: It's a matter of preference. Anyway, I personally prefer Shimano- especially the 6600/6603 and 7800/7803 because I do have big hands and I don't like how much effort it takes to shift SRAM. The right shifter is crazy fast but the left takes a bit more work to shift the front derailleur with the SRAM. To me, that's a judge of which is better. A rear derailleur might be used more frequently but the front takes more abuse when shifting. I want it to be as close to effortless as possible. SRAM doesn't cut it in that realm IMO. Never experienced that with Campy nor Shimano. Campy, is really smooth but again, the shifters are too small for me (Likewise 6700/7900 shifters are as well). Also, I used to own a SRAM Force bike a few years ago. I would break teeth on the crank. I bet that while Shimano weighs more, it will prove itself in the long run to be more durable (not by much but SRAM is lighter than Shimano- but not by much). I'm a Clyde. Durability outweighs everything else IMO. Then again, if I had money to burn, it wouldn't matter.
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Old 11-19-10, 03:31 PM
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Especially given the OP's screen name
I have a ridley now so my screen name doesn't match up with my the currect day

I don't know where your buddy is hearing questionable reviews, everything I've read about SRAM is gushing and glowing with praise, with the exception of some broken levers many previous product versions ago.
I shouldn't have said questionable/mixed reviews. I meant, he has heard that SRAM is such a different feeling that what he was used to that he isn't sure if he wants to take that risk of trying SRAM to later find out he would have rather stuck with shimano.

Last edited by bianchi10; 11-19-10 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-20-10, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by terbennett
Anyway, I personally prefer Shimano- especially the 6600/6603 and 7800/7803 because I do have big hands and I don't like how much effort it takes to shift SRAM. The right shifter is crazy fast but the left takes a bit more work to shift the front derailleur with the SRAM. To me, that's a judge of which is better. A rear derailleur might be used more frequently but the front takes more abuse when shifting. I want it to be as close to effortless as possible. SRAM doesn't cut it in that realm IMO.
Funny, I've had no problems so far with front shifting on my SRAM Red. I really so no difference between the Red and my Ultegra other than not having to use the brake lever and accidentally shifting and/or braking as well.
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