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Love / hate bike relationship

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Love / hate bike relationship

Old 09-23-21, 09:22 AM
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ericcox
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Love / hate bike relationship

Just a rant thread. As I was riding to work this morning on one of my two main bikes (a cross / gravel bike set up for commuting), I was reflecting on why I don't love this bike. When set up properly as it was this morning, it is fantastic to ride. Yesterday was maintenance day, so I did a drive train clean, replaced the rear disc pads -- the others had a little life left, but had started making not-good, not-not normal noises -- and generally just got it cleaned up. I do basic maintenance on this bike fairly regularly (a minimum of once a week - more after really dusty or wet rides). This morning, it rode great! Everything quite, shifted well, brakes worked as expected. But... this bike is extremely sensitive. I use it on gravel / dirt, and the shifting gets out of whack really quickly. On longer rides / events, applying some lube periodically helps. But the bike is such a pain in the ass, it is hard for me to love. I've put about 1600 miles on it since I got it in the spring, and still am uncertain about it; I find myself investigating alternatives regularly.

Contrast with the road bike purchased last year with close to 6000 miles on it now. It just works. No major issues, perform the same basic types of maintenance and never have big issues even when I've used it on light gravel, in the rain, or in other less than ideal conditions. I can't imagine replacing this bike anytime soon unless something really unexpected happens.

I'm trying to decide how much of this is groupset (SRAM Apex vs Di2) and how much is the bike. The fit on the cross bike is fine, I just get annoyed by it a little too easily.
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Old 09-23-21, 09:42 AM
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I'm not familiar with SRAM Apex, but I've had a few mtbs with SRAM X01 that have been as reliable and consistent as Shimano.
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Old 09-23-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I'm not familiar with SRAM Apex, but I've had a few mtbs with SRAM X01 that have been as reliable and consistent as Shimano.
Apex 1X is a dedicated gravel group that probably falls between tiagra and 105 on the SRAM scale. I know some people with it that have no issues; I have a friend who is normally a very good home mechanic that cannot get his running right. Just depends.

Edit to add: this is also the problem with anecdotal information. I have a few friends with SRAM AXS horror stories, but couldn't tell you how widespread that is and certainly see as much or more Etap / AXS on group rides as I do Di2. SRAM mechanical road stuff seems less common, but it hasn't been updated in so long that's probably not a surprise.

Last edited by ericcox; 09-23-21 at 10:03 AM. Reason: additional response
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Old 09-23-21, 10:54 AM
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I've seen some scattered complaints about Apex 1x, enough to make me pick an older model Canyon outlet bike that came with Rival 1x over their newer Apex 1x offerings that were around the same price.
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Old 09-23-21, 11:06 AM
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What color are the bikes?
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Old 09-23-21, 11:33 AM
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Having to adjust shifting on a weekly basis, or on a ride by ride basis, would get old very quickly. Like in about 3 weeks.
That shouldnt happen and I would for sure choose my riding and therefore my bike based on not having to deal with such frequent maintenance.
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Old 09-23-21, 01:49 PM
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Maybe you just don't like riding CX or gravel enough. I haven't either.

Pavement is just too easy for me to like. I'd have to find something that really intrigued me about the other types of surface to ride to hold my interest enough to want to do it regularly.
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Old 09-23-21, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Maybe you just don't like riding CX or gravel enough. I haven't either.

Pavement is just too easy for me to like. I'd have to find something that really intrigued me about the other types of surface to ride to hold my interest enough to want to do it regularly.
I actually really enjoy gravel - and when the bike is working, it is great. I've done pretty well in a few gravel events (I did a TT tonight that mixes really fast gravel with a middle single track mountain bike trail). The wife says no to a new bike right now, so I'll just keep cleaning the chain super regularly before I muck it up with dust :-).
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Old 09-23-21, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
What color are the bikes?
Both are blue. Turns out I have a thing for blue bikes. My last four bikes have been various shades of blue.
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Old 09-24-21, 12:40 AM
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From what I read you are pleased with the bike when it is clean, but as it picks up grit and grime from use on dirt roads your satisfaction in the bike fails quickly. The simple solution is to stop riding on dirt, otherwise clean the bike after every ride to keep it working as your preference indicates.
FWIW, Apex has always sucked and is no comparison to any Di2 set up. This is coming from a guy that does not care for Di2, but has worked on plenty of Apex and Di2 bikes.
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Old 09-24-21, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
Both are blue. Turns out I have a thing for blue bikes. My last four bikes have been various shades of blue.
And therein lies your problem.
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Old 09-24-21, 06:42 AM
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how old are the cables & housings? maybe it's time for replacements?
have you cleaned the shifters & derailers, as-in, flooding them w/ WD40 while actualing them?
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Old 09-24-21, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
how old are the cables & housings? maybe it's time for replacements?
have you cleaned the shifters & derailers, as-in, flooding them w/ WD40 while actualing them?
The bike isn't even a year old, and it has done this the entire time I've owned it - it got better as I grew more accustomed to working with SRAM - this is my first SRAM bike. Definitely have cleaned the derailleur, though I tend to be nervous about hitting shifters with WD40 as long as they are engaging well.

Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
And therein lies your problem.
You random internet person, are dead to me.

Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
From what I read you are pleased with the bike when it is clean, but as it picks up grit and grime from use on dirt roads your satisfaction in the bike fails quickly. The simple solution is to stop riding on dirt, otherwise clean the bike after every ride to keep it working as your preference indicates.
FWIW, Apex has always sucked and is no comparison to any Di2 set up. This is coming from a guy that does not care for Di2, but has worked on plenty of Apex and Di2 bikes.
Damn it. I want to hear that Apex really can be good. Actually, I know it can in short bursts. But yeah, I've learned if I want it to ride well, I just have to clean it after basically every non-paved ride. When only on pavement, I can give it a full week. Serious question - what's your experience with AXS? I've had my eye on bike with Rival XPLR.
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Old 09-24-21, 09:19 AM
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Some people don't like SRAM Apex. Mostly gripes about it's shifting. But I don't know that that is any more of a majority than those that don't like Rival's shifting or Di2 shifting.

I'm not so infatuated with my electronic shifting that I wouldn't turn down a bike with mechanical shifting if it had other better stuff on it. But all things being equal, I'll probably stick with electronic shifting on my next bike since at that price tier it's getting pretty standard.
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Old 09-24-21, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ericcox View Post
Both are blue. Turns out I have a thing for blue bikes. My last four bikes have been various shades of blue.
This thread made me come face to face with my own biases in another way. I just realized that every bike I have purchased for myself as an adult except for one (a great Fuji Team back when they were made from steel) has prominently featured blue. That fuji was bright yellow.
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