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Sensah SRX Pro 1x11 shifter/derailleur review

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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.

Sensah SRX Pro 1x11 shifter/derailleur review

Old 07-06-20, 03:18 PM
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dsaul
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Sensah SRX Pro 1x11 shifter/derailleur review

I recently built up a super budget gravel bike and decided to try out the Sensah SRX Pro 1x11 levers and rear derailleur for $130 delivered from China. As expected, there was some good and some bad, so I thought i would post a review to help others decide of its worth using for their budget builds.

The levers and derailleur appear to be well constructed and it comes with a shifter cable installed, but no brake cables. Since I don't use cables for brakes on any of my other bikes, I had to make a trip to the LBS to get some.

The rear derailleur looks like it has a clutch mechanism, but its really just an adjustable tension spring. It will shift up to a 50t cog, but I'm only using it with an 11/42 cassette.

Initial setup was easy and it shifted well on the stand. The shifting works exactly like SRAM double tap shifters, except the whole lever moves instead of a separate shifter paddle. A short push on the lever(one click) executes an upshift and and long push(two clicks) executes a downshift. Pushing further(three clicks) allows a 2 gear downshift. I'm used to SRAM shifting, so that is no problem, but I'm not a fan of using the brake lever for shifting. The right lever has a lockout mechanism that prevents the shifter from rotating when you pull back to brake, which is a great idea.(more on that later) The levers also have a brake reach adjustment that can be accessed by pulling back the rubber hood. The reach adjustment works well and the levers are designed so that there is not an open gap when you shorten the reach.

The first real world ride revealed a few issues with the levers and the derailleur. My version of Gravel riding includes some technical singletrack and some rocky doubletrack roads, so there is a lot of bumps and vibration involved. About 6-7 miles in to the ride, the shifting started going out of adjustment. I thought maybe it was cable housing ends getting settled and made an adjustment of the rear derailleur cable adjuster and everything was working fine again. After the next singletrack section, the shifting was off again and I found that it was a whole cog off and wouldn't go into the large cog. I adjusted it again and noticed that there were no detents on the adjuster, it just turned with no stops. At this point I realized that the bumpy trails were causing the adjuster to rotate on its own, loosening the cable tension. I had to adjust it one more time before the 35 mile ride was over.

There were a couple of issues with the levers. The first one being the levers are a bit too slick for one finger braking. I found my finger slipping off the side of the lever when I tried to keep a finger on the lever for braking. A bit annoying, but nothing that I couldn't fix with a bit of rubber grip tape. The more annoying flaw with the right shifter was the mechanism that is supposed to lock out the shifting when you pull the brake. I found that nudging the lever sideways would bypass the lockout and allow the shifter to work while pulling the brake. This resulted in an unintentional upshift every time I hit a bump while braking. I had to focus on pulling outward on the lever before pulling back to prevent the unintentional shifts. I don't know if there is any way to remedy this problem, other than just making sure to pull outward before pulling back on the lever.

I was able to modify the rear derailleur with a dremel(see pics) to fix the problem with the cable adjuster losing tension, but this is a serious design flaw. I did another 35 mile ride after fixing the adjuster and the shifting stayed in adjustment and worked great through the whole ride. Overall, I'm happy with how it works. It shifts as cleanly as any other system that I've used, from Microshift to Dura Ace and SRAM Red.


Side view of the lever.

Lever reach adjustment.

Front view of the lever with grip tape added.

After modification, no more unintentional movement of the adjuster.

I used a Dremel to cut away material and leave some raised areas for the detents on the adjuster.

There were no detents to prevent the adjuster from rotating on its own.

This is not a clutch. It is an adjustable tension spring.
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Old 07-06-20, 11:00 PM
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Good fix on the rear derailleur, maybe a longer cable adjuster with locknut might be a go if people dont wanna mod ?
but yeah major design flaw on Sensahs part, as for build quality time will tell I suppose, But good review
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Old 07-08-20, 05:58 AM
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Great review, I commend you for getting brave with the dremel.

The price for a rear derailer and two levers is pretty great. Any idea if the shifter cable pull is compatible with any other derailers (sram, shimano)?
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Old 07-08-20, 03:28 PM
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dsaul
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
Great review, I commend you for getting brave with the dremel.

The price for a rear derailer and two levers is pretty great. Any idea if the shifter cable pull is compatible with any other derailers (sram, shimano)?
I'm fairly sure they are SRAM compatible, but I don't know if it is Exact Actuation or X-actuation. I may test that if I get time.
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Old 07-08-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I'm fairly sure they are SRAM compatible, but I don't know if it is Exact Actuation or X-actuation. I may test that if I get time.
I thought Shimano compatible. I have 9s Ignite shifters "that work with 10s" running Shimano derailleurs. It would be strange to have one group work with one system then another group work with another system in the same brand.
They work fantastic btw.
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Old 07-09-20, 09:02 AM
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dsaul
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Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
I thought Shimano compatible. I have 9s Ignite shifters "that work with 10s" running Shimano derailleurs. It would be strange to have one group work with one system then another group work with another system in the same brand.
They work fantastic btw.
I measured the total cable pulled at the rear derailleur and averaged it over 10 shifts(11 cogs) and came up with roughly 3.1mm per shift, which is the same as SRAM Exact Actuation. I haven't had time to check this with a SRAM derailleur.
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Old 07-10-20, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I measured the total cable pulled at the rear derailleur and averaged it over 10 shifts(11 cogs) and came up with roughly 3.1mm per shift, which is the same as SRAM Exact Actuation. I haven't had time to check this with a SRAM derailleur.
This would not surprise me as Sensah's drivetrain components are designed by former SRAM engineers. Any similarity to DoubleTap and EAS is likely very intentional.
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