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SRAM red front shifting problems, ready to chuck it and got back to shimano, help!?!?

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SRAM red front shifting problems, ready to chuck it and got back to shimano, help!?!?

Old 08-22-11, 05:04 AM
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island rider
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SRAM red front shifting problems, ready to chuck it and got back to shimano, help!?!?

Bought a guru evolo-r this year with sram red everything. Love the bike. Soon after I got it I started having front shifting problems. Brought it in for service, twist thus, turn that, all is well, for a few miles. Then trouble strays again. Bring it back in and we end up swapping out the titanium cage FD for the new steel cage FD. Have that put in, and for various reasons also have the cranks switched to compact. Ride out, trouble. Won't shift from small to big rings. Bring it back in, adjust it, get the bike back and ride for a handful of miles, trouble starts again.

This weekend I was out of town and trouble started again on a warmup ride. Being out of town I founda recommended shop and they did their thing the bike worked great for about 70 miles of a 100 mile hammer fest. Then trouble started again. I couldn't shift from the small to big ring. If I tried and left the FD in the big ring position it would maybe eventually jump. Started getting horrible chain rub and lost the chain twice on hills.

Anyone have a diagnosis? Similar exerience? SRAM red everything with gore ride on cables.

Thanks in advance!!
Had anyone
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Old 08-22-11, 05:13 AM
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I ride Red. I've never had any trouble with it. But this sounds like it might be a problem with the original build like the cable's hung up. I've never had any issues with the front derailleur itself or the shifting of it. Your symptoms sound like it's not the derailleur, but the function and that could be from several things.

I didn't use Gore with this bike, I used the cabling that came with the Super Six HM and I've had no issues. If it was me, I'd pull that cable and replace it and the housing, or at least look at it to see if there's a problem there.

Most bikes, these days come pretty much pre-built so who knows what happened there? That's where I'd start.
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Old 08-22-11, 05:20 AM
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I agree with the other poster. If you've had that much trouble, I would go back to the start -- unwrap the left bar, remove the shift cable, check EVERYTHING when putting it all back together (probably with a new shifter cable). SRAM shifters are extremely sensitive to proper cable routing. If you've got a kink somewhere -- or if the cable is mislocated at the attachment point -- you won't fix it any other way.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:26 AM
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I disagree about the "sensitivity" - this sounds like a setup problem.

Dont trust your bike shop to fix it. Check SRAM's YouTube channel - www.YouTube.com/sramtech , and watch the video on Road Derailleurs.

Loosen the FD cable.
Check the FD height (a few mm over the big chainrings) and the alignment (parallel with the small chainring when the cable is off)
Check the limit screws.
Do you have a FD barrel adjuster? If so, turn it just about all the way in, then attach the cable (I pull it to have it start with tension). Then add tension as necessary.

If you don't have a FD barrel adjuster, I'll post more details.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:33 AM
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Another someone doesn't know how to adjust a FD thread?
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Old 08-22-11, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
Another someone doesn't know how to adjust a FD thread?
I don't know how, my builder doesn't know how, and the Sram neutral support guy who last worked on it apparently doesn't know how either. This thing works for 50-70 miles at a clip and then all hell breaks loose.

I'm liking the set-up issues idea. If everyone who has gone at this thing with a screwdriver ends up in the same place I have to start thinking there might be another solution. Which is why I asked.
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Old 08-22-11, 12:38 PM
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I've heard that the Red FD doesn't play nice with compact cranksets, whereas Force does. No direct experience with either, though, sorry.
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Old 08-22-11, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by island rider View Post
I don't know how, my builder doesn't know how, and the Sram neutral support guy who last worked on it apparently doesn't know how either. This thing works for 50-70 miles at a clip and then all hell breaks loose.

I'm liking the set-up issues idea. If everyone who has gone at this thing with a screwdriver ends up in the same place I have to start thinking there might be another solution. Which is why I asked.
before you swear off the company, try starting from scratch with directions straight from SRAM's video.
the reason i say don't trust your bike shop is because they aren't necessarily magicians. they're just guys.

i had a similar problem with my Rival FD. over a year of problems, multiple trips to the bike shop, spent money having them "fix it." ultimately they told me "that's the way SRAM is, it will rub"
then i watched the SRAM videos, and they said the FD was designed to never rub.
i set it up myself, with zero training, according to SRAM's directions.
never rubbed or dropped a chain again, in any gear.

since then i've set up 2 bikes with Rival, 2 bikes with Force, and done my Red FD twice. never a rub, never a drop.
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Old 08-22-11, 01:21 PM
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I just put a DA FD on my Red and it works extremely well. My Wife's Force works well, but the DA FD is the way to go IMO.
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Old 08-22-11, 01:48 PM
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My Ultegra stuff shifts beautifully in the front, but weighs a whopping pound and a half more than your Red group. Just the difference in weight is almost as much as my frame.

Want to trade?
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Old 08-22-11, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ddimick View Post
I've heard that the Red FD doesn't play nice with compact cranksets, whereas Force does. No direct experience with either, though, sorry.
It will if you know how to set it up. Like any other system. I was riding Red and compact on another bike, and switched back to 53-39 on my latest bikes.

Apparently there are some really crappy mechanics out there in the bike world.

...shrugs shoulders...I love this, "that's the way it's supposed to be.." facepalm....In English "I have no blankin' idea what I am doing..."
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Old 08-22-11, 03:25 PM
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I have worked on 4 bikes which were apparently "designed to rub". Check for these common errors:

- Wrong B screw setting on the RD. The gap between the largest cog is 6mm and not "enough to clear". Common amongst Shimano indoctrinated mechanics.
- Wrong angle on FD and not the proper clearance between the largest chainring and the lower part of FD. I use a copper penny to set the clearance and never had problems.
- Set clearances and tolerances on FD first before the RD.
-Check proper chain length.
- Check cable set-up and proper length. Watch the kinks and sharp bends on the handlebars to the headtube/downtube bosses. Try the criss-cross configuration to lessen sharp bends (I don't know if this helps, but all 4 bikes were re-configured in this manner)


*make that 6 bikes...I will be working on 2 more this afternoon.
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Old 08-22-11, 03:30 PM
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The one thing you don't want to do is use Gore cables. I got them and they are great for a short time. Then the lube material dries up. Now when I turn my bars from side to side, I hear a cracking sound from the cables
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Old 08-22-11, 03:50 PM
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None of what you're describing points to components. I agree that it could be the cables or the routing. GL getting it figured out.
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Old 08-22-11, 04:50 PM
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Force front derailleur. problem solved
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Old 08-22-11, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ddimick View Post
I've heard that the Red FD doesn't play nice with compact cranksets, whereas Force does. No direct experience with either, though, sorry.
I have Red setup on my bike with compact cranks and never have had any issues with this setup but I also do all my own work sounds like OP needs to look for someone with the know how to get it dialed in better. Good luck OP or try learning to do it yourself it may take some trial and error but it's not the SRAM Red that's for sure.
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Old 08-22-11, 07:44 PM
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Went back today. He spent some time on it. Shifts like a champ now. We'll see how long it holds.
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Old 08-23-11, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by island rider View Post
Went back today. He spent some time on it. Shifts like a champ now. We'll see how long it holds.
I'll be curious to see how whatever was done (what was done?) will work because I am convinced that the issue is with the cabling somewhere. Like I said, I'd pull the whole thing.

We've had bikes come from the factory with incorrect routing and had to redo all of it (and then bill the manufacturer for time and accessories we had to replace). Before a bike hits the floor we go over the factory build in detail. Nothing impresses a customer more than a bike worth a couple grand that won't shift right on the test ride.
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Old 08-23-11, 08:32 AM
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Couldn't have come bad from the factory. This was a custom frame built up in the shop. I know he didn't dis-assemble everything. I didn't ask too many questions when I picked it up, but I will see what I can find out.
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Old 08-23-11, 09:45 AM
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I had similar front shifting trouble with my Rival bike when I got it. This was original silver Rival which was commonly said to have poor front shifting. But at some point I noticed the FD was mounted higher than spec, maybe 5mm over the big ring. Since I have lowered it and retuned it I have had no shifting issues what so ever.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by darb85 View Post
Force front derailleur. problem solved
This is the word on the street. Sram FD's can be sketchy, Force is better than Red. But in your case it does sound more like a set up issue. Sram FD's are harder to set up right than Shimano and harder to keep working right. I have heard this from multiple end users and LBS's as well, RW's shilling notwithstanding. He must own stock in the company.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73 View Post
I had similar front shifting trouble with my Rival bike when I got it. This was original silver Rival which was commonly said to have poor front shifting. But at some point I noticed the FD was mounted higher than spec, maybe 5mm over the big ring. Since I have lowered it and retuned it I have had no shifting issues what so ever.
i can do you one better:

i eventually gave up on my LBS fixing my Rival FD and checked SRAM's directions on how to set it up. When i took it apart, i found that there was a piece of cardboard wedged between the fixing bolt and frame braze-on being used as a shim. the LBS put it there.

i took it out, set it up properly, never another shifting problem.

Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
This is the word on the street.
that and $2.50 will get you on the subway. word on the street can come from one person posting here that they have a problem with one derailleur that might have been set up incorrectly, then it's repeated, then it's gospel.

Last edited by Inertianinja; 08-23-11 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 08-23-11, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by island rider View Post
Went back today. He spent some time on it. Shifts like a champ now. We'll see how long it holds.
Hah! He probably looked around the BF and didn't want to be one of those "quirky" mechanics.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:52 AM
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Having the same problem with my FD. Been back to the LBS 5 or 6 times now and I still get rubbing. Just going to deal with it for the rest of the season. I figure it is a setup issue. Told the guys I ride with that they are probably setting it up like a shimano. I need to check out the videos.
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Old 08-23-11, 11:59 AM
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this is the video.

For those without FD barrel adjusters, check this out:

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
...
I first set the low limit screw with the bike in the small ring and largest cog, to ensure no chain rub.
Then turn the low limit screw in (CW) another 1/2 to 3/4 turn.
Attach the cable, pulling it tight, using pliers for better grip on the cable.
After the cable clamp bolt is tightend, return the low limit screw to is normal postion and the cable will be tensioned further.


I use this (neither of my bikes have FD barrel adjusters) and never get rub or need to adjust (except with new cables, usually have to repeat the process once after they stretch).
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